When I received these boots I thought that they looked like a shorter version of the issue Gore-Tex boots, they looked well made and solid. I must admit I was not looking forward to the breaking in period. Surprisingly this did not take long, a week wearing them around the squadron and they were more than comfortable enough.]
Right, the specifics; these boots are made by the Turkish company YDS (some of who’s boots have been tested by this website before) and going by the videos on YouTube and the blurb on their site take this quite seriously. The uppers are made from hydrophobic leather with a fleece and foam mid-lining, the inner is made from 4 layer Gore-Tex and cambrelle. The manufacturer claims that the boot can be used down to -16C, not sure that I would want to try it but they seem warm enough even in this lovely spring weather that we have at the moment. The company make a big thing of the testing that there products go through, this includes 15000 flexes underwater which is equivalent to 500km.
The Vibram sole is extremely hard wearing and has an aggressive tread that provides very decent traction, I have been on all types of terrain in these and some of it was what you would call challenging, the sole provided me with more than enough grip, I have not slipped once while wearing them. The sole is attached to the uppers using an injection process that is supposed to provide an extremely strong bond and I have no reason to disbelieve this, they look made to last.
The footbed is anatomically shaped felt with built in shock absorbers that do the job well, normally the first thing I do with a new pair of boots is put in my own insoles, but I haven’t had to with these.
The uppers are furnished with lace locking, rust proof eyelets that, so far, have resisted the usual thing of losing the blacking and becoming bright and shiny. The locking system works well, the laces have never come loose, and if anything the system works too well and sometimes makes putting on the boots difficult. The leather used is very comfortable for a boot that provides this level of stability and support; it has taken a bashing and still looks really good. I have managed to get a couple of scrapes and a cut showing now but for the treatment that these boots have had this is impressive.
The tongue is bellowed up to just below the top eyelet which stops crap getting into the boot and helps provide the impressive waterproof qualities of this boot. The cut of the tongue is good too, I have noticed in some boots (walking boots are bad for this) that the tongue can be rucked up causing pressure points, but the tongue on this boot is spot on.
Overall I have no complaints about this boot at all and would freely recommend it to anyone looking for a hard wearing, comfortable boot for winter wear; this is not a boot for warm weather.
The full range of YDS Boots is available from Polimil.