User Review: La Sportiva Men's Makalu
Use: Long distance off trail hikes w/ 50+lb packs
Price Paid: $255
Extraordinary boot for their intended purpose, however, you must be very careful with the fit. These boots will not flex or move on the foot if fitted properly.
I suspect the problems referenced in the above reviews ie broken shanks or holes are attributable to an incorrectly sized boot (most likely too large), allowing flex in the foot to boot interface, which will workharden the shanks (it's about the only way you can break a full length steel shank). If you're getting blisters with these boots, you have at least a size too big.
The dual stage lacing system also takes some getting used too, and requires adjustment after the foot has swollen a bit, perhaps a mile or so into each day to maintain proper fit.
I would recommend these for any alpine activity or for heavy load bushwhacks. They simply are not flexible enough for average long distance trail hikes with light to mid weight packs. That said, I won't leave home without mine, absolute bulletproof support and stability.