Schnee's Kestrel Boot Review, By Jon Troxell

EmanP223

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
150
I'm glad I came here to read the reviews and think that it was just me that thought these sucked.

After 1.5 years wearing my Beartooth's at work where I walk 5 - 8 miles a day, they're needing to be resoled and are the most comfortable boots I've ever had. I like them so much I just got another insulated pair and right out of the box they feel wonderful just like the first pair.

I also got a pair of Kestrels thinking that these would be the ones I needed for the warmer 6 months of the year to wear at work. Wearing them in the house for the last 2 days I am not impressed. They feel just as stiff as the Beartooths and the heel lift is terrible. Just sitting down I can pick my heels way up out of the cup. Today I tried lacing them tight just to help break them in and keep my heel down but had to peel them off after an hour and they were still coming out. I thought these were supposed to feel more like tennis shoe boots and they are nothing like the 4 pairs of Solomon GTX's I've gone through which are like tennis shoe boots right off the bat but don't last 6 months.

I don't know I'm going to chance wearing them outside to break them in only to find that they still suck and not able to return them. That's way too much money to risk. That last eyelet by the ankles needs to be moved 1/4" back or something for the heel lift. It's soo annoying.
 

kyro

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
13
I was on the fence about the Krestals and after reading the reviews i got the divide mid..took about 40 miles to break in and now they are awesome
 

wiiawiwb

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
653
Location
In the mountains
@EmanP223 Sorry to hear about your experience with the Kestrels but glad to hear about your better experience with the Beartooth.

@kyro I tried the Divide Mids, as they had every feature I wanted, but they just didn't fit right for me.

Based solely on the recommendation of Matt I decided to try the Kestrels. They will arrive tomorrow and I will post my thoughts about the boots as I wear them around the house.
 
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xcutter

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
1,039
Location
Connersville, IN
Mine are getting better but still getting heel rub. Not so much of heel lift but where the rubber rand comes up the the heel digs into me. Hopefully it will soften up. Wish they would of not designed the rubber rand to come up as high in the heel portion and would of been lower like the Timberline's or Beartooth's. Anybody else noticed this? Causing me some pain.
 

xcutter

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
1,039
Location
Connersville, IN
Anyone else using the Kestrels with Sheepfeet insoles? I think that could possible be part of the problem with me getting heel blisters. If I put a thinner less supportive insole such as the Superfeet Guide insole I don't have near as much heel rub. It basically gets that rubber rand in a better position on my heel.
 

wiiawiwb

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
653
Location
In the mountains
The Kestrels are just not for me. I'll gladly admit that they may loosen up and be as comfortable as I had hoped. I'm just willing not to put the time in without knowing whether there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I like the concept but they don't offer me the comfort that the Timberlines or Absaroka offer.
 

xcutter

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2014
Messages
1,039
Location
Connersville, IN
Key to these boots working for me better is not using my Sheepfeet insoles. Just don't fit in the boot correctly I guess. Gives me heel blisters. Did a 3 mile hike yesterday with 285 feet of elevation change with no blisters. Boots are getting more comfortable every time I wear them. Wish my Sheepfeet would work in them though as the superfeet insoles aren't nearly as supportive for my flat feet.
 

Coloradobill

Newbie
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
1
Hey all, just received my 9-wide pair all the way up here in North Vancouver, BC. I've been looking for a softer soled mountain boot since I switched to 0-drop running shoes (Altra), and having grown up in Colorado, I did a lot of hikes growing up either barefoot or in vans. I also grew up skiing and climbing, so I know what cramming my feet into a mini stiff hole feels like for the sake of performance. Ouch. I'm a 9 wide with a high arch. For reference to you wides out there, my left foot is 110mm wide and my right foot is 108mm wide. I wish more people would list their foot measurements, width and all! How else are we supposed to know how your review correlates to our feet. Let me share some first impressions.

Fit: Oh my god there's no way these are wides. Talk about a "technical" fit - like my ski boot. You can see the insole width compared to my old kenetrek ME's, which are also 9 wide. Pretty disappointed in the "wides". The toe box is 100% a mountaineering boot toe-box - I'm highly suspicious that these boots are made on some standard Italian mountaineering boot last that is intended for ye ol' crampon compatible boots. Pointy toe and everything. I placed my kenetreks side by side with the schnees so you can see the difference in toebox shape. They probably just upped the volume for the "wides" rather than having a different last with a wider toe box. Would love to hear if I'm wrong here though, but the insole photo speaks for itself. I'm going to try hard to break them in because I already paid like $70 in tax and duty, which is nonrefundable. I may take them to my ski bootfitter for widening. Actually, I'm 99% sure I will. Sunk-cost fallacy in action here folks.

Feel: Definitely stiff out the box, but not kenetrek stiff - like a plank of wood under my feet. Took them on a 6 mile break in hike with ~3,300 ft elevation with no weight on my back after I buffed them up with kenetrek goop. Well, like I already said - they're definitely not wide. But, the sole is amazingly grippy. Like really, really nice. Great sidehilling. Great climbing. Lots of granite slabs here - you can edge on them like a mountaineering boot, but that may change as they loosen up. I could feel them beginning to flex more as the hike went on, indicating that I'll probably be real stoked on how they feel after the 40-50 mile break in period. They were REALLY nice on the descent. Stable but I could feel the ground a bit, unlike the kenetreks (plank of wood feel). But now my pinky toe hurts lol.

All of these impressions will change as I break in the boot more. I can keep y'all up to date if you like. Make no mistake, if you don't have ogre feet like me, these are really, really, really nice boots that are obviously well made. They just are not wide.

Edit: Also forgot to mention, no heel lift for me whatsoever. No hot spots or blister either, just chinese foot binding.

Edit 2.0: Got the boots punched out by a ski boot guy I trust with my feet here in Vancouver and they fit much better. More updates as I scout/hunt probably.
 

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