Fracap vs Paraboot: Which Is a Better Hiking Boot?

The Fracap M120 Magnifico boot and Paraboot Avoriaz are both representations of ideal mountain boots for hikers.

But, several differences make one rank above the other and one of the features that cause these distinctions include the build quality of the boots.

The welting technique used in the manufacture of these footwear make all the difference between the durability of one footwear as compared to the other brand.

Fracap vs Paraboot

Goodyear construction technique is easily the most popular welting technique in the footwear industry due to the aesthetic quality and low maintenance needed.

The Storm Welt which is also known as the Norwegian welt is majorly a modification of the Goodyear construction technique.

The difference between these two is that the Norwegian welt is more suitable for rough terrains with harsh weather conditions. It offers greater moisture protection and waterproofing features than the Goodyear welt does.

The Fracap M120 boots are made with more common Goodyear welting as is the case with other footwear brands whereas its counterpart, the Paraboot Avoriaz employs the Norwegian welt which is more impermeable than the customary Goodyear welt.

There are some more features outlined in this article that will help you pick the right hiking boot between these brands when faced with the question of choice.

Fracap Footwear: What to know about the brand

Fracap, which was founded in 1908 by Antonio Capello of the Capello family, is an Italian footwear brand that crafts quality, handmade shoes in the small town of Monteroni, Italy.

Known for their classic, military-style boots the brand originally crafted boots for farmers and gained prestige for manufacturing durable footwear.

Around 1987, while managed by the Second generation of the Capello family, they gained global recognition for making boots for the Italian Military and Air forces.

Italian footwear has since evolved to manufacturing high-quality shoes using standard raw materials with the first model of their boot line being the “Magnifico”.

Over time, they have diversified making different shoe styles using the same mold originally used in crafting Italian Military shoes.

The brand has also made provisions for shoppers to customize their boots online, from the eyelets down to the type of sole and laces they want.

The Fracap shoe brand has several hiking boots, including the Fracap M120 Indian boots, Fracap M120 Magnifico, and the Fracap Scarpocini mostly characterized by the use of vegetable-tanned leather and Goodyear welting for the soles.

Pros of Fracap Hiking boots

  • Customization in different colors and styles.
  • Stitch down construction
  • It runs true to size
  • It is lightweight and comfortable to walk around in.

Cons of Fracap Hiking boots

  • The ripple soles of the Fracap M120 are not ideal on wet surfaces.

Paraboot: What to know about the brand?

Paraboot is one of the world’s best footwear brands, founded in 1908 by Remy-Alexis Richard.

The brand’s name is coined from a combination of words – Para, which is a port in Amazonia where their latex raw material is exported from and boot, the new shoe he encounters in the United States.

He was inspired by the galvanized rubber shoes he encountered during one of his trips to America and he brought back this technique to his factory in Izeaux, incorporating this innovation with his method of applying notched soles to alpine boots which at the time were fixed to wooden soles.

He developed lugged rubber soles a decade before Go take Abrami came up with his Vibram soles.

A distinct feature of the company to date is that they produce their shoe soles in-house which is why the RP logo appears on the soles of their shoes, instead of the more popular Vibram logo.

In 1945, the brand released the Michael model which has gathered popularity over time to be considered classic footwear despite how ugly it looked.

The Avoriaz is another popular model owned by the footwear brand. These Paraboot signature hiking boots are named after the French Mountain Resort and are a copy of the Galibier hiking boots that were quite the rave among French men during the Post-war period. Japan is also one of the notable exporters of footwear from the brand.

Very few Made-in-France footwear brands have survived and Paraboot is one of the high-end and quality brands that have stood the test of time.

Pros of Paraboot hiking shoes

  • The Norwegian welting makes it water-resistant.
  • The Paraboot Avoriaz is made with ankle padding.
  • It has soft, cushioned, and lightweight soles.
  • It is very comfortable to wear.

Cons of Paraboot hiking shoes

  • The Paraboot Avoriaz is quite pricey when compared to its performance.
  • Construction splits under the welt are a common and probable defect that is a result of the Norwegian welt.

Comparison between Fracap and Paraboot: which is a better hiking boot?

There are certain functions every hiking shoe should perform apart from comfort and protection from harsh conditions and this includes durability and good traction for the trails you will be setting out on.

What are the features that make the Paraboot Avoriaz a better hiking boot than the Fracap M120 and vice versa? What are the reference points to consider before choosing your next hiking boot in readiness for the adventures in Alps?

This comparison between these brands will help in explaining what to look out for in hiking boots that catch your eye before making that choice.

Fracap vs Paraboot: Leather

Vegetable-tanned leather is used in the production of the Fracap hiking boots. Even though the pros of this leather outweighs its cons, one notable disadvantage is the low level of water resistance it offers except when covered with wax.

One of the most important parts of a shoe apart from the soles is the upper body and Paraboot Avoriaz is made from the finest leather selection.

The footwear brand prides itself on its leather which is gotten in France and the shell Cordovan from the United States.

The leather is infused with oils, fats, waxes, and tannins during the tanning process making it resilient, hardwearing, and water-resistant. 

The leathers used are selected based on their feel with the most popular being the Calfskin leather used in creating the upper part of the shoe.

It is a hundred percent natural and no synthetic topcoat is applied to hide the flaws in this leather. It is quite common to see wrinkles and stretches appear on this footwear as a result.

There is also a distinct difference between each pair of boots as a result making your paranoid unique.

The type of show being manufactured also influences the choice of leather. For more classic models, fine-grained leather is preferred as opposed to the high resistant and full-grained leather that is used for outdoor models.

Both brands make use of full-grained for their uppers. The Fracap brand goes ahead to specify that their leathers are processed using natural methods such as vegetable tanning.

Winner: Tie

Fracap vs Paraboot: Build Quality

The leather of the Fracap M120 has turned out to be soft and requires no real break-in with a fold-over tongue that prevents debris from getting in.

The Fracap boots are also made with a single stitched pattern that runs around them. The hardware is quite sturdy and attached firmly to the boots so there is no chance of it coming if the laces are pulled too tightly.

The Avoriaz boots feature the Norwegian welt which makes them water-tight and is superior to the Goodyear welt.

The Norwegian welt is a construction technique that attaches the shoe upper with its sole making it easy to be resolved. 

The Paraboot company also produces its soles house giving them control over the quality of these soles which in turn means more durable shoes.

Winner: Paraboot Avoriaz

Fracap vs Paraboot: Outsole

Fracap brand is known for its diversity when it comes to style and with each of these different models comes different soles ranging from rippled to Commando Vibram soles.

The ripple sole of the Fracap M120 is known for its perfect grip that holds firm even on the smoothest surfaces making it perfect for outdoor adventures.

On the other hand, the Paraboot brand has continued with the same blends and vulcanization technique that was employed for the original Paraboot models. The outsoles and heels are made in this manner.

Winner: Tie

Fracap vs Paraboot: Durability

Full-grain leather being the uppermost layer of the cow’s hide used in manufacturing is not only tougher but also thicker than every other type of leather used by footwear brands.

The fibers at the top of the cow’s hide are packed densely at the surface and get looser with depth. This makes full-grain leather the toughest and most durable cut out there.

Both brands make use of full-grain leather so there is the assurance of durability when it concerns the uppers of both brands.

The sole of the Paraboot Avoriaz is exclusively produced by the company with rubber compounds that are shipped from France and vulcanized in the Paraboot factories.

This gives the paranoid brand more control over the techniques used in the production of the soles and other parts and assures durability.

Winner: Paraboot Avoriaz

Fracap vs Paraboot: Size and Fitting

It is recommended to size up to avoid pinched toes with the Fracap M120 as it is designed for snug-fitting.

On the other hand, it is important to stay true to size when shopping for your hiking boots from this brand. Paraboot is quite indulgent with its sizing.

Sizing down is recommended when shopping from this brand especially if you are using the US Brannock size.

All of their footwear comes in half sizes and are mostly made using the standard UK sizing system, except for a few original models that are made in France.

Winner: Paraboot Avoriaz

Fracap vs Paraboot: Pricing

Fracap boots are not exactly cheap and this is understandable considering you are shopping not just for aesthetically pleasing footwear but for quality Italian craftsmanship as well.

Several clothing stores, online and walk-in stores have the Fracap brand in stock for sale starting from $259 for non-customizable styles.

The price goes up to about $322  if you want to customize your boots and make them unique and different from hundreds of other styles.

Even though there may be discounts from time to time, the Paraboot Avoriaz is quite expensive and it offers value for money.

The pricing might differ a bit based on the retail store but you are likely to grab a good pair of these boots at $400 for a brand new pair and around $100 or more for a second hand.

Winner: Fracap boots

Fracap vs Paraboot: Stitching

The stitching of the Paraboot Avoriaz is done with thick thread and uses the Norwegian welting technique.

Unlike the Goodyear welt, the stitching goes through the upper leather and secures the welt to the insole while being very much visible.

The Fracap M120 on the other hand makes use of the Goodyear welt and contrastive stitching.

This highlights their unique shoe soles and other features and while the Goodyear welt has gained more popularity among reputable shoe brands for its functionality, the Norwegian welt lords over it by being more moisture resistant.

Winner: Paraboot Avoriaz

Fracap or Paraboot: Final Verdict

The quality of the Paraboot Avoriaz is outstanding.

From the construction of the shoes to the quality of the materials all scream luxury and class and would be a good buy for hikers looking to get quality footwear that holds up well and offers the support and durability outdoor adventurers need. 

Apart from functionality and high-performance level, the Paraboot Avoriaz model can be adopted into your urban style wardrobe and can be styled in different ways and in different seasons.

The above-mentioned reasons give the Paraboot Avoriaz the edge over the Fracap M120, making it the better hiking boot among both brands.


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