Hi-Tec Altitude Ultra WP Ion Mask

These are going to be the subject of endless debate and disagreement, which is a good thing because it’ll stop the current endless speculation and disagreement.
Hi-Tec are the first to use the Ion Mask sci-fi waterproofing, and it’s a treatment and not a membrane. How it’ll stand up to real world abuse is what every one wants to know, and it’s what we’ll find out over the coming months.

More importantly for me is what kind of a boot it is. And that’s good news, it’s not a boot, it’s a leather mid. It’s über soft, both the upper and the sole flex which I like, the usual roomy Hi-Tec fit is there and a custom made far-east sourced Vibram outsole will keep you upright and off of your arse by the looks of it.
It takes a Kahtoola crampon very well, and with that bitey looking sole I’ll be trying them on a snowy Munro or two.

I like the look and feel of them. As so much of my time is spent outdoors in garish plastic, there’s something nice about having leather on. I like they way leather wears and shows it’s mileage, and that’s going to be the real test of these.

More later.

10 thoughts on “Hi-Tec Altitude Ultra WP Ion Mask”

  1. Ooh, nice, a leather mid. Is it truly lightweight? Say, sub-1kg? If the ion-mask stuff does a half-decent job (and if the boot fits!) I’ll be looking to throw away my assorted leaky goretex attempts at a mid for dry feet….. {crosses fingers and toes}

  2. It is light, not as light as Keen Targhee Mid though. I’ll get an exact weight later honest…

    I hope they are good, but it’ll take time to tell on the waterproofing. I hope it does take time anyway, I don’t want to be back on Sunday saying I had wet feet and no spare socks in my tent.

  3. That’s the sci-fi coating…

    I had to press “Auto Adjust” on the photies because the brown is really is super dark and I couldn’t see any detail. They do have a sheen on them, and the surface reacts to a rub with a thumbnail in the same way that suede does. Odd.

  4. oh Guru how you have slipped. You used the forbidden ‘spare’ word in reference to socks in the above reply, and now you must burn in hell for all eternity. This coming from the legend who introduced me to the worlds best pack the OMM villain; for which I will pray for your soul to the ‘spare’ god/demon.
    Never thought you would go for paramo either. I have been following you from a distance for years, but never agreed with your crisp packet waterproofs, my alta (the farmer look) was a firm favorite till i bought a velez adventure only for you to get the lighter version (nashing of teeth), heavy gear but no internal goretex sauna.

  5. Spare socks, my guilty wee luxury!
    Funny enough although I take spares on most overnight trips, I’m finding I’m using them less that I expect. As my socks get thinner they’re drying out quicker and then I forget (or can’t be arsed) changing them.

    I never though I’d be using Paramo either, but this was an angle I had to explore. I really believe that the clothes you wear from the moment you leave the car/house should be the most comfortable and practical you’ve got, also that the weight of them is irrelevant. The clothes you’re wearing should be dealt with by personal fitness. I wear relatively heavy Haglofs pants and merino underwear, and if I’m blaming them for my slowness or breathlessness it’s all gone horribly wrong :o)
    But a light pack brings only joy, so if you could wear your wind & waterproof layer plus a bit of light insulation from the off, then you’ve taken items out of your pack, which is what we want.
    I already know that it’s cool weather only use for me, but that’s fine. It’s suiting these current conditions very well.

    Lighter by going heavier?!

  6. Have you had a chance to try these out at all? I’m considering buying a pair and would like to know what you think after wearing them up a mountain. I suppose what I really want know is how well does the IonMask wear; does it easily wear off? Can it be re-applied? I guess it is early days to be asking these questions though.

  7. I’ve used them and as a boot they’re fine, the sole is a good one, nice and grippy.
    The Jury is still out on the Ion Mask treatment, I’ll need more miles before I make my mind up on that. One negative is that the boots are slow to dry when they get wet inside. That’s partly my fault though, I keep fogetting I’m not wearing mesh shoes and I walk though burns and fill them up.
    Still, it’s a good test for them.
    I think when the Ion Mask-ing it wears off, it’ll be back to Nikwax and Grangers stuff.

  8. Tried a pair of these on the other week.They didn’t fit my feet unfortunately,ankle/heel was swimming,liked the weight and feel of them tho’. Interestingly the shop assistant (tog 24 of all places)told me hi-tec have the sole license for the use of ion-mask for one year only. He aslo said it will appear on different models shortly depending how this initial release goes,he said they had sold plenty and none returned so far.

  9. Good news on the lack of returns.
    I can only beat the big heel with a volume reducing insole and thicker sock, but it’s the weather for it!

    I wonder who else is lining up Ion Mask footwear?

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