Mike Tyson of Low Impact Forestry, in York, offers his thoughts on the new Protector Light 2.0 forestry boot from HAIX, designed for performing tasks in warmer weather and moderate conditions, while retaining high levels of protection and comfort.

I was kindly sent a shiny new pair of the HAIX Protector Light 2.0 boots to test towards the back end of 2020.

Unfortunately for me, at exactly the same time I was struck down with an illness (no, not that one, thankfully!) which put me on my backside, quite abruptly. So the first real-world test these boots got was a trip to the local Sainsbury’s. I can confirm they are perfectly capable of managing this task, and I also made a swift recovery from my bout of tonsillitis.

So, what are these boots like in the real world? Having worn pretty much nothing else but HAIX in my forestry career, I expected good things and hoped not to be disappointed.

First impressions out of the box are that they’re light compared to most other pairs I’ve had. Slip them on and it’s like welcoming an old friend home. HAIX boots just fit my feet, and these were no exception. The laces are a nice bright orange, which I like, but unfortunately, like all round-profile laces, they need to be tied in a double knot to actually stay tight.

The boots were light once on my feet too and the first day in the woods was a resounding success. These boots have a Gore-Tex lining, so apart from the big hole in the top where your foot goes in, they shouldn’t allow water to penetrate through. I’ve had them on in some Biblical weather conditions and I can confirm they kept my feet dry at all times.

READ MORE: HAIX unveils Protector Forest 2.0 boot

The sole is the manufacture’s own branded type, and although it doesn’t feel as robust as the offerings from Vibram, so far it has provided ample grip and torsional stability on a range of ground conditions. The upper ankle support was also excellent for a lightweight boot, and the ability to lock the lace tension off on the lower section is beneficial.

My work is a mixture of hand cutting and machine operation. I spend my days either in first thinning work, putting timber down on the floor, or in the cab of my Logbullet mini forwarder picking up timber. The boots have been more than up to the task of my changeable routine, and surpassed my expectations for a lightweight boot. I think they are very competitively priced also, especially for the quality and heritage you are getting from HAIX.

I only have a few, minor gripes with them. First off is the styling. For me personally, they wouldn’t shout out at me from the shelf. They are very understated and sympathetically styled. This may well be what some folks are after, but I usually get something with a bit more colour and pizazz. Secondly, the chainsaw trousers I wear have an ankle gaiter in with a small, elasticised tab that comes down and hooks into the laces to stop the gaiter riding up. Unfortunately, the laces on this particular model don’t extend far down the top of the boots, so these tabs kept coming off. Both gripes are only minor, and should absolutely not detract from what is a great offering from HAIX.

To summarise, I’d say the boots are lightweight but sturdy, capable of keeping your feet dry in wet weather, offer good ankle support on flat to medium-incline terrain, are conservatively styled and competitively priced and, lastly, are more than adequate to tackle a visit to Sainsbury’s*.

*Other supermarkets are available.

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