Style: High-cut backpacking boot (although listed as a mid-height boot)
Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex)
Pros: Great ankle support, quick Boq closure system
Best For: Wet areas/seasons, backpacking, cold weather, wider feet.
Retail Price: $240
There was a time that I used the biggest, burliest boots for every trip off-pavement – day hike to glacier climb – but my taste in footwear has become more nuanced in recent years, and the majority of my trips are lightweight enough to not warrant bulletproof boots. However, when the loads get heavy, or the weather and terrain gets tough, there’s nothing more important than the right rubber (and leather, and… you get the point.)
I took the Ecco Biom Terrain Mid GTX out on some hikes near Seattle and put it through the test to see how they’d hold up. Given that this is Wet-stern Washington, I looked for the wettest, slipperiest terrain I could find and wore a full pack. When I have the opportunity to take these on a longer-mileage trip, I will update with anything more that I find.
The Ecco Biom Terrain Mid GTX is a full backpacking boot, built to give the support necessary for heavy loads and long miles. Ecco’s BIOM® NATURAL MOTION® technology made this boot feel broken in from the start, and didn’t give the normal hot spots and pain points that are typical with new boots. The interior of the boot is well-padded, and would be best suited for a wider foot. The sizes also tend to run a little large, so you may not need to do the customary half-size up from your street shoe size.
The Gore-Tex worked flawlessly, as expected, but it also makes the boots relatively warm and less breathable – a good tradeoff in wet or cold weather, though. I stepped in every puddle I could find, but the only moisture that I had at the end of the day was from my trusty sweat glands.
The Boq closure system was quick and efficient, without the need to tie your boots or worry about them coming undone. Push the knob on the front in and turn to tighten, pull the knob out to release. It is definitely convenient, but I’m concerned about the complexity and potential failure of the plastic componentry. The boots do not have holes for laces (as a backup or if you don’t want to use the built-in system) so choosing this boot is betting on the Boq closure system to stand the test of time, and the wear and tear we put on our boots. I also had some trouble getting the boot tight enough without fear that I’d break the knob/cable, and tightening one part of the boot more than another is basically impossible. Because of that I had some trouble seating my heel properly. To me, the closure system is efficient, but a bit gimmicky and I’m concerned about failure and fit.
If you’ve got a wider foot, some wet weather, and a backpacking trip to go on – give this boot a try. Just be careful with the closure mechanism!