Today I wanted to take a look at a classic style hiking boot from Alico, the Alico Tahoe Hiking Boots for men.
Brand and Model
Alico Tahoe Hiking Boots
$274.95 (Guide retail price, subject to change)
Average User Rating
Good 3/4 season boots, wide feet option available, Vibram soles give good traction, waterproof and breathable
May be heavier than your used to, Expect a break in period, perhaps not ideal for casual hikers
Day hiking, backpacking, general outdoor use, day-to-day use
The Alico Tahoe hiking boots for men are a popular option that have been around quite a while and so have quite a bit of user feedback over time, the vast majority of it very positive.
Alico are an Italian boot company so the immediate image that comes to mind is of an elderly cobbler hand making boots with precision in a little Hamlet high in the Italian Alps! I am not entirely sure if that is nothing but an imaginative romantic notion but I do get the impression of a level of quality from their boots akin to that and they are handcrafted so it's not totally far fetched 🙂
Anyway, onward with the Tahoe boots! I first noticed them for two reasons 1. They are a top seller and have been for some time and 2. They had loads of very positive user reviews over time.
This got me interested for sure. While User Reviews aren’t everything, I always find you can really get a lot from them, especially when there are so many. The same issues, if there are any, tend to be highlighted as do the positive aspects too of course.
When you first look at the Alico Tahoe boots you see a traditional pair of leather hiking boots. The traditional look doesn’t suit everyone’s taste but I am a fan. There is a strong hint of the Alpine cut as well which, within reason, I also tend to like.
In terms of color combinations, it’s pretty straightforward with the Tahoes. Its dark brown or dark brown, at least that’s been the most I can find easily available at the links provided on this page. I did find a suede type beige and a mocca option direct on the Alico site but you would probably need to be ordering direct from Italy to get those.
In terms of features and functionality the Alico Tahoe boots stack up pretty well but we’ll take a closer look at all that in the sections below.
The Alico Tahoe hiking boots are first and foremost functional and comfortable. They come in a classic hiking boot style and look, and as already mentioned are only available in one color, dark brown.
One of the things I love about Alico boots is that they are handcrafted in a small factory in the Dolomite mountains in Italy by a small band of artisans. That kind of skill, craft and attention to detail put into a hiking boot can only be a good thing! What's also really neat about that, is that if you wanted to get yourself a pair of bespoke custom handmade hiking boots, you can expect to pay a fair bit of money.
Now, I think that the bespoke thing is a really cool option and worth the money if you can afford that luxury, as hiking boots crafted to fit the subtleties of your feet can only be a great thing.
I do really hope to treat myself one day for sure 🙂 The reason I mention this is that although the Tahoes aren't handcrafted specifically to your feet, they are still handcrafted. Therefore you have the nearest thing possible to a pair of custom made boots that you're going to get at a much more accessible price.
Leading on from that, they feature a Norwegian Welt Construction. What on earth is that I hear you cry? Well, basically that means the main outer part of the boot is actually formed from one whole piece of leather.
Not to get too technical but the welt is a strip of leather that runs along the outsole and is stitched to the upper and then cemented to a shoe or boot. The Norwegian bit comes in the double stitching used to secure the upper to the welt.
What's the advantage to that? Well, if done properly, you have a much lesser need of seams. The less seams, the less chance of holes opening, leakage and so on. On top of that, the seams are double stitched and are so very secure and provide enhanced water resistance and so on. Where applicable, this type of construction also opens up the possibility of resoling which is the case with the Tahoes but we'll look at that in more detail further below.
The downside to that type of welt construction, if you can really call it a downside, is that with one piece leather like this in hiking boots, you will have a longer break-in period. Not a big deal but as these are quality boots, both them and your feet need to get a bit of time to grow accustomed to one another.
Many people did comment on this in the reviews I read but nearly all were happy with the result once they were broken in. It's worth noting that, in this modern day and age, some people may never have used or even seen a handcrafted one piece boot so it could be a whole new world of joy to many 🙂
As mentioned, these boots have a classic and traditional look. While these boots are of course built for hiking on the trail, they won’t look out of place strolling across town or out walking your dog in the local park. In keeping with the classic style of this hiking boot, they are made with a full-grain leather upper. The insole however is synthetic to enable moisture wicking from your feet.
If you’re not familiar with what ‘wicking’ is, check out this post here. Most reviewers said the insoles worked fine but they will of course need to be replaced at some point as the Tahoes are in it for the long haul so your insoles most probably won't keep up nor would you expect them to, I'm talking years here.
Moving on to some of the more technical elements of this boot, the fully gusseted tongue, highlighted by the blue box in the picture below, helps keep dirt and debris out of your boots.
A gusseted tongue means that the length of much of the tongue of your boot is attached to boot, usually up along the top of your foot just in and around your ankle. Any comments about this aspect of the Tahoes from user reviews were all positive with some commenting that the tongue actually stayed centered on the boots after a lot of usage.
Tongues on hiking boots can very often lean over to one side, a personal peeve of mine, which although not a major problem doesn't help your laces stay tightly tied.
In terms of sizing, from all the user reviews I read, the Tahoes were more or less true to size across the board with the odd exception here and there. Wide sizes are available so most foot shapes and sizes should be able to be accommodated for.
The Tahoes are waterproof and they should provide good protection in heavy rain, snow and for small stream crossings. As with any pair of leather hiking boots, if you are planning to wade into ankle deep fast flowing rivers in them, you will get wet at some point.
They're waterproof and will perform well up to a reasonable point. All in all though, extreme environments excluded, you should have a four season hiking boot here which you can enjoy all year round.
Support, Stability and Grip
In terms of Grip, the soles on the Tahoes are Vibram® soles, pictured below. As you probably know, Vibram are one of the leaders in technology when it comes to designing a sole that will enable your foot to hug the trail as comfortably as possible. My personal experience of Vibram soles has been very positive so I give this the major thumbs up. This is echoed in many user reviews for the Tahoes too.
I've already been harping on about the wonderful construction of these hiking boots but a further sign of a well-crafted leather hiking boot is that they are resoleable and the Alico Tahoe boots can be resoled. This means that you should get many, many years out of these boots with proper TLC and care.
I like this option a lot, I think everyone at some point has had a pair of boots that fitted them just beautifully and they would have loved to have had them resoled to extend their life. I know I have had this once or twice over the years, a comfortable fitting boot molded to the nuance of your feet is a good thing to be able to hang on to if possible. Resoling is available in any good shoe repairer.
These boots also have a nylon and steel half-shank which provides solid and sturdy support to your foot and ankle. The leather these boots are made from is tough so the whole construction adds to the strength of the shank and so gives solid ankle support.
Again, the top notch construction of the boots was the main thing folks kept commenting on in all the reviews I read with one guy actually stocking up by buying two or three pairs in case they would run out and no longer be available in the future ... I kid you not!
The recommended retail of the Tahoes is around $275. However, from all the time, about two years now, that I have seen the Tahoes available at Sierra Trading Post, they have been available for about $200 give or take 20 bucks.
You can also get more value on that by using the Sierra Post coupon code in the sidebar on this page and potentially knock another 20% or so off. So, all in all, you can get a very good deal on these boots.
Even if the price was at $275.00 I still think they are well worth it. To get a really good handcrafted pair of leather hiking boots for that price is a good deal and is something that is increasingly hard to come by in terms of general hiking boot models i.e. they're usually machine manufactured, unless you go bespoke which is pricey. For custom made boots you will be moving upwards into the $700.00 territory just to start off, so not cheap.
If you're in any doubt about the quality you're getting, read the reviews at the links below, there is a whole host of happy customers saying the same thing time and again, in short, these boots are just great!
The Alico Tahoe Hiking boots are a really great all round pair of hiking boots. They are perfect for all types of hiking, in most terrains all year round, depending on how severe your winters and summers are of course.
They're tough enough to go off trail and they will hold their own for backpacking trips or other types of longer hiking excursions. They are a bit heavier than you may be used to but that is part of the make-up of the boots and I personally wouldn't sacrifice their tough construction for a lighter option.
They're also easily a multi-purpose pair of boots so can be used for any type of outdoor activity where you plan to go into the wilds a bit, say fishing, hunting and that type of thing. They are also based on a traditional hiking boot style and look in the vein of old fashioned Alpine boots. I personally quite like that look and it has the added benefit of looking pretty smart with a pair of pants or jeans, not top of the list in terms of hiking but no harm to have 🙂
As of the date of this post, from about 590+ reviews, 94% of people gave the Tahoe boots 4 stars or more, A very strong performance rating for sure.
Outstanding quality, light weight, comfortable, with excellent welt construction....Read More Here.
After a fruitless search across Australia for old-school hikers - one piece leather, welted soles and the deliberate absence of Gore-sweat-tex - I was thrilled to discover the Alico boot range....Read More Here.
Average User Rating: 4.5
Pros and Cons
- Handcrafted leather upper
- Resolable for extended life
- Vibram soles
- Boots may be a bit heavier than you’re used to
- Expect a longer break-in period
Alico Tahoe Men's Hiking Boots Features Summary
- Gusseted tongue
- Upper: Leather
- Lining: Textile
- Removable insole
- Midsole: EVA
- Outsole: Vibram® rubber
- Shank: Steel
- Height: 5-1/2"
- Weight (pair): 3 lb. 6 oz.
- Made in Italy
Quite simply, the Alico Tahoe Hiking Boots for men are just a great pair of hiking boots. Aside from very positive user experience more or less across the board, they have a lot of other things going for them. They're functional and really look the part. While we're mainly interested in how they stack up on the trail, which is all good from the many user reviews of them, they won't look out of place for normal day-to-day use.
A leather hiking boot like the Tahoe, handcrafted in the classic style, is an option worth considering for your hiking needs for sure. The price is good and the product is sweet so add them to your list if you're in the market for a good pair of hiking boots!
Have you tried the Alico Tahoe Hiking Boots? I'd love to hear about your experience with them in the comments below.