Our verdict


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.


  • Precise fit
  • Supportive build
  • Justifiable price tag
  • Unrelenting traction
  • Amply warm
  • Remarkably stable ride
  • Great waterproofing
  • Roomy forefoot


  • Breaking in takes time
  • Outsole peeled off too soon

Who should buy Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker

The premium priced Kenetrek footwear is ideal for day hikers who require ankle support and protection. Purchase if:

  • You need water protection
  • Width-wise, you need narrow or wide
  • A durable leather boot is preferred

Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker logo

Kenetrek's proprietary outsole

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.

Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker lugs

Over at its heel and forefoot regions are ridges that offer a level of ascent and descent assistance. 

Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker outsole heel

This component also gives the boot a decent toe bumper. 

Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker bumper

Chunky midsole

The Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker has a nylon midsole at 7 mm thick. It is engineered with a chunky heel that absorbs shock upon every landing. It also has adequate stiffness that helps 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. 

Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker midsole

Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker's durable leather upper

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.

Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker 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.

Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker windtex

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

Kenetrek Hardscrabble Hiker lacing