ECCO BIOM TERRAIN PLUS BOOTS
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
April 17, 2016
kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley.
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.eccousa.com
MSRP: US $169.95
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 16.5 oz (468 g) per boot
Colors Available: Black/Black/Dried Tobacco & Black/MoonRock/Picante
Color Reviewed Black/Black/Dried Tobacco
Sizes Available: 35 - 50 EU (Unisex)
Size Reviewed: 39 EU (US Women's 8.8.5)
* Materials: Uppers - yak nubuck (YUP, Yak!)
* 100% waterproof GORE-TEX® membrane
* Mobile ankle rubber insert
* Rubber outsole
* Direct-injected PU midsole foam on BIOM last
* Additional set of laces included
* Reinforced toe cap and scratch-resistant Kevlar
* Made in China
FIELD USE AND PERFORMANCE
Even though I got these boots in the summer of 2014, I didn't wear them until early November of 2014.
Over the winter months of 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, I continued to backpack/hike and snowshoe as much as possible. I spent most of my time in the south central region of Colorado that I can home. Mostly, I hiked in the mountains of Fremont County, including the Wet, Fremont and Cooper Mountain ranges. This area's terrain runs the gamut of evergreen forests to grassy plains to high desert rock and dirt/mud (as the moisture or lack thereof dictates).
Various other non-local and out-of-state places where the ECCO Bioms protected my piggy toes:
" Two weeks hiking/snowshoeing around Breckenridge, Colorado in early November 2014.
" A great week in the snow at Twin Lakes, Colorado, snowshoeing in and around the Colorado Trail at Christmas 2014 plus a couple of days snowshoeing in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah in late January 2015. These areas are environmentally similar to my usual haunts but had way, way more snow.
" In fall of 2015, I spent 10 days in the northern part of the Lower Michigan peninsula during a Thanksgiving Day trip in late November. There was lots of hiking in snow and rain. I don't think we saw the sun the entire time we were there. Temperatures hovered around the freezing mark with lots of wind to make it feel even colder. All of my snowshoeing and hiking was done on dirt, heavily pine-forested trails with a backpack never weighing more than 20 lb (9 kg).
In addition to my daily hikes in south central Colorado - Canon City, where I call home - I wore the ECCO Bioms on several snowshoes in Rocky Mountain National Park and in the Wet Mountains.
Between all the horrible weather elsewhere, most of my winter time in Colorado over the last two winters was wacky. While the previous winter started out mild and ended up bitter cold and snowy, this winter has been bee-u-ti-ful! We had lots of sunshine, little precipitation and for the most part, the temperatures were above normal. Daily "highs" averaged between 50 and 75 F (10 - 24 C).
Over two winters, approximately 8-9 months, I estimate I've covered 300 miles (480 km) backpacking/hiking/snowshoeing and walking. Mostly snowshoeing.
|ECCO Biom Terrain Plus Going Snowshoeing|| |
|Snowshoeing in Breckenridge, CO|
ECCO's website has a nice shoe size chart, but since I've worn ECCO footwear in the past, I knew what size I normally wear; a women's size 8. I'm pretty easy to fit size-wise and I haven't had many boots where an 8 didn't fit me. I was happy to find the Bioms didn't disappoint in that department - they are truly true-to-size.
The first time I tried on the ECCO Biom Terrain Plus Women's Mid Boot, I was amazed at how comfortable they felt. I had to loosen the top two eyelets below the quick-lace ones a bit to wiggle my feet into the boots as the cuff of the boots is nice and high. Once my feet were settled in, the Bioms felt very secure and comfortable.
They are wide enough for my feet - nice toe box room - but not so wide as to be mini-boats and the heels fits snuggly so my feet don't move up and down in the boots with each stride.
The corded laces are a bit long for my liking but not so overly long where I have to practically wrap them around my ankles to keep them from tripping me up. A simple double bow will do nicely.
I do however, like the way ECCO has constructed the lacing system of the Bioms. To put the boots on my feet, I have to loosen the top two "quick-loop" eyelets and then next eyelet down. When loosening the laces for a steeper uphill climb, only the top "quick-loops" need to be worked on. Going downhill, I generally pull the top two loops a bit tighter so as to keep my tootsies from banging against the toe box which is very stiff and almost hard.
I think it's cool that ECCO includes a second pair of laces with the Biom Terrain Plus boots! The second pair is solid black whereas the pair that comes already laced in is a hot pink. For the shrinking violet types, black laces would be less bright, but I like 'em! I'll save the extra black ones in case the originals need replacing.
Thanks to a roomy (but not too roomy) toe box, I have not suffered one blister or black toe due to rubbing or banging my toes on the downhill treks. Also, the toe box is almost "hard" which has been downright super at protecting my toes when I do slam into that errant downed tree limb or that rock that moved just as I went to walk over it.
Where the Bioms really make me happy is the arch support. It's in exactly the right spot for my feet and is not too high, not too low, but just right as Goldilocks would say!
The arch support works wonderfully to keep my arches from rock bruising, especially when wearing a heavy backpack. That's usually the place I feel soreness the most - my arches. Not so with the Bioms!
ECCO brand stock insoles work just fine for me, so I never have changed them out for after-market ones. I do make it a habit though to remove the insoles after I wear them so as to let them air out a bit.
The cuffs of the Bioms are high enough to help support my ankles, keeping them steady which minimizes after-hike soreness. The thick padding of the cuff has protected me from rubbing and the subsequent after-hike abrasions and/or blisters.
As for cold, I've worn the Bioms on day hikes in temperatures down to 9 F (-13 C). Even when staying still in snow up to my knees, my feet have remained warm!
Oh, and dry! Just today, I was out in the snow for a hike and though my pants got soaked, my hat and jacket covered with snow, the Bioms were constantly covered in the snow and still they remained perfectly dry inside. That was really nice!
I am a natural klutz! When backpacking and hiking, it's only a matter of time before the seat of my pants is going to meet up with the ground. I depend on the tread of my boots (and my hiking poles!) to help me stay vertical.
The Bioms worked really, really well on almost all the trails I encountered these past two winters. Dirt, gravel, rocks, sheer granite, snow and ice, all were no obstacle for the Bioms. While I wasn't quite as steady as a mountain goat (no snarky comments from my trail mates, please), I held my own.
Amazingly, as of yet there is no undue wear and tear to be seen on the Bioms. They sport the usual scuffs (they're MY shoes after all) and dirt but overall are in great shape. Even with no special care, they still smell like leather. A quick brushing when the mud get too thick is all I've ever done.
I think I'll keep them!
1.) Comfortable right out of the box, no break-in period required.
2.) Good arch and ankle support even when carrying a heavy backpack.
3.) Kept my feet warm in deep snow and at below freezing temperatures.
4.) Classic style looks good on the trail and in town.
1.) Nothing at all!
These are great boots! I've had a couple pairs of ECCO shoes in the past and I have come to expect good quality footwear from the company. I certainly wasn't disappointed with this pair. These Biom Terrain Plus Boots were my first pair of shoes made from yak leather and I can emphatically declare I am a fan! They are warm, comfortable, supportive and even "cute". I am so glad I have these boots to wear, especially in the winter months when I am snowshoeing. I will definitely be wearing them in the future and highly recommend them
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
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Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
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