Summary

We spent 8.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what hikers think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The excellent level of comfort of this Kenetrek boot impressed scores of verified purchasers.
  • More than a dozen of owners got a very precise fit in the Hardscrabble Hiker.
  • Many users were genuinely pleased with the boot’s supportive build.
  • Its justifiable price tag was greatly appreciated by numerous patrons.
  • Some devoted hikers swore by the Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker’s unrelenting traction.
  • Based on a handful of reports, this hiking gear is amply warm despite not having proper insulation.
  • A few wearers said that they got a remarkably stable ride in the Hardscrabble Hiker.
  • In terms of waterproofing, this gear didn’t disappoint a couple of testers.
  • A wide-footed blogger lauded the roomy forefoot of the Hardscrabble Hiker from Kenetrek.

2 reasons not to buy

  • It took more than a handful of users a long time to break in this hiking gear.
  • A professional footwear critic gave the boot a thumbs-down for having an outsole that peeled off too soon.

Bottom line

This Kenetrek boot is comfortable, but it is also beyond satisfactory when it comes to overall support and fit. Those who are looking for a quick break-in period may not find it in this day hiking gear, unfortunately. Overall, minus its manageable misstep, the Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker still stands as a worthy investment all thanks to its pool of impressive traits.

Facts

Use: Day Hiking
Cut: Mid cut
Price: $420
Waterproofing: Waterproof
Weight: Men: 29.6oz | Women: 24oz
Width: Men: Narrow, Normal, Wide | Women: Normal
Brand: Kenetrek
Material: Leather
Colorways: Brown
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Rankings

A top 9% best hiking boot

Expert Reviews

Experts are hikers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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90 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews

  • 92 / 100 | iReviewGear.com | | Level 1 expert

    Highly recommend them.

  • 90 / 100 | iReviewGear.com | | Level 1 expert

    I highly recommend the Kennetrek Hardscrabble Hiker to those who intend to spend a lot of time “out on the mountain.”

  • 88 / 100 | Hunting Tips and Tricks | Level 1 expert

    I have used these boots on numerous outings now, and I highly recommend them to high country hunters and hikers.

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  • A full-grain leather upper gives the Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker that grounded, classic look. It is engineered with a waterproof yet breathable membrane from Windtex.
  • Keeping the hiker’s footing as steady as possible is the boot’s nylon midsole. It tapers towards the forefoot, giving the gear ample drop.
  • Right beneath the Hardscrabble Hiker’s hefty midsole is the K-Talon outsole. This component can be replaced with a new one, making it one of Kenetrek’s resolable boots. 

The Hardscrabble Hiker is a fairly true-to-size boot for male and female adventurers. The men’s version comes in narrow, regular, and wide widths, while the women’s boot is only offered in regular. Both versions are listed in a decent number of half and whole sizes. A secure and custom fit is achievable with the boot’s speed lacing system.

K-Talon, a Kenetrek-exclusive outsole, is what secures the hiker’s footing over various types of terrain. Its ability to provide multi-directional grip is largely linked to its K-shaped lugs. Over at its heel and forefoot regions are ridges that offer a level of ascent and descent assistance. This component also gives the boot a decent toe bumper. 

The Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker has a nylon midsole at 7 mm thick. It is engineered with a chunky heel to absorb shock upon every landing. It also has adequate stiffness to stabilize the user’s bearings when navigating through rocky terrain. 

Offering further underfoot cushioning is the Hardscrabble Hiker’s default insole. Its surface is covered with textured fabric for added in-shoe comfort. 

The Hardscrabble Hiker gets to shield the wearer’s feet from destructive elements with its 2.8-millimeter thick full-grain leather upper with a full-on rubber rand. Its over-the-ankle collar is padded, rendering the boot both supportive and comfortable. Inside is the Windtex liner which allows the boot’s interior to disperse heat and moisture while walling off wet elements. Keeping debris fenced out, on the other hand, is the footwear’s gusseted tongue. 

Metallic eyelets take up the majority of the instep and collar regions, giving this hazel-colored gear a nice glint. Together with the synthetic laces, they complete the closure system of this leather hiking boot

Comparison

Author
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Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.

paul@runrepeat.com