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Which boots? Kenetrek vs. Lowa

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  • Which boots? Kenetrek vs. Lowa

    I need a new pair of boots for this fall's sheep hunt. I've worn Lowa's in the past and like them but have heard a lot about the Kenetrek's. So now I'm curious.

    Between these two boots, which would you choose and why?

    Lowa Boots Hunter GTX Extreme VS. Mountain Extreme NI by Kenetrek

  • #2
    The ones that fit best. If they don't fit you they're junk.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    • #3
      agreed, the ones that fit well (though can be hard to tell before they're broken in). la sportiva boots get good reviews from many, myself included. going on 6 or 7 years and other than a bit of shoe goo after they got too hot near a woodstove, and some nubuck leather treatment every spring, they've been bombproof.

      i wear 8" regular leather kenetreks on lighter duty climbs but for mountains with a heavy pack it's la sportiva mountineering/glacier boots all the way (with gaiters). the $250 - $300 models are very high quality. Takes a good year to get them broken in properly.


      the waterproofing and strength of seams on the la sportivas is phenomenal, just don't underestimate the time needed to break in such a boot.

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      • #4
        I picked up some Lowas over the winter... wearing them hiking 20-30 miles a week right now and I believe they might be broken in by hunting season if I'm lucky. I'm not sure the boots break in as much as your feet do....

        No experience with Kennetrek but the Lowas are one stiff boot.
        "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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        • #5
          mine took 2 years plus to get where they were really nice. i would say they are still entering their prime.

          that stiffness is what will help them last. I remember it all too well, but in a few years you will be amazed out how soft they become, though still ridiculously sturdy. It's worth the patience.

          I remember that stiffness being a pain in the rear (well, pain in the foot and especially the lower calf) coming downhill in particular. no way around it but to tough it out, unless you can find a loop that's uphill both ways.

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          • #6
            I just picked up a pair of Kenetrek's this winter and used them once so far climbing the mountain behind my house in crampons. I have never had a pair of lowe's so take it for what its worth, but I was amazed at how comfortable those boots were! And to top it all off I was into the sheep in about 30 minutes of hiking! Now if I could only draw that tag!:upset:
            US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

            To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

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            • #7
              Neither. Hanwag Trapper GTX(Cheaper too) or Meindl Perfekts triple stitched.
              Limmers are good too.
              Van Gorkums are too expensive.

              Sincerely,
              Thomas

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              • #8
                I have a set of Kennetreks Mountain Extreme's and have used them on one goat hunt and a couple unsuccessful sheep excursions as well as using them for my all around hunting boot since 2008. I don't plan on purchasing another set and will probably go with Lowa Hunter GTX's this year. The Kennetreks stretch when they get wet, mine have stretched to the point that when they get wet I run out of room to tighten them, the eyelets are literally touching! I actually have a rather wide foot to so it isn't like I am predisposed to this issue. Also for mountain hunting the Kennetreks don't seem to sidhill as well as the Lowas my buddy has. For those of you who have not walked several miles on a fairly steep sidehill the key is that you need to be able to walk comfortably with only maybe a 1/3 of the sole of your boots actually cutting into the slope and making little "platforms" for you to walk on. This allows your ankles to stay straight inline rather than rolling at an angle to compensate for the degree of terrain slope. With the Kennetreks the outside of the uphill boot does this pretty well, but the inside of the bottom boot readily rolls and causes a lot of the load stress to be carried on your ankle. I believe the fancy term for that is "torsional rigidity" and it is lacking in the Kennetreks for the type of hunting I do.

                Aside from all that negative I will say that the boot is very well made and still looks shockingly new after each of it's 2x annual Nixwax aquous wax baths. The waterproof membrane has proven to be top notch, my feet have never gotten wet in them unless I stepped into water over the tops. The fit out of the box was amazing and it was comfortable from day one. The fit and finish is top notch, I think even slightly better than the Lowa, the rubber rand and seams were all flawless on my boot. I would highly recommend the Kennetreks to a mule deer hunter. In the mixed terrain of hill country they would do great, but as a dedicated mountain boot for Alaska where the leather will be constantly wet they fall short of my expectations.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LuJon View Post
                  I have a set of Kennetreks Mountain Extreme's and have used them on one goat hunt and a couple unsuccessful sheep excursions as well as using them for my all around hunting boot since 2008. I don't plan on purchasing another set and will probably go with Lowa Hunter GTX's this year. The Kennetreks stretch when they get wet, mine have stretched to the point that when they get wet I run out of room to tighten them, the eyelets are literally touching! I actually have a rather wide foot to so it isn't like I am predisposed to this issue. Also for mountain hunting the Kennetreks don't seem to sidhill as well as the Lowas my buddy has. For those of you who have not walked several miles on a fairly steep sidehill the key is that you need to be able to walk comfortably with only maybe a 1/3 of the sole of your boots actually cutting into the slope and making little "platforms" for you to walk on. This allows your ankles to stay straight inline rather than rolling at an angle to compensate for the degree of terrain slope. With the Kennetreks the outside of the uphill boot does this pretty well, but the inside of the bottom boot readily rolls and causes a lot of the load stress to be carried on your ankle. I believe the fancy term for that is "torsional rigidity" and it is lacking in the Kennetreks for the type of hunting I do.

                  Aside from all that negative I will say that the boot is very well made and still looks shockingly new after each of it's 2x annual Nixwax aquous wax baths. The waterproof membrane has proven to be top notch, my feet have never gotten wet in them unless I stepped into water over the tops. The fit out of the box was amazing and it was comfortable from day one. The fit and finish is top notch, I think even slightly better than the Lowa, the rubber rand and seams were all flawless on my boot. I would highly recommend the Kennetreks to a mule deer hunter. In the mixed terrain of hill country they would do great, but as a dedicated mountain boot for Alaska where the leather will be constantly wet they fall short of my expectations.
                  I had a pair of Kennetreks Mountain Extreme's and my experience was exactly the same as Lujon described, they blistered my feet and made me tap out on a sheep hunt...

                  Bought a pair of Lowa Tibet Pro GT and have put a lot of miles on them over the last few years including 3 mountain hunts.

                  Not saying Kenny's are not good boots, just not for me.

                  Steve
                  "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the insightful messages. My experience with Lowas has been great, my feet have never been wet in them, they're comfortbale and seem to hold up well. I've never had a blister while wearing them, even after a 2 week elk hunt in Oregon. I have one of the hiker models and I want something taller for more support while hunting the steep mountains. I think I may stick with the Lowas after hearing both Lujon's and Stid's accounts with them.

                    Thanks guys

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                    • #11
                      agree with stid. i have had two pair, both wide and normal width. i experimented with them for 4 months trying to break them in and i eventually gave up. the blisters wouldn't stop, even after pulling out all the stops. i went with the lowa tibet's and they are awesome. must be my foot...

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                      • #12
                        Lowa boots fit my feet better than any others I've tried. I hunt in Hunter Extreme GTXs and have Khumbu Mids for more casual hiking and walking. I do a lot of walking (1500 miles + per year with the dog) and the Khumbus have held up well, including the Gore Tex. I like the stiffness of my Hunters. They flex foreword just fine and I've never had a blister. The stiffness is appreciated on slimy sidehills. Until my feet change I'll be a Lowa customer. That isn't to say they're the best for everyone, just the best for me.

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                        • #13
                          +1 Lowa Tibets. I have had mine for 5 years now, plenty of miles on them and still love 'em. They have never disappointed me. When mine wear out, I will buy another pair of Lowas. Just my .02

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                          • #14
                            I've heard alot about the tibets as well, are they a little shorter than the hunters? Do you feel they have plenty of ankle support? I can't find anyone in town that has them to even try on, only the hunters. I found them pretty cheap on line but need to try them on first.

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                            • #15
                              My experience differs on the Kennetreks. I put a bunch of miles on a set this summer, and found them to be plenty stiff for mountain hunting, even walking down the creek bottom (in the rain) with 120+ lbs of camp and sheep. I've tried stiffer "mountaineering" boots on hunts before and hated the stress they put on my knees. I never had a blister or even a hot spot with these boots. I tried on Lowas before I bought these, but found the toe box too tight for my foot.

                              After after 6 months of heavy use, I did have a problem with one of them leaking. Sent them back to Kennetrek and got a new pair in the mail with a nice note. No issues at all with customer service.

                              The only other comments I have are that the leather needs PLENTY of wax before heading out the first time. The way it comes from the factory soaks up water like a sponge. No big deal though, since most boots should be maintained that way. They specifically say in the documentation not to use oil based boot treatments, since it will soften the leather. Unfortunately, the insole is junk and was worn out by September.

                              Yk

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