Hi-Tec Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi 2011

Forgoing a waterproof liner, with the Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi, Hi-Tec instead use an Ion-Mask plasma treatment that makes the fabric repel water. This is a good addition to a leather boot especially as this version features more stitching (potential leak points) than it did when Trail tested it in 2010. The ankle cuff is a good height, being not too high to feel restrictive; but again the extra stitching near the tongue made it a tad uncomfortable after prolonged use. The lace eyelets are very oversized for purpose, though, and I was very conscious of them on the upper part of my foot, especially after a few hours’ walking. A wedge of cushioning between the outsole and the foot adds some padding, though at the front of the boot it felt less effective when compared to others. The toe box is quite soft, offering less protection from stray boulders. The sole is reasonably flexible with extra support at the midsole but you can still feel stones through them on rough terrain, which some will find uncomfortable. The lug pattern is aggressive and well-spaced but a deeper heel breast would make the Hi-Tec Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi grip better.

Weight 1037g (pair, size 6)
Upper materials full-grain leather
Waterproof lining none
Sole unit Vibram
Women’s sizes 4-8
Men’s sizes 7-13
Website www.hi-tec.com

The Hi-Tec Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi is a more modern take on a leather boot, though some features such as the flexible sole and soft toe box may make it less appealing than others on test.

Review by Phoebe Smith
First published in Trail magazine December 2011