Arc'teryx Bora2 Mid GTX Boot | Review
Unusual technology and distinctive looks, but don't be taken in, the Bora2 is an excellent lightweight hiker.
'The innovative, lightweight double-boot construction might seem gimmicky, but the result is a cracking all-round hiking mid' with distinctive looks'
Outdoors Magic: Deceptively comfortable, grippy Vibram sole, net fit, super fast drying, light, liner can be used as hut slippers, very 'Arc'teryx'
Outdoors Tragic: Price, distinctive looks divide opinion, a faff to take on and off.
Outdoors Grabbit? The concept of a lightweight boot with a removable liner made from synthetics that don't absorb water might sound gimmicky, but in practice it works really well. The stretchy, Gore-Tex foam liner is super comfortable even with thin socks, the fit is neat and precise and there's decent grip and cushioning. They are a little fiddly to take on and off, but the removable liner conveniently doubles as a hut slipper. We like them.
Lightweight hiking boot / one-piece thermo-laminated synthetic upper / removable Adaptive Fit Gore-Tex liner / Vibram Arc'teryx hiking outsole / moulded EVA mid-sole / front and rear pull tabs
Full Review Below
Arc'teryx Bora2 Mid GTX Boot | Performance
You'll either love or hate the Bora2's looks and innovative technology - if you want a more conventional-looking version, Arc'teryx also produces the Bora2 Mid Leather for the same price - but the lightweight double boot construction works impressively well.
On the outside, there's an outer boot made from a single-piece thermo-laminated synthetic material that's hydrophobic - i.e. it won't absorb water - on the inside, there's a removable stretchy Gore-Tex inner boot with its own sole, which you can use as a hut slipper.
In practice, despite being fiddly to pull on and off despite the double pull-tags provided, the end result is surprisingly comfortable. We found wearing thin socks works best as the liner itself adds cushioning and eliminates pressure spots by moulding to your foot shape. It does the neat trick of giving a foot-hugging, precise fit without any discomfort.
Once on, the mids feel neat, precise and grippy on medium to firm terrain and rock with predictable hold from the bespoke Vibram sole. They roll along naturally thanks to the semi-spherical rounded heel and give just enough cushioning without running shoe-type squish.
Initially we were suspicious of how the boot would cope with water. The open tongue area seemed like an invite for the wet stuff to pour in and stay, but in real life use, the boots seems to dry so quickly that it's never an issue.
That's also a boon on multi-day hikes where the non-absorbent outers dry easily overnight while leather boots can stay sodden and uncomfortable.
Finally, the inner boot's double functionality as a hut or tent slipper is neat and would work well in Himalayan tea-houses as well as in alpine trekking huts. You can swap them out for non-Gore-Tex or insulated versions which are available separately to cover hot or very cold conditions.
Arc'teryx Bora2 Mid GTX Boot | Verdict
The Bora2 Mid is, for want of a better word, very, erm, 'Arc'teryx' what with its unusual technology, laminated construction and innovative thinking, which you'll either like or loathe, but put that to one side, and the boot works very well.
Despite the double layer construction, it's a neat-fitting, light and compact hiker that has a nice balance of support, stability, cushioning and grip. The stretchy Adaptive Fit liner does a great job of eliminating tight spots and adding a discrete cushioned layer over your foot and the Gore-Tex liner works well to keep the water out.
The hydrophobic, non-absorbent materials means rapid overnight drying is par for course - great for multi-day trips. Overall a neat, lightweight hiking and scrambling mid that performs impressive well albeit at a high-ish price.