The Hi-Tec Raven has a solid construction and offers a decent level of waterproof protection, but some drawbacks stop this boot from being suitable too far away from established country paths.
Good lacing system
Grip is lacking
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Cheaper fabric hiking boots can feel flimsy; not so the Hi-Tec Raven boot, which offers good support and a good lacing system to keep your foot and ankle protected as you hike, which bestows confidence while on the trails.
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The Hi-Tec Raven is waterproof enough to put up with rainy and wet conditions – water beads right off the outer fabric – but the boot is still reasonably breathable, making it a good choice for changeable spring and autumn weather.
• RRP: £90 (UK) / $90 (US)
• Weight (per boot): 450g / 16oz
• Materials: Dri-Tec fabric upper with waterproof membrane, EVA midsole, carbon rubber outsole
• Colors: Navy and Magenta / Black and Grape Wine
• Compatibility: Wear on well-groomed trails in changeable conditions
On the trail
On test we really liked the cut and design of the ankle cuff on the Raven, which is well-cushioned with mesh for comfort and breathability.
Where the Raven doesn’t perform as well as some of the other budget boots we tested out is grip. This boot doesn’t sport deep lugs on its soles, so it can end up feeling a tad slippery on thick mud or wet ground. We’d keep the Raven firmly on more established trails.
Like many fabric boots, the Raven also isn’t warm enough to work well on exposed trails or peaks in bitter winter weather – pick a leather or insulated pair of boots when the temperature drops.
But, while these rubber soles don’t grip brilliantly, they are light and comfortable underfoot, springing back nicely as you walk and making these boots a good choice for long days of trekking. The toe box also offers great solid protection despite the boot’s light weight.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.