ECCO found a way to bond Dyneema with leather to create a pair of super boots that Marty McFly might wear if he went hiking.
ECCO is a Danish shoe company that has been doing some very impressive innovations over the years. I sat down with Thomas of ECCO doing the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2018 to interview him about new products. The thing was, I could not stop looking at the boots he was wearing. Turns out, they were the Exostrike boot. He handed me and our cameraman, Aaron Rose, a pair and we were off to test them immediately.
Exostrike – A boot for Zombie Apocalypse
I hope we never have a zombie apocalypse. Or any kind of apocalypse for that matter. If we do, then these will probably be the boots I grab for that event. Why? Because they are made with Dyneema. If you have not heard about Dyneema yet, then I will fill you in. Dyneema is, by weight, the stronger material on earth. Depending on how it is used, it can be 5-15X stronger than steel. Plus is it lightweight and pliable. No need for a suite of steel armor anymore. Dyneema is used in knife and bulletproof products. So, I assume that a zombie would not be able to bite through the boot.
Phorene – PU on steroids
Phorene is a proprietary ECCO product that is designed to rebound energy. During the ECCO interview, Thomas demonstrated how much more rebound the super foam has. He had two balls, one of normal PU and the other of Phorene. In an act of science fair demonstration (remember Mr. Wizard?) he dropped both balls at the same time. The normal PU dropped and made a thud sound. The Phorene ball bounced much higher and had a lighter sound. What does this mean for your feet? The idea is the boots would give you more pep in your step. I do not have a way to quantify this, but they did feel lighter than they weigh.
Back to the Future Looks
Then there is the way these boots actually look. I don’t usually care that much about aesthetics of boots, but these are some really cool looking boots. So cool that they derailed our interview with ECCO. I wear these boots in the mountains and in the city. They definitely some major attention. From the large tread (that actually grips well) to the mega insole and laces – this is a remarkable boot.
This last part of the review probably won’t affect you from buying these boots, because this feature is not available (yet). ECCO you may want to bring this technology to the public! The boots I tested turn color as it gets closer to freezing. At first, I did not get it. Why would you want a boot to turn colors? Well, because you can. ECCO found a way to bring back retro coolness of color changing clothing. Remember Hypercolor?! The first night I tested these camping, the temps dropped to freezing and the boots went from the off-white color to a deep black. It blew my mind. Since then, I have relied on the boots to tell me what temp it is when I wake up in the tent. If they are solid black, then it is freezing or below. If they are a combination of black and white, then it is closer to 40 degrees. If they are solid white, then it is at least 50 degrees. Pretty neat in my opinion.
Review of ECCO Exostrike Boot
With a retail price of $300, it is kind of hard to recommend these boots to the general public. Yes, they are good boots and handle hiking well. They even feel amazing (ECCO knows how to make a comfortable shoe). Having Dyneema bonded to the leather is next level. I would not say these boots are knife or bulletproof (I did not feel comfortable stabbing my foot for a review), but they are definitely dog and stick proof. The Phorene foam is awesome and I hope to see it in other shoes.
If you are the kind of person that appreciates all these qualities and has the budget for these boots, then absolutely get them. If ECCO adds Gore-Tex (they have bonded leather Gore-Tex for other shoes) then I would be even more inclined to recommend them. UPDATED NOTE – they do have Goretex version of this for $229!
I love these boots. They would not be my first choice for backpacking or winter use (as they are not waterproof). I would choose these for urban to trail use and anytime I want to blow someone’s mind with color changing, Dyneema bonded, McFly boots. MSRP $300