XERO ALPINE SNOW BOOT
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - October 31, 2020
FIELD REPORT - February 13, 2021
LONG TERM REPORT - April 19, 2021
kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
Canon City, Colorado, USA
5' 4" (1.60 m)
118 lb (53.50 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.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Manufacturer: Feel the World, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2020
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.xeroshoes.com
MSRP: US $149.99
Listed Weight: 11.7 oz (332 g) ea. Women's 7
Measured Weight: 14 oz (397 g) ea. Women's 8
Sizes Available: 5-11 Women's (men's sizes also available)
Size Tested: Women's 8
Colors Available: Frost and Black
Color Tested: Black
* The Alpine is made from 100% vegan-friendly materials.
* The Alpine has 200g insulation, rated to -25 F/-32 C.
* Xero Shoes are backed with a 5,000-mile (8076 km) sole warranty.
|Photo Courtesy of Feel the World, Inc.
WOW! These Xero Alpine Snow Boots are super lightweight! Especially considering they are not low-cut boots! From the FeelTrue grippy rubber soles to the tops of the fuzzy boot cuffs, these boots top out at about seven inches (18 cm).
The uppers are a vegan-friendly polyester fabric that is reported to be fully waterproof and are lined with inner booties that are fully seam-sealed. The insoles are also reported to be heat reflective. The leg of the boot sports a quilted look.
The nice thick laces are woven cloth laces with an attractive white/black design that complements the "support ribbons" that cross over the fore and mid-foot as well at the heels. These "ribbons" are reminiscent of sandal straps and conform the boots more closely to the feet when the laces are tightened. Love the design that reminds me of Christmas tree!
The lace eyelets switch up to metal "quick loops' near the top of the boots.
There are rubber toe rands and a suede-like band around the whole of the boots meeting up with the outsoles.
Nice looking boot with lots of potential!
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Checking out the Xero website, I found that they recommend ordering "your usual size" and I can confirm that the Alpine Snow boot size 8 is my usual size and fits perfectly. As for care of the boots, Xero says "To clean your Alpines, hand wash with warm water, mild soap and allow them to air dry. We do not recommend putting the Alpine in the washing machine or dryer." Sounds simple enough, right?
I will follow my usual routine of only wearing these boots every other day. I also will be removing the insole of the Alpine Snow boots at night after wearing.
TRYING IT OUT
OK, so I'm slow and klutzy at times, especially when I haven't had my morning quota of caffeine. That explains why, the first time I tried on my Xero Alpine Snow boots, I fumbled with the laces and ended up taking way more time than necessary, getting the first boot on!
I managed to pull the left side lace out from the middle lace "holder" when loosening the laces. Argh! The second boot went on seamlessly though. I really like the thick but soft laces. They are very easy to grasp and don't cut into my fingers
Once both boots were on my feet, I was quickly able to tighten the laces to my satisfaction and greatly enjoyed the slipper-like feel of the boots with the warm shearling cuff and the comfortably roomy toe box.
I spent the rest of the morning wearing the boots around the office and greatly appreciated the secure support of the high ankle construction.
Hopefully, this weekend, I will be able to get outside and experience that support and comfort on the trails!
I am so excited to be able to try out the Xero Alpine Snow Boots! I have other Xero shoes that I wear casually and they are SOOO comfortable. I can't wait to get out on the trails in these boots! It's getting colder each day here in Colorado and snow is surely on the way! My Alpine Snow Boots and I are ready. Bring on Winter!
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
For the duration of my Field Reporting period, the weather has been exceptionally mild. Rarely were daytime temperatures lower than 50 F (10 C) and there were more than a few days of 70+ F (21+ C).
In my neck of the woods/desert, humidity is generally very low and that was the case this fall/winter. This made for very pleasant day hikes. While we have had several snowfalls, the accumulation was always slight - barely enough to cover the toes of my boots.
I've worn the Xero Alpine Snow Boots on 12 occasions, mostly on hikes around Canon City, Colorado, on dirt trails and roads but also several times in town on casual walks.
Mileage for the hikes ranged from 3 to 7 miles (4.8 km to 11 km). The walks around town were usually 2-3 blocks with stops for food/drinks and shopping.
I always wore mid-to-heavyweight wool socks.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Unless it is raining, I usually walk everyday down our rutted dirt country road. Sometimes, it's just a walk to the mailbox which is 2.5 miles (4 km) one-way. Other times, I wander game trails over our 71-acre (29 hectares) ranch into the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands which border our north boundary.
I never wear sandals, tennis shoes or anything but boots! Between the ruts, dirt, rocks, hitchhikers, cactus and my piggies, I need boots!
The Xero Alpine Snow Boots' tough outer fabric is tough enough to repel all the nasty prickly things that tend to burrow into a less rugged exterior. I have yet to have to dig out the pliers from my pack to extract an errant cholla spine. I can't say the same about some of my other boots.
Yet, as firm as the outer layer of the Snow Boot is, the fuzzy elongated collar and tongue of the boot is soft and warm. That's not to say, the collar is wimpy! The support is definitely there and I haven't ever felt a wobbly ankle despite some sketchy surfaces.
Ankle support is reinforced by the ribbed design of the boot as well as by the height of the boot.
There is some serious lacing- up going on here. These are not boots that I can just pull out of the closet and slip on. I need to take some time loosening the laces so I can ease my feet into the boot and then a bit more time pulling those laces back snug.
I love the toe box of the Snow Boots. There is plenty of room for my toes to move around, even with my bulkiest socks on. Yet, I don't feel a lack of support.
I have not removed the inner soles to try out a closer-to-earth experience nor have I tried an after-market inner sole for more cushioning. Maybe in the next report!
Despite the lack of snow accumulation, we have had a couple of snowy days where I was able to see how the Snow Boots handle snow. Our snow is generally pretty dry with little water content so it has not been a real test of waterproofness or even water-resistance. Working with what we got, I found the Alpine Snow Boots to be great as keeping the snow out of my socks, warm enough and certainly dry. I am hoping to get on a trail with some water soon to see just how dry with a dunking.
I make it a point to never wear the same footwear two days in a row unless on a backpack. That has been true of the Xero Alpine Snow Boots. I always take the inner sole out after wearing as well.
As of now, the Snow Boots have maintained their shape, have not suffered any damage and are ready to go as soon as I am!
I love these boots for their comfort and style! Usually, it seems, I have to sacrifice one for the other. Not so with the Alpine Snow Boots. My feet are very happy in these boots and for a change, I actually look almost fashionable. Well, at least my feet do! Anyway...
Wahoo! The forecast is calling for snow tonight and tomorrow. I'm hoping for a lot of it so I can pull on my Xero Alpine Snow Boots and do some fun outdoors stuff! Snowshoeing? Sledding? Hiking down by the river? Don't know yet but I have my boots by the door ready to go!
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Unfortunately, due to an unexpected month-long trip, I didn't get to wear the Xero Alpine Snow Boot on the trail much. (If I had known the trip was going to be that long, I would have packed the boots!)
I did get to wear them two more times, however, here in Fremont county, Colorado on some local dayhikes. The latest of which was just last week (early April). It was a sunny day with temps in the mid-50s F (13 C). There were some gusty breezes at times, but still mostly warm.
The trail was through private property in eastern Fremont county at an elevation of just under 6000 ft (1830 m). It was two-track, rocky, dusty one - just under 2 mi (3 km).
I also wore them several times casually in town as well.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
|Wow, after re-reading my field report, I find that I really don't have any new information. I can confirm all that I have previously expressed and add to the longer use/wear factor.
I did try once to wear the boots without the liner and despite my winter-weight wool socks, I wasn't pleased with the support. I'm klutzy and tend to slip on edges of sharp rocks!
My custom insoles fit nicely into the Alpine Snow boots but I think they are unnecessary for normal trail hiking. The custom insoles are a helpful addition when my pack weight is high though.
Actually, the Alpine Snow boots still look pretty darn good! The tread is still in perfect shape and the uppers - other than some dirt which easily is brushed off - haven't suffered any damage from rocks or prickly things. I haven't really taken any special care besides airing them out thoroughly.
I love these boots! But then, again, I haven't had any footwear from Xero Shoes that I don't love! The Alpine Snow Boots are as comfortable as all Xero Shoes are and they kept my feet warm and dry on all occasions these past several months. Because I'm such a klutz, they are not the best boots for me on very hard trails, though the high collar does give me great ankle support.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.
Thank you to Xero Shoes and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to stay comfy and warm in Winter 20-21 and beyond!
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
Co-Owner and Contribution Writer
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