July 27, 2018

Nick Dall puts the all-new Hi-Tec Wild-Fire Mid through its paces. Lightweight, durable and oh-so-comfy, he’s barely taken them off for a week! Exclusive to Cape Union Mart.

In a nutshell

The Wild-Fire Mid is a 100% synthetic boot with medium ankle protection which is lightweight enough for a quiet Sunday at home or in the mall but durable enough to wear on a 20-kay trek through the Cederberg. It’s extremely comfortable, breathable and has superior toe protection that makes downhills a doddle.

First impressions

Good looking boot! The toebox is a little snugger than most Hi-Tecs I’ve tried (there have been a few!) and the inner-sole is a lot cushier than any shoe I’ve ever worn – one look at the tech-specs reveals that this must be the Ortholite Impressions ‘recovery foam’ sockliner doing the talking.

In the field

Today is the ninth straight day I’ve worn the Wild-Fire Mids and I’m really loving them. I’ve walked the dogs in them, taken them up Table Mountain and even managed a few sneaky meetings (they scrub up nicely). Here’s what makes the Wild Fire Mid such a darn fine boot:

  • The tight toebox I noticed on Day One combines with the molded heel chassis and spiffy XLR8>> midsole for a snug fit that takes all the pain out of steep downhills and provides excellent support for your ankles (a serious consideration for me ever since a high school rugby injury).
  • The lack of a waterproof membrane reduces perspiration drastically. Waterproof boots are great for trekking through snow and trudging through puddles, but in most other conditions they seem like overkill to me.
  • The M-D Traction outsole is rugged enough to take a beating but it doesn’t slip on wet surfaces (something which really hard outsoles sometimes do) or carry excess muck into the house / car. What’s more, the multi-directional lugs ensure superior grip on both uphills and downhills.
  • The OrthoLite® Impressions sockliner is insanely comfortable. Normally I take my boots off as soon as I’ve finished hiking, but I found myself still wearing the Wild Fire Mids while watching the World Cup final.
  • The tongue and lacing setup are low-key but effective. The only thing worse than having to re-tie your laces every five minutes is getting bits of fynbos stuck in your socks. You won’t have either problem with the Wild Fire Mid. 

The final word

If you’re looking for a boot which combines comfort, support and rugged durability you’ve come to the right place. The best part? The Wild Fire Mid won’t break the bank either. 

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