Kenetrek Mountain Guides

idig4au

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Messages
528
Location
Back to Central Asia again...
Hey All,

I've been using the 1st generation Kenetrek Mountain Guide 400's for the past two years. Awesome boot once they were broken in and haven't had any issues with my feet.

After my first season, I noticed that my shoe laces wore in holes in the soft leather on the boot tongue on one boot and there was severe wear on the other boot tongue. I sent them back to Kenetrek's boot repair the past winter and they stitched in a leather patch over the holes on only one boot...they didn't do anything to my other boot even though that you can see there was serious wear occuring from the laces chaffing the soft leather.

Now after my second season. I just got back from my sheep hunt and now the soft leather region at the back of the boot (to allow it to flex above you achilles tendon) has completely seperated at the stitching from the tough exterior leather that is built like a tank. I can put 4 fingers through the hole! Of course, my other boot tongue they didn't patch up the year before also has holes from the shoe laces.

So needless to say, I'm not too happy with the durability of this boot and having to send it to them each offseason for bebuilding. So time for a new set of boots. It is my understanding after speaking with some dealers that Kenetrek has redesigned this boot model as they had some design issues with it. I couldn't have agreed more! So now they have a new Mountain Guide boot, which is currently on their website that supposedly addresses the isses. I've heard its a pretty good boot.

I'm tempted to try their updated model, especially if it fits as well as the 1st generation. But after the durability issues, as well as substandard boot repair (they should have patched both boot tongues if they knew there was an issue with the design), I don't know if I want to give them another $425 for another set. You know the saying, screw me once shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me.

I'm considering droping the coin and going with custom Lathrop and Son's Hanwag Trapper Elite GTX boots. I've heard good things about Lowa Hunter GTX extremes as well.

What do you all think is the best 10", insulated super stiff leather mountaineering boot out there? Should I give Kenetrek one more chance or jump ship to somebody else, and if so, who to?

Thanks
 

bobhunts

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
964
Location
Colorado Springs,Co.
I can not answer your question totally in the way asked. I have the boots in question and have not had the same problems regarding the laces wearing out the tongue. I wore mine during archery season a few times and one trip scouting prior and finally tried to do the finish break in during rifle season. I hope they are done being broke in as I will try them out again if it gets cold during archery season...then again during rifle season.. I do believe they are well built boots and they fit feet with the shape that they do. I have a pair of Lowa Tibets that I wore brand new on an archery hunt last year and again this year and not nearly as hard to break in. Since then I bought a pair of Crispi Maremma boots off Camo-fire to wear at work. They are more of a high type hiking boot lined with Gore-tex and when I first wore them at work they where a little sloppy in the toe box. I then put on an extra pair of socks under my worn out skin thicked UPS socks and low and behold I believe I found my new hunting boot. They are lighter than the two brands I mentioned before and with enough sock around my feet I really love these boots. They are stiff and just like the other boots mentioned above I like the fit after having more than a brown skin on my feet and so much lighter than the others. Lightness matters with a pack and all of our gear so I give these boots the highest mark regarding a hunting boot. Also I will say they are not just lightweight but are very stable and sturdy having wore them at work for about two months now. Now I'll see which one gets worn more for the last two weeks of Elk season as I leave Friday. I think I will try them all out in the real world and weigh them all out but I really like the Crispis.
 

bhtkevin

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2012
Messages
32
I have a pair of Crispi also and so far I like them a lot. Mine are the Kanada puchased off camofire also.
 

Yellowknife

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
1,671
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
I've had some similar issues with my Mountain Extremes. I haven't had wear from the laces, but blew out the stitching in the same place you did this year. Also had one boot sole pealing off after this years sheep hunt. I sent mine in for evaluation and I just got an email from them this morning offering to upgrade me to the "Guide" version for the retail cost difference ($26). If they don't offer you the same deal, you should ask for it. The heavier leather and better boot sole should help, and I (unfortunately) haven't found another boot that fits as well. If you do try the Hanwags, be advised that they run both smaller and narrower than the Kenetreks. I have a set of the Hanwags Alaskans that I like, but they actually have a much more flexible shank than the Kenetreks. Not sure about how the Trappers would compare.

Yk
 

fillthefreezer

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
2,804
Location
eatonvile, wa
I've had some similar issues with my Mountain Extremes. I haven't had wear from the laces, but blew out the stitching in the same place you did this year. Also had one boot sole pealing off after this years sheep hunt. I sent mine in for evaluation and I just got an email from them this morning offering to upgrade me to the "Guide" version for the retail cost difference ($26). If they don't offer you the same deal, you should ask for it. The heavier leather and better boot sole should help, and I (unfortunately) haven't found another boot that fits as well. If you do try the Hanwags, be advised that they run both smaller and narrower than the Kenetreks. I have a set of the Hanwags Alaskans that I like, but they actually have a much more flexible shank than the Kenetreks. Not sure about how the Trappers would compare.

Yk
i believe his issues are with the guide model...
 

fillthefreezer

Senior Member
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Jul 10, 2012
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eatonvile, wa
thats a good point, after only 2 years and having them repaired after 1 year seems like maybe an updated pair on the house is in order...
 

kenetrek

Newbie
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
3
Hey guys, Jim from Kenetrek here. We did make improvements to the new generation 2 Mountain Guide. It now uses better leather and is reinforced with Cordura nylon where the laces come in contact with the tongue. We will always strive to make our boots better in any way we can. We will also stand behind our boots 100%. The only thing we don't guarantee is that they won't wear out. So if you have some kind of defective failure, just send them back to us and provided there is still legitimate wear left in the outsoles, we will repair them or replace them. Hope this helps. Happy hunting!
 

Yellowknife

Senior Member
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Apr 9, 2012
Messages
1,671
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
Thanks for joining Jim.

In my experience, Kenetrek is first rate on the customer service side. Very fast response to emails and very helpful over the phone. I do suggest the OP give them a call.

Yk
 

kaboku68

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
210
Location
Alaska
Kennetrek.
I can say that I love the lacing system on my kennetrek Mountain Extreme 400s no blisters in tough rock. They are the best that I have used. Props again.
Sincerely,
Thomas
 
OP
I

idig4au

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Messages
528
Location
Back to Central Asia again...
I'll talk to Kenetrek and see what they have to say. Sure like the boots if they are durable and sounds like the second generation boot is an improvement. Will see what they have to say after hunting season is over. Sounds like they stand by their product, so that is good.

Thanks for the info regarding the Hanwags..doesn't appear they are quite stiff in the shank as the Kenetrek boots. Its good to hear people's first hand experiences with products.
 

Yellowknife

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
1,671
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
My new "Guides" arrived in the mail this week. First impressions are that they are VERY stiff. Nearly no flex in the mid-sole at all. In that way they are in a different class than the Kenetrek "Mountain Extremes", Hanwag Alaskans, or Lowa Hunters and more akin to heavy duty mountaineering boots. Whatever they used for a shank is stout.

Uppers appear to be made in a similar fashion to the Mountain Extremes, but with a much thicker 3.5 mm leather. That makes them very very stiff also, and unlike my former Mt Extremes they are going to require some serious effort to break in. Ankle support in spades.

Good news for people that have had a hard time getting Kenetreks to lace tight enough is that this version gives plenty of room at the toe and tongue to really crank down. Seems like they have heard those complaints. As Jim said, they have also added cordura re-enforcement on the tongue to handle lace wear. The patch of soft leather on the heal is still there (like on all boots of this class) and may be a weak point, but it's also a common failure point on other brands of heavy leather boots.

The sole is a very aggressive crampon compatible Vibram. Time will tell if they do as well on wet rock as the in-house "K-Talon" soles, but I'm certainly not worried about wearing them down anytime soon. They also have plenty of rocker, which is needed in a boot that has a shank this stiff.

I use my boots quite a bit, so I should have a better idea of the relative strengths and weaknesses by next fall. Initially I would say that the Kenetrek marketing is correct, and these boots should be primarily used by people hunting in the nastiest of steep ground. They will be too stiff and heavy for most people on most hunts.

Yk
 
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