Just over two years ago I wrote a review on a new pair of hiking shoes I’d gotten: The BLACKHAWK Tanto Light Hikers. I was impressed with them after a couple weeks of wear, but it’s been two years now. I thought about that as I pulled them on yesterday and decided to give them a quick inspection prior to wearing them again.
As I examined them I remembered that I’ve replaced the laces twice. The shoes originally came with an elastic/bungee set of laces with a cordlock system and I wore the laces out about six months into ownership. One of them frayed through. Unable to find a similar set of elastic, cord-locked laces, I settled for using typical tie-laces for about a year. Then one day I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods store and saw a replacement pair of elastic laces that weren’t bright white (the only thing I could previously find). These were black and cost about $4. I bought two sets. At home I immediately laced up my Tanto Light Hikers and was delighted to have my “slip on” hikers back in action.
The soles show little signs of wear even though there are a lot of miles on these shoes. They (obviously) no longer look new, but I’d guesstimate that I have another couple years’ worth of wear left in them before the soles become a problem.
I took a close look at all the seams and stitching, especially where the suede and nylon mesh upper sections came together. I couldn’t find any frayed stitching or places where the various suede and mesh panels were separating.
I examined the joint between the soles and the uppers, including a careful look where the sole joined the rubber covered toe and the toe joined the suede upper. Again, I could find no points where the materials have separated.
Finally I took a close look at my replacement laces – having had them in place only a couple months – to see if I could find any frayed spots. “No luck.” They stil looked intact and strong.
Slipping them onto my feet I snugged up the lacing system and tucked the excess into the lace loop closest to the toe. Standing in them I paid attention to the arch support that made such a strong impression on me two years ago and realized it was just as supportive today as it was then.
Satisfied that my Tanto Light Hikers were still quite serviceable, I decided to do this update but wondered if the price tag had changed. I can’t even remember what they debuted for those years ago, but today, on BLACKHAWK’s website, the MSRP is $99.99. That’s not a bad price for a pair of quality hiking shoes but I hate to pay more than I have too. I did a Google search for “BLACKHAWK Tanto Light Hiker” and found some for as low as $62.50 plus shipping. THAT’S a far better price (more than 33% below MSRP!).
So, if you’re in the market for a new pair of hiking shoes, check them out. The reviews on the BLACKHAWK webpage for them ar majority positive and my own experience tells me that they are worth the $$.
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