Kenetrek began manufacturing their boots right after an eight-day hunt in the Mackenzie Mountains of the Northwest Territories in 2002. The hunt was tough and, according to Jim Winjum, CEO of Kenetrek and sheep hunter, it could have actually gone on longer if the poor quality of the boots he was wearing had not let him down. Pretty cool story and definitely one which will have you believe that if anybody out there knows how to make boots durable enough for harsh conditions it is Jim.
This article is here to tell you that any similar perceptions to those above you have of Kenetrek and/or Jim are correct. Especially correct when we consider the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme boots. These boots are praised as one of, if not THE best hiking boots on the market, due to their comfortable design, lightweight fabrics and great warranty. Let me tell you in more detail why I agree.
Which Version of the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Line to Choose?
First up is the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Non-Ins. If you know you are going to be hiking in really rugged conditions, then this is the one for you. The boots are constructed using one-piece vamp of 2.8 mm top grain leather on top of stiff nylon midsoles with high traction K-Talon outsoles. They are waterproof and breathable. Just be aware that these are the non-insulated option of the line; good for summer but not sub-zero temperatures.
The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400 boots, now these are insulated. They include 400 grams of Thinsulate Insulation and, like the Non-Ins, they are waterproof and breathable. Also included are the piece vamp of 2.8 mm top grain leather, stiff nylon midsoles, and high traction K-Talon outsoles.
If you want to be even warmer on your trek, and I mean really warm, then opt for the 400 grams of Thinsulate Insulation in the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 1000 boots. Amazing – but that is not all. The boots have a Windtex, waterproof, breathable membrane. They also have a firm nylon midsoles and high traction K-Talon outsoles to ensure a good grip on slippy terrains. Yet, the boots are very comfortable, thanks to padded tongues and collars, and the lacing system cradle.
One of the most durable pairs of boots, even for those who are very tough in their wear, is the Kenetrek Mountain Guide Non-Insulated. This addition in the line is actually quite similar to the Mountain Extreme boots, except for a few added features: a stiffer midsole and a full crampon compatible Vibram Vertige™ outsole.
Kenetrek has heard the call for more boots like these for women and each of the styles mentioned is available in both a male and female option.
Breaking in Your Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots
If you read on you will find out just how comfortable this line of mountain boots is. However, it should be remembered that, due to the somewhat stiff materials used in order to increase longevity, a certain breaking in period is required before the boots are most optimal. Kenetrek recommends a break-in period of approximately 50 miles for their Mountain Extreme line. This was actually put to the test by a few seasoned mountain climbers. Several reviews can be found online but the general consensus is that the first ten minutes can be quite painful but over the course of just one day, the boots speedily adapt to the feet. There is no doubt after the 50-mile recommendation that these boots are anything but comfortable.
Can a Hiking Boot Be Comfortable?
The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme can! There are many reasons. Let us start with the really thick, full grain leather uppers which help against abrasion. Then there are the extra padded, soft leather collars. One of the best features is how lightweight the boots are, along with the High Traction K-Talon outsoles. This design is exclusive to Kenetrek and offers some serious pain relief on the feet.
Finally, there is nothing worse than going on a hike with ill-fitting boots. The Kenetrek Mountain Extreme boots have a lace locking system. It can lock the bottom five laces of the boot, around the toe area, into a different level of tightness than the upper four laces. However, it is important at the point of purchase to buy a pair of boots in the right size for you, otherwise, the lace locking system can only help so much. Therefore, it is important to know that while the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots run true to size in accordance with the Brannock sizing device, it is best to go up a half size from your usual street shoe size. Keep in mind the thickness of the socks you plan to wear as well as they will affect how much toe room you have in the boots.
Safety First with the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots!
Your personal safety is not necessarily the responsibility of a shoe manufacturer. However, it can be affected if they don’t use the right materials or include the right features to assist you on your hike. This is not the case with the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots.
The boots have a full-length 7mm Nylon midsoles which provide good grip and extra support while walking across uneven terrain. There are sole guards made of reinforced rubber that help protect against rock abrasion. The High Traction K-Talon outsoles. Wow. Their deep relief and open tread pattern really give a strong grip to the wearer in conditions of snow, mud, or dry ground. Plus, there are Traction Teeth at the heel and toe of the boots that provide an extra grip when walking at an elevated angle.
Keeping Your Boots Forever
Maybe it is a bit of an overstatement to say that you can keep your Kenetrek Mountain Extreme boots forever. Still, the manufacturers have put all their effort in to make sure you have them a pretty decent length of time.
Durability starts right away with the materials used to create the boots. They include heavy duty midsoles, full-length 7mm and made from nylon. WindTex membranes are fitted in the boots. There are waterproof and have great elasticity, another good addition for maximum durability. However, the most important feature of the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme boots in terms of longevity is the warranty and the fact that they are re-soleable. Those waterproof membranes just mentioned, well they are under warranty. Kenetrek also guarantees that no defects will occur in any other part of the boots up until the point that the soles are very worn down. When the boots actually reach that point, you can send them back to the manufacturer to be rebuilt – at half the cost of a new pair of boots.
Pros of the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots
- There are various levels of insulation on offer: non-insulated; 400 grams of Thinsulate Insulation and 1000 grams of Thinsulate Insulation.
- All the boots in the line have great outsoles for the best grip, whether it be the high traction K-Talon outsoles or the Vibram Vertige™ outsole.
- All of the boots in the line are waterproof and breathable.
- Each of the boots in the line is available for both men and women.
- Thanks to the thick, full grain leather uppers and the soft-padded leather collars, the boots are very comfortable.
- The boots are very lightweight.
- The boots have a lace locking system which helps them stay in place.
- A warranty is offered on the boots.
- The boots have a 50-mile recommended break-in period but are generally comfortable to wear after less than a day.
- The boots are available for both men and women.
Cons of the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots
- Pricing is higher than other boots on the market. However, it is argued by many that the price is worth the quality of the Kenetrek boots.
- Even though the boots have a high level of durability, to get the most of your money, it is best if you give the boots some treatment yourself. It is recommended treating them with the Kenetrek wax a few times during the season.
So, there you have it, a line of hiking boots that is near perfect. Yes, that is a pretty outlandish claim to make but my thorough research found nothing to dispute this claim. Of course, there have been instances of leakages in boots and other minor concerns. However, with an overall outstanding performance, the odd dud boot here and there is easy to ignore.
If you want a mountain boot that is comfortable to wear after less than a day, then choose the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots. If you want a pair of boots that have an outstanding grip on rocky terrain, then choose the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots. Do you want a pair of boots that are waterproof and breathable and are available in a series of different insulation levels? Then choose the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots. Or maybe you want a pair of boots that are lightweight and have an advanced lace locking system. Then, you guessed it, choose the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots. Finally, what other boots out there give you a warranty?! I guess the conclusion of this article is clear: go buy yourself a pair of Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Boots.