TECNICA CYCLONE GTX MID BOOTS
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
March 20, 2011
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Photo courtesy of Tecnica website.|
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.tecnicausa.com
MSRP: Not listed
Listed Weight: 420 g (14.8 oz)
Measured Weight: Left: 462 g (16.3 oz); Right: 457 g (16.1 oz)
Color Tested: Eucalyptus/Yellow
No other colors listed
Size Tested: Women's 9.5 M
Made in China
The Tecnica Cyclone II Mid GTX boot is a mid-height light hiking boot with Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane. The ankle collar is padded. The uppers are suede leather with mesh and webbing. The webbing creates five eyelets per side which continue down the sides across the mesh portion. The tongue is cushioned and has a strip of webbing up the center which provides an eyelet in the center toward the toe and at the 4th lace crossing to keep the tongue attached to the laces. A wider version of the same webbing is looped at the back of the heel to create a loop for pulling on the boot.
The rubber outsole wraps slightly over the middle of the toe and has shallow multi-directional lugs. The sole has a flat contour. There is a hangtag explaining the TRS (Tecnica Rolling System) which is an energy and cushioning system that provides forward energy transfer, comfort and grip. The idea is that the sole is fairly flat to allow for energy transfer and provide a greater surface area for better grip.
These boots use a slip lasted construction which means that they are made by sewing the upper into a sock which is then glued directly to the mid- and outsole without any board in between. This is typically used to make a lighter shoe. The midsole is made of a dual-response EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) with a TPU core. The footbed is PE (polyethylene)/EVA velveteen material.
The insole is removable and is much better constructed than those typical cardboard insoles. It is an OrthoLite performance insole and has a hangtag on the boots claiming that they wick moisture, provide long-lasting cushioning, inhibit odor and fungus and allow air flow for a cool foot. The insole is soft foam with a layer covering the top of the entire insole. From the middle to the rear there is a molded support portion attached underneath the foam. The forward portion has multiple holes going through for ventilation.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING THEM OUT
My initial impression of the boots was how light the color is. They are very light beige which is nearly off-white in some areas. I know how dirty my boots get and wonder at the logic of having such light colored boots. They look great right now, so we'll see how they test.
I slipped them on and liked the fit right away. They are slightly bigger than what I normally wear which is what I was looking for in order to be able to wear thick winter socks with them. I am able to tighten the laces such that they are secure on my feet and don't slip around.
Since these boots are Gore-Tex and supposed to be waterproof, I filled an ice chest with water to about the level of the third eyelet. I wore black socks so that I could easily see any moisture that penetrated. There was no water ingress at all. I have done this test with other boots that I own when they were brand new. They did fine when new but then the waterproofness deteriorated and my feet were soaked on some rainy hikes. We'll see how these boots hold up over the test period.
They are somewhat different than what is advertised on the website which can be seen in the webbing, styling and in the different sole. See my photos versus the website photo.
The Tecnica Cyclone II Mid GTX Hiking Boots seem to be solidly built, rugged, stylish, and light weight hiking boots.
Likes so far:
Concerns so far:
Light color showing dirt easily
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I wore the boots during the Field Testing period on 21 days for a total of approximately 80 miles (129 km). I wore them on a 3-day backpacking trip, a 3-day camping trip, for 12 day hikes and 3 snowshoe hikes.
Some examples of my uses include:
Point Reyes National Seashore, California: 3 days; 21 mi (34 km); 0 to 1,407 ft (429 m) elevation; 40 to 55 F (4 to 13 C); sunny to partly cloudy to heavy rainstorm conditions
Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore, California; 8 mi (13 km); 0 to 854 ft (260 m) elevation; 45 to 50 F (7 to 10 C); rainy to overcast to sunny weather; many puddles
Bassi Falls; Sierra Nevada, California; 4 mi (6.4 km); 5,000 to 5,500 ft (1,520 to 1,680 m) elevation; 36 F (2 C); rainy conditions; many puddles and shallow runoff at base of waterfalls
Multiple hikes in the Sierra Nevada foothills, California; 3 to 6 mi (5 to 10 km); 500 to 1,262 ft (150 to 385 m) elevation; 45 to 55 F (7 to 13 C); once in partly sunny conditions, once in overcast conditions and once in heavy rain; many muddy puddles and stream crossing
Auburn State Recreation Area, California: 5.6 mi (9.0 m); 800 to 1,200 ft (240 to 370 m) elevation; 65 F (18 C); clear to cloudy; wet but not muddy trail
Union Valley Reservoir, Sierra Nevada, California; 4.5 mi (7.3 km); 4,832 to 5,154 ft (1,473 to 1,571 m) elevation; 34 F (1 C); overcast conditions in several inches (cm) of fresh powder
Bassi Falls; Sierra Nevada, California; 4 mi (6.4 km); 5,000 to 5,500 ft (1,520 to 1,680 m) elevation; 25 to 30 F (-4 to -1 C); overcast to partly sunny conditions in solid snow pack
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
There was a lot of rain during this period which provided some great testing for the water resistance of these boots. I wore them several times in rain, some downpours and lots of deep puddles. Since I was testing, I stomped through as much water as I could find including fast-running creeks and shallow pools beneath a waterfall. So far there hasn't been the slightest breach through the Gore-Tex liner. My feet have remained completely dry.
Since the test period coincided with snowshoeing season, I also wore them a few times in the snow. I was concerned about whether they would keep my feet warm because I have worn hiking boots in the past and they were too cool for my feet. I usually wear winter boots with good insulation instead. I've worn them in temperatures down to 25 F (-4 C) and have been pleasantly surprised to find my feet staying toasty warm. Even when we stop for lunch breaks and I take my snowshoes off, I haven't noticed my feet cooling off.
I wore the boots for the first 6 hikes with the insoles that came with them. However, the boots are slightly large for me so I decided to change out the insoles with my favorite Orthosole inserts. The change made for a better fit so I left them in for the remainder of the testing. The stock insoles wore well and worked fine but just didn't provide the best fit for me.
I found the boots to be comfortable despite them being slightly big for me. I didn't have any problems with my feet or get any blisters while wearing them hiking. I did get a couple of heel blisters while snowshoeing, but I haven't yet worn a pair of boots where this didn't happen. As mentioned the boots keep my feet warm but I haven't had any problem with my feet feeling overly warm or getting sweaty.
Although the lugs on the sole are quite shallow, the boots have so far not slipped on me. They have provided good traction on wet muddy trails, wet rocks and snow.
The light color has so far not been an issue with getting really dirty. The boots still look good. There are no issues at all with durability. All stitching, webbing and eyelets are intact. There are no tears or gouges in the uppers.
The Tecnica Cyclone II Mid GTX Hiking Boots are solidly built, waterproof and light weight hiking boots.
Warm enough for snowshoeing
Nothing at all
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I wore the boots during the Long-Term Testing period on 20 days for a total of approximately 50 miles (81 km). I wore them for 7 snowshoe hikes and 3 day hikes. I also wore them for disc golf on 9 occasions and for working in the yard.
Loon Lake, Orion Trail, Sierra Nevada, California; 4.0 mi (6.4 km); 6,327 to 6,800 ft (1,928 to 2,073 m); 38 to 48 F (3 to 9 C); cloudy to breezy conditions
Echo Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 5 mi (8 km); 7,300 to 8,000 ft (2,225 to 2,438 m); 33 to 40 F (0.5 to 4 C); deep snow conditions; partly sunny; up to 25 mph wind gusts
Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 5.8 mi (9.3 km); 6,327 to 6,700 ft (1,928 to 2,040 m); 35 to 55 F (2 to 13 C); deep snow conditions; sunny
Sierra at Tahoe, Sierra Nevada, California: 3.5 mi (5.6 km); 6,600 to 6,800 ft (2,012 to 2,073 m); 27 to 30 F (-3 to -1 C); deep powder conditions; light to heavy snow
Yosemite National Park, California; 2 mi (3 km); 4,000 ft (1,220 m); 24 to 31 F (-4 to -0.5 C); fresh powder conditions; partly sunny
Dewey Point, Yosemite National Park, California; 8 mi (12.6 km); 7,250 to 7,385 ft (2,210 to 2,251 m); 18 to 24 F (-8 to -4 C); clear conditions; 5 feet (1.5 m) of fresh powder!
University Falls, Sierra Nevada, California: 2.0 miles (3 km): 4,000 to 4,200 ft (1,220 to 1,280 m); 24 F (-4 C); partly cloudy; deep powder conditions
Foothills of the Sierra Nevada (California): 3 miles (5 km); 743 to 1,262 ft (226 to 385 m); 60 to 70 F (15 to 21 C); muddy conditions
Fern Canyon, Van Damme State Park (California): 6.7 mi (11 km); 50 to 350 ft (15 to 107 m); 45 to 50 F (7 to 10 C); partly cloudy
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The boots continue to perform extremely well. They have been completely waterproof and have kept my feet surprisingly warm for snowshoeing. I have worn them in temperatures down to 18 F (-8 C) in 5 feet (1.5 m) of fresh powder with no problems with my feet being cold even while I was stopped to eat lunch. I wore the boots with medium weight hiking socks. On a few occasions I wore the boots for snowshoeing two days in a row. On the second day my boots were slightly damp from the prior day and got cold quickly when hitting the snow again. Although my feet could feel how cold the boots were, my feet didn't get cold and the boots warmed up as I started moving.
The light color of the boots has remained looking good despite the months of use. Admittedly I used them for a lot of snowshoeing, but they did see their share of dirt.
I found these boots to be fantastic for disc golfing. Our home course is full of leaves and pine needles and can be very slippery when I've worn running shoes. Slipping while attempting a shot makes for some poor scores and a frustrated golfer. However, I found these boots to perform much better. They also keep the leaf litter and small twigs out of my shoes.
The only thing I'd change about these boots is to provide a hook for holding down my gaiters.
The Tecnica Cyclone II Mid GTX Hiking Boots are solidly built, waterproof and light weight hiking boots which are surprisingly warm in cold conditions.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
Warm enough for snowshoeing
Nothing at all
Room for Improvement:
Adding a gaiter hook
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Tecnica and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.
Read more reviews of Tecnica gear
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith