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After trying out the super comfy Wesco boots, it’s extremely hard to get convinced that any other pair of boots is as good.
There is that feeling that makes you think there is none equal to it. The funny twist is there is someone else who thinks the same of another pair of boots and won’t get convinced too.
They won’t get convinced till they try out the Hoffman boots, then they’ll forget their past preferences.
Wesco and Hoffman boots are not cheap in any way so you should go for the best product if you will be dropping a lot of money from your pockets.
They are both climbing boots, well-constructed to play the roles they were built for, but there are differences you might want to know. Then you’ll see your favorite boots might not be the best, after all.
Major Difference Between Wesco and Hoffman Boots
The major difference between Wesco and Hoffman boots is not what you see at first glance. You will have to put both boots on your feet, then you will realize the biggest difference between the two.
Despite their large similarities in construction and materials, the major difference between the two boots is how long it takes to break in. Boots are built to be rigid and offer support unless they are fancy boots for fashion.
The same applies to Wesco and Hoffman boots. However, you can break into Hoffman boots with supernatural ease. Wesco boots, on the other hand, are not very easy to break into.
Even though they can be considered some of the most comfortable boots, Wesco boots can start with a level of discomfort.
A few reviews claim Hoffman can start tight too but they get comfortable very early, while many other reviews claim they fit perfectly from the start. It is not the same for Wesco.
Wesco Boots Review
Wesco boots are made by a company called Wesco, also known as The West Coast Shoe Company. The Wesco company was founded in 1918 by John Shoemaker to manufacture boots for Men and Women.
For over a century, the Wesco company is still in existence and producing the best and arguably most sustainable boots of our present time.
Each of the Wesco boots is made with the best quality materials, allowing extra durability for firefighters, Shipbuilders, loggers, and users in other work factories.
The boots are produced and supplied directly from the factory, situated in Oregon. Each boot has added reinforcements to make the boots last as long as a lifetime.
A critical review on Wesco engineer boots calls the quality “decent but unimpressive”. According to the reviewer, it is not as great and comfortable as his Asian boots.
The review speaks of quality issues, mentioning an inconsistency in the stitching of the upper soles and the fit of the boots. The boots are said to be tight and uncomfortable; very difficult to break in.
The heels are said to be loose while the heel cups are shallow which makes the boots feel like flip-flops and less supportive.
Another review claims the boots looked good but the soles wore out in less than a year. According to the reviewer, he contacted the company and they offered a new kind of sole for an extra $155.
The reviewer feels disappointed with the initial price for the boots which came with low-quality soles.
However, there are a lot more reviews that claim the boots are the best you can ever put your legs in, and none of the reviews disputes how long it takes to break in.
- High quality
- Extremely comfortable
- Super high durability
- High traction level
- True to size
- Hard to break in
- Initial discomfort
- Not waterproof
Hoffman Boots Review
The History of the Hoffman boots dates back to 1926 when the company started producing boots for Loggers. The Company was started by a family and is operated in Idaho, USA.
The company grew bigger after the second world war and began creating boots for more industries e.g. firefighters, pole climbers, etc.
The Hoffman boots are created with advanced leather with much more durability than other leather boots. There are a lot of reinforcements for protection, similar to the Wesco boots, but Hoffman boots are a lot heavier.
Despite the weight of the Hoffman boots, a reviewer claims it is better for climbing than the Wesco boots.
The review compares Hoffman and Wesco boots to La Sportiva boots in terms of comfort, while stating that Hoffman and Wesco are not half as comfortable as La Sportiva boots.
One review calls Hoffman the worst boot company ever, condemning the company for “horrible Customer service, quality control, and craftsmanship”.
However, the first review is negated by another one that claims the Hoffman boots feel a lot more comfortable than the old vintage boots.
Another reviewer speaks of his wide feet which makes it hard for him to find the perfect size for his feet. Fortunately for him, he got his feet in a pair of Hoffman boots and they fit perfectly for him.
Most of the reviews speak of the stiff soles of the Hoffman boots but virtually all agree to its surreal level of comfort, despite a few reviewers who seemed to have a negative experience.
- High quality
- Super high durability
- High traction level
- Very comfortable
- Easy to break in
- Feet protection
- True to size
- Not waterproof
- Initial discomfort
Wesco vs Hoffman: Head-to-Head Comparison
Most Hoffman boots are made of oil-tanned leather, which is said to make the leather a lot more water-resistant than other leather boots. There is a dual steel shanks reinforcement on the outsole to protect your feet.
Most Wesco boots are made of the same oil-tanned leather, equally as thick as the Hoffman boots (2.8mm), and steel shanks.
Both boots are half-soled and they both have styles with steel toes.
Having been created in almost the same form with half soles and for the same use, they are similar in various ways, even up to the stitching. Hoffman and Wesco boots have a triple stitch in the upper sole.
They both make use of the Kevlar stitch, which allows both to function equally well for Firefighters.
Hoffman boots tend to have attractive stitched patterns on the upper, unlike the Wesco boots that usually come plain. However, there are some Wesco boots with stitched patterns too.
As expected of Boots, both boots are sturdy in look, even though the Hoffman boots are much heavier. They both have logger heels which provide additional support for the ankles and absorb shock.
Bottom Line: Judging by modes of construction, it would be a tie. Both boots are not only made for the same function but are made in almost the same way.
Asides from the stitched designs- a feature Wesco is already catching up to – on Hoffman boots, there is no other difference in construction.
Hoffman boots are very expensive but you know what you are going for should last many lifetimes. Wesco Boots, on the other hand, can be qualified with a bigger word than expensive.
They are not the most expensive footwear in our present time but you still have to spend a lot to lay your hands on a pair of these boots.
Hoffman boots are over a hundred dollars and prices can range up to $500. Wesco boots can be as expensive as $800. Although there are cheaper options, they still cost more than regular boots.
You could guess Wesco boots cost more because they are lightweight but the weight of the shoes doesn’t affect the prices.
The good news is, after paying a fortune for these boots, you can have your boots for an exceedingly long time.
Bottom Line: If we were to judge by the prices of both boots, Hoffman boots should take the lead.
This is because they provide an indisputably high level of durability and the higher prices of the Wesco boots can’t be justified by any feature.
Boots are either made with leather or rubber. However, leather is considered better for climbing boots and is used in both Wesco and Hoffman boots.
It is believed that the thicker the leather, the stronger it would be. Also, the heavier the leather, the higher the durability is considered to be.
The Wesco boots are lightweight which makes the boots suitable for professional climbers. While boots for professional climbers are said to provide support but sacrifice durability, Wesco boots can be considered to be less durable.
However, there are many reviews on the durability of these boots that negate this judgment.
Hoffman boots are as durable as the reviews say. The heavyweight theory also supports this. Asides from durability, heavy climbing boots are said to provide more support for beginners so the Hoffman boots will be more treasured by amateur climbers.
Bottom Line: Judging by the build quality, Hoffman boots will take the lead. While both boots are equally thick (7.5oz), Hoffman boots are heavier and can be assumed to be more durable.
Also, Hoffman boots cater to beginners more than the Wesco boots.
Wesco boots used to have cushioned insoles but they make use of removable leather insoles now. Leather insoles last longer than other insoles. They are better in terms of breathability and are easier to clean.
However, leather insoles are said to offer less support. Also, leather insoles tend to be bulky and don’t fit well in dress shoes. The good part is leather insoles are best for work boots and Wesco boots are built for that purpose.
Hoffman boots still use contour cushioned insoles. These insoles are usually great for runners due to the comfort, the support offered, and shock absorption.
The Hoffman insoles can be assumed to be more comfortable than Wesco insoles. However, on the other hand, Wesco boots are reviewed to be more comfortable than Hoffman boots.
This can be assumed to be a result of the sweat-resistant features in Wesco leather insoles. The stiffness of the Wesco boots provides enough support to make up for the leather insoles.
Bottom Line: Judging by the Insoles, Wesco boots take the lead. The breathability of the insoles guarantees comfort. Also, leather insoles are best for climbers.
Both boots are made of advanced leather. They are stiff so they provide enough support to the legs of a climber.
The two boots are reinforced with steel toes and shanks. Wesco boots mostly have two shanks. Hoffman boots usually come with two shanks too but sometimes, three.
Both boots have eyelets and laces, running from the shaft and almost down to the toes, for adjusting the fit of the boots.
The leather in both boots is upgraded to be more resistant to water but neither of them is waterproof. The Wesco company produces oil that helps the boots be a lot more water-resistant. The Hoffman company also provides a similar product.
Bottom Line: Judging by the Outsoles, this will be a tie because both boots provide the best quality materials which are either the same or have the same function.
Fit and Sizing
Wesco and Hoffman boots are snug and true to size so you can order the regular size and expect a perfect fit.
The Hoffman boots are a lot more perfect in terms of fit. The comfort in Wesco and Hoffman boots are compared and many claim the Wesco boots are a lot more comfortable.
However, you may find the Hoffman to fit a lot better, being easier to break in than the Wesco boots.
Bottom Line: Judging by the Fit and Sizing, Hoffman boots take the lead. Wesco boots take a lot longer to break in and some may not be patient enough to wait for the advertised comfort of the Wesco boots.
Hoffman boots, on the other hand, are said to fit perfectly from the start while some say it takes a short while to break in.
Wesco vs Hoffman Boots: Which is Better?
The Hoffman boots win this duel. While some may object to this judgment due to the proclaimed comfort, Wesco boots are not the best for quick wear, especially when they are new.
Climbing shoes are meant to fit perfectly but must not be uncomfortable. With Hoffman, you know you either have immediate comfort or wait for a short time.
Wesco boots, on the other hand, take an incalculable time to break in, making new Wesco boots less trustworthy for a climber.
In terms of comfort and support, Hoffman provides enough to match the Wesco boots but Hoffman has an edge in fit.
While mountain climbing is said to be a safe outdoor sport, there have been multiple fatal accidents.
Though some of these are natural, some accidents can also be caused by mistakes, wrong choices, and nonchalance.
You may consider it minor but what you wear matters. Choose the best boots and the best equipment. Stay safe.