The most important characteristic about the Cabela's Backcountry Hikers, for both experts and users alike, is the price. One expert reviewer singles them out as a good boot for youths because they won't break the bank; users generally describe them as a good value for the money, praising their supportiveness. That support can be too much of a good thing for some; we found complaints that the padding around the ankle and tongue -- a high point for the expert reviewer -- was too stiff and uncomfortable for users, and one petite woman says the ankles on the boots come up uncomfortably high.
Most users are happy with these boots' waterproofing and fit, and report that they were comfortable right out of the box. However, we found a significant -- and greater than for other boots -- number of complaints that the side stitching started to give out after as little as six months. Others point out that the boots' eyelets tend to shred the laces; one frustrated reviewer went through three pairs of laces in just four months. The happiest owners seem to be those who qualify their evaluation of these boots in terms of its price; others would recommend the boot more highly if the known flaws -- especially the lacing problem -- were corrected. For a better-recommended budget-priced boot, check out the Hi-Tec Altitude IV (*MSRP $105), which draws praise for light weight, breathability and comfortable fit.
Cabela's Backcountry Hikers receive a favorable review in Boys' Life Magazine -- couched in terms of the low price -- and mostly positive, although not overwhelmingly so, reviews on Cabelas.com. These boots aren't available through other retailers such as Amazon.com and REI.com, so they list no user reviews.
1. Boys' Life
The author highlights Cabela's Backcountry Hikers as affordable waterproof boots, with "plenty of padding in the ankle and tongue for extra support." It's not clear how he tested these or any of the other boots in the roundup, but his regular "Gear Guy" columns in this magazine help establish him as a reputable source.
Review: Hiking Boot Buying Guide, Mark Anders, May 2011
More than 90 reviewers give the men's version of this boot a 4.3-star average rating. (The women's version gets a 4.4-star rating from about 20 reviewers.) High points include the boots' solid construction and waterproofing, but a few reviewers feel they are stiff and uncomfortable around the ankle.
Review: Cabela's Backcountry Hikers, Contributors to Cabelas.com