Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ahnu Coburn Boot Review

Last summer someone from Ahnu footwear contacted me and offered to send me a pair of their boots to try. Here is my review.

The representative at Ahnu wanted to send me a pair of women's boots to try. There were problems from the start:

  • Ahnu does not make women's size 12. 
  • They also do not make full shank boots suitable for mountaineering. 

Since that's the only time I actually wear boots I was hesitant when they offered to send me some men's boots to try "on my descent". (Still not sure what that meant). I picked the Coburn to try out and ordered a men's 10.5.

The Coburn has a 5-star rating on their site and this description:

"An all-day hiker for outdoor enthusiasts to explore in all weather conditions. This mid-height hiking boot is equipped with a breathable eVent® waterproof bootie, wicking away moisture for optimal foot comfort. Tough, full-grain and waterproof leathers create a modern take on a classic silhouette. This rugged hiker is designed to provide athletic underfoot performance with all terrain lugs for go anywhere comfort."

The boots arrived just before I left for the Appalachian Trail so they sat and waited for my return. Once I got home I took them on an off trail scramble peak trip. I figured they would hold up to the rugged off trail terrain better than my Lone Peaks and I wasn't going to be on snow and need crampons (hence my mountaineering boots).

Less than 1 mile into the hike on easy, grassy slopes (ie no sharp rocks) I noticed the stitching in the upper coming out. I was very glad I'd carried my trail runners in my pack because that didn't bode well.

We went on to hike for 5 days through rough terrain, pumice, and rock. Although the stitching in the uppers came loose nothing further happened.

To my surprise they were actually very comfortable for a boot and I hiked 10+ miles in them with no problems.

Subsequently I have worn them in snow and on lots of scree peaks. They have held up very well. My feet have always been warm and dry, so the eVent technology appears to be working well. The traction on the tread is decent and despite hiking long days that I would typically only attempt in Altras I haven't had any blisters.

So, despite the immediate issue with the loose stitching I've actually been pleasantly surprised with the quality of the Ahnu Coburn boot. It definitely fills the gap between trail runner and full mountaineering boot rather well.

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