Review: Jim Green Monster Waterproof Boots

South African footwear manufacturer, Jim Green, makers of the rugged, no-nonsense Razorbacks, have a second hiking boot in their line-up: The Monster Waterproof Boot. I got my hands on a pair to see how they matched up…

Construction

The boot’s upper is made from 2.2mm leather with a Cool Max water-resistant lining. In addition to the leather’s natural water-resistant properties, the lining ensures dry feet in excessively wet conditions.

Overall, the boots are well put together. Instead of the Razorback’s stitched-on midsole and flat outsole, the Monsters have a glue-on sole with a natural rocker – the soles roll naturally under one’s foot making for a comfortable walking experience.

Fit

The Monsters have a fairly narrow toe-box, which is in stark contrast to the roomy toe-box of the Razorbacks. Hikers with a narrow forefoot should find these boots to be a good fit.

Like the Razorbacks, the back of the heel is very flat, so if, like me, you have a prominent heel bone, you might have issues with friction blisters on the heel.

Comfort

The boots were comfortable straight out of the box. There was some natural stiffness to the leather uppers when crouching, but other than that there was no uncomfortable rigidity that I was aware of.

The boot is very well padded, which ends up being a bit of a gift and a curse. The generous padding in the tongue completely removes all lace pressure, but, combined with the short gussets, it takes a bit of convincing to get the tongue to stay in the boot when lacing up. The leather and padding eventually starts to yield, but this is definitely an area that could be improved.

As mentioned earlier, the rounded glue-on sole with its natural rocker makes for a more comfortable experience underfoot when compared to the Razorbacks.

Grip & Support

Jim Green have used a softer compound rubber for the Monsters which allows for more feedback on what’s happening under your feet. The soles felt grippy, even on steep, rocky terrain and I never felt unstable.

Water Resistance

The Monsters are specifically marketed as Jim Green’s waterproof boot, so this is a feature that they paid particular attention to. I’m not familiar with the Cool Max brand of water-resistant lining, but they do the job. Combined with the leather’s natural water-resistant qualities, my feet remained dry even after walking in the rain and through wet vegetation for a few hours.

Durability

Jim Green boots are specifically known for their durability and the excellent aftermarket support that Jim Green provides. As per their website, these boots can be resoled.

The boots do not have a toe cap, so the toe will get scuffed pretty quickly, but the 2.2mm leather will stand up to years of abuse.

Weight

The Monsters unfortunately do their name justice in the weight category – they are heavy. At 900g for a size 10 boot (1800g per pair), the weight is noticeable. If you’re already used to the general weight of full leather boots, the weight might stand out less, but coming from anything synthetic to the Monsters will take some getting used too.

There are definitely a few obvious areas where weight can be saved, like the unnecessarily long tongue, excessive padding and very thick soles, so hopefully we’ll see a Monster 2.0 in the not too distant future.

Best Applications

The Monsters are well suited to pretty much any terrain and will be comfortable under medium to heavy loads.

Value

At R1665 (at time of writing), the Monsters offer reasonable value for money. If they could shave off a few grams and refine the shape, these boots would be a serious contender.

Conclusion

A proudly South African, all-round, waterproof boot with good grip and a supplier that offers amazing aftermarket support, the Jim Green Monsters have a lot going for them, but they are heavy, and the lacing can be a bit fiddly. That being said, if they fit your feet and you don’t mind the weight, it’s a decent pair of boots at a good price.

These boots were provided by Jim Green Footwear for review purposes and can be purchased online or at one of their stockists.

About Arno van der Heever 38 Articles
Co-founder of Hiking South Africa, Arno loves the outdoors and finds joy in sharing it with others. He is a qualified mountain guide, a keen rock climber and has a "thing" for technical backpacks and footwear.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for another great review. I was waiting for it but only found it today! So what I was hoping you might do is say which boot you would buy. I am considering them and would find this type of opinion really helpful.
    So Arno… 🙂 which one would you buy? Thanks for another great review.

    • Hey Max, personally I think the Razorback has more charm and also fits my feet better, so that would be my choice. However, as mentioned in the review, if you have a narrower forefoot, prefer a waterproof boot (which I generally do) and don’t mind the weight, then the Monster is a good pick.

  2. Thank you for a great review – I am in the market for a new pair and always like to support local. Unfortunately I find the “new” HiTech design doesn’t fit well, so good to know there are other options:)

  3. Hi
    I have had 3 pairs of the Jim Green Razorbacks over the many years.
    I have NOT tried the Jim Green Monster Hiking Boot.
    The Jim Green Razorbacks are excellent and last forever I have hike thousands of Kilometres.
    The only complaint I have with the Razorbacks is they are hard and stiff when new you must wear them in before you do a long hike.
    I have also had 3 Pairs of La Sportive Tibet hiking boots also excellent.
    The most comfortable boots I have ever used.
    NO need to wear them in I did a 30KM Hike and Mountain Climb the first day I purchased them not even one “HOT SPOT’.
    La Sportive Tibet hiking boots however do NOT last as long as the Jim Green Razorbacks.
    Another slight problem with the Jim Green Razorbacks is the sole is very wide which sometimes is a problem in deep very narrow paths.
    You do NOT have this problem with the La Sportive Tibet as the soles are narrow on the sides.
    I can thoroughly recommend both the Jim Green Razorbacks and also the La Sportive Tibet.
    Very important buy good quality boots especially if you intend doing some serious Hiking and Climbing.
    As a matter of interest I recently went into the Cape Union Mart in Gateway.
    The Boot sales assistant had never been hiking not even once in his life.
    Further on in the conversation I discovered that this very same sales assistant had NO idea where the Drakensberg was.
    Welcome to the New South Africa.
    Very important most of the very cold Bad Weather comes from Cape Town.
    When hiking in the Drakensberg always check the South Westerly wing and Weather in Cape Town.
    A Dual SIMS Cell phone is highly recommended.
    Have fun and be careful.
    Snowy Smith
    0001mpsa@gmail.com,
    0001actioncam@gmail.com,

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