Lacrosse Aerohead Boots
Tony Catalde 03.10.14
I recently got the opportunity to get a pair of the Lacrosse Footwear Aerohead Boots and give them a try during the tail end of duck season. I first set hands on them at the ATA Show in 2013 and sat down with them for the tutorial on how they were constructed and why they’re superior to the standard rubber boots that are on the market now.
My eyes glazed over a bit on the science part, but it all has something to do with a sealed seam neoprene sock that has the lower boot and shin guard attached to the front by magic or pressure molding. Then they inject extremely durable foam around the sock to make a waterproof boot.
While at the ATA show, a kind gentleman at their booth claimed that you could stab them with a pen and that the abuse would not puncture the boot, and right then and there he did just that. So needless to say, I was impressed. My reluctance about the boot was mostly due to the way they look (they have a slightly odd foot shape, and the upper of the boot looks more like something out of an 80’s Hip Hop video from MC Hammer), but it’s all good if it works. Then I tried them on — wow, comfortable. So I thought, “No way anything this comfortable out of the box can’t be that durable over a long period of time.” Man was I wrong.
After some procrastination from me on accepting Lacrosse’s offer to try the boots out, I finally came to my senses and just said yes. Upon receiving the boots, I did what any self respecting hunter would do, I wore them everywhere for a few days. Enough so that my wife asked me to stop wearing them around the house and to the store. Surprisingly the real test was going to be around the house and not when I went out into the field to hunt. The barn was the real proving ground, so I went down to the barn to work.
I wore them in the mud, moved things, cleaned stalls, fed animals, and moved hay bails. My Honda Rancher is a big part of working around the yard, and I assumed that the gear shifter would tear the boots apart, but alas it did not. Well, okay step one complete, they work around the house for me doing my the daily chores with little to no issues.
Duck Hunting was obviously the next thing that would cause them to fail — reeds, river bottoms, dragging the toes through the rocks, but once again they still looked fairly new. Nothing to speak of that would cause any concern. I was not trying to see if they would fail, but I was not being careful either. The first place I took them to hunt was a tidal canal along the Pacific Ocean where the sides are lined with rock, so my traveling up and down the rocks constantly surely would do some damage. Nope — they were muddy, but after a quick wash they looked new.
So after trying to make them fail or find the chink in the armor, I ended up just forgetting about them and just started using them. Being that I live up at about 5,000+ feet, it does get brisk and morning chores are done 30 degree weather. Not too cold, but sweater weather, and the boots have become my go-to footwear as I get my morning chores done. Why? Because they work and I don’t need to think about it. With rubber boots in the past, I wonder at first how long will it take for them to break in and finally once they are, how much longer they will last.
The last thing I did prior to writing this review was to hit the canyons and shed hunt with Boone, my dog. I put in the miles on the boots with crazy elevation changes, up and down rocky slopes, deep leaf litter, steep loose soil and just plain miles — 6 miles in total. This is actually a long distance in the kind of the country I was in. At the end of my hike, my feet were dry and the boots’ construction held up perfectly; I even found a dead shed.
So in closing, the Lacrosse Aeroheads are different. They are durable, light, and extremely comfortable from the time you get them till the end of the season. So far I am very glad I went with them and will be sad the day I have to put them to pasture, but by then I’ll just get a new pair and relive the glory days.