The dark horse of the boots: Mammut Kento Guide High GTX
Since #NewBootGoofin launch of shoes in the goHUNT Equipment Store, my knowledge of mountaineering brands producing shoes worn by western hunters increased. Many well-known brands started today as dedicated mountaineering boots and then branched out into hunting specific models. While some weren’t designed for the hunter, they had everything stiff, deep hunters were looking for in a boot.
Throughout my research, a brand has established itself as a sort of dark horse, at least in the field of hunting: Mammut. Hunting, fishing and camping in the West – especially Montana – my feet got used to stiffer boots. So when I chose the Mammut boots that I wanted to test, I went for the goHUNT stiffness scale and opted for the Mammut Kento Guide High GTX. I have about 25-30 miles on these boots so far in all of the conditions you would encounter for fishing and archery hunting (other than the constant hiking in the snow) in Montana and here is it that I discovered.
Specifications of the Mammut Kento Guide High GTX boots
|Weight||3 lbs – pair (size 10)|
|Compatible with crampons||Strap-on dildo|
|Lacing system||2-zone individual lacing. Can be adjusted to the person and the situation|
|Manufacturer’s warranty||2 years|
Montana, spring / early summer, recreational hikes / camping / fishing.
Nubuck leather, GORE-TEX lining, dual zone lacing, full rubber band, lightweight for a stiffness level 5 boot.
Best conditions for the Mammut Kento Guide:
This boot easily chews up any terrain, from gentle hills to craggy summits covered in shale. The specific hunting seasons that I would wear this boot would be from Spring to Bear at the start of rifle season; however, this boot excels in all areas in between. Take note: it is not insulated, so if you are using it in colder conditions (less than 35 degrees F), consider using a thicker sock.
Finish / fit / construction:
I ordered a half size larger than my usual tennis size. It was perfect for me and I would recommend the same to most people. The fit was very secure and had no heel slippage. The initial inspection did not reveal any defects or manufacturing defects. Even after the first eight mile hike covering all kinds of terrain, they looked new with no damage from dead wood falls and rock scuffs. I will recommend that you have at least a solid five mile test hike for a ‘break-in’. At first I had problems with my left ankle on the first walk, but the next time I wore them it was fine. An interesting feature regarding the fit is that the ankle has a 3D foam membrane, which contributes to comfort and adapts to each foot the longer they are used.
Tip / lacing:
There seems to be a theme common to most European-born mountaineering shoe brands and that is narrow toe. Maybe Americans have fat feet compared to Europeans – who knows? Joking aside, I don’t think that’s the case with the Kento guides. I have a normal width foot and have had no problem with cramped toes in the toe area. Of all the boots I’ve tested, this pair has my favorite lacing layout. With the two-zone lacing, you can really adjust the lace pressure where you want for the perfect fit, which is a big plus! Also, the lace they use looks finer than most which worried me at first, but it had no problem holding in place in the fabric eyelets as well as the metal eyelets up to the point. ‘at the ankle. I have tried different lacing configurations and have not had any slip issues of any kind.
The goHUNT stiffness index is 5; my grade would be 4.5. The first thing you will notice out of the box is how light these boots are. Several times on a hike I felt like I was wearing a light, stiff trail shoe. Although my foot is used to stiffer boots, I didn’t have any pain and I didn’t feel tired either. The side slopes and straight verticality were impressive due to the increased rigidity.
Grip / waterproofing / soles:
Like many boots, this boot features a Vibram sole designed by Mammut to improve grip. Mammut is big in the climbing world, so the grip of this shoe was great. I had no problem crossing dead ends, crossing streams, or jumping from rock to rock in scree fields; the grip was still solid. Regarding the waterproofing, there was no problem. I made sure to intentionally cross the streams at a slow pace or just stick to them. As long as I didn’t have water on the top of the boot, my foot was completely dry. Like most boots, the insoles weren’t fancy, but they worked well. I replaced my custom orthotics shortly after the first trial hike and would highly recommend pairing them with a set of sheepskin or other orthotics from Gear Shop.
This is my favorite pair of boots in my range so far. From a fit, construction, and stiffness perspective, I’m glad I took a chance on a brand that I wasn’t familiar with other than a little internet research. They are going to be my go-to archery boot due to their light weight and versatility in most conditions at the start of the season. Another thing to note is their affordability. At $ 270, it’s a real bargain! Most boots of this caliber are in the $ 325 or higher range.
If you have any questions, post them in the comments or message me on Instagram!
To go get yourself a pair of rad boots below.
As always, stay safe and hunt hard!