From Terlingua, Texas to Monhegan, Maine, These boots are made for walking

IMG_0944Last fall, I got a pair of Northside Men’s McKinley Waterproof hiking boots, and immediately started wearing them on my daily walks. They were very comfortable and I liked them a lot, so I posted a review in this Outdoor News column.

Today, I want to bring you up-to-date on these boots. Soon after I got them, hunting season arrived, so I set them aside in favor of several pairs of hunting boots that I like, depending on the weather. I kind of forgot about the hiking boots until this spring, when I got them back out for my daily walks of 4 miles. I also wore them in the woods, cutting up next year’s wood supply. And I’ve also been wearing them while hunting turkeys.

The first day I put them on this spring, I remembered how comfortable they are. My sneakers weren’t giving me as much support as I like these days while walking (OK, I am old). And sneakers don’t work on cold or rainy days. These boot are perfect in all conditions.

McKinley boots twoSo, when I had to pick a pair of hiking boots to take on our three week birding adventure in southeast Arizona and southwest Texas in April, the McKinley boots went into my suitcase. And they turned out to be perfect for all of our walks and hikes, some of which were on unimproved rocky trails. The boots are warm, for sure, but not too warm to wear in hot weather (in Texas it was in the 90s). And they are great in wet weather.

Initially, I thought the boots might be more than I needed, because I no longer tackle rugged hikes and I have no interest any more in backpacking adventures. Yes, I now prefer my adventures to be comfortable.

The distressed leather upper top adds comfort with a padded tongue and collar. I particularly like the front-up lacing system with metal eyelets and hooks that provide a tight fit without a lot of adjusting and tightening.

IMG_1159When I first got the boots, I read that, “the outsole is rubber, the midsole is compression molded EVA, and the insole is Northside’s contour cushioned. The midsole also features a steel shank for comfort and support. And the boot has a brushed rubber heel stabilizer and toe guard, plus slip/oil resistance.” Well, I really don’t know what all that means, but I am certain it’s one reason these boots are so darned comfortable!

You can buy the boots on Northside’s website, at a price of about $70, very reasonable for boots I expect to be wearing for a long time, from Maine to Texas and beyond.



George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.