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One Boot to Rule Them All: Testing The North Face Ultra GORE-TEX SURROUND® Mid Boot
Protection, support, and breathability all in one. Find out why The North Face Ultra GORE-TEX SURROUND® Mid boots should be your next all-purpose footwear.
<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jim Burch from </span></i><a href="https://9to5hiker.com/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">9 to 5 Hiker</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> puts the latest boots from The North Face with GORE-TEX SURROUND® product technology through both mountains and desert in search of the ultimate all-purpose option for any hike. Read his review and check out the video below!</span></i> <span style="font-weight: 400;">I’m a big believer in minimalism. While some gear collections look like the inside of an REI, I like to keep it simple. I use the same tent for both </span><a href="http://www.gore-tex.com/blog/car-camping-101-12-basics-know-head/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">car camping</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><a href="http://www.gore-tex.com/blog/hiking-and-backpacking/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">backpacking</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the same sleeping bag, and just a few, select items for almost everything in the outdoors. I can’t say the same for my footwear. </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">I typically use two different pairs on the trail—a light, breathable pair of trail runners for high temps and dry terrain, and a durable, waterproof pair of leather boots for snow, water, and added ankle support. I’m not the only hiker to use this one-two combo, and I’d venture to guess I’m not the only one searching for one pair to rule them all.</span> <img alt="The North Face Ultra GORE-TEX SURROUND® Mid Boots" class="image-embed alignnone" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/blog_images/Screen-Shot-2017-07-31-at-9.21.14-AM-690x511.png" title="" /></p>

<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">The North Face Ultra GORE-TEX SURROUND® Mid Boots</span></h2>

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The best pair of boots are the ones you forget you’re wearing. They should be protective, supportive, but </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">passive</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> at the same time. My old leather boots could survive a nuclear blast. They have excellent support and durability, but they’re also heavy, hot, and took </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">months</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to fully break in. They are definitely not ideal for the Phoenix heat, where I hike most often.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">I’m happy to report that I may have found the answer.</span> <a href="https://www.gore-tex.com/product/the-north-face-mens-boots-ultra-goretex-surround-mid-gore-tex-surround-footwear-side-ventilation-outlets-32070/32070"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The North Face Ultra GORE-TEX SURROUND® Mid boots</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> are light, soft, and supportive, my feet stay firmly on the trail with its Vibram soles, and the </span><a href="https://www.gore-tex.com/technology/footwear/gore-tex-surround-footwear"><span style="font-weight: 400;">GORE-TEX SURROUND®</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> product technology shuts out the elements </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">and</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is extremely breathable—which was always my biggest gripe with other waterproof boots.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">And believe me, I put these boots to the test.</span> https://youtu.be/9AHd7_eWU8w</p>

<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Comfort, support and style out of the box</span></h2>

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I took The North Face boots up the </span><a href="https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/inner-basin-trail"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Inner Basin Trail</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in Flagstaff, Arizona. At 9,500 feet, this trail had nearly every element I needed to test a pair of all-purpose footwear—switchbacks, loose rock, mud, and water. The varied mesh materials delivered a more “broken in” feel out of the box, compared to traditional leather boots, without sacrificing support. I am constantly a victim to rolled ankles on the trail, so I usually favor boots to trail runners. There were plenty of times I </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">could have</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> twisted my ankles, but the added support of the mid boots never failed me when I stumbled.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">The combination of lightweight mesh materials and strategically placed leather overlays don’t just offer solid support, but also create a cool look you don’t see in traditional leather boots. These could almost pass for high-top basketball shoes in either colorway available (black and orange or gray and blue). If you’re one for a little flash on the trail, these will definitely offer some pop.</span></p>

<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">GORE-TEX brand protection and VIBRAM® grip</span></h2>

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Arizona rocks are like oil slicks when it rains. The VIBRAM® soles gripped the trail as you would expect from an industry standard and the durably waterproof GORE-TEX SURROUND® product technology kept my feet bone dry as I hiked through mud and water. I had no doubts my feet wouldn’t soak but, more importantly, would they stay </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">cool?</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> That is the Achilles’ heel of most waterproof footwear and I wanted to test the breathability of the GORE-TEX SURROUND® technology in real heat. So I drove two hours south to hike them through the desert.</span> <img alt="Vibram sole on hiking boot" class="image-embed alignnone" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/blog_images/Screen-Shot-2017-07-31-at-9.23.02-AM-690x516.png" title="" /></p>

<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">Breathability in the desert heat</span></h2>

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it’s 90-plus degrees out with no cloud cover, your feet are likely going to get hot, so I started my hike through Dreamy Draw Recreation Area in Phoenix with my trail runners as a control. These shoes have no waterproof protection, so my feet stayed as cool as they possibly could, even in cushioned wool socks. Then I switched to The North Face Ultra GORE-TEX SURROUND® Mid boots and was blown away by the difference—as in there wasn’t much of one. </span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">These boots are mostly black, so there’s no avoiding </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">some</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> heat under the sun, but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of temperature control from a pair of waterproof boots. My leather boots would have created a sweat factory for my feet, but this pair with GORE-TEX SURROUND® lining kept everything completely cool and dry. I could have changed back into my trail runners for the hike back to my car, but The North Face boots were so passive (remember that important feature) that I didn’t even think about it until I was already back at the trailhead.</span></p>

<h2><img alt="TNF GORE-TEX SURROUND® Mid Boot" class="image-embed alignnone" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/blog_images/Screen-Shot-2017-07-31-at-9.20.54-AM-690x516.png" title="" /></h2>

<h2><span style="font-weight: 400;">The best of both worlds</span></h2>

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There will always be a time and place for lightweight trail runners and weighty leather boots, but </span><a href="https://www.gore-tex.com/product/the-north-face-mens-boots-ultra-goretex-surround-mid-gore-tex-surround-footwear-side-ventilation-outlets-32070/32070"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The North Face Ultra GORE-TEX SURROUND® Mid boots</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> are a fantastic choice for 90 percent of your hikes. They’re light, they’re supportive, but most importantly, they actually </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">breathe</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in the heat. That makes all the difference for me, and this pair will be seeing a lot more of the rock and sand before the summer is over.</span></p>
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