User Review: Lowa Vertex GTX
Use: backpacking (multi-week, heavy pack)
Break-in Period: almost none
Price Paid: $185
I initially noticed these boots when I saw they received awards from both Backpacker and Outside magazine. Since I was heading out to hike the JMT, I was in the market for new boots as the ones I had had given me a lot of blister problems. It took me a while to get over their funky apperance, but once I was over it, they proved to be very lightweight and supportive. There was almost no break-in period, and I didn't get any blisters on my heels which I normally had a problem with.
From Yosemite Valley to the top of Mt. Whitney, I only had two very small blisters mainly because my socks had bunched up. Despite being a big guy (6'2", 240) and carrying a big pack (60 lbs) my feet and ankles held up amazingly well over the duration of our 230-mile trip.
The one problem I had was that one of the plastic lacing eyelets ripped off. I was able to return them to REI for a new pair. Considering this happened at the end of my trip, and many people replace their boots after 200 miles, it wasn't that much of an issue.
The bottom line is that after about 300 miles and six weeks on the trail this past summer, I love these boots!