L.L.Bean Gore-Tex Cresta Hikers, Leather
Materials: leather GTX
Use: bushwhack /heavy backpack
Break-in Period: 10 mi +
Weight: 4lbs pr size12
Price Paid: $179 plus shipping
I just bought my 3rd pair of Crestas. These are the only heavy duty backpacking boots that I can find that are wide enough for my puppies. My first 2 pairs were 11W. My last order for 11W were one size too small. I had to pay for return shipping from LL Bean and reorder a 12W. (at 58yrs I don't think my feet are still growing). I guess they changed the equipment or supplier that cuts and forms the boots.
Anyway, after trying the heavy duty Lowa, Asolo, Montrail and North Face, the Crestas shine through as the best of the best, nothing fancy, just a well made, form fitting boot that lasts and stands up to serious abuse from this outdoor hound.
Ive never had a leak, the Gore Tex keeps everything dry unless of course the rain runs down your legs, just a little warm in the summer. Good stiff last in the sole. Generous toe box for downhills and cold weather.
I weigh 205 and even with 35-40lb backpack they don't bend much, surely not enough to ever be uncomfortable. Super rocky trails aren't a problem, good ankle support and the sharp rocks aren't even felt. The soles wear like iron, but beware on wet rocks, wet logs, roots or frosty areas. You'll be on your butt before you know it.. That's one hard Vibram sole.
That hard Vibram sole is a plus for long wear, but they are slick when it's wet and can be dangerous on a rock face and are the only reason that I don't give the Crestas a 5 star rating. With a stickier sole I'd recommend them 100%.
On second thought maybe it's better to leave perfection unattainable.
I feel like I should get a discount on my next pair after this review...but even as a freebie there it is.