Not often the packaging gets top billing is it? But it’s part of the story of the new Altitude IV WPi NT from Hi-Tec.
Hi-Tec are holding hands with the National Trust and they’ve brought out a range of boots for the family, kids, mens and wummins, all made to the same spec. That spec is concentrating on it’s environmental credentials which starts with the packaging. Recycled, recyclable material and if you look bvelow a fold out handle that actually feels tough enough to use to carry the boots home.
The boots themselves are cut from leather which has reduced chrome content tanning (I covered this a while back in my ’09 innov_ex write-up, leather is a huge waste problem) which is the way forward if product quality can be maintained and the glues are water based.
The sole has 15% recycled rubber content, and you know, it doesn’t really matter what that content is as it won’t affect grip, but reduces the volume of new rubber used. Good call.
Recycled EVA is used in the sock liner and the midsole EVA is using an injection process which they say is making less waste. Also hidden in there is a recycled steel shank (yes, there are still steel shanks out there). As all the scrap I strip out at work eventually gets shipped to the far east for processing, I’m saying the shanks in these are made from something I hacksawed in times past.
The upper has the now familiar Ion Mask treatment, which does work very well, but as usual Hi-Tec cut the the baffles at the sides of the tongue way too low, so water will pour in if you dip into a burn or a bog above the fourth eyelet. It’s the single area that their boots trip up and I wish they would fix it.
I really like that fact that they took the kids boots as seriously as the adults, and I think the styling is probably about right for the market these are aimed at.
The sole tread pattern looks like a good one, the ankle cuff is low and very soft, the tongue is well padded, so these should be no hassle to wear.
£85 gets you a pair, I’ll get them dirty and report back.