LaCrosse Aero Timber Top 8" - Women's Review
Cons: Low flood height, no arch support, expensive
Our Analysis and Test Results
These Aero Timber Top boots are notable for their versatile style appeal. The suede leather is classy but also casual and flexible. Weighing in at 2.28 pounds for size 7, they aren't cumbersome, and the laces allow for a more customized fit around the ankle and lower leg. The height is also a happy balance between the shorter ankle boots and taller mid-calf boots. There are some functional setbacks, however, which we discuss below.
We measured a shaft height of around 7.25 inches for the size 7 we tested, which is a nice height for added warmth and resistance against the elements (over that of ankle boots). Too, the laces allow for an adjustment of the circumference — we measured this range to encompass 8-13 inches. The polyurethane molded sole, and the lower half of the boot is confirmed to be fully waterproof from our tests. Leather is naturally water-resistant, which we appreciate. However, the tongue and lace design, not surprisingly, create a problem when it comes to wading into puddles, creeks, or when rain and/or snow are excessive. The tongue is mostly attached, though there are two holes on either side of the base, where the tongue meets the polyurethane shell.
Due to the presence of these two holes, the flood height is dramatically reduced to a mere 2.75 inches (a whole 5 inches lower than the shaft is tall). This is an enormous oversight, in our opinion, as water leaks easily through to the foot if you wade too deep or if snow collects along the laces and melts. As of this review, there are other versions of the Aero Timber Top that do not have this tongue and lace design, with uninterrupted shafts of suede leather. Thus, if you require a boot that is as waterproof as it is tall, we recommend steering clear of this particular rendition.
Performing just above average, this boot has quite a few highs and lows when it comes to comfort. According to the brand website, if your normal shoe size is a half-size, the manufacturer recommends sizing up. So, initially, we ordered a size 8. Upon arrival, however, they looked enormous. Putting them on confirmed our suspicions — they were way too big, and our feet were swimming. So we had to downsize to a 7. Even at this smaller size, there's still room for thick socks, and there's still heel slippage (which rubbed our heels when going uphill). So, based on our experience, we can report that this model runs large in sizing.
We feel that there isn't much arch support, so all-day wear isn't a spectacular experience. Too, we find the tongue to be on the thicker side, and the way it folds beneath the upper when tying creates a few pressure points. Plus, having to tie and untie laces requires more time as opposed to the more traditional rain boot design. But, they are on the lighter side of the spectrum, and they are easy to carry around, pack, and stash into a closet. Once you figure out the right fit, they are flexible to walk around in and provide enough comfort for low-key activity.
The tread on the Aero Timber Top provides just above average traction. They perform the best on flat surfaces and gradually performed worse the more slippery or icy the environment. Navigating river rocks is where they had the most trouble in our tests, but the relative flexibility of the boot and mild sensitivity of the sole allowed us to still move around efficiently enough. Best for casual activity, the tread is adequate but nothing to rave about, in our opinion.
The inner canvas lining in the footbed plus the suede leather upper provides decent warmth during near-freezing weather. When standing in the creek, albeit in the shallowest of shallows, we didn't notice the temperature of the water at all. The space inside the footbox is insulated well, which we believe is due to the quality of the polyurethane shell in tandem with the air around our toes to act as a temperature buffer. The quality of suede also seems to be high, which means natural insulation against the elements.
We can't ignore the classy appeal of these boots. We love how versatile they are, and they certainly fit in with both the city and the more woodsy environments. The earthy color scheme is a nice touch for the fall season, and since the suede leather is flexible, there aren't those awkward, rubbery folds that more traditional rainwear tends to have. The design is kind of like duck boot meets classic hiking boot meets vintage victorian. Fun.
Value for the Aero Timber Top isn't as high as we think it could have, or should have, been. At the expensive end of the spectrum, you're paying for the branding of a duck boot that isn't 100% waterproof. As mentioned previously, there are laceless versions of this boot, which we think you should consider first before investing in this version. Coming only in whole sizes 5-11, these boots are manufactured in China.
While not 100% waterproof, this version of the LaCrosse Aero Timber Top is nonetheless a reliable pair of footwear for casual rainy days and mild work in the yard. Performing just above average in most of our metrics, they are of high quality but truly lack wholesome weather protection due to holes at the base of the tongue.
— Sara Aranda
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