Review of Kamik Panther Kids Boots
By Matt Smith

Kamik, a Canadian brand well known for winter shoes and boots is expanding it's line to include summer shoes and sandals. We got the chance to get a first hand look at the new 2006 line. Among them is the new Panther kids hiking boot.

The Panther is standard fare for a kids hiking boot. From a parental standpoint, the quality is good. The lacing system is easy to use, and allows for a snug fit for scrambling. I enlisted the help of my 7 year old daughter Jane to field test the boots. As you can imagine with a 7 year old girl, she was disappointed they aren't pink. However, she reported to me that they were comfortable, and she didn't get any blisters. Her only complaint was that her feet got sweaty. I tried to explain to her, to little avail, that is because we were hiking in southern Utah, and the temperatures were in the high 90's.

The Panther has good proportions for a childs foot, and fit well, even with a thick Smartwool hiking sock. The EVA molded foot bed offers reasonable support and stability over rough terrain. In general, I would say that the boot itself functions about like any kids boot you could buy at Wal-Mart or Target. The big difference is the quality of construction, and therefore the durability of the boot. Our family is very active in the outdoors, and we put a lot of wear and tear on the kids clothing and footwear. If your family is anything like ours, you will appreciate the added quality, and the increased chance that these boots will last for 2 or 3 kids. If you are going hiking once, and probably never again, you are better off going with the $9 Wal-Mart version, otherwise, I would consider upgrading to a higher quality boot like the Panther.

Summary: The Panther is a well constructed kids light hiker. It is stable, functional, and easy to get on and off. I would recommend this boot for children in any active family. The Panther can be found online for as low as $18, MSRP is $31.

For more information contact:
1940 55th Avenue
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H8T 3H3

Matt Smith is a contributing editor, and the proud parent of 5 children.

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