Zamberlan 164 Elk GT Boot Review
Basic Description of Item:
Zamberlan High cut very lightweight hiking and hunting boot, good for use on hilly and/or flat terrain in dry or wet conditions.
Just the Facts:
The new Zamberlan 164 Elk GT is the freshly updated version of the previous 161 Wild GT. The 164 Elk GT features the all-new Zamberlan Vibram Forest PU sole package. In addition, the split grain leather and Cordura uppers have been redesigned for better styling, greater comfort, and increased reliability.
European construction, updated Vibram soles, and Gore-Tex protection make the 164 Elk GT Zamberlan’s best hunting boot value, not to mention a super lightweight performer. This high cut boot is ideal for pheasant, white tail, or other game hunting in a variety of conditions and places, including forest, plains or hilly terrain.
The 164 Elk GT incorporates lightweight yet durable PU midsoles and split-grain leather and Cordura® uppers, making it Zamberlan’s lightest weight boot for any purpose. Italian Hydrobloc® split-grain leathers are lightweight, while the Cordura® material is exceptionally durable, long lasting and beautiful. The best-in-class Gore-Tex® membrane provides water protection and breathability. Anti-corrosion hardware is not only durable but enhances the visual aspect of this handsome boot.
The fit of this boot has a regular width (C/D).
Made in Europe. Available in Natural / Brown.
My 2014 elk season was approaching fast and I was unprepared. In the off season I had sold my only uninsulated boots and was in search of new hunting boot. My feet are sensitive to boots as result of a vehicle accident in which my foot was badly broken. I am always gun shy about buying new boots as the in-store fit is never a truly accurate representation of how the boots will feel in the field. What is a guy to do though? So the quest for boots is never ending.
I was looking to the upcoming season and realizing that my only options for footwear were a few pairs of insulted boots and my old leg boots from my time in the Army. The painful thought of wrapping my feet into a pair of insulated boots in September pales only slightly to that of my old army blister factories. I needed boots and fast!
After tons of research into many of the higher end boot companies my decision really was more based on economics than anything else. I will admit I was nervous to step away from the $400 range of boots. I truly believe you get what you pay for in the word of boots. But the price tag of $230 on the Zamberlan 164 Elk was just not a thing to argue with and I had to give it a shot. I know that the high end Zamberlan boots are great and receive fantastic reviews so I went into my purchase with hopes of a similar experience.
I came home to a box on my door which sparked an eagerness to get it open and put the boots on my feet. I had about 3 weeks to get them broke in and ready for elk hunting. I had tried on a pair weeks before are the store but that was only for a moment and my initial thoughts were that the boots looked and felt great. Now I had them on again and was feeling the same way but still in was only on my living room floor. I had a scouting trip the next day and was ready to put the boots to the true test.
My trip went great the boots felt wonderful and after several miles of mountain walking I had zero hot spots. My ankles felt great and overall I could tell that I had made a great purchase. The days flew bye and soon I was standing on a hilltop with my bow in my hand looking out over the timbered valleys the elk call home. My mind was full of many thoughts but my feet were none of them. That is a good thing! My elk season came and went and at no time did I ever have concerns about my feet. I made it an entire season without one blister or hot spot.
These boots are uninsulated meaning less sweat. That paired with a good socks helped my feet to not get soft and allow blisters to form. The lacing system was great and kept the boots firm and tied. In fairness I never really got the boots wet. I did cross a few streams and my feet stayed dry but I never had the chance to put them through the rigorous test of a days hike in wet grass. The Vibram sole is bullet proof there is not much else to say about it. I will say it is slightly thin though. You will feel the ground so if your hunting area is over rocky terrain or big cobble these might not be the boots for you. The flexible sole does allow you to feel the ground a little better than some of the mountaineering boots and this is defiantly a positive thing for spot and stalk and keeping quiet.
All in all I think that these are a great early season boot. They’re light weight, comfortable, and durable. The price tag is a nice touch as well. For the money I’m not sure you could find a better pair of boots.
What could be done better?
These are a really great boot. Like all boots I would say that an insole should be added. The factory insoles are not the best and could use improvement for sure. I love the light weight of the boot and would not want to add to them but a rubber rand protection similar to the Zamberlan 980 Outfitter would take these boots to a new level. They really are a great boot and I feel confident giving my seal of approval. Happy hunting.
Zamberlan 164 Elk GT Boot Review