L.L.Bean Gore-Tex Cresta Hikers, Leather
Materials: all leather, Gore-tex liner, vibram outsole
Use: rough day hikes
Break-in Period: very short
Price Paid: $170
These boots are excellent. Before my first hike in them I only wore them to work at my office job for two days as a break in. I then hiked a very rough 12 miles with a 30 pound pack--these boots could not have been more comfotable.
I have since worn these boots on several very rugged day hikes and they have been outstanding. I have treated them with beeswax and they are absolutly waterproof.
I wear light wool hiking socks with them and my feet have been dry and comfortable. I had thought that since they are waterproof my feet might get sweaty, but that is not the case.
The cons that I notice:
1) The leather is kind of cheap looking compared to other boots, however functionally performs very well.
2) I only wear these boots for hiking, but I notice the heels are showing significant wear after only a year of use...I am so pleased with the boots I am hoping they hold up a little better.
3) Until treated with beeswax they made an annoying rubbing sound with each step.
My boots are 1/2 size smaller than my normal shoe size and still have plenty of toe room--a perfect fit.