L.L.Bean Mt Guide Hiker
Materials: Full Grain Leather
Break-in Period: 50 miles
Weight: 4.8 lbs/pair
Price Paid: $220
This may be a good option for a mountain climbing boots where crampon use is required but it is not suitable for hiking, not even heavy backpacking. I needed a boot with a full-length shank to immobilize the front of my foot where I was suffering an overuse injury during my AT thru-hike last year. This boot was all I could find on short notice in wide size with that feature, and it did work, but it was a heavy, clutsy solution. I also hated they way dirt would catch in the crampon notch on the front of the boots then get tossed up against my opposite lower leg, falling down into the other boot. It took a pair of gaters to solve that problem.
Materials: Leather with Gore-Tex Liner
Use: Extended Bacpacking/Winter Hikes
Break-in Period: 1 Week
Weight: ca. 4 lbs
Price Paid: $129
I purchased these boots at a closeout event. Took approx. 1 week of walking around the office in them to properly break them. Boots are built with a 3/4 steel shank. They have not put a single blister on my foot. I have used these boots on several winter trips and a few fall trips and have yet to be dissapointed with them. Very sturdy with a ton of support. The only problem is that they are not insulated and my toes got a bit chilly on one winter trip. I have solved this by adding a thin felt liner to better the insulation under my feet.
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