Like all things, footwear for backpacking is constantly evolving. As outdoor gear increasingly shifts from durable and bulky towards fast and light, traditional boots are being traded in for trail runners and hiking shoes. While this review won't include a cross benefit analysis of boots vs. trail runners (many of these already exist), I mention this shift because of its importance in understanding how traditional hiking boots are changing as a result. The subject of this review, The Kameng Boots by Mishmi Takin, is a boot that feels, fits, and performs differently than any boot I've experienced.
Funded off of a successful 2016 Kickstarter, I've had the pleasure of using these boots for the past several months. While they experienced the tail end of winter/spring (spring lasts about 5 days in Minnesota), the majority of their testing happened during a particularly hot and humid summer. Lets check them out!
General Impressions of the Kameng Boots:
The Kameng Boots by Mishmi Takin are made in Poland, designed for hot and wet environments, and built to be both breathable and waterproof.
- 2 lb 12 oz (per pair)
- OrthoLite foot-bed
- Vibram MegaGrip
- 100% waterproof and extremely breathable eVent membrane
- Water resistant Suede + Cordura upper for abrasion resistance and durability
Pros of the Kameng Boots:
While the Kameng boots have the ankle support and firm sole of a boot, they have the comfort and feel of a shoe. The inside of the boot is cushiony and snug, and upon receiving them, I was able to put long miles into these boots without needing to break them in (though it is certainly still advisable to wear them around a bit before jumping into an extended trip). If you are coming from a more rigid boot like an Asolo or Vasque, you'll be shocked by how comfortable these are in comparison. The stretch heel section is also great for downhill (it creates much less friction on the back of your heel when your foot is at an angle) and it also makes putting your boots on a simple (not a surprisingly arduous) task.
As a lifelong Superfeet fan I was initially a little skeptical of the OrthoLite inserts. While basic, they certainly add to the cushiony nature of the boots.
2. Great Sole:
Kameng boots have a pretty kickass sole. Its super grippy, and certainly allows you to step through streams with a pretty uncanny level of confidence. While you aren't safe from the occasional dense algae patch, these Vibram Megagrip soles do allow you to traverse wet/exposed rocks without the continual fear of falling.
Things to note about the Kameng Boots
While they advertise themselves as a lightweight boot, at almost 3lbs, they feel very similarly weighted to most other boots I've experienced. They aren't "heavy," but I wouldn't immediately jump to describe them as "light" (especially in relation to other exceptionally lightweight products on the market).
The only slightly odd part of the boot is the tongue. At times it seems to fit normally under the laces, but at other times it seems to be slightly oversized and unruly. You get the hang of it relatively easily, but at times it requires more attention than i'd like.
As a big proponent of trail runners for backpacking, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the Kameng boots. If you are looking for an exceptionally comfortable, supportive, and grippy pair of boots, the Kameng is a really excellent option.