Garmont Dakota Lite GTX Boots
The HMT team of Sara, Jane, and I recently headed off to Lancashire and to Pendle Hill. So what better opportunity to take along my Garmont Dakota Lite GTX boots, try them out and let you lovely people read the review?
First and foremost, the Dakota Lite GTX boots feel like a top quality pair of boots; they are made to a very high standard, using high-quality materials. These boots are fairly light considering that they are quite robust, and very sturdy. This suits me fine; as I prefer boots that offer a good deal of support to the ankle (I snapped my ligaments twice, and so tend to have fairly weak ankles because of this).
The Garmont Dakota Lite GTX boots are manufactured using a 2.4 mm one-piece nubuk leather upper, and this helps give the boot a really comfortable fit.
Using Gore-Tex® technologies within the boot obviously means that the Dakota Lite offers waterproof capabilities and it does this very well indeed. I tested this particular feature of the boots by standing in the middle of a little stream, which was meandering down Pendle Hill. At one point I submerged my feet in the water up to a depth of at least two inches; there is something quite satisfying, watching water run off a pair of waterproof boots, which is exactly what happened with these…not one drop penetrated the boots, and they actually looked bone dry when I removed my foot from the stream. Good stuff. As these are made from a single piece of quality leather – including the tongue, which I really like – you can theoretically walk ankle deep in puddles, streams, bogs, etc., without having to worry about getting soggy socks. This is further helped by the nice thick rubber rand that, which also offers scuff protection.
One thing I am quite fussy about is the lacing system of hiking boots; they are either hit or miss. But thankfully the speed lacing system on the Dakota Lite boots is very good, anchoring the laces in place, ensuring there is little to no extraneous movement; this keeps the foot nice and stable in the boot, no matter what you are putting them through. The Heel Lock mechanism helps with this too, especially during downhill sections; the foot remained steadfast, and not once did the toes hit the front of the boot.
The Alveolen® footbed is what gives the boot its fairly lightweight construction, and the Vibram Winkler outsole gives a really good grip over a number of different terrain types; the sole – although flexible – is fairly stiff, which is great if you are traversing over rocks and boulders, and perfect for scrambles; you can get a really good purchase point on the front of the boots when scrambling, which to me offers a great deal of comfort when tackling such sections.
So how do the Garmont Dakota Lite GTX boots feel? I really like them. They are a very comfortable boot, and having walked Pendle Hill (and Snowdon, in April) in them, I can honestly say that I had no discomfort at all during or after the hikes. They look fantastic too; they are a very handsome looking boot…if such a thing can be said of a boot!
I shall definitely consider wearing the Garmont Dakota Lite GTX boots when I accompany my wife Sara on her charity hike up Ben Nevis for Tommy’s – The Baby Charity.