User Review: La Sportiva Makalu
Use: heavy weight backpacking/light mountaineering
Break-in Period: only a few weeks for me
Weight: equivalent to a small dog
Price Paid: $235
I have to admit that I fell in love with these boots once I put them to the test. I went on a NOLS wilderness course (30 days in the Wind River Range of Wyoming) this past summer and these boots survived to tell the tale. As far as support, I've never heard of a better boot at such a great price; they saved my ankles numerous times when traversing unstable boulder fields with a 75lb pack. Not to mention how well they did in the snow and river crossings. However, if you're planning a long trip where you might encounter snow and wet conditions, expect your feet to get wet. I waterproofed these boots up the ying yang, but that all wears off after a week or so of day-long travel in snow and wet conditions.
I'm a big guy (about 230lbs) so the break in period wasn't all that long, and I only got one blister, but these boots did remind me of ski boots when I first tried them on.
Despite the original stiffness, I have to highly reccomend these boots if you're looking for a heavy weight backpacking or moderate mountaineering boot; they'll withstand anything and it seems they are going to last forever.