These are the only hiking boots tested without a waterproof/breathable membrane. Instead “every single fibre is given a layer of water repellent polymer only molecules thick”. This Ion-mask treatment makes the boots waterproof without making any significant difference to the breathability so they are much cooler in hot weather than membrane lined boots. They don’t absorb much water and if they get wet inside moisture can evaporate through the fabric, plus they dry much faster; this can’t happen with membranes. Certainly I’ve found these boots waterproof and comfortable in warm weather. The mesh fabric has a solid backing that keeps out water. The tongue is only sewn-in half way so water can get in round its top edges.
In other respects these are beefed-up trail shoes in style with a fairly low cut. The sole is low-profile so your feet are closer to the ground than with many boots. This is because there isn’t a cushioning midsole. Instead the cushioning is in the footbed, which has a thick heel and a thinner forefoot. I wore the boots for a walk over the stony Cairngorm Plateau to Ben Macdui and found the heel cushioning excellent. A little more padding under the forefoot would be welcome though.
The Vibram sole has a fairly deep tread and grips well on a variety of terrain. The lugs are widely spaced so it doesn’t clog with mud. There’s a solid heel cup and a hard toe bumper. The flex is soft at the forefoot but stiff side-to-side. Lacing is by four sets of tunnels and two pairs of D rings and it’s easy to tighten the boots round the feet. The fit is low volume with a reasonably wide forefoot and a fairly narrow heel. I find them comfortable with lightweight socks but couldn’t wear them with thick winter weight ones. Although not the lightest or the least expensive by a fair bit in each case the weight and price are reasonable.