Review: Cheap boots.. Winner!

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Review: Cheap boots.. Winner!

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 29 Nov, 2018 9:43 am

Review: Decathlon Trek 100 high cut boots. (also known as Forclaz 500)
Price paid - $120. Now increased to $135
Weight – Claimed 505g per boot. My scales – 540g per boot
Does ½ sizes.
High gusseted tongue – Prevents water seepage through the tongue area.
Upper – leather.
Mid sole - PU

Store - ... _5_5_eu_39


I usually wear shoes when bushwalking however two 5-6 day trips in mountainous terrain with snow, mud and river crossings resulted in a decision to purchase a pair of boots.
For the limited use I didn’t want to spend big $ on a brand name and Id heard the euro sports mega store decathlon had opened in Sydney so I decided to have a look.
Decathlon are home brand mass produced bargain priced sports gear.

Let’s see how they held up.

Initial try on and street walk.
Comfortable and fit well instore. There are a ton of shoes/boots lying around and so I was a bit sneaky and grabbed a size 8 for my left foot and size 8.5 for my right. (as the right is slightly larger). Was no problem at the checkout.
I removed the cheap insole and put in my trail walking shoes insole.

I walked for about 2-3 hours each day around the streets for 3-4 days to break them in. (3-4 days seemed about right for the break in time)
They have quite a lot of flex, so the only breaking in part is for the PU midsole. Everything else was comfortable for me straight out of the box.
The boot is well padded inside and the soft ankle cuff was good as I have problems with my achilles if I wear a boot with a hard cuff.
These boots have a PU mid sole. Which is a more durable/stable mid sole but does need a break in period and is initially less comfortable than a EVA mid sole. During the initial break in, I did find the sole a bit uncomfortable on my heels after about an hour of walking on hard city streets. Trail/grass was comfortable.

Now Ive broken them in street /hard fire trail is now very comfortable. And firetrail/ track /off track use the sole is also very comfortable for me.
Fits my gaiters well.

Trip one: 6 days Kosciusko trip. 14 kg pack
A late October trip with mud and lots of ankle high slushy snow melt. Walking on and off-track on tussock grass, snow and fire trail. They performed well. Good support, the waterproofing held. No problem with comfort when walking on small rocks/uneven terrain. Grip was good on all terrain types. Good temperature control never felt hot or cold. 3-7 degree evenings/mornings and 10-15 degree days.

Trip two: 5 days NZ trip. 12kg pack.
Lots of mud, some technical scree and dirt accents/decent and numerous stream/river crossings. Again, performed well. Still waterproof (even while standing ankle deep for over a minute in a flowing creek on several occasions). I managed to keep my boots dry on several doubtful crossings (water almost gaiter topping level) using the fast skip/hop technique combined with tightly fitting gaiters.
One crossing was a bit sketchy and thigh deep, so the boots got wet. Internals of the boots dried reasonlably quickly (for a boot) despite wearing gaiters and constant mud/water on outside. (Just over full day and half to dry. Socks and inner sole were wrung out a few times)
Up to 18 degree days and boots didn’t feel hot.

All up Im very happy, especially considering the price paid. Great support, comfort, good grip and the water proofing was rock solid. No sign of wear and tear on the boot yet and I’m hard on foot wear. My trail shoes would usually have a couple of scars to the midsole or material upper by this stage. Sole showing slight rubber wear in a couple of spots.

An interesting note is Decathlon have changed the website description indicating the intended user group of the boots. When I purchased the shoes were marketed as "designed for mountain hiking for one to several days in all weather conditions on technical terrain". Now they have changed it to "Made for cautious trekkers walking on vehicle-going roads" :lol: maybe too many people were buying the trek 100 boots and not enough the heavy leather and more expensive trek 500 boots.

More pics



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Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
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Re: Review: Cheap boots.. Winner!

Postby wildwanderer » Sun 27 Jan, 2019 8:20 am

A bit of extra info on how these boots should be used.

Its important to keep in mind that because these boots are low cost, the rubber grip wont last as long as a high end more expensive compound such as Vibram.

Your experience may vary but I expect to get 2-3 years of use out of these boots. About 3 trips of 5-7 days each per year.

If your planning to use these boots on a daily basis or as your regular bushwalking shoe/boot for weekly walks then the rubber grip won’t last. However for those (like myself) who usually wear trail runners for bushwalking, these inexpensive boots work very well for longer trips (a few times a year) where mud and snow melt will be encountered.
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Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Posts: 682
Joined: Tue 02 May, 2017 8:42 am
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

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