I remember finally going down to one knee and unlacing my boot. It was a name brand boot and as I unrolled my sock, it had produced a couple of name brand blisters. The season had just begun and I made a mental note for this to never happen again.
Some 15-years later, when I opened a new box of the Buck Shadow 400G boots from Browning, I silently recalled those painful blisters.
With respect to all of the miles we have all walked, let me tell you about my experience with the Buck Shadow. The Buck Shadow comes complete with the world famous OutDry technology owned by Columbia. I immediately tried to soak them, through waterfalls and creeks and the once-piece breathable membrane kept my feet dry inside and out. And the collapse-resistant, Silent Cell Midsole material held up to sharp rocks and cactus on a Texas Audad hunt this spring.
We have all had toe bumpers peel off the front of our boots long before the sole wears out. Field testing these boots on lava beds as well as the high Texas desert proved the TECTUFF toe bumper is there to stay, even in the harshest of environments. On the Audad hunt, the non-insulated boot gave sufficient warmth for the chilly desert mornings, as well as early season Utah scouting trips.
There are two other options for colder environments, 400-gram and 800-gram, depending on how extreme the cold is where you are going. The uninsulated versions weigh 1.39 pounds and the 800-gram weighs 1.75 pounds, a very reasonable weight for a 8-inch shaft height boot that is built to last.
When our packs were loaded down with the results of a successful Audad hunt, the integrated SymmPlate external shank kept the boot stable, with the extra weight driving through the heal of the boot all the way down the mountain. And the Silent Grip formulated rubber compound gave the boots extra grip on those awkward downhill angles that can often lead to a slip.
The Buck Shadow is available in four camo patterns: Mossy Oak Country, Realtree Xtra, ATACS AU and FG. Overall, I am confident these boots will get the job done on an entire year’s worth of hunting in various terrain or if you just need a boot to take on that special once-in-a-lifetime hunt. Blisters are unacceptable and this boot proved to agree with my perspective. A solid purchase by any standards with an MSRP of $180.