An Eco-Friendly Review Of Hi-Tec Altitude Enviro Hiking Boots

Real hikers get out and explore the great outdoors year round… and don’t let anyone tell you different.

As fall draws to a close, so do most hikers’ trekking poles, but the winter landscape allows you to experience your favorite hikes or camping spots in an entirely new way.

A new pair of eco-friendly hiking boots will help you kick it in nature all winter long.

It doesn’t matter to me if you’re rediscovering an old favorite trail or trail blazing a new one, just get out and experience the sound of the wind through the naked winter trees.

Now, on to my review of these boots…

hi-tec-altitude-enviro.jpg

 

Hi-Tec Altitude Hiking Boots

Hi-Tec has been making quality hiking boots and apparel since the early 1970′s.

Their flagship boot, the Hi-Tec Altitude, is the number one rated light hiking boot in the world.

As a matter of fact, a pair of Hi-Tec Altitudes were my very first pair of serious hiking boots.

Last year those boots, after 10+ years of enjoyment and 100′s of miles over rocky, sloppy, dirty trails, finally failed me. These boots are built to last, and believe me when I say that I am not even close to easy on hiking boots (or any pair of shoes, for that matter).

Imagine how excited we were here at The Fun Times Guide to Living Green (not to mention me, personally) to hear that Hi-Tec was coming out with an eco-friendly version of their most popular boot.

Enter the Altitude Enviro.

These boots just hit the market this month, but Hi-Tec was kind enough to send us several pre-production pair of Altitude Enviro’s last fall.

We’ve put them through some grueling tests for the past year.

 

What makes the Altitude Enviro so awesome as a hiking boot?

  • Waterproof low-chrome full-grain leather upper
  • Soft padded leather collar
  • Fully gusseted action leather tongue
  • Comfort-Tec contoured sockliner
  • Lightweight injection-molded EVA midsole

 

What makes the Altitude Enviro so eco-friendly?

  • Waterproof low-chrome leather uses less chemicals for the tanning process & water based cements
  • 95% recycled uppers
  • 90% recycled metal steel shank for support
  • 90% recycled eyelets
  • 50% recycled insole top
  • 50% post-consumer recycled nylon lining
  • 15% recycled rubber hiking outsole
  • 15% recycled insole cushioning

Believe me, the list goes on and on and on to include things like 100% recycled content packaging, metal-free dyes, and even a bio-diesel fueled manufacturing facility.

One very cool and very eco-friendly feature of the Altitude Enviro’s that Hi-Tec isn’t getting much press about is that the “Enviro” version of the Altitudes are cast in the same mold as the other versions of the Altitude.

Why is that important?

Because it drastically reduces waste by eliminating the need to cast new molds for the Enviro version.

But are the boots any good?

In a word, “Yes.” In two words, “Hell, yes!”

Our panel of reviewers has worked them through some pretty nasty conditions over the past year. The picture above is from one of their excursions… and yes, that is water up to the middle of the tongue (but without water in the boot).

All 4 of our reviewers loved the boots.

Here’s a breakdown of their thoughts, pro vs con style:

Pros

  • sturdy and roomy
  • good for both short and extended hikes
  • completely waterproof
  • good traction in a variety of terrains
  • seem to mold to your foot for a custom fit as they break in

Cons

  • leather construction means they will initially be stiff and require breaking in
  • too roomy, for some feet

The large toe box of the Altitude Enviro’s led to one of our male reviewer’s foot sliding around inside the boot a great deal. (Though his foot is self-proclaimed, “narrow and girlie”.)

One of our female reviewers actually had the outsole pull away from the upper near the toe while on a wet hike. That led to wet socks. Hi-Tec told us that they have not heard another single report of this happening. Hopefully, it was simply an isolated issue with our models being pre-productions versions.

On the bright side, that reviewer was able to permanently mend the boots with super glue… and has yet to have them fail again. Good to know that if something were to happen on the trail, these boots can be fixed on the fly.

Jeffrey

Yo. I'm Jeffrey. I think every little step is an awesome one when it comes to living green... but eco-snobbery sucks.

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Fun From Around the Web

  • Bethbot52

    I followed both as @ecosphericblog. If I won these boots, I would use them to continue my carless commuting through the long Colorado winter! I work about .75 miles from where I work, which is a fun walk in the snow, but not if your feet are wet :)

  • Bethbot52

    I’ve also liked both pages on Facebook!

  • Kathie

    We just bought carbon neutral plane tickets to New Zealand last night — I’d wear these kicks amongst the sheep of the southern hemisphere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pauloone Paulo

    They are the kind of boots you’d never want to take off, so I would be wearing them to make love!

  • http://twitter.com/raptahwolfeh Ceru

    If I won these boots, I could walk squeak-free with my husky, Kohle. Yeah, my current boots squeak when I walk. =(

  • Aaron

    If I was to win these boots I would wear them to walk from Georgia to Maine!!

  • http://twitter.com/LeeHillerLondon Lee Hiller
  • http://twitter.com/LeeHillerLondon Lee Hiller

    I would use these amazing boots to hike for another year in Hot Springs National Park http://HotSpringsNationalParkAR.com

  • http://twitter.com/9poppi hy

    haven’t been in the sierras since i was a kid, i’d finally go backpacking again.

  • http://twitter.com/9poppi hy

    i “Liked” both The Fun Times Guide to Living Green AND Hi-Tec on Facebook.

  • Jennyspaul

    If I were to win these boots…they will never leave my feet! I’m a graduate student studying entomology with heavy field work year long…..and when I’m not working…I’m off rock climbing! I killed my last pair of boots after a month in Patagonia studying aquatic insects. I REALLY need a good pair of water proof boots!! Thanks

  • Patty Smith

    I am following both the Fun Times Guide to Living Green (@FunGreenTips) AND Hi-Tec (@HiTecUSA) on Twitter, I am mnpatty.
    In these boots? I would do some serious hiking!

  • tracy davis

    I would wear them hiking.

  • sbot

    I would use them on my hikes in New Hampshire!

  • AlaskaGrl

    I’ve honestly been looking for some boots like this – I live in a rain forest in southeast Alaska and any hiker really needs waterproof gear… these will do the trick!

    I’m following on Twitter (AlaskaSuze) as well as FB (facebook.com/AlaskaGrl)

  • http://twitter.com/MirjaTague Mirja Tague

    It’s fall in New England and a versatile pair of hiking boots for our ever changing weather would be great for some of the peak hikes with my dog this fall and winter. – http://twitter.com/MirjaTague

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Going-Green-Kits/100001383381626 Going Green Kits

    I would definitely love to have these keeping my feet comfy while I explore the rolling hills of Missouri :-)

    • Lundonbond

      I would walk to the nearest puddle and stand in it to try and see how water proof Hi-tec Altitude Enviro Hiking Boots are.

      lundonbond (at) gmail.com

      http://twitter.com/Frizzyfritz

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=52000741 Mirja Tague

    These would be great boots for my weekly hikes in New Hampshire – changing terrain makes a versatile boot a must! – http://www.facebook.com/mirja.tague (Liked on Facebook and Following on Twitter!)

  • http://www.greensmithconsulting.com/greensmith_consulting_hel/a-greensmith-consulting-one-sheet.html Paul Smith

    Followed you both on Twitter…Why me? I moved to Portland, Oregon in May. It rains. A lot. And I hear especially so this winter. I’d like to spend as much of it outdoors, with dry feet, as possible! And I know a lot of people who’d like to hear about a viable eco alternative. I’d be glad to share :)

  • Environmental Control

    I work for an environmental agency and am definitely living green….I wear boots EVERYWHERE! Have been looking for a new pair, read about the amazing green components of this pair, plus I have owned a couple of pairs from Hi-Tec in the past….So I would really enjoy having a pair of these, to wear to work, to hike, and to promote a green lifestyle.

  • beth shepherd

    I follow both on twitter and I would love to wear these on our family hikes
    thank you
    tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

  • http://twitter.com/golddragongirl Melinda Hopper

    I am an environmental science student and am very passionate about environmental conservation. Especially wetlands. I would love to wear your boots in the field. They may just be my secret ingredient to saving the wetlands of the world! Thanks!

  • Mellissa C

    Follow Both on twitter@Missybeez80. I would love to wear these hiking.

  • Rfa803

    I would wear your these boots on a winter trip to Germany, a spring hike of the Foothills Trail in SC, and in restoration work with the Gills Creek Watershed Association.

  • http://www.geeknik.com/ geeknik

    I would wear these boots while I’m out hiking with my son! =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charley-Follett/691688413 Charley Follett

    I would recycle my old, ripped boots and use the new Altitude Enviro boots for my fieldwork from now on :)

  • Anonymous

    If I won, I would go hiking! I follow both on twitter: carogonza

  • Hmcnaron

    I liked fun times guide and hi tec on FB. name is a marie hj saver

    If I won I would use these on my planned trip down the pacific crest trail

  • James Smith

    These are cool

  • Rikpape

    Besides continually backpacking and hiking the Sierra Nevadas and The Trinity Alps which I’m comfortably nestled between; this spring will be my first of many trips to the highlands of Guatemala, including some time in the jungle.

  • Crazyred61

    I follow on twitter rah267
    I would use them for hiking

  • denice p

    if i am lucky enough to win the boots, I am going to use them to go one some trails that are in a park near my house. It’s not a huge park but it’s big enough for the hubby and I to get some exercise and then i am gonna try them in the little creek that is there just to see for sure if they are water proof. sorry just got to know for sure!!! follow FGT and hitec on twitter.

  • Alissa Enders

    I follow you both on Twitter (@havestroller) and I’d love to introduce my toddler to winter hiking in these boots. At 2 1/2 he’s mobile enough now to really enjoy a good hike and he loves to be outside no matter the temperature. Bring on the snow and hiking in these fabulous boots!

  • Alissa Enders

    I “like” both of your pages on Facebook. My son and I love to hunt for puddles in the spring and fall. With boots like these, we could both go hunting melted snow puddles in the winter too. Bring on the hunt!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Derek-Huber/536461048 Derek Huber

    A buddy and I have recently started a goofy webshow dedicated to hiking and backpacking in Arkansas and promoting eco tourism to youth. The show can be found at http://www.youtube.com/awesomemanshow . We have been wanting to do some extreme winter first snow hikes this winter to get some beautiful snow footage. The only problem is, it takes all different gear that is very expensive! We have finally accumulated the correct tents and clothing but I still lack the boots as they are very expensive! These look perfect for what I want to do! The first thing I would do in these boots is go to hawksbill crag in Arkansas and get a beautiful snowy there and take some amazing video of the adventure for our show!

  • LibraryJim

    Liked via Facebook:
    One of my dreams is to hike the AT, since I still work full-time, it would have to be section hiking. I’ve already done the width of the trail in several places, now I need to work on the length part! However, I need a good pair of boots for this, and these would be absolutely perfect!

  • http://twitter.com/kaflickinger74 Kimberly Flickinger

    If I won these I would definitely use them when I go hiking in the Metroparks. Thanks for the giveway. Following @kaflickinger74

  • Ekontra

    With these boot I would go hiking in the Palm Springs Indian Canyons until it gets too hot in May for outdoor hiking, then I would put them away until my trip to Oregon this summer when they would get used and used hiking all the great trails to waterfalls in Oregon with my daughter. thank you, I follow both on twitter and liked both on facebook @Lanieekat

  • jen gersch

    follow on twitter intime111 and would hike the alleghenies

  • Tracey Byram

    I’m following FunGreenTips AND HiTecUSA on twitter-traymona

  • Tracey Byram

    I’d wear these boots when hiking trails at the state park.

  • Jill L

    I would wear my boots geocaching. I have gotten some pretty wet feet the last couple trips.

  • http://twitter.com/glasscastle Oona Baker

    Following you both on Twitter (@glasscastle) and I would wear these boots to wander around in the Oaks Bottom Nature Reserve with my daughter!
    Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

  • Monicalstanfield

    I’d wear these boots up to the mountain… spring, summer, fall, and (of course) winter!

  • Lori

    Followed both on twitter
    @bellanova85
    We camp quite a bit with the kids, so a pair of hiking boots would come in very handy since we hike quite a bit when we camp!

  • Laurie P.

    Following both twitter pages. I would use these boots to hike! I love getting out on a Saturday afternoon for a long hike.

    @chiquidita

  • Anonymous

    FOllow both on twitter

    I love hiking and theyre water proof
    sweet!

    @zippy573

  • Anonymous

    I liked both on facebook
    Addrienne anny mertens

    Can i give them to my hunny? He does alot more hiking
    And he has crappy boots i prefer summer hiking in the woods

  • http://butimnotdone.blogspot.com/ Alison

    Liked you and Hi Tec on FB (Alison Adams). I’d wear them up at Mt. Hood (Oregon). :D

    THANKS. tripsma at gmail dot com

  • Lindacarol6

    Like you and Hi Tec on Facebook . I’d wer them hiking around the lakes in beautiful Madison WI

  • Lindacarol6

    I also like you and Hi tec on facebook (wiscorapids)

    I’d wear them hiking around the lakes in beautiful madison wi

  • Trippyjanet

    I like both on FB and would love to take these to Alaska for our hiking trip!

    trippyjanet at hotmail dot com

  • Trippyjanet

    I follow both on twitter (@trippyjanet)

    I would take these boots on our trip to Alaska for hiking!

    trippyjanet at hotmail dot com

  • Richard T.

    I would use them for climbing the Koaloas.

  • Anonymous

    I follow both on twitter
    ardy22

    I would take a trip to our mountains and give these boots a good workout in the national park

    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  • Anonymous

    liked both on fb

    rich hicks

    I would take a trip to the mountains and give the boots a very good workout in the national park

    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

  • Buddy Garrett

    I like The Fun Times Guide to Living Green and Hi-Tec on Facebook. I would hike in these boots. I love getting out in the outdoors. garrettsambo@aol.com

  • Priscilla

    I follow Fun Green Tips & Hi-Tec on Twitter! @vegan79
    My husband would love these boots to hike in our favorite national park, Olympic N.P.

    priscilla(dot)a(dot)escobar(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Chrysa

    (I also like you both on Facebook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Griffin/1427003637 Jonathan Griffin

    I would use these boots to trek the trails of Titusville Florida, my hometown.

  • Mprather35

    What I would do in my new brand new Hi-tech Altitude Enviro Hiking Boots, is put my feet in them & take my grandkids hiking!

  • Ricanger

    I would definitely use them on my adventure leadership trip this winter quarter. I think we’re going to 2 places of either georgia, florida everglades, arkansas, or texas big bend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/NINERFAN1965 Kenneth E Cooper

    If I won those boots I would take them to Tahoe with me this winter and put them to the test Jumping from casino to casino on the frozen sidewalks. After that my new boots and I would trek around frozen tundra of heavenly valley.