L.L.Bean Gore-Tex Cresta Hikers, Leather (GTX)
Materials: Leather with gore-tex lining
Use: Moderate to rough trail with mid-sized pack
Break-in Period: Didn't notice any
Price Paid: $165
These are rugged, classic, well-built, soundly-designed boots. I expected a lengthy break-in period for such fairly heavy duty boots like these, but on my first time out with them (7 hours up, along and down the Kinsman Ridge in the Whites), I was completely comfortable and didn't experience any blistering, hot spots, jammed toes or other unpleasantries.
The footing/traction was terrific and ankle support (which I notice quite a bit) was excellent. Good room in the toe box, which I have found to be a problem with some of the other brands. (You know, the black and blue toes after descending for a few hours).
Very nice boots, well crafted, backed-up by the best customer service in the business. I used to have an old pair of Italian-made boots from one of those fancy-sounding European manufacturers, and I honestly say that these LL Bean boots are better.
It's nice to see LL Bean offering such a great product.