L.L.Bean Speed Guide Hikers
Materials: Keprotec and leather outer: Goretex lined
Use: easy trail with 40 pound pack and farm use
Break-in Period: 1 month
Weight: lighther than all leather
Price Paid: $189
Having worn these boots every day for 6 months, they are still as supportive as ever. This new Keprotec material is much tougher than leather. Where leather will scratch and wear this stuff is just like it came right out of the box. And I am rough on these boots every day on a ranch and hiking daily with a 40 pound pack. Unlike leather, just spray these off with the water hose and they look absolutely brand new. No brushing, no protective products needed. After wearing L.L. Bean's cresta leather hikers for 5 or so years, these boots offer more support and rise a bit higher on the leg. The only downside as far as I am concerned was the long break-in period. These boots were so stiff, after wearing them for a week with no loosening up, I almost sent them back. I decided to wait it out and after about the third week of daily wear, they finally started to feel better. Now they are every bit as comfortable as the Crestas. Also they have a mid sole between the sole and the footbed which offers quite a bit of shock absorption when carrying a heavy load. Oh yeah, or those tech freaks out there, Keprotec is a proprietary fabric made from a combination of Kevlar and Nylon.
I recommend them.