L.L.Bean Gore-Tex Cresta Hikers, Leather
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $160 (on sale)
These boots offer excellent support and protection. They took a couple weeks to break in, but after that period, I don't really even notice them. Just awesome, and L.L. Bean's support is icing on the cake.
- Long(ish) break in time
- Leather scratches easily
- Insole is a cheap sockliner
As far as fit goes, these are amazing (after breaking them in). During break in, the tongue would put pressure right on the top of my foot, just above/in front of my ankle. After that leather wore in there, it was all good. Also, during break in it seemed hard to find the right tightness for the shoe. But again, after break in, I just slip them on and go.
I have pretty weak ankles and I weigh 185, so I can't go with a lightweight low-cut hiker. I need support, and these give it to me. I can tell you that they've kept me from turning my ankle quite a few times. The insole is definitely just a sock liner, and not worth much. I replaced mine with green Superfeet, but that's what I do with all my shoes. I just like a firmer and more shapely insole.
I've crossed many creeks and hiked in snow and wet conditions and they have never leaked. I don't expect them to either.
I might be extra hard on boots, but the leather seems to scratch rather easily. Nothing functional is affected, though, just appearance. I suppose they do look "cooler" a little scuffed up, though.
Some people say their feet get hot in Gore-tex, but mine always feel great. I'm used to wearing all leather footwear, though. Construction is just awesome Leather is super-nice, and the outer seams are double stitched.
Overall, I'd definitely buy another pair.