Product Review: Kenetrek Boots
It's no secret that one of the most important pieces of a hunter's arsenal is a good pair of quality boots. Weapons are important, optics are important, clothing is important, but if your feet hurt too much to climb the mountain or cross the valley, then all the other gear is totally useless. This past August I went on my first Dall sheep hunt in the Yukon with Ceaser Lake Outfitters. I knew from reading hunt reports in Grand Slam and talking with experienced sheep hunters that this part of North America is home to some of the roughest mountains a hunter can traverse.
With this being my first real mountain hunting experience, I wanted to make sure I had all the proper gear to make this an enjoyable and successful hunt. When it came to buying a new pair of boots, one name kept coming up over every other brand: Kenetrek (www.kenetrek.com). I contacted Jim Winjum and Bob Sherer, owners of Kenetrek, to get more information on their products and find out which style would be the best for me. Jim and Bob are both experienced sheep hunters (Grand Slam #1395 and #1549 respectively), and strong supporters of Grand Slam Club/Ovis, so their expert advice was extremely important and helpful to me. They said the best boot for my situation would be the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400.
When the boots arrived (all size 14 of them) I was immediately impressed at how light they were. You can imagine what a pair of boots this size looked like. What was even more impressive was their comfort and quick break-in time. I wore the boots around the office and while out doing yard work in the weeks prior to my hunt and never felt any discomfort while breaking them in. Even during the Alabama summer, my feet never got hot either, despite the 400 grams of insulation.
We all know the wide range of weather conditions hunters can face on a mountain hunt. It was hot, cold, wet, dry and rocky. For 14 days we walked miles and miles through brush, bogs and creeks, over boulder fields and on shale mountain sides. At times I thought my legs were going to give up on me, but my feet stayed comfortable and dry throughout the whole hunt. I never got so much as a blister! Whenever we would stop to glass I would unlace my boots and let them air out if my feet ever got warm; they NEVER got hot or cold in 14 days.
I had to learn to trust the boots and know they were going to grip whatever I stepped on. The soles were stiff enough that I could step on a rock ledge with only the front 1/4 of the boot, mainly just with my toes, and they would easily grip and allow me to climb without flexing and slipping off. After a long and tough few days, I was finally able to take a great ram on the last evening of the last day.
I flew straight from my sheep hunt to northern Australia to hunt Asiatic water buffalo and wild boar. Very opposite ends of the hunting conditions spectrum! I went from cold, wet mountains for two weeks to a week in hot, dry sand. I wore the same boots on this hunt and got the exact same results... Comfort!
If you are considering purchasing a new pair of boots, I would highly recommend that you to check out the Kenetrek product line. Kenetrek boots are super tough, durable and will last you for several hunting seasons.
I give this product a 5 out of 5.