As I slowly slip on a new pair of LaCrosse boots the warmth and comfort I notice is immediate. I go through my normal ritual of jumping, twisting, high stepping anything I can think of that may recreate any movement that I may make in the woods. I quickly realize that people are starting to stare. Maybe the LaCrosse booth at the ATA show is not the best place to do my extensive field testing. After I take the new boots off and my embarrassment dissipates. I begin to look at all of the engineering that has gone into these boots. Seeing all of the different features my mind starts to compare these new products to the footwear of my youth.
A trip to the 2013 ATA Show gives the author his first taste of cutting edge boot technology from a company who has been in business for over 115 years.
The leather boots that would be drenched for the entire day, after the first five minutes of walking through the morning dew. The battery powered socks that never seemed to keep you any warmer than regular socks; oh, but the enjoyment that came with lugging D cell batteries around your ankles was priceless. It still amazes me that I still want to hunt after all of the days I spent as a kid in the woods with wet, cold, and miserable feeling feet. After looking at these particular boots I quickly realized those memories are thing of the past. Recently, I had the privilege to spend some time with Taylor Towne, the Public Relation Coordinator with LaCrosse Footwear, to find out more about their company and the great products they produce.
Q: How did LaCrosse get its start?
A: LaCrosse Footwear was founded in 1897 in La Crosse, Wisconsin as the La Crosse Rubber Mills Company. In the early years, we focused on producing a number of rubber-coated goods – mainly raincoats and horseshoes. Soon after, with the invention of the modern footwear, we shifted our attention to the perfection of hand crafted rubber overshoes. Footwear has been the heart of our business ever since.
Q: How is LaCrosse different from other companies in the market?
A: We don’t guess what our customers need, we live it. Our products are developed side-by-side with experienced users in the field. Along with our unparalleled commitment to quality and drive to continually look for ways to do things better, we’ve been able to deliver innovative solutions that help men and women accomplish their task in the field for over 115 years.
The passion to build the best hunting footwear is evident in the all new AeroHead boot which renders conventional rubber boots obsolete.
Q: What is one thing that the public needs to know about LaCrosse, that they may not know?
A: Our main focus is to develop innovative solutions that change the way hunters think about footwear. We did this with the introduction of Alpha rubber-over-neoprene technology—which increased comfort, breathability and overall fit in hunting boots— and are now doing it again in 2013 with the introduction of AeroForm™ technology and the AeroHead™ boot. We won’t stop here; there is a lot of excitement around AeroForm technology and other areas of the footwear market we can impact. We have some products coming that will provide better footwear solutions for work, cold weather, wading and other hunting applications. I think folks will be pleased with what they see from LaCrosse in the coming seasons.
Q: How was the concept of the AeroHead boots born? What kind of testing did you have on the initial design?
A: Most rubber boots have limitations in the mind of many outdoorsmen; they are heavy, too hot or not warm enough [depending on the conditions], poor fitting and lack durability in some aspects. As archers ourselves, we felt the need to create a solution so comfortable and durable that the user could focus on what’s really important when they are outdoors instead of worrying about their feet.
The new AeroHead boot will likely erase most of the negative aspects associated with typical rubber boots.
After four years in development and 4,000 miles in testing, the AeroHead™ was introduced this spring. It is constructed with patent-pending AeroForm™ technology featuring a molded polyurethane shell, which is more durable, puncture resistant, flexible, insulating and lightweight than rubber. The polyurethane won’t crack or split and because the outsole is chemically bonded to the upper as part of the mold injection process, it is far more durable than the traditional adhesive method. Combined with neoprene, the polyurethane gives the AeroHead a glove-like feel and provides a thick layer of cushioning underfoot that won’t break down over time. It really is something that you have to put on and feel the comfort for yourself to believe how different of a boot it really is.
Q: For Southern hunters that love the scent control aspects of rubber boots, but have to deal with snakes, what options does LaCrosse offer for those hunters?
A: We currently have an 18″ Alpha Mudlite Snake Boot available. It has a rubber over neoprene construction with 360 degrees of snake protection and a breathable “Aircirc” liner for warmer climates. Additionally, we will soon be adding a new AeroHead snake boot to the LaCrosse family for the spring 2014 Turkey season.
Bowhunters can expect more exciting products from LaCrosse in the coming months and seasons.
Q: For Northern hunters that have to deal with much colder temps, but are looking for strong scent control, what is the best boot option for their application?
A: The new Alphaburly Pro family will be available in July from LaCrosse. The new athletic fit and more flexible rubber compound are welcome changes to the platform. The Alpha rubber over neoprene construction provides great scent control. We will have styles that have insulation values suitable for any region in the states; a 1600g option is available for those that need extra warmth.
Q: What are the best ways to learn more about LaCrosse and stay up to date with what is going on with the company and products?
A: Visit us at www.lacrossefootwear.com and like us on Facebook.