L.L.Bean Gore-Tex Cresta Hikers, Leather
Materials: All leather outer with gore-tex liner
Use: Ranch work.
Break-in Period: none
Weight: 3LBs ?
Price Paid: $179
I was just going through my boookmarks and found a review here I made back in "99. I quit school 2 years ago and bought a cattle and poultry ranch. I've worn these same boots every day these past two tears and want to let everyone know how they hold up.
Except for some minor scuffing on the toes, (I wish they had rubber toe caps), these boots look almost as they did when I first bought them. They remain extremely comfortable and the thick leather shows absolutely no wear even at the critical crease points, (such as where the instep meets the toe). The lace d-rings are all intact, stitching is still perfect, and the insides show no wear whatsoever. Even the laces look new. The Vibram sole is at least at 98% despite my wearing these in very demanding conditions; Constant exposure to gravel, mud, red clay and of course here on the ranch, daily contact with both cattle and poultry manure.
Every few weeks I'll clean them with soapy water and a brush and apply Nikwax. At six months I like to rinse out the sweat with plain water and stuff with newspaper to dry. My only complaint, in all honesty, is about the insoles. The removeble insoles are great, at first, but quickly compact and lose all cushioning ability. You might as well go ahead and plan on a few dollars for a good pair of Spenco or similar high-end insoles.
All in all, best money I ever spent on footwear.