“Very close to being outstanding, but falls just short!”
Haix Protector Ultra.
After owning a pair of Haix Protector Pro boots for best part of 2 years, I was very excited to try out the impressive looking Protecter Ultras. I’ve been lucky with my footwear in my time working in the Arb industry. 5 years service, and only 3 pairs of boots in that time. The Protector Pros were undoubtedly the best pair I’d had, and seemed to fit my feet very well. So, the Ultras had a lot to live up to!
After trying on lots of different styles and brands, I found myself lacing up a pair of the Ultras and thinking to myself, yes, these are the ones for me. I have quite skinny, low volume feet and Haix just seem to fit me. I had been desperate to try a pair of Meindl Airstereams but there is just too much volume in there for my foot shape. First impressions were excellent. Comfy, light, not to warm. As a ground worker only I don’t need to worry about how they perform with spikes on. I was more interested in whether they kept my feet dry and warm, and kept me on my feet. As expected towards the end of the Protector Pros life grip was non existent, and they were no longer watertight.
I had had trouble in the initial stages of wearing both styles (Pro and Ultra), with there being no flex in the ankle area. Thankfully I was taught a trick to get around this, namely missing out the eyelet for the laces where the flex point is. This allows the initial rigidity to soften quite quickly. I must say though, the Ultras were much quicker to mound to my feet and I was happily working away in the them in a matter of days. The Pros took a solid fortnight to get comfy!
The Ultras looked the part, in a vibrant red colour and I thought they complemented my SIP trousers nicely (you’ve got to look professional). The lacing system was slick, and the lock off eyelets made keeping the tension on the laces a doddle when doing them up. The insole was cool and comfy, and stayed put unlike some others that can move about. The outers seemed fairly tough and resistant to oil, dirt and grime. Overall I was very happy with them......for the first 6 months anyway.
Now as was mentioned, the Protector Pros I had before these were outstanding. The lasted for well over 18 months and performed admirably. Unfortunately the same can not be said for the Ultras. The sole had lost the majority of its tread after 6 months, and on the left boot the sold had split at the front of the boot. The sole has also started to come away at various places on both boots. This is such a shame as the uppers are still in very good condition, and remain watertight. I’m going to look into the possibility of getting them resolved as they do still have plenty of life left in them I feel.
So to summarise, Haix do make some very good, durable and comfy boots. It’s just the Ultras don’t quite cut it for me in terms of durability. I’d not be deterred by these though, and would recommend the brand to anyone who asked. The attached photos are a stock one of them brand new, and what mine look like now after 9 months use.