The 1,000,000 Step Review has moved on! Find the 294,835, 514,061, 731,174, and 1,000,876 step updates HEREHEREHERE, and HERE.

Or, read on for the 1-37,382 step update below.

Arc’teryx set the outdoor world on fire when then announced their entrance into the footwear world. As you might expect from a company that makes all its money by out innovating everyone else, their boots were like nothing anyone had ever seen. Coming in both a shoe and a boot styles, instead of using a stereotypical construction all the Arc’teryx footwear is actually two shoes in one. Much like classical mountaineering boots, Arc’teryx footwear is made up of two separate pieces: an inner, which looks like sock, and and outer, which contains the outsole, midsole, and an outer made of a single piece of hydrophobic laminate. The promise of such a system is two-fold: 1.) By changing between multiple inners you could customize the footwear for the conditions (i.e. insulated for when cold, waterproof for when wet, breathable for when hot), and 2.) If inners are offered in multiple thicknesses, customized fit should be able to attained. For people those who do not want interchangeable inners, sightly cheaper versions of the boot and shoe were offered in which the inners is permanently affixed to the outer.

Initially this last detail seemed strange: why in the world would you buy the version with affixed inners when you could spend slightly more and get a modular hiking system? Unfortunately, the coming months have made everything clear: Arc’teryx has not offered the inners necessary to live up to this promise of modularity. All the inners currently offered are the same thickness, meaning the fit is not variable. In the shoe models the only inners available are gore-tex (no non-waterproof, no insulated) while the boot models offered gore-tex and insulated inners (no non-waterproof). For people who want non-waterproof models, only one the shoe model, with a permanently affixed inner, is an option. This could all change, but as of now, that is all that’s out there.

All of the sudden, the permanently affixed versions seemed a little more tempting. After all, why spend more money when it adds almost no extra utility? Further, early reports suggested that the inners could slip around, especially with low volume feet. However, all of the other promising features– solid outer construction, near-seamless waterproofing, innovative outsole design– were in these less expensive options. Which brings me to the subject of this review: the Arc’teryx Bora Mid._DSC5783

The Arc’teryx Bora Mid shares all the construction qualities of the more expensive Bora2 Mid, except instead of having a replaceable inner boot, a water proof (gore-tex) un-insulated inner boot is permanently affixed to the outer boot. For exchange for the lack of modularity Arc’teryx will sell you this boot for $270 (about 20% less than the Bora2 Mid). However, Arc’teryx claims that all the construction of these boots is identical, and therefore this review should be directly comparable to the Bora2 when used with the standard gore-tex inner boot. The Bora Mids weight 2lbs, 9oz, which is truly amazing when you consider that just a few years ago the previous class leader, the Salomon Quest 4D (2lbs, 13oz), was considerably unbelievably light.

There is an elephant in the room here, though: The real problem with boot reviews on the internet is that they generally come from just a limited amount of time with the product. Sure, some information is better than none, but if you really want to know how your $200-$300 are going to hold up more that just a weekend hiking are needed. Enter our ONE-MILLION STEP REVIEW. Over the next few months I will walk one-million steps in these boots, giving your guys periodic updates along the way (294,835, 500,000, and 750,000 steps). Today we are going to cover the basics: unboxing and early break in. I’ll link back to any other reviews here, when they are written. Now, lets talk about the boots:

Take Home Message:

Arc’teryx Bora Mid

Price: $270

Weight: 2lbs, 9oz


  • Lightweight
  • Great lacing system
  • Tough (so far…a lot of steps to go)
  • Excellent outsole
  • Excellent waterproofing


  • Warmer than average
  • Somewhat more expensive than competitors
  • Embarrassingly cheap insole

SHOULD I BUY THEM: We’ll tell you in 962,618 more steps

But if you’re going to but them now please support Lesser Places and purchase them using these links for MENS or WOMENS.  For the removable inner Bora2 Mids click here for MENS, womens not available at this time. Doing so gives us a costs you nothing extra and we get a little extra cash to keep this site running.


Pure sex. That is the only way to describe these boots. Wearing these boots makes me feel like Marty McFly with his power laces:


As described above these boots are unique. Essentially they are constructed as two separate shoes which are then sewn together to form one solid boot (though, again, you can spend some extra money and get the version where the two come apart fully). The outer shoe is one piece of hydro-phobic, multi-layered laminate, which is connected to the Vibram outsole with a solid, substantial rand. For breathability the inner layer of the laminate has large holes, which are covered by an outer layer with made of fine mesh. It is also important to note that because all these layers are laminated together there are no seams anywhere on the out boot. Hypothetically speaking this should create a more durable outer.

Perforations, like these, maximize breathability
Perforations, like these, maximize breathability

The inner boot is essentially one large gore-tex lined sock with an elastic band on top. The inner itself is made of a highly breathable material that looks identical to that used on Columbia brand water shoes. Under this padded, highly breathable material lays the gore-tex shell, which is further backed by a very thin nylon layer. Because the inner uses a sock type construction there is only one seam, which should improve waterproofing. For anyone who is wondering, the inner boot seems to be attached to the outer with a seam on the sole. I have no idea if these the two parts could be separated without ruining the boots, and I don’t plan of figuring out.

Inner vs. Outer Boots
Inner vs. Outer Boots

As would be expected of an Arc’teryx piece of gear, build quality is exceptional. Everything is tight, there are no loose seems, no glue overruns, and no imperfect cuts. Normally you would credit this attention to detail to the fact that Arc’teryx gear costs a buzzilion dollars, but the fact that these boots are competitively priced within the category should be a wakeup call to Arc’teryx’s competitors. Arc’teryx is proving here that there is no excuse for shoddy build  quality in this budget range.


I go back and forth on whether waterproofing boots is a good thing. One thing is clear: I like having dry feet. Logically that means you should want waterproof boots. But here’s the thing: if your waterproof boots leak and your feet get wet the water cannot get out except through the very, very tiny hole by which the water entered. In a lot of cases then the key to dry feet is to have breathable boots that let your feet get wet initially, but dry quickly. Therefore, if your boots are going to be waterproof it is CRITICAL that the waterproofing be 100% effective. The best hiker of our generation, Andrew Surka, has an amazing piece on this problem if you are interested, click HERE to read it.

To test waterproofing I ran my standard “fill the bathtub up to the VERRRRY top of the boot and stand it the water for 30 min test.” The Bora Mid’s did exceptional: After 30 min no leaking of any kind was found. This may be credited to the fact that the inner boot (where the gore-tex layer is found) has only one seem, and therefore only one place to fail. It should be noted here that I have owned three pairs of the Bora Mid’s closest natural competitor, the Salomon Quest 4D, all of which have leaked terribly from day one. The only other boots I have owned that have done this well are the much heavier, and slightly more expensive, Asolo TPS 520.

I promise, there the bathtub is full of water
I promise, there the bathtub is full of water

Also of note, because the outer boot is completely hydrophobic and the inner layer has good waterproofing I found these boots to dry exceptionally quickly: Take them off, turn them upside down and all the water in the boots basically drains right own. The inner boot does absorb some water, but because they are so breathable they dry quickly.

Water beads right off of the outer boot
This picture was taken instants after the boot was removed from being submerged. Water beads right off of the outer boot


The Bora Mid’s use an deep vibram outsole with an interesting Y shaped pattern on the heel. Arc’teryx claims that this shape helps with braking on downhill (more on that below). Of particular interest is the size and shape of the lugs. The lugs on this boot have more in common with the intense lugs found on backpacking boots than with mid-weight hikers. This is because one of the place that boot makers in the mid-weight category save ounces is by cutting down on the depth of the tread in outsoles. While this does save weight, it also decreases the life of the boot. Because Arc’teryx saved so much weight with the laminated, compared to nubuck leather, outer  they can get away with putting a bigger, better outsole on the boot. In sum, this means that the Bora Mid’s soles should have a service life much closer to bigger, heavier backpacking boots while still being lighter than most mid-weights.

Notice the deep lugs and Y shaped heel
Notice the deep lugs and Y shaped heel


Arc’teryx uses a pretty standard lacing system. It is worth nothing that they seem to have stolen my favorite feature from the Salomons: the bottom most lacing eyelet has a lace capture system that holds the laces across the top of the foot tight. While this makes untying your shoes take a little longer, I have found that this type of lacing system keeps stays tighter throughout the day, keeping your heel tightly in the heel box and reducing heel blisters.

The magic eyelet. Notice the small ridges inside which catch the lace and hold it tight across the heel.
The magic eyelet. Notice the small ridges inside which catch the lace and hold it tight across the heel.

Real World Use

In total, I have put 37,382 hiking steps into these boots. Since this is the first part of this series, a few of things about my testing process:

1.) I live in Phoenix, Arizona and it is summer right now. That means that the vast majority of these miles are going to come on sharp, rocky, steep hills in 100+ degree heat. Short of walking on a volcano, these are just about the worst conditions you can put a boot through.

2.) While conditioning I almost always carry a 50 lb pack.

3.) I’ll be keeping track of my steps hiked using this nifty mileage-to-steps converter.

So, in short I think it is fair to say that these 1,000,000 steps will be just about the hardest 1,000,000 steps that you can put on the boots. Sharp rocks, steep hills, hot temperatures, and heavy guy with a pack– I would expect that under normal use the boots will wear less than whatever results I find.


After my first three hikes in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve system I think I can say a few things for sure:

1.) These boots brake exceptionally well. Maybe this is due to the fancy heel shape as Arc’teryx claims, maybe not, but regardless I feel much much more confident in downhills that I have in other boots of this class.

2.) The included insoles are a joke. On my very first hike I noticed that I was getting a little bit of heel slipping. Since these boots felt like they fit like a glove, this was surprising . A quick look at the insole makes the problem clear: the included ortholites are stupidly thin.

I replaced the stock insoles with a pair of superfeet green, which alleviated the heel slip and added support throughout the boot. My guess is that Arc’teryx knows that people who are going to spend this much on boots have their own insole preferences, and I know no other other boot manufacturer includes a decent insole, but it still drives me nuts. When you spend $270 on a pair of boots you should not be expected to go out and bring your own insole!

That being said, the elastic band on the top of the inner boot makes getting the insoles in and out a little harder than usual. It is doable though._DSC5779

3.) The elastic band is a blessing and a curse. It makes ingress and egress annoying– essentially you slip your toes in and then yank on the pull tabs until your foot pops into place. However, the elastic does a really good job of keeping debris out of the boot. I also suspect it will help keeping the inner boot from flooding when you step into that stream that is just slightly too deep (within reasonable limits, of course).

4.) The boots are (kinda) hot. Early reviews at Backpacker suggested that this boot is hot. To me, this is a relative issue. Compared to an all leather boot, like my beloved Asolo TPS 520s, these boots are amazingly cool. Compared to a non-waterproof mid-weight boot though, they are downright hot. I would say they are slightly hotter than other boots in the category, but not unreasonably so.

5.) Most importantly, early indications are that these boots are indestructible. If I haven’t made it clear already I think these boots most natural competitors are the Salomon Quest 4D’s, Lowa Renegades, and Vasque St. Elias. I have owned all those boots, and subjected to the trials of Phoenix craggy trails they all have started to show wear very, very quickly (for example: my last pair of Quest 4Ds lost a piece of the outsole on day 2 of use; these trails are really hard on boots). I’ve gone over the the Bora Mids boots with a fine toothed comb and for the life of me I cannot find a single sign of wear on the sole, outer boot, or inner boot. I’ll keep you posted on this in later reviews.


In my short time with these boots they seem pretty amazing. Well constructed, well waterproofed, comfortable, and light, they might just be the ultimate mid-weight boot.

However, I keep coming back to a serious, critical mistake that Arc’teryx made with this footwear series. At risk of being repetitive, I’ll say it again: These boots are little brother to the Bora2 Mid, which have a removable inner boot. In this way, you can change the inner boot out to match the conditions, which sounds amazing. Hypothetically, you could have a waterproof boot inner for when it is going to rain, a insulated one for when it is cold, and (most importantly for a desert dweller like me) a fully breathable one for the other 95% of the time. However, Arc’teryx is not offering a non-waterproof inner boot, significantly limiting the usability of the system. For example, with their breathing holes on the side, these boots would have been perfect for my trip up Aravaipa Canyon last weekend had they offered an non-waterproof option. Until they close this gap, buy the cheaper non-removable inner Bora Mid. If you really want and insulated boot, put that extra $145 ($50 for the difference in boot price, $95 for the insulated boot liner) towards some super warm socks.

HOWEVER, these boots should be judged by their own quality, not on the unfulfilled promise of the of a system. Measured on their own merit these boots are amazing. They have an outer that seems as tough as a full leather boot, waterproofing that actually works, and the tread of boots designed for much heavier use than anything in the category. In other words, these boots take all the amenities you love from your big bad backpacking boots, put them into a boot lighter than most mids, and do that all while remaining competitively priced. We’ll really know in about 962,618 more steps, but early indications are that YES, THESE ARE THE BOOTS YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.

Keep up with the 1,000,000 step review by checking our 294,835 step update HERE and the 514,061 step update HERE.

Want to buy them? Please support Lesser Places and purchase them using these links for MENS or WOMENS.  For the removable inner Bora2 Mids click here for MENS, womens not available at this time. Doing so costs you nothing extra and we get a little extra cash to keep this site running.

Disclaimer: This post, and all posts on LesserPlaces, may contain affiliate links– links that allow me to receive a small kickback at no additional cost to you when you shop through them. This is how we keep the lights on. 


Max Wilson is a graduate student studying ecology at Arizona State University. You can follow him on twitter @maxomillions. Don’t forget you can follow Lesser Places by email, or on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram using the menu at the top of the page.

36 thoughts on “THE ARC’TERYX BORA MID ONE MILLION STEP REVIEW: Steps 1-37,382

  1. Thanks for the awesome review! Definitely keeping these in mind next time I need a new pair of boots. I’ve been looking at heavier backpacking boots because of all the crap I carry, but the appeal just ain’t there weight-wise. Hoping and praying that the last they’re built on matches my feet because I really don’t wanna mess around with the modular system lol.

    Also, I feel you on this: Insoles. My Keen insoles failed on me smack in the middle of the TCT. Blisters of pure evil came shortly after. Yeah, yeah, we’ll replace them, but man, at least give them just a little more oomf or something! They were practically new and I used them for ONE backpacking trip before that. Not gonna make the same mistake with Arc’teryx if I get them!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! The insole thing realllllly drive me insane– when you spend $270 on boots its reasonable to expect them to have decent insoles. On the upside, I’ve found investing in a couple of really good pairs can add enough extra support to make the really heavy backpacking boots unnecessary in all but the craziest conditions. My Asolo TPS 520s don’t really get much use anymore…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right? I got some great insoles and they make a huge difference, but it would be nice if they were an option/perk and not a total necessity practically out the box! I was looking at Asolos too, and they’re um…intense. Glad to hear I can work around those for the most part. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I’ve been back and forth on these boots for a few days and your review helped seal the deal. I had a few concerns on the Vibram soles. I live in Alaska and am forever finding myself fully exposed on jagged rocks or on a 45 degree angle trekking across an avalanche warning field. The Vibrams tend to harden quickly in colder temps and my current boots have left me with little to no confidence in these situations. Most recently exposed at 4000ft in the middle of a hail storm, I felt more confident scooting down the rocks on my rear than I did stepping down in my boots. I will add that I’ve hiked 33 miles in the same conditions, with a pack on my back in my Lontra toe shoes and felt like I had monkey feet on those rocks. I would like to think Vibram has a lower and higher end of their sole and these Arc’teryx will be at the higher end for grip in cold wet conditions. Do you have any feed back?
    For lack of finding consumer reviews, I called Arc’teryx this morning. The slip you mentioned in your heel, they also acknowledged by suggesting we go down a half size from our normal boot. Input? I am 90% convinced this is my boot. Arc’teryx does have a return policy IF the tags are on and they’ve not been worn. For that I’d most like to purchase from REI who will guarantee my satisfaction for one year, however they only sell the purple ones for women. I have no problems spending money on good gear, it’s spending that money and being disappointed that makes me want to find a new hobby.
    Thanks again for the review.


    1. Hi, Tracy–

      I’m glad you found the review helpful! Just so we are clear about my experience with the boots so far, I have about 250,000 steps in them, mostly in really hot (100-110 degrees) rocky conditions. The coldest I have been in the boots has been a rainy morning in the mid-30s. That being said, my experience has been really positive.

      The boots did require a reasonable break in period (25-30 miles) but now they feel like they were made for me. No more heel slip at all! They do fit a little narrow, so that is something to think about if you are going to order down a size.

      More to the meat of your question, I have been very satisfied with the grip. The term “Vibram” covers a really wide range of products, from heavy, gripless but bullet proof backpacking soles all the way to smearble climbing soles. Shoe companies generally work with Vibram to develop specific soles for their products as well, which they then protect as a trade secret. Even within brands vibram is not always consistent– the rumor is that Arcteryx is using a different blend on the high top and low top versions of these shoes alone! That being said, these are the stickiest boot sole I have come across. Contagrip, which Salomon uses, comes close, but is also far less durable. If you really, really need stick you might want to look into an approach shoe (basically a blended climbing/hiking shoe), but you will lose a lot of support, and that is really another can of worms.

      I can’t promise that my experience will match yours– Alaskan winters are way colder than Arizona summers after all– but I would be really surprised if you weren’t happy with these boot from a grip perspective.

      I too have been really surprised at the lack of customer reviews. Maybe it’s because no one carries the boots in store? It’s awfully scary to buy a pair of boots blind. I still have not seen another person wearing them.

      So in summary: long(ish) break in, super comfy, really sticky for a boot. I should have a 250,000 step update up next week as well with more details and pics.

      I hope that helps!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for a great multi-part review!

    Since you seem to be familiar with Quest boots also, can you comment on the sizing and general fit of Boras compared to Salomon Quests? I am currently on my second pair of Quests, expecting GTX liner to start leaking soon, and Boras seem to be a fair alternative. Unfortunately I have no possibility of trying them on, so any pointers on whether I need to size up/down, to be aware of narrower or wider last etc. would be great.

    I have a slightly wide foot with medium/high arches and Salomon last fits well with a thick hiking sock; snug in the heel, not too restrictive around arch and wide enough at the ball of the foot/toebox so I do not need to size up (and end up with a too long shoe, with arch supports in the wrong place). Quests stay put and I have zero heel slip even without tightening laces to a death grip. Is Bora fit anything like this?

    Also, could you possibly use outer shell alone (with bare feet, or with a thin sock) as a wading shoe, and keep gtx liners dry in your pocket when crossing deep streams? This would eliminate the need of separate camp/wading shoes completely…



    1. HI, JD–

      Glad you have enjoyed the review! I’m going to try to answer each of your questions in turn:

      1.) FIT COMPARED TO 4D: As you mentioned, the fact that no one is carrying these in store makes figuring fit out an absolute pain. Compared to the 4D I would say the Bora’s are slightly (1/8-1/4 size) smaller. It is also worth noting that these boots have a break-in period, so you might not love them day 1 (part of why I think they aren’t being sold in stores– REI doesn’t want to deal with first day blister returns). For me these boots got rapidly more comfortable on every single hike until I had about 50 miles in them. However, this makes figuring out if they fit even harder, as you will be playing the ‘Do they not-fit, or do they need to break in’ game. I guess If you are worried about fit, the best option would be to buy from a place that will let you return after hiking in them (e.g., REI, which carries the non-removeable liner, Bora Mid, model online).

      2.) WADING SHOES OPTION: That’s an interesting idea– just a reminder though, only the Bora2 Mids, not the Bora Mid, have removable liners. I don’t own the Bora2 mids, but I did just do a 3 day Aravaipa Canyon trip (95% in creek wading) in the low-top, non-GTX version of this shoe, the Acrux FL, and they were perfect. To your specific question, I think this might work for short creek crossings, but not for all-day-in-the-water trips. A few reasons why this is: a.) the outer is REALLY tough, it would beat the hell out of your feet in thin socks with no padding; b.) Since the insole sits inside the bootie, you are losing a lot of arch support; and c.) the insole+bootie combination takes up a huge amount of volume in the shoe, so at the very least you would need to wear expedition weight socks to compensate for this loss. If pack weight is the reason you don’t want to carry camp shoes, you could by another pair of liners for creek crossings and then switch back out to your dry liners after crossing. This would obviously be much lighter than carrying creek shoes.

      I hope all this helps!


      1. Thanks, I really appreciate the info 🙂

        Unfortunately I do not have access to REI, so returning is literally a pain. I can live with the long break-in, but usually if boots are too small for me, they are too small around the ball of the foot and it rarely gets any better or stretches out with time.

        That in mind, good to know that Boras fit slightly smaller than Quests. Sorry for the 3rd degree, but can you elaborate whether they are smaller in width, or in volume (or both)? Do you think that this difference can be offset simply by using thinner socks (as other reviews indicate that you could manage with thinner socks since Bora liners themself provide some padding)?

        Regarding wading: I had short creek crossings in mind, and specifically Bora 2 model with a removable liner. Usually I need to carry Crocs-type sandals for crossings and also to wear in camp. Now, since removable liner could work as camp shoe, and I could wear only outer shell for crossings, separate sandals would be not needed. Of course, a second set of liners would work for wading as well, but my experience about wading sock-type solutions is that they take forever to dry and do not protect my feet enough; liners are probably even slower to dry given the GTX membrane.


      2. No problem!

        They seem to be smaller all the way around, but especially in the toe box. However, while stepping the boot flexes at the toebox, and this opens things up a little bit (this is the shoe version, but it is the best picture I can find of what I am talking about In the same size I have gone from a heavyweight (in the 4Ds) to a mid-weight (in the Boras) sock, and this has comfortably offset the change in size for me.

        On wading: if short creek crossings are what you want, I don’t see any reason why this shouldn’t work. Your feet will have way way way too much space in the boot, but that isn’t too much of a problem for 10-20 yards.


  4. Unfortunately waited til last minute to buy new these boots before a trip and now home with a pair but still a bit unsure about size. Was reassured that you said they fit snug, because I had to go up a full size from my usual to find a pair that didn’t feel too tight across ball of foot, base of toes. But that leaves a bit of space up front and at the toes. Heels aren’t slipping but I’m feeling funny about buying 11.5 when I usually wear 10.5-11.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi max! First off, this was the most detailed first habd user review out there. Awesome job!

    Im on the fence on buying this model, the bora 1, so im wondering, if you have an updated input on how it held up after a year or so?

    Thanks a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Ferdie–

      I’m glad you liked the review! Thanks!!!

      I’ve got about 700,000 steps in the boots now. You can read the 250,000 and 500,000 step updates at these links:

      In case you don’t have time to read boot reviews all day I can summarize for you: they have held up INCREDIBLY well. The waterproofing is still at 100%, the out soles look fine, and the outer shells are going strong. The longer I’ve had these boots the more impressed I’ve become.

      Since Arc’teryx has still (inexplicably) failed to come out with a non-waterproof liner I still recommend the Bora over the Bora2. If you’re looking to buy Amazon and a couple other stores have them for almost $100 off right now ($209 on some colors/sizes). There are links to the Amazon sale price above in this post.

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.



      1. Hi Max!

        Good to hear! I will definitely read those post updates. And looks like I’m Sold on this boot.
        I’ll look into the Amazon links as well and see where the best savings will be. I’m decided on the
        non removable liner as well, for we don’t have that much snow here in Vancouver.

        Thanks so much for putting this up and keeping us all up to date. I’m sure it will help others as well
        on deciding future purchases.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Ferdie! Good luck finding a deal on the boots– They’ve gone up a little lately, but if you keep your eye’s peeled I’ve seen them drop below $200 a couple of times in the last year.

        See you on the trails!


  6. Hi Max!

    A bit of an update on my end. So, I pulled the trigger a couple weeks ago and bought them online.
    I went with my usual 10 size, and they fit relatively snug and well. Received it Thursday night and wore it the next day at work. Then Saturday came and I hiked in them (It was here that I developed a blister on my right foot, my left foot had the hot spot but I was quick to remedy it with my reliable bandage.) I know it was too early for me to hike 8.6 mile of steep ascend/descend on them in a cooler than normal summer weather (it was overcast and foggy), which probably cause the blister and hot spot. I submerged it in mud, and cold water, which probably made my feet and socks a little damp than normal, or could be the punishment on my feet with the steep ascend/descend that made my feet sweat a lot. But I still love how this boot protected my foot. I rolled my ankles countless times on loose rocks and unstable terrain but still felt that extra secure fit that protected my ankle from sprain.

    Overall, happy with the boots, and like you said in your review, it looks like this will last a good number of years.The sole on mine after this first hike looks dirty but very minor surface wear. To sum it up, this was a good buy all in all and worth the dollar you spent. And yes, the insole needed to be replaced from day 1.



    1. Hi, Ferdie–

      I hope they work out for you! I’m sorry to hear you got a blister first trip out. Being so tough these suckers do take a bit of a break in. I hope they break in as well for you as they have for me.



      1. Hi max!

        The blister was completely my fault. Lol. Didnt have the patience to wait break it in and use on the trail.

        But now its hot spot free now. And i now think they’re beginning to become part of my foot now. They’ve been breaking in fast and they feel awesome now!

        No regrets buying this shoes, and your in depth review really helped a lot in the decision process.

        Thanks again! And continue writing great articles! Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Max, thanks for the great review.

    I found these boots at REI on Saturday and loved the fit and many of the features you described above. I bought the Bora Gore-Tex (non-removable) with nubuck upper. After a snowy climb on Sunday I am very happy with the purchase. I did find that the design, with the separate inner, seemed to provide extra space for snow to sneak in and melt into ice (both inside the inner and between the inner and outer), so gaiters would be especially useful for this boot. The leather upper helped keep my foot warm in 0 °F, 20-40 mph windy conditions, but I still might try to find a somewhat warmer sock for the next trip.

    I wanted to let the readers know about a problem I had. On that very first hike yesterday I encountered a lot of small rocks and boulder mixed in with 0-3 ft snow. I’m not sure if it was a rock or just the strain on the laces, but one of those locking eyelets fell right off the boot. It looks like it cracked at a wider metal plate that is presumably still under the upper. I contacted Arc’teryx and they said they’re aware of the issue and working on it.

    I love everything else about these boots, so I am going to exchange them at REI when I can. In the near term they’re still usable, and I hope I don’t have the same problem again. I’m comfortable depending on the REI/Arc’teryx combined lifetime guarantee and the eyelet issue isn’t critical if it does recur and I have to replace again (I can wait until it’s convenient to send/exchange them).

    Anyway, wanted to let everyone know about that. Keep in mind, if it was a rock that hit the eyelet then gaiters might help protect it.


    1. Hi, Kurt–

      Thanks for the info! I’m sorry you’ve had trouble with your pair. I have a few friends with these boots (though none with the leather version) and none of us have run into that problem, so hopefully yours is an isolated case. Hopefully REI and Arcteryx do the right thing and take good care of you.

      Thanks again!


    1. Hi, Erik–

      Surprisingly, no. There is very little space between the inner and outter boot, and I’ve found that any water that gets in gets pushed out the side vents quickly. I was so impressed in how well they drain that I actually bought a pair of the shoe version of these boots (Acrux FL) to use as a dedicated canyoneering/wet wading shoe. Been super happy with them in that capacity.

      Hope that helps!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, I understand. And you have neither had an issue with debris, like gravel or sand coming in between the layers and mechanically wearing the parts down? BTW, on my Boras, I initially snapped one of the lace locks off, which I’ve also done on a Salomon boot with the exact same lace lock design (like the design similarity you mentioned, which might have something to do with Salomon and Arcteryx being in the same corporation). This has never happened before on any of my previuos mid or high boots from other brands, and I therefore see it as a design flaw.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve never had such a problem on the Boras, but I lace tight and usually hike in pants so there isn’t much room for entry. I have noticed a lot of gravel gets between the inner and the outer when wading with my Acruxs, but these haven’t caused any wear that I’ve noticed. My Acruxs are the non-waterproof version, so I don’t think I would notice a little pin hole like I would on the waterproof Boras.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Max,
    Thanks for the great review. I’m just now reading it but I’m glad it’s here! I just went back to the beginning to see if you mentioned anything about the fit. Perhaps you did but I don’t recall now. Did you size up at all to allow for thicker socks? And, did you have a thumbs width of space at the toe? Or did you just buy the same size as you would wear in a normal shoe?


    1. Thanks, Barbra! I bought the same as I would in a normal shoe and I found them to fit nicely with a medium weight sock. I do, however, have a pretty low volume foot. Hope that helps!


      1. Thanks Max! I just was reading through all the questions and was learning some about people’s experience with the fit. I think my foot is medium and maybe on the wide side. I’m worried about my feet being cold so I was wondering whether to allow room for a liner and a full cushion sock. I won’t be hiking in snow (maybe a small amount) but from what I know it’ll be chilly at the end of Sept in the Colorado Rockies at 12,000-14,000 ft. Haven’t ever done it before! I guess the Gore-tex will provide some warmth. Do you think they’ll be warm with a medium weight sock?


      2. No problem! If you are actively hiking I think you will be fine. Everyone’s cold tollerance is different, but I’ve worn mine down below zero F and I’ve never had trouble while hiking. Sitting still in camp for extended periods of time might be a different, but I don’t have much experience doing that in very cold weather.


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