Your feet are the wheels of success when it comes to hiking or hunting. A flat tire or a complete blowout is something that can’t be tolerated. So, spending the extra money to have high quality footwear that will make sure you aren’t stranded and will last you years of dedicated field use is a must.
The Zamberlan SMILODON GTX RR boots are just that when it comes to well put-together footwear. Zamerberlan has been developing fine hiking boots for nearly ninety years and they have taken those years of experience to develop these hard-core boots for the hard-core outdoor enthusiast. This boot is built to provide support and durability for those who spend hundreds of days a year in the field. Out of the box, the shark camo pattern looks great, but the functionality of this set of boots is what really stands out. The Vibram Darwin Outsole sole wears extremely well and grips the terrain like another set of hands, even when wet. The tread pattern provides for a very good downhill break, a toe climbing zone, and the wide grippy lugs allow for easy cleaning with your finger or a stick, but they self-clean fairly well while hiking. The dual-density polyurethane midsoles have been designed to provide both comfort and support, which is paired with a thermoplastic polyurethane stabilizer to give you torsional rigidity. What all of this jargon means in layman terms is that these boots will support not only you but an extremely heavy load. It also means that you will not need months to break them in. The design of the sole makes the foot rock forward as well, which is a huge design benefit especially when carrying heavy loads. The patented ZFS (Zamberlan Flex System) allows the uppers to break forward in comfort without compromising lateral stability around the ankle. The Italian 2.8mm Hydrobloc nubuck leather uppers are soft enough to provide out of the box comfort yet provide tremendous support. The Gore-Tex Insulated membrane delivers world-class waterproof protection and breathability throughout the life of the boot. The rubber rand around the toe helps to protect your boot from the brutal rocks and terrain. It is developed with an improved rubber compound which has better elasticity and has a beveled under-edge to prevent catching and peeling. These boots run very true to size, but some fit a half size smaller. I normally wear a size 10, but even with a 9.5, I can get on a heavier sock for insulation and my foot doesn’t feel cramped.
Out of the box, these boots were extremely comfortable on the first outing. They require very minimal break-in.
After over 3 months of testing and approaching over 200 miles, they look nearly new and the treads show hardly any wear.