Hiking boots might be the single most important piece of gear you bring with you on the trail. Your feet take the brunt of the entire hike and keeping them dry and comfortable is must on each hike. The right footwear can make the difference between an amazing day and four hours of misery! So when I was sent a pair of Kodiak Selkirk hiking boots to try out and review I was excited to give them a workout. I have previously hiked in both the Kodiak Skogan and Stave and have thorough reviews of those on the webpage. I will be doing some comparison to the two boots in this review.
Kodiak Boots is a Canadian company that has been doing footwear forever but if you aren’t familiar with them an excellent blogger wrote a piece on them here. It’s me. I wrote the piece. My absolutely favorite pair of winter boots are made by Kodiak Boots . I also had really good luck with the Skogan and Stave boot so I was excited to give the Selkirk a try.
As a disclaimer I would like to mention that I have an affiliate agreement with Kodiak Boots and any purchase you make from this website may result in me getting a small commission. They also sent me these boots to review. All opinions on this page are my own and based on my own experiences with this pair of shoes. I am not compensated for the opinions on this review. Your experience with the shoes may be different.
Before I get into my opinions I wanted to share some of the specs on the Selkirk.
According to KodiakBoots.com the Selkirk are, “The ultimate waterproof day hiker—stripped down to the essentials with ultra-lightweight materials that don’t compromise on durability or comfort. The mid-cut height provides all-day ankle support on rough terrain while the slip-resisting rubber outsole digs into the trail. Completely waterproof with a seam-sealed membrane, it lets you keep going through downpours and creek crossings. Recycled materials help limit your environmental impact.”
One of my favorite things about Kodiak is their continued efforts to be eco-considered with recycled materials and still produce a great boot. Here are the specs from the Kodiak Website:
7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 12, 13
- Genuine suede and ultra-breathable textile hiking boot
- Waterproof/breathable membrane seals out rain and puddles
- TecTuff® toe and heel guards resist abrasions and scuffs
- Lacing system designed to eliminate pressure points
- KODIAK® Comfortzone™ ECO footbed for all-day comfort
- Lightweight, compression molded EVA midsole absorbs shock
- Slip-resistant rubber outsole adapts to varied terrain
- 100% recycled lining and laces, 50% recycled textile upper
*All spec information from Kodiakboots.com at time of this posting and are subject to change.
What I liked
There is a lot to like about the Kodiak Selkirk hiking boots. The give off a classic and minimalist vibe for those that love a good boot that does the job. The Selkirk to me combines the consistency of a solid work boot with the functionality of a good hiker. This is the boot for those who enjoy hiking more than talking about hiking. A real hikers, hiking boot.
The Selkirk is a little lighter weight than the Stave and about even with the Skogan. The weight shouldn’t be a problem for those who usually use hiking boots. The mid-cut is firm but flexible allowing for really good ankle protection on rocks. The heel of the boot is also firm to help capture the heel for better fit on hikes with elevation gain. The footbed is something Kodiak calls its Comfortzone™ ECO and provides a lot of cushion for a comfortable hike especially over long distances. This to me might be the biggest difference between the three boots I have tried from Kodiak. My foot feels more like it is a cross trainer than a boot with this footbed. The toe box is a touch narrow so if you have a wider foot like me it might be a little tight.
Despite being a little lighter weight than the Stave, the Selkirk feels really solid on the foot. I have a tendency to kick and stub when I hike and I feel totally protected in these hiking boots. There also is no sliding around the foot when I get on weird angles and I feel confident on all terrain. Overall a really nice fit.
The Selkirk comes in two different colors, brown or grey. Both boots are two-toned with a black accent. The brown has a some red stitching and the grey has some white as accents. The boots have a classic style which is sleek and I like it.
The grip on a hiking boot or shoe needs to be able to keep you upright on the trail. If you feel like you are on roller blades than the boot isn’t working out. This can be more or less important depending on what type of trails you hike but in Colorado with a lot of rocky surfaces the grip becomes very important.
On a slip scale from worst to best of: Oh-HOLY COW–NO NO NO, Woah, Not Bad, I Got This, No Worries!
- Flat Dry ground that is dirt or rock: No Worries
- Flat ground that is a little damp or muddy: I Got This
- Loose dirt: No Worries
- Walking across rock boulders: No Worries
- Declining down a flat rock: No Worries
- Scree: Not Attempted
- When bottom of shoes are wet: I Got This
Overall the grip does a good job on the Kodiak Selkirk. I haven’t taken them through every scenario but every hike I have done so far the boots have reacted well to the terrain and have not given me any hesitation. Here is a bit more of a breakdown of the grip.
Bouldering and Rock Walking
I haven’t done a lot of true bouldering but have done several hikes with rock walks and the grip is really good. In dry conditions the Selkirk held on to the rocks p to about a 45 degree downward angle. When wet they held to about a 30 degree point. The boots grip well and have enough flexibility to not get into awkward positions.
There is also plenty of padding that allows the boots to walk over more jagged areas without the rocks penetrating into the foot.
Snow, Slush, Ice
I have done a couple of hikes on snow but being late in the season it was more on the slushy variety. The Selkirk held up really well and will grip into about a half of inch of the slushy snow. Anything deeper than this you will want micro-spikes or some sort of traction for any boot. The waterproofing also keeps your foot nice and dry in these conditions.
Damp tread was the one issue I had with Kodiak Skogan boots that I reviewed. If walking through water, like a creek, and then immediately onto some big rocks the Skogans got a little slick. This was improved with the Stave when I tested those next. The Selkirk boot is closer to the Stave in this regard. There still is a little slipping when the tread is damp and having to go straight to rocky terrain but it really only takes effect on more extreme angles. For instance if you cut through the water and then have a rock face that is above a 30 degree angle you might get a bit of a slip.
This really depends on what type of terrain you are hiking in. If you hike a lot in Colorado or mountainous trails this will be more noticeable. A lot of times I will have to go from a creek to a series of rocks where I notice. If your hikes are mostly flat or not very rocky you shouldn’t have any issues but I wanted to make sure you were prepared.
The Kodiak Selkirk acts like it was born to get dirty. It chews up dirt trails with the best of them. The tread is deep enough grab the dirt but not so deep that it feels like you are walking on top of it. It has a good hold of the dry ground even on loose, sandy like material. This is also where the Comfortzone™ ECO footbed comes in. It makes it each step feel a bit softer on these dirt trails.
I hate mud, mud is terrible. So, I am not going to judge any shoe on how they handle mud. I would rather walk on snow and ice than a trail that is 2 inches of mud that slips and slides underfoot.
The grip is the most important but a close second is the pad. If you aren’t having a comfortable hike then you aren’t going to be happy with the shoes! I have talked about the Comfortzone™ ECO footbed a few times already and this is where the Selkirk really is a step above. The footbed makes for an extremely comfortable hike with a softer impact for each step. That is only the first step though.
The midsole and outsole combine to provide superior protection against any penetrating rocks or branches that you might step on. This will give you the confidence to take on any terrain and know that you will have a comfortable hike. I have walked on rough and jagged rocks, pebbles, roots and have never had an issue with feeling discomfort on the bottom of my feet.
This is a really comfortable boot that protects you from the trail without taking away your ability to feel the trail underneath you which is all you can ask for in a hiking boot.
I got my pair of Kodiak Selkirk boots in the late spring so I haven’t taken them through a full wet season yet. I have hiked with them though snow, some small streams and snow melt as well as one rainy hike. The waterproofing so far has been 100% without any penetration that I have found.
In the snow and melting snow on the boots, including on top of the toes, nothing came through. I did stand in a small stream of snow melt for about five minutes in these boots and again no penetration. The stream was more of a trickle that only made it to the bottom of the suede and not up the ankle but no water made its way through.
Also, with the waterproofing there was still a good breathability to the boot. While I haven’t hiked in the hottest of summer weather, I have hiked in mid 80 degree temps and never felt uncomfortable or overheated.
What I didn’t Like
While overall I really enjoy the Selkirk hiking boot, they take away my blogger card if I don’t find something to complain about. I have a couple of small things that I wanted to bring up that I didn’t love.
I have had some really good luck with the Kodiak Boots as far as being comfortable right out of the box. The Selkirk took me a little bit longer to get comfortable on my feet before I was comfortable with a longer hike. What I found was that the lacing was a little tight in the toe area of the shoe. I played around and laced the boots more to my comfort and then they were more comfortable. I think they just came laced up a bit tighter than I am used to.
The toe box in the Selkirk is a little more narrow than it was in the Stave and a little more in line with the Skogan. I have a wider foot and like to have a little extra room in the toe box. While my foot fits, it starts to get a bit cramped in there on those 7-8 mile hikes.
Video Review of the Kodiak Selkirk
Wrap Up of Kodiak Selkirk Hiking Boot
I have been hiking in Kodiak Boots for a while now and have been happy so far but also have some high expectations. The Selkirk Hiking Boots definitely met those expectations. They are a comfortable hiking boot, maybe the most comfortable of the three Kodiaks I have tried. They also have a very solid build without being clunky or overly bulky.
I like the classic feel and style of the boot as well. It is a boot that I wasn’t afraid to get dirty. I wanted to get them out on the trail as soon as I could. As soon as I got them out there I was feeling great with every step. They are the type of boots that feel like a softer shoe until you look down and remind yourself they are a full boot.
These boots did take longer than usual to get broken in and it seemed to have to do with the tight lacing that came out of the box. Once I adjusted the laces a bit they were comfortable and ready to go but I had to play around with it a little bit to find that sweet spot. I am glad I didn’t give up on them because they have turned out to be a really nice boot.
Overall I really like the Kodiak Selkirk. It is one of the more comfortable hiking boots on the feet. They also have good grip, waterproofing and are breathable. I think this would be a really nice boot for new and experienced hikers a like.
More from the Fatman
For a list of other products that I have reviewed you can check my Product Review page here. If you have any products you would like me to review or any comments you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!