Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Gear Review: Lacrosse Footwear Aerohead Boots

I recently got the opportunity to get a pair of the Lacrosse Footwear Aerohead Boots and give them a try during the tail end of duck season.  I first set hands on them at the ATA Show in 2013 and sat down with them for the tutorial on how the were constructed and why they were superior to the standard rubber boots that are on the market now. If you like all that technical jargon read the next paragraph, if not skip to the next paragraph so you don't glaze over with science.

Basically it comes down to a sealed seam neoprene sock that has the lower boot and shin guard attached to the front by magic or pressure molding that injects a the extremely durable foam around the sock to make a singular waterproof boot.  And finally after 4 years and thousands of miles of actual foot testing of trying to perfect this process they were complete. +1 on the Cool Factor of Engineering.

While at the ATA show a kind gentleman at their booth claimed that you could stab them with a pen and that the abuse would not puncture the boot and right then and there he did just that.  So needless to say I was impressed.  My reluctance about the boot was more the way they looked, slightly odd foot shape and the upper of the boot looked more like something out of an 80's Hip Hop video from MC Hammer, but okay if it works.  Then I tried them on, wow comfortable.  So I thought no way, anything this comfortable out of the box can't be that durable over a long period of time.  Man was I wrong.

 After some procrastination from me on accepting Lacrosse's offer to try the boots out I finally came to my senses and just said yes. Upon receiving the boots I did what any self respecting hunter would do, I wore them everywhere for a few days.  Enough so that my wife asked me to stop wearing them around the house and to the store.  Surprisingly the real test was going to be around the house and not when I went out into the field to hunt. The Barn was the real Proving ground, so I went down to the barn to work.  Not just wearing them in the mud, but moving things, cleaning stalls, feeding animals and moving hay bails.  My Honda Rancher is a big part of working around the yard, so the gear shifter I assumed would tear the boots apart, but no their good.  Well, okay step one complete, they work around the house for me doing my the daily chores with little to no issues. So +1.

Duck Hunting was obviously the next thing that would cause them to fail, reeds, river bottoms, dragging the toes through the rocks, but once again they still looked fairly new. Nothing to speak of that would cause any concern.  I was not trying to see if they would fail, but I was not being careful either.  The first place I took them to hunt was a tidal canal along the Pacific Ocean and the side are lined with rock, so my traveling up and down them constantly surely would do some damage. Nope they look muddy, but after a quick wash they looked new. So +1

So after trying to make them fail or find the chink in the armor I ended up just forgetting about them and just started using them.  Being that I live up at about 5,000+ feet it does get brisk and morning chores are done in a rather brisk temp of 30 Degrees.  Not too cold but sweater weather, the boots have become my go to footwear as I get my morning chores done.  Why? Because they work and I don't need to think about it.  Rubber boots in the past you wonder at first how long will it take for them to break in and finally once they are, how much longer they will last.

Lastly last thing I did prior to putting keys to thoughts was to hit the canyons and shed hunt with my Boone my dog.  I put in the miles on them with crazy elevation changes, up and down rocky slopes, deep leaf litter, steep loose soil and just plain miles, 6 miles in total.  While not a long distance it is in the country I was in.  Feet were dry, the construction of them held up perfectly and I even found a dead shed.

So in Closing, the Lacrosse Aeroheads are different, they are durable, light and extremely comfortable from the time you get them till the end of the season.  So far I am very glad I went with them and will be sad the day I have to put them to pasture, but by then I'll just get a new pair and relive the glory days or old. +1

Do your self a favor if you are looking for a pair of muck boot, rubber boots or what ever else you want to call them buy a pair for Aeroheads from Lacrosse.


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