K–WAY MEN’S BLAZE MID WP HIKING BOOT – A REVIEW

K-Way Men’s Blaze Mid WP Hiking Boot – A Review

 

I have recently made the transition from wearing a comfortable trail running shoe while hiking to a hiking boot. While the expensive and very popular trail running shoe I had been wearing was extremely comfortable, it did not provide adequate protection from sharp rocks and stones on the trail. Another shortcoming of the trail running shoe that I grew to love was that with the combined weight of my body and backpack I was carrying quickly wore down the relatively soft lugs of the trail running shoe. This meant that the impact support offered by the expensive trail running shoe quickly diminished over time. I ended up having to buy a new pair of trail running shoes every 6 – 9 months. If you are looking, like I was, for a value for money, versatile, robust and lightweight hiking boot that is well suited to both short day hikes and long multi-day hiking trails, then you would be hard pressed to find a better hiking boot than this one. It is a mid-sized boot that provides just enough ankle support for hiking without losing too much in the way of agility. On occasions, when scrambling, I need to be able to climb up and over things without my hiking boots restricting my movement too much. And now instead of me having to navigate a way around a muddy section of the path so that my trail shoes don’t get wet, I can now comfortably walk through the mud.

 

The Specs

The K-Way boot has a sturdy construction which includes a polyproplene mid shoe shank that provides solid protection against sharp rocks and uneven terrain.The durable 1.6mm polyester upper with a Durable Water Repellency Coating (DWC) provides good protection against the wind and is waterproof. The Grivola Vibram outer sole boasts really good traction and grip on most of the surfaces that you are likely to encounter on the trail.

 

The Cape Union Mart website advertisers the following features:

  • Waterproof – Guaranteed to keep your feet dry despite the weather
  • Water permeable – This basically means that moisture can easily pass through the shoe to avoid that uncomfortable moisture build up.
  • Windproof – Ensures that not even the wind will hamper your adventure
  • 6mm Suede with durable polyester upper
  • DWR coating: A Durable Water Repellency Coating offers superior waterproofing protection
  • Removable Ortholite insole: For all day comfort and support
  • Grivola Vibram outsole: Offers incredible traction and grip on a variety of volatile terrain
  • Polyproplene board Mid-foot stability (Shank)
  • 5mm non-slip lace

 

The Field Test

I recently completed the 30 km Boosmansbos Trail in the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, Barrydale over two days, after purchasing these boots on sale. I had no issues with the boot when I tried it on in the store, while I had a number of issues with other more expensive brands. The terrain on the Boosmansbos Trail varied from gravel jeep track to grassed pathways to rocks and boulders and water logged sections. Through the entire period that I was out on the trail, my socks and feet stayed dry and protected. The weather for the three days that I was in Barrydale, changed quite dramatically each day. It had rained on the first night we arrived. This left some sections of the trail, on the first day of the hike, underwater and it remained cool and overcast for the remainder of the Day 1. Day 2 of the hike was an absolute scorcher and I was worried that my feet would not be able to breathe inside these hiking boots. The boots were able to deal well with the heat and my feet were able to breathe despite the raised ambient temperature.

 

 

Where To Get It

This boot is advertised currently on the Cape Union Mart website at R 2 099 (20 March 2018). I managed to get them on sale for R 1 299. Even at R 2 099, it is really good value for the price.

 

The Verdict

There are better, more expensive and nicer looking boots on the market. However if you are looking for a comfortable, functional, lightweight hiking boot that offers adequate ankle support and protects your feet against rough terrain, at an affordable price, it makes sense for you to consider getting the K-Way Men’s Blaze Mid WP Boot. A strong selling point of these Mid boots is that they can be used for multi day hikes or just as easily for a short walk with the dog through the neighbourhood field or forest. It is sold in black and Charcoal colours.

My next long hike is through the Fish River Canyon in Namibia and I am hoping that these boots are going to continue to perform well over the sandy and rocky terrain. I have recently done the Dikkop Trail in the Koeberg Nature Reserve in preparation for the Fish River and I have been very impressed with the performance of these boots. They have been consistently comfortable and have allowed my feet to breathe adequately even in rather warm conditions (25 – 28°C). I have not regretted buying these boots for a second. Worn together with AR Mini Gaiters, I was able to hike the 20 km (one day) route, which included a 4.5 km stretch of beach, without any sand getting into the boots at all.



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