User Review: Ecco Track II
Use: Day hikes
Break-in Period: Zero
Price Paid: $200
Ecco's are considered by many to be the most comfortable shoes on the market. I would have to agree. Though their lack of any steel shank makes them unacceptable for moderate to light backpacking, their flexibility and lightweight rule for day hikes. The Track comes in a shoe, a mid-height boot, and a taller, heavily padded boot. They do have a Gore-Tex stormsock inside, so they're completely waterproof.
The most alluring characteristic is the sole and arch support. Instead of using an insole for arch support, Ecco molds the arch into the sole itself (which is injection-molded to the uppers) therefore, it doesn't break down over time like the vast majority of others will. The soles are constructed with two types of polyurethane: a firm type for support, and a softer surrounding type for comfort. Though softer than rubber, it doesn't wear as fast and, contrary to previous reviews, IS resoleable. The shoe needs to be sent to Ecco, for that though.
My personal experience with these has been great. I wear them constantly from sunrise to sunset and have nary a complaint to be found, though I really wish I didn't have to shell out my rent money for them. Especially considering that I don't wear anything else now.