New Balance Hiking Boots Rainier 1500 Review
I recently bought some New Balance hiking boots – the Rainier 1500s – and so far I’m very happy with my purchase.
Such praise does not come lightly from me; I have a hard time finding boots that fit my wide (and apparently abnormally shaped) feet.
Also, I demand a lot from my boots, slogging through muck and marsh and over rock slides in my pursuit of the next awe-inspiring vista.
My last pair – Hi-Tec Altitude IVs – were decent boots (and cheap; I got them for about $50 on clearance), but didn’t fit quite right and gave me blisters on long hikes.
I knew I needed a new pair of boots, and decided to invest in a high-quality boot that would fit well and hopefully last for a few years.
Finding well-fitting boots has always been a challenge for me, but this time it was close to impossible.
I must have tried on every boot my size in town, and none of them fit. None, that is, except the New Balance hiking boot.
Now, I’ve only used them a few times, so I can’t speak authoritatively, but so far I’ve been quite pleased with the New Balance hiking boots. The fit is perfect – snug in the heel and forefoot, just enough wiggle room in the toes.
On my last hike, a 10 mile off-trail trek up a rocky alpine valley in constant rain, they performed beautifully.
The Gore-Tex membrane, combined with a high collar and gusseted tongue (connected all the way up one side), kept my feet dry as I splashed through puddles and shallow streams and thick, wet brush.
The Vibram outsole feels rock solid. It doesn’t flex much, which is fine with me when I’m scrambling over hundreds of feet of jumbled chunks of granite.
And the best part was – no blisters. No hot spots. I’m sold.
I do have one minor complaint. The laces tend to slip out of their hooks on the collar as you’re lacing them.
This seems like a strange oversight on an otherwise perfectly designed boot.
Once you’ve got the laces tied, everything is fine; it’s just that getting them tied can be a little frustrating.
The New Balance 1500 comes in a wide variety of sizes, so if you have weird-shaped feet like me, you’ve still got a good shot at finding a size that fits.