Gear Review: UA Fat Tire Boots
Hilariously designed, yet entirely badass, go-anywhere GORE-TEX boots
Okay, let's get one thing straight. We too think these boots are insane looking. But if there is any piece of wild tech gear that's worth overlooking a splash of neon for, it's the UA Fat Tire Boot. Now that that's out of the way, let's get on to the review.
We tested the UA Fat Tire boots over a particularly wet weekend of camping this past fall in central Oregon, and were nothing but pleased. The 7" boot is both 100% water and wind proof—thanks to GORE-TEX construction—with textile and foam encasing your foot for a fortress-like fit with seemingly great support. For traction, the boot relies on an aggressive Michelin Wild Gripper rubber outsole (THAT'S RIGHT, MICHELIN, LIKE THE TIRES, THE ONES THAT HELP YOUR TRUCK GET YOU WHERE YOU MAYBE SHOULDN'T GO) with Charged Cushioning foam that makes for a hilariously comfy, go-anywhere feel—they're like fatbikes for your feet. These things made us feel like a kid again. We ran around on mountain trails, blazed our own paths through thick underbrush, climbed on downed logs and stomped through creeks and ankle deep puddles with little to no consequence.
Aside from the giant sole, the most notable feature is the Boa Closure System. It may seem like an odd use of the technology, but since it's been heavily embraced in the cycling community and snow sports industry, it makes sense to try it on a hiking boot—or whatever the hell this thing is. Boa made slipping on and off the boots extremely easy, which in turn made climbing in and out of the tent much less of a chore, and resulted in a 99% decrease in pine needles tracked into our sleeping bag. Perhaps most importantly though, the Boa system made climbing out of the tent in the middle of the night to water some nearby trees a much less painful experience.
While both colorways (black, orange and mint, and camo) are less than subtle, and the Boa lacing mechanism might make you feel like a soldier from the future, the boot itself is undeniably awesome. Learn more at Under Armour online, where the Fat Tire sells for $200.
images by Graham Hiemstra