Hands-on Gear Review

Hi-Tec Altitude V Review

By: Brandon Lampley ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 22, 2015
Price:  $100 List  |  $82.54 at Amazon - 17% Off
Pros:  Great value, full leather upper, good ankle stability for the weight and price
Cons:  Long break in for a lightweight, wide for the size
Manufacturer:   Hi-Tec

Our Verdict

The full leather Hi-Tec Altitude V is a good boot at a great price. The leather upper is more padded than most others, and with the high volume fit, this boot is an excellent bargain product for cold weather hiking and outdoor work. Our lead tester found these fit best with a thick winter sock. For occasional hiking trips these are good enough, but we think they're really ideal for everyday outdoor work or gardening.

The Vasque St. Elias GTX and Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX are both better performing midweight boots, as well as more comfortable and stable for backpacking and hiking. If you're considering the Altitude for its affordable price tag, take a look at our Best Buy winner instead: the Keen Targhee II Mid is a very comfortable and affordable lightweight hiker.

Check out our review of 14 of the best Men's Hiking Boots to see all our favorites, and how the Altitude V compares to each.

Our Analysis and Test Results


The Hi-tec Altitude V is an inexpensive all leather hiking boot. It scored higher across our metrics than the similar Timberland White Ledge, and is the most durable of the cheapest products.

Performance Comparison

While the Altitude V is adequate for hiking  we feel it is better suited for use as a light work and around the yard boot.
While the Altitude V is adequate for hiking, we feel it is better suited for use as a light work and around the yard boot.


This product is comfy and well-padded around the ankle (throughout actually), but we found our test model a bit roomy for narrow feet. The best fit is likely for folks with average to wide feet wearing a thick sock. Four lower and two upper eyelets let you snug this boot up on the foot; however, none of these eyelets has a positive lock, which limits your ability to adjust the fit. We also found the the leather upper quite stiff at first, making it difficult to snug this model up until it breaks in a little. The Altitude's breathability is not as good as the lighter and less bulky Timberland White Ledge.


Stability is where the Altitude really shines relative to its weight. The midsole is fairly stiff, and the thick outsole adds to the under foot stiffness. While this boot is of average width at the forefoot, the heel is wider than than most. Ankle stability is pretty good in this model, despite the fact that the ankle collar is cut lower than other midweight boots. Hi-Tec uses a lot of leather on this upper at the ankle, providing good lateral support, while the allowing easy flexion.

The leather upper of this product is factory-treated for water resistance and beads water very well.
The leather upper of this product is factory-treated for water resistance and beads water very well.


Our tests suggest that the Altitude's soles are not quite up to Vibram par. We had a few instances of slipping on wet granite where Vibram soles performed well days before. This model's sole performed well on dry terrain, and OK in the mud.


Our size 12 test pair weighed in at 2.89 lbs, making it the lightest of the midweight hikers.

Water Resistance

The full leather upper of this product, with a minimal number of seams, contributes to good water resistance. After a few months of testing, the leather was still beading water in spots, but soaking it up in high scuff areas. The Altitude V is one of only two products we tested that uses a proprietary waterproof membrane rather than Gore-Tex. This certainly helps Hi-Tec make a more affordable boot, but we found it leaked a little around the base of the tongue if we stood in the water for more than a few minutes.

Mud and snow and water...no problem for the leather upper.
Mud and snow and water...no problem for the leather upper.


We consider the Altitude V to deliver good durability relative to its price; it certainly is built with longer lasting features than the similarly priced White Ledge and Moab Ventilator. The leather upper can handle abrasion against rocky terrain and the lack of seams at the forefoot flex point means no seams to fail at this common wear area. Our impression from a few months testing is that this sole will wear down faster than average.

Best Applications

The Altitude V is a good choice for cool-weather hiking, but really stands out as an affordable and durable light work boot. It is a bit on the heavy side relative to its hiking performance, but the Altitude's thick upper and full boot padding are warmer than similar products. We would not recommend this boot for full winter conditions, however.

We found this model warmer than other equally light boots. They're a inexpensive choice for winter outdoor work.
We found this model warmer than other equally light boots. They're a inexpensive choice for winter outdoor work.


At $100 full retail, this is a great product for the price. While we prefer other products for most of our hiking and backpacking adventures, this boot is durable and supportive relative to the affordable price.


The affordable Hi-Tec Altitude V Waterproof is a great everyday, lightweight boot for folks that work outside, and can handle day hiking and short backpacking trips. The full leather upper is more durable for rough use than similarly light products.

Other Versions

Hi-Tech Altitude V Low waterproof
Altitude V Low Waterproof
  • Low cut version of this boot
  • waterproof
  • Great lightweight hiking shoe
  • $95

Hi Tech Altitude Lite
Altitude Lite Waterproof
  • Suede and synthetic uppers
  • Same underfoot components as the Altitude
  • Waterproof
  • $90

Brandon Lampley

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Most recent review: January 29, 2016
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   Jan 29, 2016 - 07:15pm
kjb · Fisherman · Regina

When I'm told that a boot is going to be waterproof, call me crazy, but I expect that boot to be waterproof. Save your money and buy another boot. They look nice, they're light and they have fairly good grip, but they're poorly engineered. The tongue leaks badly. I stepped in a puddle with my right foot, and my left foot got wet because I happened to splash a little bit on the top of the left boot. I can't ride my bicycle in wet weather without soaking my socks. I've had [other unnamed] boots that were only marginally more expensive but kept my feet much much drier. I don`t expect to be able to submerge the boot above the tongue, but I certainly do expect splashed water to stay out. I can`t even wear them in the rain unless I`ve got pants that cover enough of the top. USELESS TO ME.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.

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