In the fall/winter our choice of footwear for the kids becomes less…forgiving. The low-top hiking shoes and sneakers we usually grab are not quite suitable for our messy, muddy, and snowy adventures. Our first experience with this was last winter when we took the kids snowshoeing for the first time. Well…we strapped that snowshoe onto my daughter’s bulky, loose boot and…she stepped right out of the boot and into a snow bank. Barefoot. Not good. So we began looking for more “performance” oriented options and this is our first look at the Hi-Tec Oakhurst Waterproof Jr.
Tested in: Fall hiking in the Wasatch Range. Rock/Dirt and Snow.
Best use: Hiking/Snowshoeing with kids. Great as a “winter” shoe or rugged ranch shoe as well.
Selling points: Not only are these hiking boots an adorable replica of an adult boot, they perform like one. They have a waterproof and rugged leather exterior, which we got to test extensively on the muddiest trail I’ve encountered to date. The traction and ankle support brings a peace of mind as my son charges through the forest.
They also have the sweet Big-Fit System insoles which increases the life span of the shoes and effectively allow the shoe to “grow with the kid.”
If you are snowshoeing with kids, you will need a waterproof/securely fitting boot (hard to find). This would be an excellent option.
Weight: 9.5 OZ
Full grain/nubuck leather upper
Waterproof bootie construction
Desired improvements: A better lace or lacing solution would be really great. These laces come untied easily, and are hard for my just-learning-to-tie-shoes son.
Bottom line: This is a great rugged hiking boot for the more committed adventure family. Backpacking, longer hiking, mud, dirt and rugged environments are best for this shoe. Think of situations you really want foot protection. Like a horse ranch. The quality is superb. This might not be the shoe if you prefer a more “barefoot” shoe that allows flexing of the foot and ankles.