Although many of the boots made by Bestard may look similar on the outside, all of them are designed and made in many different ways, depending on the requirements of each kind of activity and speciality.
To make your choice easier, all our boots are assorted by different groups, depending on each activity; High Mountain, Advanced Trekking, Trekking,... Of course, those are very broad definitions, and within every group there is a variety of models to chose from: some are sturdy, some are soft, some are light, some are rigid, some have a sole for ice and snow, others for easy hiking and so on.
To be sure that you chose the right kind of boot, we therefore recommend you to consider the following details of the boot (for more detailed technical descriptions of the different materials, please consult the Technical Information Section).
THE UPPER: Sturdy or Soft?
It's important to mention that all materials used in our uppers are proved to fulfil with the highest quality requirements of water-repellence, breathability and abrasion resistance. In comparison, however, Full Grain and Nubuck leathers are more sturdy, water-resistant and heavy than the softer and lighter Split Suede leather and textiles with synthetic fibres like Cordura®. The fabric made with KEVLAR® used in some boots, could be described as an outstanding combination of both strength and lightness.
The rougher, rockier, colder, wetter and mountainous is the terrain where you will use your boot, the thicker and sturdier should the upper be. Apart from the proper outer material, most High Mountain and Trekking boots are also fitted with interior reinforcement in order to make the boot more secure and robust.
For lighter trekking, outdoor and travels and for every-day use, a soft Split suede / Cordura boot would be more comfortable, as well as more economical in price.
At the first try, the softer boots might seem more comfortable, but don't be afraid of the sturdier boots if that is what you need for your activity: even if they might feel hard and rigid on the first try, they will get smoother with time, fitting perfectly to your foot.
THE MIDSOLE: Rigid or Flexible?
The level of longitudinal and lateral stiffness/flexibility is fundamental for the proper functioning of the boot, and is in high degree depending on the midsole, which sits between the outsole and the footbed and on which the upper is fixed. Bestard offers a range of six different midsoles, from the totally rigid Bestflex 4, which we us in boots made for high-mountain ice climbing with crampons, where the boot must be 100% stiff, to the super flexible Bestflex 1 for every-day casual walking shoes.
THE OUTSOLE: Thick or Light, Flexible or Rigid?
Bestard offers footwear with a big variety of outsoles, all developed and manufactured by Vibram, the unquestioned leader in the field of high quality, long lasting, technical soles. The different tread patterns of the outsoles, the rubber compound used, the shape of the lugs etc., are all details specially designed and manufactured in accordance to each specific use: ice climbing, mountaineering on snowy ground, trekking in rough rocky terrain, light hiking, multi-activity sport etc.
Some of the soles for heavy trekking and mountaineering are hard and stiff, whereas many others used for trekking, hiking, adventure and outdoor are"Dual Density": between the midsoles and the outer rubber sole there is a layer of weight-reducing, shock absorbing micro porous polyurethane, making the step easier and fighting muscle fatigue. Even lighter are the soles with micro porous EVA-midsole.
Some of the soles are compatible with automatic crampons, others with semi-automatic ones, whereas some can be fitted with non-automatic crampons.
MANUFACTURE: Glued or Stitched?
Skilled handcrafters make all our boots one by one, by hand, and not one single boot is made with the more mass.production industrial technique of mould injection of the sole. Our most used manufacturing technique is that the midsole and the outer sole are fastened to the upper with special, super hard glue and hot pressure. This technique allows the use of a huge variety of different types of midsoles and high quality soles, achieving the adequate flexibility and tread pattern for each use, also making special adoptions to different market tastes much more easy and flexible.
The Classic Mountain boots are still made with the traditional technique of fastening the midsole and outsole by means of both glue and stitching, the so-called Twin seem or Norwegian stitching. This good old handcraft technique makes the boot extra sturdy and it’s only possible to use the traditional flat, Vibram Mountain sole (the one that finally conquered Mount Everest, by the way). On the other hand, after a necessary period of wearing in the boot it will fit your foot like a glove and is practically everlasting.
Both techniques allow for re-soling when necessary .
The last defines completely the interior shape of the boot, and consequently the fit to the foot. Having dedicated a lot of effort in finding a perfect mix of lasts for the boots we make, Bestard uses today a total of six different lasts, of which one is specially designed to fit women’s feet (Trekking Lady). In some models the shape of the last is slightly modified or reinforced by interior padding and insets. The only way of finding out which last will fit you best is to take your time and try the boots on! However, we are always sure you will find a last and a Bestard boot that fits you.
The quality of the lining is of fundamental importance for the quality of the boot, its duration and for the comfort of the user. Feet can be wet both from the inside (by sweating) and from the outside (rain, snow, puddles, marsh), which inevitably will lead to great discomfort, blisters etc. Bestard was the first Spanish manufacturer to introduce Gore-Tex lining in its boots over 15 years ago, and today almost all our boots are fitted with Gore-Tex lining, either with the standard version or with applications with special features like Duratherm for extra thermo insulation, the XCR for extra transpiration for warm climates, or the leather version, made for people who prefer waterproof and breathable footwear but still with the traditional leather touch inside the boot.
For mountaineers who still prefer the classical leather linings without Gore-Tex®, in our Classic Mountain Boots we also offer this soft cattle leather linings in combination with Thinsulate. In the same series we you also have the option of a combination of Cambrelle outer lining and Thinsulate. This option has outstanding moisture management (sweat absorption and transpiration), thermo insulation and anti-abrasion qualities.
An option for footwear used in warm and dry climates is the Dri-Lex lining: not waterproof like Gore-Tex®, but with an exceptional capacity of absorbing damp and with excellent breathing and anti-abrasion qualities, keeping the foot dry and free from sweat
THE BOOTIE: Fix or removable?
ALL the Gore-Tex® boots manufactured by Bestard are made by the principle of bootie-construction, meaning that this waterproof, windproof and breathable lining is totally wrapped around the foot like a sock. One of the advantages of this system is the possibility to change the lining in case it would be damaged.
In almost all models the bootie is fixed to the upper, but in our TOP-models (TOP-Mountain, TOP-Trekking and TOP-Adventure), the bootie is easily removable and lined with Cambrelle. Thanks to this system you can take off the heavy outer boot for cleaning and drying and still wear the lined and cushioned bootie as a light, waterproof and comfortable "in-shoe" when inside the tent or mountain hut .
THE ANKLE CUFF: High or low?
A high ankle cuff is needed to provide support when climbing or trekking on steep, uneven ground; to protect ankles from rock and mud and to keep the feet dry. For adventure activities, hunting etc., sometimes its recommendable to use extra high legs, for instance if walking frequently through very snowy or very marshy ground.
For some outdoor activities and every-day use it be more comfortable to use soft shoes with lower or with no ankle cuffs.