Garmont Amica Mid Gore-Tex ReviewJuly 21, 2012
- Extremely supportive—ready for weight and off-trail adventure
- Breathable mesh upper reduces weight (and probably durability)
- Noticeably women’s specific fit
- Comfortable insole/footbed—no need for aftermarket insole
- Stiff midfoot shank for support on longer hikes
- Too bulky and stiff for lighter hikes/walks
- Breathability was an issue (blister alert!)
A true trekking shoe at a great value. Out of all the “light hiking” boots in the test, the Amica is the most at home on more aggressive, technical terrain and longer hikes. As a backpacking shoe, it excels—and with noticeably more comfort than similarly stout options. It’s too stiff and serious for mellow ambles, though, and despite the mesh in the upper, the boots quickly got steamy inside.
I was impressed with the technical features of the Amica, given how Garmont positions it as a “light hiker.” Although it is not marketed as a backpacking shoe, I think for most women, the Amica is perfectly adequate for long trips with moderate pack-weight in wet and dry weather. It’s also great value for only $140. (Be aware that this may not be the best shoe for light on-trail hikes due to the heavier construction.)
Support & Stability
The Amica is super supportive—longer, aggressive hikes are no problem. The midfoot shank makes the boot fairly stiff, which means less foot fatigue on sharp roots and rock trails. The ankle height was one of the highest of the boots in our light hiker test—which obviously helps boost the ankle stability on loose rocks and steep hills—but such a high collar can be a bit less comfortable on mellow, flat trails. My foot felt secure throughout the footbed (snug heel cup, narrow, high toe box) and the laces have the ability to really lock down the heel for steep downhills.
The Amica was not the most comfortable boot in the test (compared with, say, the Oboz Mystic or Keen Ambler Mesh). Then again, it is built to perform and keep your feet happy on much tougher, fatiguing terrain. The cuff lining has lots of cushioning, which helps prevent painful bruising, and the factory insoles are comfortable enough on their own, so purchasing after market insoles is unnecessary. Downside: The shoe is totally waterproof, but got steamy in about 20 minutes on a dry, sunny day (which can boost your chances at a blisters).
The water repellant suede and mesh upper is durable, breathable, and scrape-resistant. The 6mm lugs seem totally appropriate for slippery/steep terrain, and widely spaced enough to prevent mud and rocks from getting stuck, although only about an hour of my testing occurred in light rain. A mix of PU (polyurethane) and EVA (foam) in the midsole make this shoe perfectly appropriate for heavier loads (Garmont suggests up to 175 lbs, including your bodyweight), though I never had more than 130 pounds on my feet.