I bought this boot because of the incredible price…
Materials: Leather with rubber outsole, polyeurathane midsole, eVent waterproof lining, and thermoplastic ankle-bracing
Use: Day hikes or scrambling on any terrain and extended 3-season backpacking on trails w/ medium loads
Break-in Period: Minimal
Weight: Lightest boots I have ever owned
Price Paid: $79
I bought this boot because of the incredible price (from Campmor as a closeout) and because of the success my Dad has had with the Hi-Tec Altitudes - his favorite outdoor boot. I wasn't able to try them on, so I guessed on size based on the altitude IV and probably ended up about a half size large - great with two pairs of sox, but a bit too roomy with one.
I can verify that these feel a lot more comfortable than you would expect from a backpacking boot. The PU midsole is just right, the waterproofing and wicking materials work just as advertized including the breathability of the eVent liner. I tried to use gel insoles under the molded insoles to take up some of the excess volume in the middle of the boot, but found that these detracted from the breathability and made the boot feel clammy. (Obviously the designers knew what they were doing with the materials they used.)
The boots are very light, but the plastic reinforcement gives a lot of extra ankle support if you lace them well. For some reason, the laces are too short to do this reliably. The leather is unusually water repellent, but the dark finish means that every scratch and scuff is very visible (similar to the Vasque Sundowners I used to wear.) The small toe bumper means that you will have wear spots on the front of the boots the first time you take them in the field. The Vibram outsole is not as aggressive as I would like for snow and ice- the lack of a traditional heal is probably part of this - but it works much better than traditional lug designs on wet, soft surfaces like mud. This would be an over the top winner for a cool, wet climate!
Overall this boot would be a great value at $160, and at half that it is just spectacular!! It will probably keep you drier and more comfortable longer than any other boot under $200. I would actually rate it 4.5 stars if that was possible.