I really like getting outdoors this time of year. The weather is so nice that its easy to be out all day. You’ll often find us hiking nearby trails and camping on the weekends. Since the kids all started school, they have grown out of their old hiking boots and were in need of new hikers. I’ll never pass up a chance to go shoe shopping, so I could use a new pair too. Luckily, Hi Tec Sports contacted me recently and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing their hiking boots. They have a great reputation in the outdoor footwear market, so I happily agreed.
Hi Tech sent us 5 new pairs of hiking boots to try out. They included:
- V-Lite Altitude Pro Lite RGS Waterproof for me
- Altitude Lite I Waterproof for my husband
- V-Lite Flash Fast Hike I Waterproof for my oldest son
- Altitude Lite i Waterproof Jr. for my daughter
- Hillside Waterproof Jr. for my youngest son
Finding the Right Pair of Hikers
When I buy hiking boots, I look for shoes that are well made, comfortable, supportive at the arch, and offer good traction. We have been breaking these Hi Tech hikers in and recently took them with camping at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. I’m sharing my honest thoughts on them here.
For the kids, we have the Altitude Lite i Waterproof Jr. and Hillside Waterproof Jr.
Just like their adult hikers, Hi Tech makes quality hikers for kids. Both of the Altitute Lite i Jr. and Hillside Jr. have durable suede and mesh uppers. The quality stitching ensures that they will last for a long time and could be passed down again and again.
Both hikers have a rubber toe cap that is stitched on to protect the shoe and the foot from bumps and scraps along the trail. The Hillside Jr. has an additional rubber heel for added protection. Since these are my son’s shoes, that’s a great thing because he is REALLY rough on his shoes. We joke that he has two speeds, full steam ahead and asleep. SO you can imagine what a boy will get into when he’s full of energy.
The price for these shoes is reasonable:
- Altitude Lite i Waterproof Jr $64.99
- Hillside Waterproof Jr. $54.99.
Plus with Hi Tec’s Big Fit System (I’ll talk more about this under Comfort & Support) the kids won’t be outgrowing these anytime soon.
Comfort & Support
Both of these hikers are light weight and the kids could easily wear them all day at the campground and on the trail. During cooler weather, I like the kids to have a taller hikers to protect their ankles. Both pairs of shoes provided excellent support for the ankles and their arches.
The Altitude Lite i Jr. has the special Big-Fit insole system which was new to me. This 2 part insole system (shown above) gives kids’ shoes an extra 2-3 months of use. When you get the shoes, you use both soles to create a snugger fit. As your child’s foot grows, you take out one of the soles and that gives the foot more room to grow. That’s genius! My daughter will be able to wear these for much longer. Note: this system isn’t available on all children’s hikers, but it is available for many of them from Hi Tec.
Both hikers have a thick rubber sole that provides excellent grip while hiking. Both feature a multi directional design that offers excellent traction on the trail. The kids found it easy to get up the natural springs and small rock formations at Chickasaw NRA.
Waterproof – Bonus with Kids!
For the kids, especially my youngest son, I really look for waterproof hikers. If there is a puddle or stream anywhere within sight, he’ll end up in it at some point, I like that both the kids’ hikers are waterproof with a breathable Dri-Tec inner liner. My son did find a creek at Chickasaw NRA and splashed his feet “near” it a few times. The shoes kept their feet dry without getting too hot inside the shoe.
Overall, these are great hikers and are ideal for families with active children. The shoes can keep up with any adventure they can image and they will grow with them through the season.
Those are the Hi Tec Hikers for the younger kids. On the next page, let me tell you about the hikers my husband, oldest son who’s a teenager, and I tried out.