LE CHAMEAU CONDOR LCX HUNTING BOOT
TEST SERIES BY STEVEN M. KIDD
November 16, 2017
Steven M. Kidd
5' 9" (1.75 m)
185 lb (83.90 kg)
Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 30 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lb (23+ kg). In the last several years I have become a hammock camping enthusiast. I generally go on one or two night outings that cover from 5 to 20 mi (8 - 32 km) distances. I also do several annual outings lasting four to five days covering distances between 15 to 20 mi (24 - 32 km) per day. I try to keep the all-inclusive weight of my pack under 20 lb (9 kg) even in the winter.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|La Chameau Condor LCX|
Manufacturer: Le Chameau
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.lechameau.com/
MSRP: US $399
Listed Weight: 1490 g (53 oz)
Measured Weight: 178 g (60.6 oz) for Size 11.5 US
Color: Marron (Brown)
Sizes Available: 6.5, 7, 8, 8.5, 9.5, 10, 11, 11.5, 12.5 US
Seasonal Use: Year Round to -10 C (14 F)
Upper: 2.2 mm (0.09 in) Oiled Nubuck Leather
Sole: Michelin OC Deep Forest
The Le Chameau Condor LCH Hunting Boots are a lightweight, waterproof and breathable products designed for game stalking (hunting). They offer a full grain leather upper with softer malleable leather above the Achilles and on the calf. The Deep Forest soles are made exclusively by Michelin, with motocross technology, and are designed for durability, flexibility, traction and comfort.
The inner material is a 5-layer construction known as LCX and is 100% waterproof. The construction is designed to prevent water from permeating the boot, yet allowing moisture to escape in order to allow the feet to stay dry in varying conditions. The boots also provide a 360-degree rubber rand around the leather outer for extended protection to the leather.
Due to the tighter fit found in the boot, the manufacturer recommends ordering one size larger than one would generally wear.
The Condor boots are a fully waterproof high-cut hunting boot that rise to the calf for adequate protection on stream crossings or other marshy areas. They are created with an ultra-lightweight design for comfort during extended use. Save a pair of supple leather duck boots with a similar rise that I wear occasionally in snowy conditions, I have not worn a high riding boot like this since the days I was required to wear combat boots. For backpacking, I was a little skeptical about their use as I've personally moved away from the traditionally lower cut, just over-the-ankle, waterproof full grain leather boots; and I typically wear trail runners with zero waterproofing as a general rule in most conditions these days. However, I do hunt, or gamestalk, occasionally and often spend time waking through mucky conditions whilst sitting long hours in cold temperatures, so I felt obliged to give the Le Chameau boots a stab.
Le Chameau's origins although currently headquartered in London, England, began in the Cherbourg, France and are known for their 'Welly' style boots. Although they offer other hunting boots, the Condor is the only style I see offered with laces. The website clearly suggested sizing up one (1) US foot size due to the tight fit of the boot. I generally wear a 10.5 US, so I ordered an 11.5 US. The boots are only offered in one standard width (no description of D, E, etc.). This caused me a little consternation in ordering off the internet without a true fitting, since I have an extremely wide forefoot and many standard (D) width shoes are simply too narrow for my clodhoppers.
|Notice the Michilin OCS Tread|
The first thing I noticed about the boots when they arrived was how truly lightweight they were! I lifted them from the box and was amazed at the featherweight. The very first thing I did was walk to over to my food scale and set a boot on it. The one boot weighed 30.3 oz (859 g). I was perplexed, so before I even tried them on I walked into my closet and grabbed a 20-year-old full grain leather-hiking boot that came just over the ankle and put it on the scale...27.9 oz (791 g). I was shocked! Yes, there has been twenty years of technology, but I immediately had several thoughts enter my head; (1) they still make that 20 year old boot, (2) these hunting boots are several inches taller than the other ones and (3) although the Condor boots are heavier the weight distribution made them appear lighter...basically not clunky and heavy.
My next test was to see if my stump would fit into the foot bed. Amazingly, it did and comfortably. The boot did appear to be a little long in the toes and I was initially concerned about this but I tried them around the house. By a little long, I easily have 1/2 a thumb length from the end of my big toe to the front of the boot. That generally is excessive length for the average footwear, but again my foot is extremely wide! I immediately realized I could potentially try to size down to an 11 US, but it would likely end up being too narrow. I only say this due to repeated experience with footwear over my 45 years, and even when dealing with a product that is designed as Wide.
The nice thing about these boots is the lacing system. My heel fits snugly into the counter of the boot and the lacing system locks my foot into place not allowing it to slide forward (and hopefully preventing any toe blistering). To further explain, there are four eyelets on the vamp of the boot that really don't have to be tightened too snugly. At the base of the boot's throat, there is an angled eyelet that completely locks my foot into place before lacing the remaining portion of the boot up the shaft with another four eyelets for a total of nine locking points. I walked around up and down and didn't notice my foot sliding inside the boot.
|Cub Scout Day Hike|
I also noticed the quality of the boot appeared unmatched. The Our Story section on the La Chameau website mentions that even today it takes over nine months to become a bottier, as I find the craftsmanship impeccable. I find it an attractive boot. I slid my hand down the inside of the boot and noticed how smooth and soft the LCX waterproofing material felt. It felt buttery. Again, I went to not one but two other boots with waterproof lining and ran my hand down the inside. Both were coarse and heavy.
My heal will often slip in a new pair of boots until the leather breaks in and this too was the case with the La Chameau's. However, this only lasted for about 5 - 10 minutes while walking around inside my house. The suspect the softer leathers on the boot allow for this and they actually felt broken in before I ever decided to wear them outside.
For a quick break-in prior to the Field Report that I will post in approximately two months I wore the boots on a short Cub Scout hike that was approximately 3 mi (5 km). Temperatures were around 50 F (10 C) that day and I wore them for at least 5 hours with minimal moisture buildup inside the boot or socks. I also purposely walked along the edge of two ponds with water rising approximately 8 in (20 cm) without any leakage! My initial impression was certainly positive!
I'm initially impressed by both the lightweight nature, the quality craftsmanship and the breathability of the La Chameau Condor LCX boots! They appear to be well made and fit me well, even with a little extra room in the toebox. That's not even a gripe or thorn as I typically deal with this in a boot that is specifically designed as Wide.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
I look forward to wearing them for hunting and on the trail over the ensuing months and invite the reader back in approximately two months to review my field report for a more in depth follow-up.
I would also like to than Le Chameau and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test the Condor LCX Hunting boots.
Read more reviews of Le Chameau gear
Read more gear reviews by Steven M Kidd