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Teva Forge Pro Winter Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots : A Fantastic All-Conditions Hiker

I’ve been testing Teva’s Forge Pro Winter Mid WP (waterproof) hikers during an uncommonly cold early autumn here in Colorado, and I think I’m going to rely on these boots all winter long.

The Forge Pro Winter Mid boot is waterproof, insulated, highly-grippy mid-height boot with an integrated ankle cuff and gaiter that keeps out snow and debris. They keep my feet oh-so-happy, and they’re perfect for cold climes, either in the city or in the mountains.

A few days ago, we received nearly a foot of snow in the Rockies, so I laced up my Teva Forge Pro Winter boots and headed to the hills. I typically hike in the snow in insulated mountaineering boots, which are warm but are hard-soled, uncomfortable, and downright heavy. The first thing I noticed about the Forge Pro boots is that they’re light (I wasn't surprised to find out that they weigh just 18 ounces when I later checked their specs online). They feel like typical trail runners despite being filled with 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation. This is great when I’m wandering around down in the muck, but it’s even more appreciated when I’m slogging through mud, snow, and ice at 12,500 feet.

I headed up to the Keyhole on Longs Peak, a popular waypoint en route to the mountain’s summit, and it was raining at the trail head. My feet stayed dry thanks to the boot's waterproof and breathable membrane. The Teva Forge Pro boots kept the rain out, and they breathed well, too. As I got higher in elevation, the rain abated, but melted snow had started to freeze over the last mile or two. As a result, the trail was a treacherous mix of mud, snow, and ice-glazed boulders.

I felt sure-footed as I scampered along, thanks to the Teva Forge Pro boot's aggressive tread design. The boots also feature a row of funky looking lugs down the middle of the sole, which are made of a smooshy, fiberglass-infused rubber that grips like lizard feet. They are probably the most solid footwear I’ve worn on ice, short of crampons. I’m already anticipating how much I'll need these boots this winter in Norway, where I live part of the year, and, where the sidewalks can literally be covered in inches of ice.

By the end of my hike, I found myself running down the trail back to the car. My knees usually hurt at the end of this particular hike, but this day they felt great. The Forge Pro boots have a soft and cushiony midsole which worked well to buffer the shock of repeated steps.

Other features I really appreciate include: the heavy duty lacing system that employs solid-feeling D-rings, the neoprene ankle collar that keeps out debris, and a rubberized rand to prevent abrasion. Overall, these are great shoes/boots. They’re totally warm and waterproof, and they provide ample traction. The Forge Pro boots work equally well in the mountains and in the city, and I plan on wearing these as my daily shoe this winter.

Teva’s Forge Pro Winter boot is available for men (black, sizes 7 – 14 with half sizes to 12) and for women (grey, sizes 5 – 11).

Bottom Line: Waterproof, breathable, high- traction insulated shoe that keeps me upright on icy winter trails.--N.W. (Sept 11).

BUY ONLINE: $160, click for men's boots (Backcountry). Click for women's boots.

Manufacturer's Site: www.mountainhardwear.com

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When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.