The Alico New Guide boots are a fine pair of hiking boots that are suitable for hiking most, if not all, of the year round depending where you are hiking of course.
Alico New Guide Hiking Boots
I am a sucker for traditional looking leather hiking boots and the Alico New Guide boots are a fantastic example of a classic leather hiking boot. They are also very functional and will comfortably meet most hikers requirements.
Brand and Model
Alico New Guide Hiking Boots for Men
Average User Rating
Made from a one-piece perwanger leather which ensures near perfect water proof protection, boots can be worn for hiking all year round, solid but comfortable with firm ankle support, boots can be resoled so can last a very long time, the boots are very well crafted
A significant breaking in period will definitely be needed, may not be ideal for people with narrower feet / heals
Day hiking, backpacking, general outdoor use e.g. hunting, fishing, etc.
If you would describe yourself as more of a mountaineer than a hiker, the Alico New Guide Mountaineering boots might be a better fit for your needs than a standard pair of hiking boots.
Similarly, if you would describe yourself as an average day hiker who likes to stay on well established trails, the Alico New Guide boots are probably a bit more 'boot' than you need.
These hand crafted pieces of joy are a popular choice on the market and no wonder, there are lot's of reasons why that is the case. They come in the traditional Alpine style for a leather boot. I personally like that classic look a lot.
Recommended by expert mountaineers, the Alico New Guide Mountaineering hiking boots are purpose built to take on rigorous Alpine terrain. These boots are handmade in a small factory in the Dolomite mountains in Italy so they are genuinely purpose built for that kind of terrain.
It's worth noting that as the boots are made by skilled artisans, you are more or less getting a unique piece of quality in every pair.
There is only one color choice which you can see in the images here. As mentioned, overall I quite like brown leather look and style.
These boots more or less have everything I'd want in a really solid pair of sturdy hiking boots so let's take a closer look at what they have to offer.
The first and most logical place to start with the Guide boots is their construction. They are made using an exceptional Norwegian welt construction.
To try and explain a bit more about what that means, Norwegian construction, despite it’s name, is a construction widely used, again, by the Italian shoe industry. It refers to how the stitching of the leather is done to attach the upper to the sole of the boot.
In short there are two layers of stitching, see the image above, which are attached to the welt which is the brown piece in-between the stitching and the black sole in the picture above.
Just to further expand on this in case terms aren't clear, a welt is a strip of leather, rubber, or plastic that runs along the perimeter of the outsole and is stitched to the upper and a strip of canvas.
This is then cemented to the insole of a shoe, as an attach-point for the sole. The Norwegian construction method is a tried and tested traditional method that helps seal the boots up securely.
Its main function is to create a shoe or boot that is truly waterproof, it also looks pretty good too though and so can often be done purely for aesthetic reasons alone.
The other ting to note about this is that the sole of the boots can easily be removed and replaced when it wears out so you truly potentially have a life long pair of boots in these boots as long as you take proper care of them.
Now, it is worth pointing out that in terms of comfort, if you're not familiar with leather boots of this kind, there will be a longer break-in period than you are probably used to. The leather combined with the construction is tough so you need to give them time to get them accustomed to your feet.
Keep this in mind when you start to use them as it is not advisable to head out on long hikes or backpacking trips from day one in them, they need to be broken in significantly first.
Remember to be patient with them as once you do get them broken in, you will have a very comfortable pair of boots indeed. They will actually get more comfortable as time goes on.
Next up, let's take a closer look at the collar of the boots and the tongue. As you can see in the picture above, the collar has a double padded rim which by all user accounts is very comfortable.
The tongue is gusseted, see the light brown strips underneath the laces in the picture above, so this will help keep debris and water out providing further protection to your ankles.
The lacing system is strong and functional with metal eyelets for the laces which is what I would expect on a pair of boots of this caliber. All this means you can secure a comfortable yet strong support around your ankle.
The Guide boots are very water resistant and will hold up well to rain, snow, puddles and shallow stream / river crossings. As already alluded too, the boots are made up of a beautiful one-piece perwanger leather that is waterproof and protects your feet. Perwanger leather is top of the range.
The interior of the Guide boots are leather-lined and breathable. The insole is a combination of leather and nylon so expect a comfortable internal fit with nearly zero friction. When it comes to sizing, overall the general consensus is that they fit true to size with one or two folks noting they needed a 0.5 size up.
In terms of weight, a pair of the Alico Guide boots come in at 6 lb so not light! As I said at the start, these boots aren't designed for light hiking although you can certainly use them for that purpose. They're a touch mountaineering boot so they will be much heavier than a standard light hiking mid GTX boot like the Lowa Renegade.
Support, Stability and Grip
Let's start with the shank of the boots. The Alico New Guide boots feature a 3/4 steel shank, which sits between the midsole and outsole providing a lot of stability. This is of course to be expected in these boots as they're more for mountaineering purposes as opposed to just light day hiking.
Moving on, in the picture above you can see the shaft of the boots is quite high rising to 6.5 inches with a heel height of 1.5 inches. Again, I would expect a higher line on boots of this kind to provide that bit more ankle support. I have to say that just looking at the leather construction on them as I write this, they really do look sweet 🙂
You will also note there is a pull at the back of the boots in the rear profile picture above which you can of course use to help slide the boots on.
The soles of the boots are Vibram which is a popular and very functional industry standard. I have two pairs of hiking boots with Vibram soles and they perform really well.
So many times I have been hiking and people around me have been slipping on the ground over a tricky piece of terrain but I have held strong. I attribute this to the Vibram soles. Of course the individual design of the sole will have an impact on this but as a general rule, I am very pleased with the performance of Vibram soles.
I touched on this above but just to mention again, the lacing system is strong and secure and in combination with the gusseted tongue, collar padding, and stable shaft, when laced up they will form a tough but comfortable outer shell on your feet and ankles.
In summary, the support and stability in the Guide boots is exceptional and with good traction on the ground, they should keep you good over most types of terrain, most of the year round. This was repeatedly commented on in user reviews, solid construction ensuring stability and comfort.
The Alico Guide boots sit in the higher price range for a pair of hiking boots. However, as already mentioned, they are a lot more than just hiking boots.
Prices are always changing, so to get an up to date price, please click on the image at the start of this review or any of the product links throughout.As mentioned, they are at the higher end of the price scale, however there are a couple of things to think about when considering the price.
Firstly, the Guide boots can be resoled so with proper care, you can have these boots for a long, long time to come. Secondly, I think that as these are handcrafted boots, they are probably the closest thing to having a bespoke custom handmade pair of boots without getting a personalized pair.
Why is that relevant? Well, a bespoke pair will cost you in and around $1000.00, give or take a few hundred. So, you can get very close to that level of quality and craftsmanship with the Guide boots which I think is kind of cool as while $299.95 is pricey for a pair of boots in most peoples eyes, $1000.00 is just not possible for most.
Overall, I think the Alico Guide boots are very well priced and you get a hell of lot of bang for your buck. I'll say it again though, if you're a light casual hiker, the Guide boots may be too much for your needs and you could look to the Tahoe boots from Alico or, if they're still to pricey, check out the Timberland Chochorua for a functional and more affordable light hiker.
However, think about it, a pair of lesser boots might come in at half or a third of the price of boots like these. They will also likely only last you one to three years and when they're done, they're done.
So, although your initial outlay may be more expensive, if you look after a pair of boots like these, they can last for 20 to 30 years with the resoling option. I'm not trying to do a sales pitch when I say that 🙂 I am just pointing it out as a factor for consideration in terms of long term value and quality in relation to buying hiking boots.
Remember, if you like the look of these boots and want to buy them, utilize the Sierra Trading Post coupon in the sidebar on this page, you should get anywhere from 20 -30% discount so you're already knocking the price down by 60 bucks or more.
I think the best uses for the Alico New Guide boots are for year round hard hiking over tough terrain and / or off trail hiking, as well as more intense mountaineering activities.
They'll also perform very well as a backpacking boot too. They're a classic leather hiking boot, which I really love, and their tough construction means they can take on a lot of challenges while keeping you stable and comfortable.
At a stretch, I would say they would be fine for general outdoor use, fishing, camping and that type of thing but, again, it's a lot of boot to get to stand around in one general spot in. They're made for tougher purposes than that but you could certainly utilize them for other pursuits.
If you're a casual hiker who likes to day hike on well established trails, these are probably much more boot than you need ... that doesn't mean you can't indulge yourself though of course 🙂 They're a great pair of boots any way you look at it!
As of the date of this post, from about 300+ reviews, 93% gave the Alico New Guide boots 4 stars or more and 74% 5 stars so they're scoring very well indeed. Across the board, user reviews and comments are very positive and complimentary.
Toughest and most comfortable boots I've owned in 35 years of heavy duty boot abuse. Bought a pair nearly 9 years ago and they are still going strong....Read More Here.
These are great heavy-duty boots. They are meant for mountaineering (not casual hiking). The heavy and stiff construction provide the best stability in tricky terrain and when carrying a heavy pack. I also used them in the snow: they insulate extremely well (with thick socks)....Read More Here.
Our Rating: 4.5 (Out of 5)
Pros and Cons
- Made from a one-piece perwanger leather which ensures near perfect water proof protection
- Boots can be used for hiking all year round
- Solid but comfortable with firm ankle support
- Boots can be resoled
- Excellent and well crafted style and look
- Expect a significant break in period
- May not be ideal for people with narrower feet / heals
Alico New Guide Hiking Boots For Men Features Summary
- Waterproof materials and construction
- Upper: Perwanger leather
- Lining: Leather
- Outsole: Vibram Montagna
- Height: 6-1/2″
- Heel height: 1-1/2″
- Weight (pair): 6 lb
These Alico New Guide hiking boots will be a strong and sturdy companion for any hiker or mountaineer. The fact that they are leather and handmade is a great indicator of the type of quality you can expect and at, I have to say, a very reasonable price.
When you move into custom made and handcrafted boots, things can get very pricey, very quickly.
As referenced above, if your hiking is light and casual on established trails, you might be better going for another Alico option like the Tahoe hiking boots for men.
Overall, the Alico New Guide Hiking Boots are a really nice boot for the trail, mountains and anything in between. Perfect for backpacking and tougher terrain, this all year rounder is definitely worth a look.
If you're still unsure what type of hiking boots you should get, check out the hiking boot buying guide and these hiking boot recommendations. I hope you found this review useful. Please comment and / or share it around your networks if you did.
Have you used the Alico New Guide Mountaineering Hiking Boots before? What was your experience with them? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
If you found this review helpful, please like it and share it around your networks 🙂
I believe that you are confused about what the shank is. Your picture and reference to the shank is in actuality the back stay. The shank is a piece of spring steel between the outsole and midsole that adds rigidity to the sole.
Hi Kimball, thanks for pointing that out.
It’s a while since I first wrote this, reading it again, my guess is that I made a typo. I think I meant to write shaft as opposed to shank. As you rightly point out the shank provides stability for the boots and sits between the midsole and outsole. My understanding is that the back stay is the strip of leather that runs up and down the back of the boot covering the seam to help stiffen and support it to hold up the top which, I am thinking, would form part of the shaft.
I’ve updated it now so it’s clearer … thanks again.
These boots are fantastic. Right out of the box, you can’t help to notice the craftsmanship that went into making these boots. I’ve spent over twenty years in boots and I’ve learned that if you don’t take care of your feet, they won’t take care of you. These boots are very well made.
After reading several reviews about “break-in time”, I decided to do what I have done for years. After taking them out of the box and admiring them, I applied a nice heavy coat of Obenaufs LP. If you’re not familiar with it, give it a try. You won’t be disappointed. Not only does it provide an extra water barrier, it protects and restores your leather by replenishing the natural oils It will also help with softening the leather, making “break-in” a lot easier and faster. After the first coat of Obenaufs was applied, I let my New Guides set over night, fighting the urge to put them on and wear them the next day. After twenty four hours, I applied a second coat of Obenaufs. I waited ANOTHER twenty four afters and then came the time that I had been waiting for. After I laced up the boots and walked around the house a little, the first thing I noticed was the comfort. They were very comfortable. The inserts that come with the boots were removed and upgraded. But, the over all feel of the leather liner was great. The boots were a little stiff, but that’s to be expected because they are very, very new. Some of the reviews mentioned the weight of the boots. I personally do not think that these boots are heavy at all. I think I actually have boots that are heavier. As mentioned before, the boots felt great. I was very satisfied with the feel, the weight and the appearance.
After wearing the boots around the house for a day with no “out of whack” rubbing”, I decided it was time to take them for a little “stroll”. Let me tell you, the boots lived up to all I could’ve hoped for. They felt great! No unnecessary heel rub with just the right amount of room for my toes in the toe box. The laces held everything in place and remained snug. I’ve been wearing these boots now for nearly a week and each day, they feel better and better. Not they they have ever felt bad. They just seem to conform to my feet a little more each and every time I put them on. They’re more comfortable now then they were when I first put them on. Did I mention, “I LOVE THESE BOOTS”!
If you’re looking for a well made boot that will provide you the support and outstanding comfort, I highly recommend the Alico New Guides. These boots are amazing. They might be a little pricey but, you definitely get what you pay for. If you take the time, and invest a small amount of time protecting your investment, these boots should last you for several years and hold up to just about anything you throw at them.
Hey Gunny, I couldn’t agree more, you need to take care of your feet or you will pay the price at some point. It’s great to hear about another great experience with the Alico New Guide boots.
Thanks for the tip on the Obenaufs LP, I’d never actually heard of that stuff before. I was looking at it on Amazon there and it certainly has a lot of great reviews. I’ll be checking it out for sure. thanks for listing out the process you use with it too, great to know. I’ll experiment with that at some point too.
I’m pleased to hear you had practically no break in time and you could move to wearing them daily so quickly. I think they really are a sweet pair of boots. As you mention, they are a bit on the upper end of the price range, in terms of hiking boots, but I couldn’t agree with you more that quality is always worth the extra price tag. The longevity, assuming they’re looked after and treated appropriately, will be excellent too I feel. I think you’re right on the several years mark, but possibly even longer with the resole option.
Weight is one thing that some may notice more than others I think. Possibly if someone moves from using a GTX type boot, they might notice a difference. For folks used to good leather hiking boots, any weight difference is likely marginal at most and could go either direction. That is, a bit heavier or possibly even a bit lighter than other leather boots of a similar class. If the comfort is there, the primary and most fundamental requirement has been addressed. So even if they did feel a bit heavier to some, they’d adapt quite quickly I think if the comfort and performance is there.
Hey guys, just a quick heads up. The Alico New Guide boots are made of Perwanger leather. If you stop by the perwanger website they specifically say it is only recommended to use water or silicon based products on the boots to maintain the waterproof and breathability of the leather. Now dont get me wrong, I absolutely love and swear by Onenaufs LP for any smooth normal leather and I have used it exclusively for years, but in this particular instance it may not be the best choice. Just my 2c
Thanks for adding that in Chris.