REI Co-op’s new Flash Hiking Boots ($130) are a footwear first for the outdoor brand. And in keeping with the company’s environmentally responsible philosophy, the boots are made of mostly recycled materials. I field-tested them on a recent ENE TV shoot in Quincy, Massachusetts, and was impressed by their fit, performance, and light weight.
The FirmaKnit uppers (made from 99% recycled PET polyester) provide a snug, secure fit, plus they’re breathable and waterproof. They’re also incredibly comfortable, thanks in part to midsoles made with 10% algae-based BLOOM foam that cradles and cushions your foot. Meanwhile, TrailBed insoles use Insite Contoura technology to ensure support and comfort.
On the business end, the recycled-rubber TerraGrip tread on the outer sole provides slip-resistance on all kinds of terrain, thanks to 4 mm forefoot climbing lugs and 4 mm heel braking lugs. I wore the boots during a rappelling lesson in the Quincy Quarries Reservation, and they provided a secure grip on the slick granite ledge. I also wore them on a hike through the Blue Hills Reservation, and can say that the fit was perfect right out of the box—no break-in period required!
Other key features of the Flash boots include two-layer, 30% recycled TPU overlays designed to create durable, supportive uppers; molded-nylon midfoot shanks for foot support and protection; and recycled PET polyester webbing and lacing that create a secure, adjustable mid-foot cradle system.