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Review: Blackhawk! Tanto Light Hiker boots

This entry was posted by on Wednesday, 11 May, 2011 at

While the regular M90 army boots are great, they can be a bit hot in the summer. So I went looking for a lighter pair of shoes at Blackhawk! and 5.11. Skidder already bought the Black Ops boots, so I tried them on first. Well, great fit and all, but still a bit warm, and especially high for in the summer. 5.11 didn’t have any spectacular boots in their online shop, so I started looking for Blackhawks choice in shoes. Now I saw the Tanto Light Hiker (TLH) before, but didn’t really inspect it because it was mid-winter. Now I have them and lets start the review!

First look: The boot is available in two color settings, desert tan and stealth grey. I went for the grey because the tan boots really scream “Hey! I’m a hiking boot!” to everyone. The grey ones are more subtle. Few blue accents around the boots, Blackhawk! logo on the back. The lug sole really gives traction on any terrain I’ve encountered so far, and it has the tendency to lose all the dirt. The front and back of the shoe are protected by rubber, so you don’t damage the nubuck leather when you bump your toes or heel. The laces are of some kind of elastic material, more on that later.

Sizing: Well, it was a bit of a guess here. I tried on Skidders boots, which were 9 Wide I believe, and they were good. So I mailed Blackhawk! for the sizing of the shoe and they told me the shoe was quite wide by itself, so the Medium would probably be fine. I took the risk and got the Medium. Fits fine actually, but the first week I noticed that my toes were a bit close to the top of the shoe (even though I don’t have abnormally huge toes). Eventually I fixed this by taking out the sole and scraping a bit off of it at the toe section. Worked like a charm, now they fit fine. The shoelaces are something special: elastic. Looks like the stuff they use on backpacks to put your drinking bottle in. This is handy for putting it on and taking it off, takes virtually no time. And the elastic is strong enough to keep the shoe on while walking and even running. Nice find there Blakhawk!

Heat: I bought this shoe to wear during the summer when my feat want as much cooling as possible. They do a great job. The nylon webbing on the top side makes sure it ventilates enough on those long summer hikes. I also went and tested them while riding my motorcycle. This is when you really notice if a shoe breathes or not. At 50 km/h I really noticed the air flowing through the shoe, actually quite nice because it was hot that day.

Construction: Made mostly out of nubuck leather and nylon webbing, this shoe seems quite rugged to me. Of course they’re made for long hikes, so they should last a few kilometers. There is a 2/3 shank in the shoe, but it doesn’t feel like metal. Probably some sort of plastic. In the webshop Blackhawk! says al the nice things like “anti-microbial”, “self cleaning” and “Ortholite custom molded sole”. Not really sure if you actually notice these kind of things in real life, especially because the don’t give proper information on what it actually does. The sole feels nice though.

So far, nice boots. I’ll keep you posted.

2 Responses to “Review: Blackhawk! Tanto Light Hiker boots”

  1. I am looking for a pair of hiking boots and I like these Tanto light hiker boots, especially that they seem light. I believe that that hiking or walking for long distances requires light weighted boots, so thanks for this review.

  2. JakeOfOz

    I wouldn’t recommend this shoe for running, as there are no real laces to tie your shoe. A short run would be no problem ofcourse, but on the long run that will become problematic. For hiking they are actually quite good, but bear in mind that they have a rather thin sole, so walking on rocky underground could get uncomfortable, but that’s more personal.
    For walking or hiking in the forest they are okay, but when climbing a mountain or going over other rocky surface I’d recommend more sturdy shoes.

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