When it comes to my wardrobe, I’m a creature of habit. I’ve worn the same brand of jeans — down to the particular style — for several years, just changing the color from time to time. Same goes for footwear. I’ve repurchased the same brown farm boots five times in a row spanning about eight or nine years. I beat them up pretty hard — their exteriors are abused by farm equipment, horse hooves, wood chips, mud, and the occasional knife blade. My “everyday” boots (the ones I wear when I’m not working around the animals) are a pair that I’ve owned since 2004; they’ve been re-soled three times, but, dang, I can’t bring myself to part with them!
So, for me to be drawn to a new style of boots is nothing short of epic, but that’s exactly what happened over the summer. As part of AGDAILY.com’s launch, LaCrosse’s Alpha Range boots were included during our three-week prize giveaway. We had a pair of the boots on-hand at our booth at Ag PhD Field Day in Baltic, South Dakota.
I never thought that rubber and neoprene would lure me in so much.
Knowing that fall and winter was when I’d really want to have these, I placed my order at LaCrosse’s website and recently received the Brown 5.0MM Alpha Range boots on my doorstep (the company has lots of versions of the Alpha line for you to select from).
There’s a reason that LaCrosse states on its website: “Any more durable, it’d be called steel.” So true.
Over the past few weeks, these boots have gotten a workout in the early mornings, where the damp sheen of the frost just begs to break into your feet, all the way until the sun sets, when your soles and toes can become weary. Each time, the flexibility and fit of the Alphas Range boots have made for a comfortable and protected day.
LaCrosse’s boots boast durable ZXT rubber, with reinforcements in the toe and heel. And while they don’t have the same protection of a true steel toe, their strength was welcome to have one evening this week when my 1,200-pound horse startled and his front hoof landed square on my right foot. Yes, it hurt, but it could have been a lot worse were I wearing flimsy boots.
Across my property’s uneven ground, I have often worried about ankle sprains — it’s happened twice in the past five years, and it’s sure to happen again at some point. However, LaCrosse’s boots nicely blend flexibility with a supportive heel, and I rarely have felt the need to tiptoe around the holes that my dogs, goats, or Mother Nature have created.
A signature component of LaCrosse’s boots is the adjustable gusset than can fit around most calves. Not all tall boots fit me well, but these do! I had to go to LaCrosse’s website to find out the reason for the quarter-inch extensions off the rear of the boot — lo and behold they are heel plates to help you with hands-free removal of the boot. Simply a great feature!
LaCrosse’s website gives a rundown of specs for the pair that I purchased. There’s certain to be some variation based on which exact pair you’d select:
• Weight: 4 pounds per pair
• Height: 14 inches
• Insulation: 5mm neoprene
• Traction: Best for mud
• Footbed: Removable polyurethane
• Shank: Fiberglass
These boots have been worn during day-long stretches, and comfort is king. LaCrosse’s website describes the interior wicking fabric as jersey knit liner, which helps to pull away moisture and keep your feet happy. I’m looking forward to seeing how the aggressive tread handles once the powder starts to fall and I’m spending chillier days outside. Bring on the snow!