Every now and then, an item comes along in the outdoor industry that’s completely different to the rest of the crowd and that justifies using the word ‘groundbreaking’ as an adjective to describe it. Out of this summer’s releases, the Tecnica Forge is that item.
This is a boot that can be shaped to perfectly fit the contours of your foot through a thermo-moulding process. Skiers and snowboarders will already be familiar with boots that are fitted using the technology, but the process has never been applied to walking boots. Why? Well, we’re not sure.
Outdoors Magic editor Will Renwick was one of the first journalists to get a pair of these fitted. Here’s his description of the process:
“First of all, the insoles are warmed up in a kind of oven for around five minutes, then they’re placed into little plimsoll-like booties which you then slip on before stepping into the aforementioned giant sock-like bags which are inflated around your feet. It feels a little bit like getting your blood pressure taken – it’s not uncomfortable, or at least the process finishes before it will start to feel uncomfortable.
“After this, the boots themselves, having had their turn in the oven, are slipped on and worn through the same process in the inflatable bags. And that’s that. All-in-all, the fitting takes about 15 minutes.”
The result is a boot designed to provide a fit so precise that the risk of hotspots, and the subsequent blistering, is minimised considerably.
It’s worth us highlighting the other aspects of the Tecnica Forge also. First of all, it’s made from a nice 1.8mm Nubuck leather (a synthetic version is also available) with little ventilation holes cut throughout it. Then there’s a Gore-Tex membrane lining it for waterproof breathability, a 2 layer EVA foam midsole and an outsole made from Vibram MegaGrip. In short, this is a boot made from all the right ingredients – the buck doesn’t just stop at thermo moulding.