When that peak calls your name, answer it with the Assault GTX. From the minute you tighten the laces, you’ll know this boot is built with your year-round backpacking trips in mind.
- NestFIT system cradles your feet, accounting for every contour as it follows the natural flow and design of the foot. Upper, insole, midsole, and outsole come together like never before.
- HyperGrip sole provides traction in any condition.
- Lightweight, variable-density Zero-Gravity EVA midsole joins the sole and insole to create a supportive whole.
- Triple-density EVA insole supports the arch, cushions key strike zones, and strengthens your stride.
- Molded leather heel system for superior lateral support.
- Full-length NestFIT shaped nylon shank between insole and midsole provides plenty of protection from varying trail conditions.
- Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable membrane for dry feet.
- Measured size 9
- Weight – 610 g (21.5 oz)
- Forefoot width – 102.1 mm (4.0 in)
- Retail – $190
Early in the fall I was sent a pair of TrekSta boots to test out. I only briefly heard of TrekSta before this review and never owned a pair of their footwear. TrekSta is a relatively small company out of Idaho that has been making footwear for a couple years now. I would saw more but it is tough to find out much detail on the company.
I have been testing the TrekSta Assault GTX Boots for a couple months now. I have taken them on several hiking trips with both lightweight and heavier packs, a snowshoeing trip, and around town.
- Construction (30%) – 4.5
- Sustainability (10%) – 1
- Materials (15%) – 4
- Weight (25%) – 3
- Lacing (10%) – 4
- Appearance (10%) – 3
The TrekSta Assault Boots are a well made boot. They feel nice a sturdy and made out of quality materials. The Assault GTX Boots are a waterproof boot with Gore-Tex lining. To aid in keeping debris and water out the boots have a gusseted tongue as well. What really makes TrekSta stand out is their 3D NestFIT Last. This last mimics the human foot. TrekSta has measured over 20,000 individual feet to create a 3D design of the shape of a human foot. Unnecessary gaps are filled and extra space is allowed in the places your feet need it most. Upper, insole, midsole, and outsole work together in unison to provide unrivaled comfort. Variable density EVA & PU in the insole and midsole offer both cushion and support. The best way to show this is through an image taken from the TrekSta website. When looking at the images, notice the shape, it is not generic like many other manufacturers.
The Assault Boot is a combination of these different parts to create a good fitting boot. The boots have a different look to them due to this shape. When looking down on them you can tell right away that their shape is different. These boots also contain a full-length NestFIT shaped nylon shank. This provides protection for the foot from the trail and rigidity for support. The boots have a fairly simple lacing system. The bottom three loops are webbing, the middle two are metal loops and the upper two are metal hooks. This allows the user to use several different lacing techniques to find what works for them. The Assault GTX Boots use the TrekSta HyperGrip Outsole. This outsole is a proprietary rubber compound that provides several key features. They include superior traction on wet and dry surfaces, exceedingly wear resistance, strong and stable grip, lightweight, and won’t degrade or discolor. The sole extends up over the toes to protect from rocks as well.
As you have seen in the image above, the structure of the boots can be broken up into 5 sections. The upper is made of synthetic leather with Gore-Tex membrane sandwiched between it and the inner lining. There are several seams over the top of the boot but these have not leaked or been uncomfortable in anyway. The inner lining has a soft feel to the touch. The insole is made of three different densities of EVA polymer to give the correct amount of support to each area of the foot. Basically this means that the insole has varying foams of different firmness for more comfort. The midsole also follows this similar theme as it is made of differing density Zero-Gravity EVA for comfort as well. There is also a shank layered between the midsole and outsole made of nylon. Lastly the outsole is a proprietary rubber compound which is described above.
The only drawback I notice with the materials chosen is that none of them are mentioned to be “green” or recycled in anyway. While it appears that they are all top quality materials, I wish a more sustainable alternative could have been found.
- Toe Box Width (20%) – 4.5
- Midfoot Width (20%) – 4
- Heel Width (20%) – 4
- Volume (20%) – 4
- Length (10%) – 3.5
- Cuff (10%) – 4
The TrekSta Assault GTX Boots are comfortable right out of the box. I was able to put them on and did not feel like they had a break in period. I am normally a size 9 and that is what I am testing from TrekSta. They do run slightly large but not enough that I needed to size down. The boots fit a medium volume foot like mine well. The heel and midfoot also feel like they are medium width while I would describe the forefoot as on the wider side. On one of my hiking trips I did get some blisters on an extended climb. I have worn these boots several times after that and not had an issue. Like with any new boots it takes some time to figure out the best lacing technique. I think this was the primary cause for me getting the blisters.
The boot upper is a bit stiffer than some others I have tested. This is to be expected since there is a Gore-Tex laminate sandwich between the layers. While it is on the stiffer side, the upper is still plenty comfortable. TrekSta is really intriguing, the NestFit is a different concept. Even if you pull out the insole you can see the contours on it. I think they are on to something here, make the boot to fit your foot, not making your foot fit the boot.
- Water Resistance (20%) – 5
- Breathability (15%) – 2
- Versatility (15%) – 3
- Warmth (10%) – 3
- Traction (20%) – 4
- Flexibility (10%) – 3
- Support (10%) – 3.5
The TrekSta Assault GTX Boots are made for year round backpacking. They feature a Gore-Tex membrane that keeps your feet dry in all situations. I wore this boot when crossing a couple of stream and on a snowshoeing trip and water never got inside. If you take a look inside the boot you can see the Gore-Tex lining and how impressive the finishing is on the inside. I tried to take a picture of it but it does not do it justice. Now the drawback to any waterproof lining is the lack of breathability. While many of the manufacturers are making progress here, membranes are just not as breathable as fabrics without membranes. This is true of these boots as well. Make sure you have a good pair of wicking socks to help transport moisture away from your foot. This moisture is what causes blisters.
Even thought the boots are on the warm side in the summer they are not necessarily the best choice in the snow. I wore these on a snowshoeing trip and they performed quite well; my feet were dry and comfortable but cold. There is no added insulation to these boots so if extended periods in the snow are planned I would opt for an insulated boot. On alpine adventures where you may cross snowfields these are still a good option. The traction on the bottom was good for a variety of surfaces. I never felt like I needed more traction whether in loose dirt, snow, or wet rocks. The nylon shank in the boots is flexible. Though it is flexible, it does protect the foot well from sharp objects along the path. This also helps with the stride as they transition heel-toe well.
Not to harp on the aspects of the NestFit last of these boots but they offer a good amount of support. I took these on a hiking trip with a full pack and felt like the boots offered all the support under foot I needed. The boots are like other hiking boots in that the cushioning is firm.
Overall I have been really impressed with my first pair of TrekSta footwear. The Assault GTX Boots are a good all-around hiking boot for a variety of conditions. I do not think I would wear these on hot summer hikes where I knew the conditions would be dry or for extended trips in the snow. Not that they would not work under these conditions, but I have better options available. For most conditions I think these boots are an excellent option. They are very comfortable and fit the shape of my foot really well. I will admit that the shape of the boots are a bit different than what I am used to but if they are comfortable then I am all for it. Making sure you have comfortable footwear on backcountry trips is a must. If you have not looked at TrekSta before I would suggest giving them a look. They make only a couple models of shoes and boots but each one is made out of quality materials and made to fit your foot. The Assault GTX Boots retail for $190 which is comparable to other Gore-Tex boots on the market. As always, your mileage may vary.
- NestFit Last
- Gore-Tex Membrane
- Traction across a variety of surfaces
- Lacing allows for many different lacing techniques
- Gore-Tex membrane restricts breathability
- Not insulated for extended trips in the snow