Despite so many women backpacking these days, it is often difficult to find a pair of well designed women’s backpacking boots. I’ve had the chance to review the Garmont Women’s Tower Trek, a boot designed specifically for backpacking that is intended to be lightweight and supportive.
Garmont Women’s Tower Trek Boots: Weight Comparison
The Tower Trek boots look bulky, but they are not! In fact, they are fairly lightweight backpacking boots, weighing in at just 1220 grams for a pair (2 pounds 4 ounces). For a fully leather boot with reinforced rubber around the entire shoe to provide extra traction when rock scrambling and climbing, this is impressive.
- Vasque St. Elias boots (Hiking Lady’s review is here: Vasque St. Elias) weigh 2 pounds 9 ounces
- Oboz Wind River II’s (Hiking Lady’s review is here: Oboz Wind River II) weigh 2 pounds 9.8 ounces!
- Asolo TPS 520 boots weigh 3 pounds 5 ounces
Do you need a Backpacking Boot?
As you may have already learned in Hiking 101: Boots, there are three main types of boots – Hiking, Backpacking, and Mountaineering. Sometimes the differences are more subtle, but when it comes to Hiking vs. Backpacking boots, the main differences are that they are more technical, generally have thick rugged lugsoles designed to grip rockier and more uneven terrain, and a stiff shank.
If you intend to carry a heavy pack (40 pounds+), travel off trail, rock scramble with a pack on, or encounter terrain that may be extremely wet, muddy, or even a little ice, then you really should invest in Backpacking boots rather than Hiking boots.
For those of you going mountain climbing, check out my entire section about Hiking 101: Mountaineering Boots.
Pros and Cons of the Garmont Women’s Tower Trek Boots?
The Garmont Women’s Tower Trek satisfy all of my criteria for heavy duty Backpacking Boots.
- Stiff shank
- Rugged lugsoles
The drawbacks? Garmont boots, especially women’s Garmont boots, have limited distribution in the U.S. Only two Garmont men’s boots are even sold at REI!
For me, the fit was great. I used my usual liner sock/outer sock combination. These boots have a pretty narrow heel, and the lacing system with the metal rivets allow for a precise fit (again, at least for me).
As with all boots, you need to try them out at home for several days, to make sure that they fit you right. I always wear a new pair of boots inside for several days, practicing walking up and down stairs to make sure my heel doesn’t slip and my toes don’t slide forward on the downhill. For those of you with persistent heel slippage issues (a very VERY common problem), check out this video I recorded showing an easy boot lacing technique that often helps fix the problem.
Overall, I really like these backpacking boots. I wish they were more readily available to buy in the U.S. Luckily Garmont has created a store locator on their website where you can search for retailers who sell the boots, and you can always order them directly online from Garmont.