Tecnica Tornado Mid GTX Review

March 15, 2013
Tecnica Tornado Mid GTX
Support & Stability
Quality & Construction

The Good

  • Cushy, comfortable ride
  • Good lateral rigidity
  • Moderate lugs for grip on-trail
  • Protective toe cap

The Bad

  • Too high volume for a narrow female foot
  • Cuff is a bit loose for loose rocks or scree slopes
  • Laces are difficult to adjust
  • Not very supportive I ankle area
  • Heel slippage due to roomy heel cup

This is a cushy cruiser best suited for on-trail hikes or moderate off-trail adventures—it lacks the support and structure for more than that. It’s also best for women with a wider foot.


Support & Stability
A few things are going on with the Tornado that compromise the support and stability needed for off-trail excursions. First, although the collar is fairly high (and very comfortable) compared to other boots in the test, it lacks enough structure to really support the ankle area on uneven, rocky terrain (it is also quite loose, so I did get some pebbles creeping in).

Second, this is a high volume boot. This means those of us with a narrower foot will slosh around a bit in the mid-foot and heel, affecting control on descents. This doesn’t mean much for moderate, even trails. On steep or rocky slopes, however, I needed a bit more control and stability. Heel slippage is also a harbinger of dreaded blisters.

The Tornado is a very comfortable shoe that provides a pleasant, cushy ride. The dual-density EVA midsole provides plenty of padding. Although I usually bruise easily from rigid collars, the collar here was very forgiving.

I did feel some discomfort on steep descents: because of the high volume interior, my toes were jamming against the toe box. I found myself wanting to stop and tighten the laces often (which are quite difficult to adjust) to try to secure my foot. I should also note that I did not notice a substantial difference between the rocker on this boot and the rest of the unrockered boots in the test.

Quality and Construction
The quality is quite good – the upper is a blend of leather, synthetic and mesh, with GORE-TEX liner and Vibram outsole.

A note on our durability rating: Because we rarely have enough time in a field test to actually wear out a boot, durability is determined by the materials used (ex: full-grain leather lasts longer than mesh); features such as rubber toe and heel caps; and whether or not the upper is constructed out of one piece of leather, or multiple pieces and materials sewn together. Our ratings are based on general wisdom and we cannot guarantee that a boot with a higher durability rating will actually outlast those with lower ratings.

If you think the Tornado might the best fit for your hiking style, I hope you have an REI Member Dividend waiting for you at the cash register. The price tag of $175 was among the highest in our lineup, the same price range as perennial high scorers like Lowa (see the 2013 Lowa Bora, $185) and Vasque (see the 2013 Vasque Breeze 2.0, $160).


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