The good stuff: First day comfort, very well made,…
Use: military, hiking, rough use
Break-in Period: none
Weight: approximately 8 lbs
Price Paid: $160 (+/-)
The good stuff: First day comfort, very well made, extremely durable, perhaps the best made military style boot made. Insulation keeps feet comfortable down to around 35 degrees F. Using this boot in a rough terrain where a typical cowboy boot would be torn to shreds within 3-6 months, the Matterhorns have endured 5 years (over 2 years of every-day use). Traction sole is great for hill climbing, expecially over lose rock and soil.
The bad stuff: Needs a padded insole insert after a few months of continuous use to retain comfort. Nonremovable insulation rapidly loses its effectiveness if water gets inside the boot or your feet sweat (once the Gore-Tech insulation clogs, tennis shoes are warmer in winter). "Water proof" capability is lost within about a year due to opening seams (irregardless of how often oils are applied). The boots are a little heavy and a new user will experience fatigue quickly. Replacement laces are not available at any known source.
Overall: A rugged boot, fairly expensive, performs well at first, can last for years (with lost comfort). The one main gripe is that appearances cannot be maintained due to lack of replacement laces. This sounds minor, but a boot without laces is all but useless.
Update: July 12, 2001
This is to update a previous comment. The one real gripe about the Matterhorns was the lack of finding replacement laces. After over 3 years of searching for strings, and within half an hour of posting the previous comments here, the manufacturer replied by email stating they would send me a pair.
While no boot is perfect, and none will last forever (over 3,000 miles hiked through rough brush and terrain and they're still holding up), the Matterhorn must be pretty darned good if people like me will spend years trying to buy replacement strings.
Now that I know I can get strings, I can recommend the boot 100%. (I'm also now interested in buying their newer artic-to-desert boot.) The one recommendation is due to their weight you might want to wear them for a couple weeks before doing any hiking, to get your legs accustomed to it.