Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $185
Pros: Burly, old-school, durable.
Best Uses: Burl-festing.
Have you ever thought that the best way to make a boot would be to put your foot through the side of a cow, then bolt on a sole? So did these guys. The result is the Alico Summit. Over four pounds of cow and rubber per pair. With incredible craftsmanship and old-school design, these can weather anything that you can throw at them.
That said, there are better options. While we loved that they are leather, rubber, and nothing else, it meant that wearing them in hot weather was miserable. The Asolo Power Matic 200 is a good choice for those who want the durability of an all-leather boot, but with some of the advantages of modern materials technology; namely, weight and breathability. If you want something lighter and consistently cheaper, try the La Sportiva Eco 4.0.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
A lot has happened in boot technology since this design was first used, but it can still hold its own against modern standards. For one, these are nearly indestructable, in part because of superb craftsmanship. Our tester has used them nearly 80 days per year for the last three years, and they are still functional. One has lost a rivet and the interior leather surrounding the heel has worn through a couple layers, but it has endured treatment that retires most boots in six weeks. Beyond that, it offers protection matched only by the Asolo Power Matic. And not just ankle protection. This boot has stopped an axe. Because it's made entirely from leather it is waterproof as long as the leather is properly conditioned. Our pair has started to leak, but that's a result of the missing rivet.
The Alico Summits take weeks to break in. They are incredibly uncomfortable in hot weather. After a bit of use, they smell terrible. They weigh over four pounds per pair. There are a number of advantages that modern boots offer, and Alico has taken advantage of none of them.
These are way too heavy for anything remotely resembling ultralight travel. They work for standard backpacking, but there are better options out there. The best applications for these would be those that demand comprehensive protection and all-around burliness: wildland firefighting, lumberjacking, rescue work, and canoe tripping, to name a few.
The full retail value for these is over $300, but they are rarely listed at that price. More often, we find them somewhere between $100-$200 and at that price they are a worthy investment. These boots will last as long as you need them to.
— Atherton Phleger
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: December 23, 2012
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