Ahnu Montara vs Sugarpine - which is better?
As you can see by the side-by-side comparison, these two women’s hiking boots from Ahnu are very evenly matched. Their pros and cons are very different, however.
The main things you need to know are that the Montara is much more of a heavy-duty boot compared with the Sugarpine, which is designed for casual, summer wear and probably more suited to shorter, lightweight hikes. The Montara boots have better ankle support and lacing, and are generally considered more comfortable when used for lengthy hikes in harsher climates.
Another key consideration is that the Montara boots have a bigger/wider fit compared to the narrower Sugarpine, which may well require buying a size larger than your usual.
In this in-depth comparison we look at their shared features and key differences in detail so you know which will be the better option. Plus, we’ll review a third option which might just be the way to go for some fashion-conscious weekend backpackers.
Want more options? Check out our best hiking boots buying guide.
One big difference between the two boots is that the Montara uses a mixed synthetic outer sole, whereas the Sugarpine has a pure rubber outer sole. Now, the difference may not be huge, but it exists nonetheless. From what we can tell, the Montara’s outer sole is a little bit more durable and long lasting.
However, the Sugarpine’s outer sole seems to have better traction, especially when walking on wet surfaces; the Sugarpine has a better grip pattern on the bottom. Both of these boots have decent outer soles, but it really depends what exactly you need the boot for.
Another key difference between both of these boots is the way in which they lace up. The Montara has a great speed lace system that barely takes any effort to tie your shoes. Plus, with their eyelet hardware and higher ankle support, you can really pull on the laces to get a tight and comfotable fit. The Sugarpine's laces are more like what you'd find on a hiking shoe or trainer, rather than a proper boot.
Another big difference that we noticed between both of these hiking boots is that they don’t have the same level of waterproofing. The Ahnu Montara has a waterproof upper, which is always nice, but it is not fully waterproof, which can be a big problem if you are hiking in wet seasons and wet areas.
On the other hand, the Ahnu Sugarpine is totally 100% waterproof from top to bottom. This is a really big advantage when it comes to long and strenuous hiking trips where there is a lot of moisture involved. When it comes down to it, the Sugarpine will keep your feet drier than the Montara.
When it comes to the durability of each boot, while both do last for quite a long time, one of these boots is built better than the other. The Ahnu Sugarpine is built with mesh, suede, and leather, which is OK. The suede looks nice and the mesh adds some breathability to the equation, but it doesn’t do any favors when durability is called into question.
The Ahnu Montara is made using leather. It may sound better to have more materials, but not if they are weaker and less durable than leather itself. Since the Montara is made with 100% leather, we think that it is the more durable option. That being said, the Sugarpine does end up being a little more breathable thanks to the mesh.
Something that we like about the Ahnu Montara is that it has a padded rubber toe protector. This is something that the Ahnu Sugarpine does not feature. If you are just walking around and going on light hikes, this might not be a big deal to you. However, if you are walking over rough terrain with lots of obstacles, having good toe protection is definitely a big deal, making the Montara a better choice here.
Before you decide on a pair of Ahnu’s, definitely consider these boots by Forsake (link to Amazon).
The Forsake Patch boots are a bit cheaper, and we feel they have a much more fashionable look than either the Montara or Sugarpine. But while they are definitely cute boots, and very comfortable and breathable, they’re not quite as sturdy and hardcore as the Ahnu boots.
They also run a bit larger, so consider getting one size smaller than your usual, or risk getting blisters on long hikes. Also, they fit better with a decent pair of hiking socks. With that said, these boots aren’t the best for anything more than short day hikes as they lack the arch support you really need for regular, long distances.
Ahnu Montara vs Sugarpine: Our verdict - In terms of comfort and design, both the Montara and the Sugarpine are really great if you’re after a top pair of women’s hiking boots.
But in our opinion, unless you’re after something more casual, the Montara just about comes out on top.
It’s a more robust boot, with better lacing and ankle support. The wider fit and rubber toe protection just makes it that bit more suitable for serious hikers, and considering the similar price point of these boots, it definitely seems like a better option. =ZIP=