Peter Locates Excellent Cheap Backpacking Boots: Interceptor Tactical Footwear

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 05 February 2016

Peter is an excellent highly experienced solo cross-country backpacker. His engagement, analysis, observation and decision making skills are reliable and accurate in my estimation.

 Peter found an excellent cheap high quality boot suited for heavy backpacking, cross country scrambling, and even suitable for marginal Spring snow conditions.  

Let's let Peter tell it:

Before I started the TYT (2014), assessing my gear, I realized my current trusty boots would not be adequate for a 200mi trip, for various reasons. I searched sport shops, and even stooped to check Walmart. I was impressed by what I found, ankle high, waterproof, and seemed an ideal combination between support and flexible enough to break in easily, well-cushioned sole, and *not over-engineered* like so much footwear, with special patterns and stitchings that wear and catch. Rather, a very simple outer. Just under $50!

Interceptor Tactical Footwear box.

My feet are especially sensitive to new items, so I normally need to spend some time breaking my *feet* in to fit the boot. Typically I start with hour long hikes, and build up to 4-6 hour hikes over the period of several weeks, increasing the ruggedness of terrain and pack weight. Unfortunately, I did not have that luxury this time--I acquired the boots 2 days before blast-off--DEFinitely not my MO.

Resultantly, I had foot pain from day 2. Never-the-less, I completed the trail. (See my trip report: However, they are delightfully broken in now! Yet they still provide all-around comfort and solid support.

New and post-TYT Interceptor Backpacking Boots.

I was thoroughly impressed with these boots! They kept my feet reliably dry and warm--from trail water and perspiration. Sure, my feet would be damp in the evening, but not annoyingly wet like waterproof leathers would be. I would walk (or run) through creeks, wore gaiters, and as long as water did not over-top my boots, no water entered. The tops are flexible though providing secure support.

As you see in my trip report, I spent a LOT of time on snow, crossed dozens of creeks, bushwacked, scampered cross-country, and pounded miles of rock and dust trails. These boots were comfortable enough after a full day, I didn't need to tear them off for a more comfortable camp shoe. The midsole also provided very good underfoot protection. You know what the bottom of your feet often feel like at the end of a day on the trail? Ow! Not so with these.

The sole of a backpacker is always at their feet.

I highly recommend these, definitely among the best I've had over 40 years of hiking. I liked them so much, I returned to Walmart early 2015 and bought 3 more pair! Bring on the trails!

A 49 dollar high quality boot? REI must be freaking out...

Check out Peter's Trail Report on his 2014 TYT, and he's got an excellent site featuring some classic High Sierra Backpacking Trips that we should check out.

Peter AllSpice Hiking Adventures


For more information on how to select and break in boots check out the HIking Boot Selection Guide.

Have an excellent piece of gear that we should know about? A piece of junk that we should know to avoid? Post up your gear experiences in this Gear Forum.


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