Recently I was fortunate enough to go on a desert sheep hunt in Baja Mexico. This was a backpack style hunt, and we would be covering a lot of ground and likely not staying in one place very long. We would be hiking a lot and the footing would be rocky and unstable. I needed to be very selective when choosing footwear that I would depend on for this hunt. After much thought, I went with the Schnee’s Absaroka. It was the right choice.
Having the proper boot on a very physically demanding hunt like a desert sheep hunt is an absolute must. I considered all the factors that were required of this hunt:
- Hiking 5-8 miles per day (over an 8-day hunt)
- Elevation gains of 0 to 1500 feet per day
- Hot arid conditions
- Loose rock, jagged rock walls, and sandy washouts
- Sharp cactus, poky plants, pointed and sharp rocks
Because I would be living in these boots for the duration of the hunt I needed something that would keep my feet protected during all the grueling miles, but were comfortable enough for me to put on day after day without grimacing every time I laced them up. The Absaroka fit the bill, and then some. All the features of the Absaroka suggested to me that this was the perfect boot for this hunt. The break-in period took far less miles than I expected. I took these boots out of the box and put them on my feet for the first time on the first morning of the hunt. After six miles the first day, my feet felt great. No hot spots or blisters whatsoever.
The Absaroka is a rugged boot without insulation so my feet did not get overheated. The mid-range, six-inch height was perfect for the arid desert conditions and there was more than enough ankle support that I never felt unsure in any kind of terrain I needed to tackle. The Vibram sole and the mid/stiff level flex of the chassis made me feel very comfortable when the rocks would slip underneath me, or I was climbing through boulder fields on my toes. The durable leather construction kept my feet protected from all variety of cactus and anything else that would poke or stick or cut.
Overall the Schnee’s Absaroka was the perfect boot for this hunt, and I cannot imagine doing a hunt like this with a lesser boot. I will be wearing my Absarokas for sure when I chase early season elk in Idaho this fall.