Hi-Tec Hiking Shoes Review/ Initial Review of Hi Tec Pioneer WP shoes

 

Hi-Tec Shoes is relatively unknown brand in India. Launched by a Dutch entrepreneur in 1970’s, It’s a popular name in UK but in rest of  the World, it’s a different story. Despite this, it does have a good line up of hiking shoes in India though  availability of  models is not regular. Hi-Tec brand manufactures wide variety of shoes apart from hiking shoes.

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It’s always good to have more choice. Availability of hiking shoes in India  is fairly limited. Following are common  brands that one usually comes across- Columbia, Quechua (Decathlon) and Wildcraft. Few standalone stores do offer popular international hiking and trekking brands but the prices are steep and  choice is limited. It works well for those who want serious trekking stuff like North Face or Marmot. Then there are other brands which offer “trekking look” essentially a non technical shoes like Weinbrenner, Fila, Woodland etc. One can call them “faux’ hiking shoes.  While it might be perfectly okay to wear them during your holiday to hill stations in Uttarakhand or Himachal Pradesh, using these during a serious multi-day trek might not be desirable.

 

Few months ago, I came across Hi-Tec hiking shoes on Amazon while searching for replacement of my old worn out hiking shoe. This replacement was only for shoe that I use extensively during treks in Aravali hills. It wasn’t meant for multi-day treks in the Himalayas.

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Features listed on Hi-Tec Pioneer WP hiking shoe box.

Among all listed Hi-Tec hiking shoe models on the site there were only 2 models which were available in my shoe size. I didn’t have a problem in selecting one. I chose Hi-Tec Pioneer WP shoe. WP stands for water proof.

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Hi Tec Pioneer WP shoe, during trek

Here is a small video posted by Hi-Tec brand on Youtube.

 

 

Finish & Quality. The shoe is good for its price – Rs 2750. One cannot compare this model with other expensive hiking brands or models; comparison should be done with similar products only. At this price, there isn’t much to choose except one by Decathlon. Hi-Tec Pioneer WP is  at par with similar models from Decathlon like Quechua Arpenaz 100 Men’s waterproof shoes. The finish is marginally better than decathlon product. The shoe doesn’t feel heavy. It feels  quite light in comparison to the Quechua Arpenaz 100.

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Un-boxing.  Hi-Tec Hiking shoes- Pioneer WP

 

 

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Hi-Tec Pioneer WP shoe

In use: I’ll rate this shoe 3 out of 5 on a scale of 5. The shoe worked just fine walking through the river stream; waterproofing is great.

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During of the treks in rains and streams. Hi-Tec Pioneer WP hiking shoes

The real problem that I faced with this shoe is not the quality of shoe or material; it’s great for the price specially since there aren’t many models to choose from in this price bracket (among technical  products). There were two areas where this shoe didn’t work well for me. One, the sole of this shoe didn’t perform well while walking on gravel and loose stones ; my feet started aching after walking for  300 meters!!  None of my earlier shoes had this issue.  Two, it didn’t inspire enough confidence on a wet rocky surface. I experienced  lack of good  grip on wet rocks resulting in slippage. This problem was reported even in Quechua Forclaz 500 by some people though I never met any during my usage. Out of above two issues, I will probably overlook the second one since we don’t trek much on wet surface here in Aravalis. The first issue is something that bothers me though. I suspect that treads of this shoe aren’t deep enough & therefore causing this issue. Toe support is excellent in this model. Breath-ability is always a concern with waterproof shoes; Hi-Tec Pioneer  WP is no exception on this front.

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Hi-Tec Pioneer WP hiking shoe sole, the treads are not deep, which might be causing issues I faced.

I will not recommend this shoe for multi day Himalayan trek as it doesn’t inspire enough confidence for those conditions. If you trek occasionally for few hours may be in jungles and woods,  it’s a good buy for this price. But I haven’t found any special reason why you should choose Hi-Tec Pioneer  WP over it’s alternative Decathlon’s Quechua Aprenaz 100. With Decathlon’s warranty in place, you need not think so much. I’m not sure if that’s the case with Hi-Tec brand, at least in India.

This review is based on my personal usage during 2-3 months in Aravali hill range. I’ll add more details after using it for 6 months.

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Hi-Tec Pioneer WP Hiking Shoe– on one the treks, close up!

 

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3 thoughts on “Hi-Tec Hiking Shoes Review/ Initial Review of Hi Tec Pioneer WP shoes

  1. Great Product review Arvind. The entry level boots are always lacking in those important things that make a lot of difference when hiking. I have always believed in investing in a good trekking boot. You gave fanastic insights for beginners looking for their first boot for occasional hiking purpose. Reblogging this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vaibhav! It’s always a problem while scouting for reviews on hiking products in India. While I’m not an expert I have tried to give honest opinion on this product. It’s true that better quality product will always win hands down. Given the fact that there are lot of new people who are hiking for the first time and are not in a mood to invest much and some are constraint for budget implies a different segment looking for budget shoe. Just tried helping them so they don’t end up with wrong choice.
      You always free to reblog anything you find relevant…after all the write up is intended to be read by wanna be hikers! Thanks for sharing your views! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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