Schnee, Schnee’s Beartooth Hunting Boot Review
Just the Facts:
The Schnee’s Beartooth™ is an uninsulated, lightweight mountain boot designed for those demanding exceptional support without unnecessary weight or an overly stiff boot. 8″ premium 2.6mm leather uppers provide plenty of ankle support and protection from rocks and brush while a breathable, waterproof membrane keeps you dry and comfortable. Lighter duty 5mm full-length nylon insoles allow for a comfortable flex without sacrificing overall support. Brown. Italy.
Available in medium and wide widths.
Editor: Cory M.
Few things in life are more peaceful than the open road. There is just something about the hum of the tires and the sound of the wind that just sooths the soul. I was in need of some soothing so I decided to hit the road. I called a friend that lives in Montana and made plans to stay at his house. The trip was dual purpose as it was really a chance for me to stop into the Schnee’s flagship store in Bozeman Montana. I had received a pair of the Schnee’s Beartooth Uninsulated boots and after wearing them for a few SE Washington shed hunting trips I was ready to give them the Montana test. I wanted to pair my review with a video review of these boots. My goal was to travel to the Schnees store front and interview a knowledgeable staff member to gain more information about the boots. My plan was to then take the boots into the wilds of Montana and film an in the field assessment of the boots. Everything was set and late in the last day of February my journey began.
The long hours on the road were melted away like a snow ball in an oven. I had my best friend Thomas with me for the trip and we had lots to catch up on. We pulled into Bozeman around 1130 and after settling into our hotel we went over the camera gear and then headed out to grab late night bite to eat.
Morning came and we woke bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to get out and see the town and get our filming done. We had an appointment with a Schnee’s representative at 1430 hours and with some time to kill we decided to go check out the Museum of The Rockies and look at some dinosaur bones. Half an hour before the set time we did some filming of the store front and then went inside. After setting up near the Schnee’s boots display we were ready to get going. I’ll save you any more about the filming and just direct you to the video review found on the right side of the page.
After our filming was complete we hit the road again moving up state to the city of Great Falls. Our next day’s plan would put us on the Rocky Mountain front and this was where I intended to really put the Beartooth’s to the real test. We located an area that was state land and seemed to be full of wildlife and after making a plan we packed out bags and hit the hills. It was cold. Damn cold. The temperature was hovering right around 9 degrees and the wind was relatively mild. This was a great chance to test out the uninsulated boots ability to be useful in colder temperatures. For those who would call me a fool for going into such frigid weather with uninsulated boots I would have to agree. I did however, have a backup plan if I got to cold. This hike while long paralleled a road that could be used if needed.
Well, as you would expect our hike didn’t go exactly as planned. The snow that seemed to be only about half a foot deep was drifted in areas to over knee deep. The deeper snow brought other exciting challenges as it concealed flat slabs of granite and all other manner of things determined to test a person’s footing. Well, keep in coming! These boots performed flawlessly the support was absolutely amazing and they kept my tender ankles safe. Believe me when I say that I put these boots to the test. The Front, as it is called, has some of the roughest country I have ever been in. It is wild and untamed and there is no better place to test out a pair of rugged boots.
Thomas and I walked for quite a while climbing high to the top of a ridge that ran for about a mile or so. We planned on using the high ground to set us up for good glassing spots. Our first stop put us on a large piece of rotten granite. It was crumbling and slowly losing its battle with erosion. We had a great view of the valley below and most of the lower part of the hill. We sat and glassed for about half and hour. This was the stationary test. My feet had been warm and comfortable while walking but I wanted to see how long it took for the 9 degree air and frozen snow to reach my feet. At about the 20 minute mark I started to feel the discomfort that the cold brings and by the end of 30 minutes I was ready to get moving again. I have to say that I was impressed with length of time I was able to sit being that my boots are completely uninsulated. In a hunting spot and stalk situation these boots would fit the bill in nearly any weather as long as you stay moving.
We left The Front the next day and headed to another place to try out hand at some coyote hunting. A few hour drive and we were soon sitting on the breaks of the mighty Missouri River. This was an entirely new experience as there was no snow to deal with. The air was cold and the ground frozen. A little past mid-day the sun had done its best to melt the frozen clay rich dirt and the top layer was starting to give in. This created a sticky mess that clung to our feet and made trekking difficult. In this moment I was glad that I had chosen the lighter uninsulated version of the Beartooth boots. The coyote hunting was a bust but it was yet another chance to test these versatile boots.
Fatigue is an issue we all face while hiking in the wilds of the world. If you walk far enough and long enough you are going to get beat up, you are going to get tired. There is a different type of fatigue that I wish to address here and that is foot fatigue. I have had boots in the past that were very poor quality and before my legs of body were ever even feeling the stress of the hike my feet were already completely worn out. That is NOT the case with the Schnee’s Beartooth boot. I am not sure I can actually describe how pleased I am with this boots ability to both support and protect your feet. At the end of my hike my feet were not only happy they were ready for more.
I tested these boots in the SE corner of Washington State on several shed hunting trips and coyote stands. I took them into the mountains and the jagged basalt breaks of the Snake River. I traveled to the wilds of Montana and tested them in the Spokane Hills around Helena. I took them to the icy windblown Rocky Mountain Front. I had them in temperatures from 65 degrees all the way down to 9. I was in sand, cobble rock, snow, mud, fallen logs, rock slides and even pavement. I put them through everything I could think of and in the end they held up and held up well.
If you are looking for a boot that will take you from September to December look no farther. Of course you could use them longer but that is your own choice. The Beartooth is a very versatile boot that would be a perfect fit for most big game hunting. They are every bit as good as boots that come in much higher in price range. It is my belief that these are a great boot at a great price and I recommend them without reserve.
What could be done better???
As I have said with literally every boot I have ever tried the insoles leave much to be desired. The Beartooth’s have a particularly interesting insole in that it is almost like fiber board. It is hard and I found it to be uncomfortable. I was ready however because I expected to have to change them and put in a pair of my own favorite insoles and solved the problem. I want to make clear that this has been the case with EVERY boot from EVERY company I have tried and is in no way unique to Schnee’s.
The break-in time was a little longer than some other boots I have tested. At first this was somewhat concerning to me but after I really pushed the boot I began to understand that t the support they offer comes at the cost of a longer break in period. I don’t necessarily think it is something that needs to be corrected it is just a noteworthy point for those who are looking to buy these boots. I also have a very narrow heal and the heal cup in this boot is spacious. It is not really an issue of boot more of my foot but something else to be noted for those who are looking to buy. If you have narrow heals you will feel slight slippage but I can tell you that it caused me no issue at all. In the end the Schnee’s Beartooth boot is a great product that is up to nearly any task. You will not be disappointed.
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The Schnee's Beartooth line is handmade in Italy and available in both men's and women's offerings. It's often difficult to find a women's boot with the same spec as a men's boot, but the Women's Beartooth measures up. With 9” of height and 200 g of insulation, they make for a great mid- to late-season pair of boots.
They are warm and very easy to walk in and very comfortable. I would recommend and glad to support a American made product . Wish there was more American made hunting gear .
Bozeman businessman Steve Schnee, owner of Schnee's Boots & Shoes, announced Tuesday the company's two stores and boot manufacturing business have been sold to a Nevada businessman. The new owner, Jon Edwards of the Lake Tahoe area, called him up out of the blue about nine months ago, Schnee said.