Monday, March 30, 2015

Ahnu Helena Boot Review

  I came to fall in love with the Helena boot by Ahnu Footwear a little late in the year but here in the Pacific Northwest tall waterproof boots can be worn 9 out of 12 months and spring can be wet.    Oh, how I love the weather here in Washington along the Puget Sound.    Today, as I type this,  it's raining but not too hard and there are flowers blooming everywhere, perfect for leggings, boots, a sweater, and light raincoat.

  The Helena boots are quite tall at 15 1/2" shaft height and look great with a skirt, leggings, or jeans.  I have the Pewter color which goes with everything!  They are soft waterproof leather upper and a neoprene panel in the back that is stylish and functional as it adds a bit of stretch.   The zipper is waterproof as well.  

  My favorite part of the boot is the neoprene panel in the back.  I found that with a lot of position changes throughout the day the stretch makes a difference.   I even taught a 2 1/2 hour class in these with most of it sitting on the floor and I didn't even notice I had them on.   I was pleasantly surprised about that as I figured I would have to take them off when sitting cross legged. 

 I was dubious at first about the size and the height of the heel.   Being a minimalist shoe lover, I thought that the slight heel would be a problem but so far, I am not feeling any ill effects which usually manifest into backaches but none have happened.   This photo makes the heel look taller and chunkier than it actually is.   

  There isn't much ground feel in these but they are pretty close to being flat and they kept my feet warm.  The trade off with thinner soled shoes in the winter is that the cold seeps through the bottom of your feet.  I even feel that with my Vivobarefoot hiking boots.  I can feel the ground but even with wool socks I get cold feet if I am out too long. 

  The traction on these boots is great for urban terrain.   I wouldn't wear these off road or on the trails but for wet sidewalks and all that I have come across in the urban areas, they performed well and I felt sturdy and stable.   

  I have nice big dogs and am usually a size 11 but they were out of my size temporarily so I opted to try a size 10.5.  They were a smidge tight at first but after the first days wear,  they loosened up and fit perfectly now.   I don't know that they run large but I am glad I didn't go with the larger 11.   
I do have to wear thinner socks with these though as they are too tight with thick woolies but they kept my feet plenty warm even with thin socks. 

  The only downside to these is that the toe box is not as wide as I would like and I have pretty narrow feet.   I wish that the toe box was nice and rounded instead of the taper in at the point of the toe.  It's not enough to make me stop wearing the boots as they have stretched there too but I don't think these would not be a good fit for those with wide feet who want to have plenty of room for natural splay of the toes.

 It is hard to find a low heeled waterproof tall boot!  I actually waited for about 2 weeks to  test them out in the rain as it's been surprisingly a bit dry here, of course when I have waterproof shoes to test out.  Sorry I jinxed the rain everyone!    I am not being facetious  either, people up here love the rain!

They are great upside down too!
I most recently wore them on a full day trip over to Seattle.  I walked for miles in the Helena boots and not a single blister.  Not even a hot spot!   I even had bandaids as I have learned my lesson more than once that testing out shoes on a big city walking trip can be a huge mistake but not with these!!   They got even more comfortable as the leather stretched and got even softer.  I got compliments on them wherever I went and I will be wearing them often. 

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Omy said...

The reviewer raves about the Ahnu Helena boots, finding them perfect for the wet Pacific Northwest weather. They're comfortable, stylish with a stretchy panel, and great for city wear with good traction. While they fit true to size and break in well, the toe box runs a bit narrow. Overall, highly recommended for those seeking a versatile and comfy waterproof boot.

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