My first impression of this boot was kind of like, “oh great a new boot to test out that I will likely never ever wear. This ought to be rich.” BUT as I quickly discovered, these boots have unseen powers that will make even the staunchest of critics rethink their opinion of the glamour of orthotic footwear and the reintroduction of the infamous moon boot. I will outline the “unseen powers” as well as the obvious benefits I have found over the last year and a half of wearing this shoe and boot nearly everyday. A mountain hunting boot IT IS NOT but that is never what this boot was intended to be.
Right out of the box you can immediately see that the new FAT TIRE GTX from Under Armour is nothing like you have ever seen before in a boot or shoe. Except for those of you that are closer to my age bracket and can remember the brief stint of Moon Boots to the scene. Despite their new and unorthedox appearance these boots have technology and designs that have been around for 20+ years. Under Armour partnered with Michelin and Boa Technology to incorporate some very unique technology into an industry changing boot and later into a groundbreaking trail running shoe.
I wore my first pair of #FatTire boots initially on my morning hikes and trail runs, beginning in mid January of 2015. It took some getting used to, mainly because of the added cushion soles that I wasn’t used to in a boot and the mildly rounded bottom of the sole itself. And here is when I discovered the FIRST unseen benefit to this boot that I’m not sure even the creators had in mind. But here are my discoveries with nearly 2 years experience with the #FatTire.
Even though I’m young yet, I am lucky enough to have arthritic joints. Thanks Mom. Particularly my shoulders, hips, knees and feet. When I consistently wore these boots on the trail I discovered that the lower half of my body was feeling better and better each day. I couldn’t attribute it to healthy eating or supplements of choice as everyone knows that I’m a convenience store food junkie, but I was feeling better. The more I hiked and ran with the #FatTire the better I felt. I also noticed the muscles around my knees and feet getting stronger. The only thing I can tell is that due to the somewhat rounded “orthotic” shape of the sole and the added cushion of it’s design, the core of my legs and feet were getting stronger. To this day nearly 2 years from beginning, I have much less hip, knee and ankle strain. And that is why I try to wear either the shoe or boot everyday. Now if they would only make a camp pad under 1 lb that would have the same effect I could be void of shoulder and neck pain on the mountain too. Moving on.
Bigger, stronger, faster and sexier. At least that is what my wife says. I was so glad to see UA move this technology into a shoe and later a flip flop so that I can literally wear a #FatTire nearly everyday and in almost any situation. They also just very recently at the time of this posting came out with a laced solid version that might just have to be my Sunday go to meeting shoe. I am also proud to say that I have converted my Son, Daughter, Wife, Father in Law, Brother in Law, Sister and multiple Friends to the unique powers of the #FatTire juju.
UNSEEN POWER #3
The power of conversation. It seems like wherever I go when I am wearing these shoes or boots, someone stops me and asks me about them. It is likely because of the uniqueness of their design. But it often leads to a discussion not only of the shoes but also into life, interests and ultimately hunting. I owe a couple new friendships to these shoes and also one or two new hunting spots because of a conversation that began with a weird shoe and led into a map on the hood. That is just one of the great things about the hunting community and outdoor enthusiasts. These are people that know how to live and they know what they ultimately deserve out of life. To this I am grateful to represent not only the hunting industry but also so many great companies and brands.
GENERAL HUNTING USAGE – The Boot
Remember, these are my opinions formulated from my experience with these boots. They are not a mountain hunting boot. They were not intended to be a load bearing, scree slide hoping pare of boots. They were meant for basic mountain hunting and trail hiking and running. I’ve hunted in them plenty and had no real issues to gripe about. If you have unreal expectations from these or any piece of gear that you use then you are only setting yourself up for disappointment and for your gear to fail. Understand what they were built to accomplish.
- Comfort – I found these boots to be extremely comfortable all day long and were easy to pop on and off to cool or dry my feet during the heat of the day.
- Water Resistant – Although I never really had to forge a river or aggressive stream, I did have some light rain to deal with. My feet stayed dry and the boot did its job.
- Quiet – After I figured out how to calm the squeak with some light dirt on the laces, stalking and hiking in these boots was extremely soft and quiet.
- Sexy – We all have our own quirks and style to be sure but for me I just think the unique ruggedness of these shoes and boots are dead sexy. To each his own.
- Squeak – Right out of the box the boots squeaked. I know others who have the same issue. I thought nothing of it really and just threw a handful of trail dust on the tongue and poof, problem solved. For me this was a non issue but I know for others they didn’t like to have to deal with it.
- Support – Or lack thereof. Even though I have relatively strong ankles and have never had a sprain I did notice that there was little ankle support to this boot. You really have to crank the boa system down to get it tight enough to offer you the support you would need when bearing a load or walking the side hill home.
- Size – You may consider going up 1/2 size when ordering the BOOTS. For some reason the boot version runs a tad small. I have had no issues with the sizes on the SHOES.
I have absolutely no complaints with the shoes. They are simply awesome! And now there are many more styles and colors to choose from for Men, Women and Kids.
Basically if I were to sum up my personal experience with the new FAT TIRE GTX from Under Armour I would have to honestly say, life altering. Not that they have mystical powers or that they have made me a superman on the mountain but that they have offered me a unquestioned proof that they have made me better. Not a better athlete or hunter but a better me. I am stronger. I am faster. And I feel better. It is extremely rare that you can have one or two things that you can unequivocally point to that is the answer. But I know that for me, this is true. I also have tangible evidence to back it all up. Until a better technology comes along to replace what they do for me I will continue to don my funny looking shoes, and smile inside with every step that I take.
Here is some basic information that can be found on the underarmour.com website. Individual styles and products may vary.
- OFF-ROAD TECHNOLOGY MEETS ULTIMATE CUSHIONING.
- Inspired by off-road fat tire bikes & with help from Michelin, we’ve created the perfect outsole compound & traction pattern, supplying excellent cross-slope grip and all-terrain performance.
- Complete impact protection, unparalleled energy return & adaptive support – that’s what Charged Cushioning® gives you. It’s also bottom-loaded with a softer, high-rebound foam that morphs to any terrain
- The upper is engineered with a high-performance outdoor textile that features bonded abrasion panels so you can run with total stability & rugged protection
- Breathable & 100% waterproof GORE-TEX® membrane is built to keep you dry at all times & is thoroughly tested to guarantee performance even after serious wear & tear
- Boa® Closure system features an easy to use click & turn dial with stainless steel laces to lock you in quicker, tighter & more comfortably than ordinary laces
- Cupron® Anti-Fungal Pro Fibers reduce odor & kill 99.9% of athlete’s foot fungus after 12 hours of contact with the sockliner
- 2015 “Outside Gear Of The Show” Winner
- Height: 7”
- Weight: 18 oz.