Review: Kenetrek Mountain Extreme NI

Long have I sought the ideal mountain boot: lightweight, for easy travel on long treks into the high country, but also sturdy, for scrambling up rocky slopes and safeguarding my ankles under the weight of an elk quarter. The boots must also be flexible and have great traction, for surefootedness on uneven terrain, and be waterproof for stream-crossings and wet weather. And they need to be comfortable. That’s a lot to ask of a boot, but the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme NI (non-insulated) delivers in spades. With 10” full-grain leather uppers and a reinforced rubber sole guard, these babies will take a beating and barely show it. The malleable K-Talon outsoles grab the ground like gecko feet, and at less than two pounds apiece, agility comes easy. Here’s the best part: the company’s based right here in Bozeman, so you can get expert advice on fit and available options before you buy. Available at the Kenetrek showroom in Four Corners. $445;