Rated 5 out of
Comfy, surprisingly lightweight, bomberI've scoured the earth for a new leather hiking boot without a waterproof barrier. I wanted something relatively light, however, and also without a lot of heel drop. In this boot, I seem to have checked all the boxes. They do need a break in, like any decent leather boot, but are comfortable out of the box. They are a lifetime investment -- while I get out a lot every summer, I'd be surprised if I ever need to resole them, although I would be able to do so if necessary. I have narrow feet and they fit me well, although I like to wear my boots very loose. The shank is not too stiff, which I find to be a bonus. For me, a stiff shank creates balance issues when hiking on rock. Great buy!
Date published: 2014-07-13
Rated 5 out of
A worthwhile investment.I've had these shoes for a few months now and have had only good experiences with them so far. With good socks, they do not need much if any break-in time but they have continued to get softer and more comfortable as I keep adding miles to them. I'm just going to list the pros and cons of the boots as a narrative seems daunting right now... (added upon completion: or not...)
FIT: I have a very wide foot so it was a little tight on the sides at first but the leather stretches and forms and now fits like a glove. It fits the same as my shoe size.
-Lighter than most leather boots I've tried before.
-Rugged, built to last without any doubts. Expect at least a decade with care and maintenance (eventual resoles).
-Great lacing system makes it easy to lace up with no slippage after.
-Breathable, soft leather inside (besides the footbed) which has somehow (maybe coincidentally) has reduced foot odor?! I've worn them on all-day hikes and working on my feet and still they smell like leather. Normally, They'd have reeked by now.
-Very stiff footbed which I love but could see others disliking. Suppose an insert would help that. I have noticed it loosening up though so maybe that's part of the break-in.
-Quite water-resistant. I've stood in water up to where the tongue stops without leaks but without waterproofing them, I'd imagine they'll start to leak eventually as there is no waterproof lining.
-I'm sure that there are other pros as well but I'm sick of typing/thinking about them
-They add about an inch to an inch and a half (2.5-3.5 cm) to your height... I'm 5'11'' so that doesn't go unnoticed. It's a little embarrassing but I figure it makes aggressive hiking a little easier and the ankle support makes rolling an ankle all but impossible. Again, I suppose some might find this to be a pro. I've never worn a nice pair of winter boots but I imagine they feel similar in that regard.
-They're not the most handsome boot at first (I'm thinking specifically of the sides of the tongue looking goofy [can't see from the side pictures of the shoe]) though as they break in, they do end up looking quite nice. *I feel ridiculous that both of my cons so far are cosmetic-ish but my confidence can only handle so much*
-Ugh... The tongue slips a little to the side but there is a hook attached to the middle of the tongue that keeps it from going far. This is an issue with any boot or shoe that I think they handled nicely though that hook can and does get snagged occasionally on the cuff of your jeans if you're lazy about taking them off. I've felt no snagging being worn but it could be a possibility I suppose.
-It's hard to take them of while camping, for a while, because you're afraid someone will steal your not yet trail-worn, very expensive boots. Paranoia comes with nice things though. "Mo' money, mo' problems" at its finest.
-Water-resistance ONLY. There are measures you can take with leather to make them essentially waterproof but without that, they will get saturated and become heavy (and cold in freezing temperatures). If you plan on being in a wet environment, I'd highly recommend snow proofing them with an oil or some other treatment. THIS IS THE CASE WITH ANY UNLINED LEATHER BOOTS. MAINTENANCE IS A MUST AND THEY SHOULD BE BRUSHED FREE OF DIRT FREQUENTLY AND TREATED TO PREVENT NATURAL WEAR OF LEATHER. That's all very easy however and something you won't have an issue with after dropping $350 on a pair of boots. I certainly don't mind and I'm quite lazy.
Overall, I really love these boots. I'd buy a new pair if something happened to these. They've been great all winter, and it's been quite a wet one. I'm excited to see how they do hiking in warmer weather but I have zero concerns. They're only getting better with miles (I'd guess around 60 miles in the last three months) and age and I'd be surprised if they're much different in 10 years.