These Eco Boots Were Made for Walking; Through Wind, Sleet and Snow

HiTec Boots K. Butler

Guest post by Kathie Butler.

Winter is upon us. For many of us, this means our delicate strappy sandals are now shoved to the back of the closet, only to be replaced by footwear that resembles something possibly worn in war trenches. But just because it’s cold and damp outside, it doesn’t mean we have to sheath our feet in block of concrete. There are options out there to stay dry and fashionable.

Like what? (She asks, as a friend calls to report snow flurries are falling in Chicago.) Recently, I had the chance to check out a new, eco-friendly boot from Hi-Tec. The Altitude Enviro WP boot provides some serious coverage for our feet. They are made with waterproof vegetan, which is derived from a process that uses less chemicals while tanning. They also contain 50% post-consumer recycled nylon lining. The boots have a recycle metal steel shank for support, while the hiking outsole contains recycled rubber.

Which is all fine and eco – but how do they feel? If you are looking for support to get you through the slush of the winter months, these are a great choice. Your feet literally feel like they are encased in the protection of a ski boot, but they are surprisingly light and mobile. In other words, you’re not clomping around at risk of tipping over at any minute. The boots tie snugly just above your ankles, providing great support and an excellent sealant against the elements.

The Altitude Enviro WP’s also perform well on the hiking trail. I recently took a pair for a spin and found I was able to easily traverse some complicated terrain in them. And yes, they are waterproof. I splashed through a stream to test them out and my feet remained dry. My jeans didn’t fare so well, but them’s the breaks.

But their best feature may be that they don’t immediately read like your typical (see: ugly) hiking boot. I’m not saying you want to pair them with a cocktail dress, but throw them under a pair of jeans and they can pass for street wear. Which is handy when you’re navigating streets filled with snow drifts. Since many of us are forced to sacrifice fashion for comfort in the winter months, this are a nice compromise for our toots.

Click here to learn more about the Alitude Environ WP and check out Hi-Tec on Facebook.

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Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.