Hoffman Boots is a fourth-generation business located in Kellogg, Idaho. Their mode of operation has always been to offer “high quality, functional products at a fair price.” The Hoffman name had been familiar to me for years, since they produce top notch logging and lineman boots. But they’ve only been offering hunting-specific boots for a short time, so they weren’t really on my radar until recently.
This past March I attended the Western Hunting Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah. On the very last day of the Expo, I stopped by the Hoffman booth and had an excellent conversation with Jim Hoffman, the son of the company’s founder. A few minutes into the conversation a light bulb went off, and I was dumbfounded to realize that this excellent company was located only a couple of hours from me! At that moment I made the decision that I’d be running a pair of Hoffman’s this hunting season.
Among their many stellar offerings, one in particular stood out to me. It was a prototype that hadn’t even been named at that time, but has come to be known as the 6” Summit. To me, they looked like a mix between Hoffman’s more traditional style of hunting boots, combined with the mountaineering style of boots that I’ve come to prefer. Jim told me that he was adding a few more tweaks to the design, and that they’d be available within the next couple of months. And then the Covid Conundrum really began to take its toll and every industry began to suffer. Since Hoffman’s factory is located in Italy, their manufacturing came to a grinding halt shortly afterwards.
I’ve been keeping in touch with Jim since the Expo and was ecstatic when he told me last week that they’re here. FINALLY! My order was immediately placed and my pair of 6” Summit boots arrived this past Friday. At first glance they definitely give off more of a hand-made vibe than the majority of the upper echelon, but mass-produced boots that currently dominate the market. I first noticed the ample padding around the ankle area and the stiff midsole; both great for hiking through uneven and rough terrain. A full rubber rand was added to help protect the leather uppers from abrasion. They sport a long-wearing Vibram Dolent outsole, that really digs in while traversing steep inclines, and performs equally well on steep downhill descents. A SympaTex waterproof membrane is used to keep your feet dry in inclement weather. I have no experience with SympaTex products, but my research shows that it’s comparable to waterproof technology from GORE-TEX. The primary difference being its breathability characteristics operate through a different mechanism. While the various GORE-TEX ePTFE membranes all function by transferring moisture through pores that are too small to allow water back in; SympaTex is not porous, but is comprised of a hydrophilic polyether-ester polymer that expands and allows moisture to escape through the molecule chains. This means that the warmer and more humid that it is on the inside, the more moisture the membrane is able to transport out. Regardless of the science, ratings show that the performance is very similar to that of GORE-TEX, and Hoffman would not be using this technology if they didn’t stand behind it.
So far I’ve only put a few miles on these 6” Summit boots and have plenty of break-in to allow for. But from what I can already tell, and judging by Hoffman’s uber positive reputation, I already know that these boots are going to prove a stellar choice for this season.
Right now, Hoffman is offering an introductory price of $285, which is $40 off the regular price. What perfect timing to take advantage of a sale! With Hoffman’s fast shipping, you’ll have a solid month to get your new boots broken in before the September opener. And like always, be sure to tell them that your friends at Traditional Bowhunter® Magazine sent you!
- Contour cushioned dual density PU insole
- SympaTex waterproof/breathable inner bootie
- 5 1/2 mm nylon mid-sole
- Vibram Dolent outsole
- Full rubber rand
- M/W width
- 6” height
- 3.8 lbs./pair (size 9)
- MSRP: $325.00