Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $79
Comfortable, bulletproof and top quality construction that will last for years and years of abuse.
Couldn't pass up the $79 price. I own a pair of Merrell Traverse and a pair of Merrell Outbound so the need to have them was not there, but I wanted them. I could not bring myself to pay ~$300 as they usually are priced but for $79 I couldn't resist.
They are comfortable and feel to me to be a solid pair of boots that will last me forever!
Materials: leather, vibram, more leather
Use: dayhikes, day-to-day use
Break-in Period: a month
Weight: around 3.5 lbs/pair
Price Paid: maybe $150?
I've had my pair for about a year-and-a-half, and I guess I'll probably have them for another 20 or 30. It is an absolute wonder to me that anyone still produces something of such simple and perfect craftsmanship! The uppers are nearly one solid piece of leather and, with proper care, probably won't tear or rupture without the encouragement of a land mine.
I do not find the soles ideal; incredibly stiff, flat vibram leaves my feet throbbing if I spend too long walking on hard surfaces (like rocks). They are also h-e-a-v-y. In fact, these Merrells converted me to shoes for almost all longer-range hiking. Still, they're amazing boots and I expect to have them for many years.
Lastly, I have a wide toe, and would suggest that any prospective buyer with the same search out a wide fit for these (mine are medium...).
Materials: gore tex
Break-in Period: they are getting more comfortable everyday
Price Paid: $125 on sale
I have worn my boots for everything from hiking to riding dirt bikes for almost thirteen years. They were waterproof for about half that time. They have been resoled once. I found a pair in Portland at a boot store for 325 5 yrs. ago and could not bring myself to pay that much. I will definitely get another pair if I see them on sale for 200.
Use: extensive rough trail with heavy pack
Break-in Period: a few months
Weight: 3 lbs, 12 oz.
Price Paid: $200
I was disappointed when the sole on one boot delaminated after less than a year of wear. But the company resoled them, and the boots proceeded to give me 15 years of good service. They were resoled twice more, and the uppers had to be restitched here and there. That is the great thing about these old school boots. Find a good shoe repair guy, and they will last just about forever. If my dog hadn't eaten one of them last year, I'd still be wearing them.
I purchased these for my wife and myself as a replacement for our aging Sundowners. They were a fairly comfortable boot and performed satisfactorily for a couple hundred miles. Then, at about the same time, the soles began to delaminate on both hers and my own boots. I had them repaired a few times but finally decided it just wasn't worth the trouble anymore after one of hers came apart on a hike many miles from anywhere - a major inconvenience to say the least.
I've since read many accounts of the soles on these boots separating from the uppers. There are many hiking boots being sold for far less money, that are of much higher quality. I own, and have owned, many brands and models of hiking boots. These just don't measure up.
Price Paid: $225
I wore these for six years, from 1987-93. They were a Littleway welted boot with an all-leather lining at the time. Very comfortable, easy to break in. Reasonably easy to waterproof. Wear was the main problem -- the lining wore out and tore near the heel counter, and the sole separated from the midsole more than once. Also, the boots softened a lot over time -- they were not truly sturdy enough for a large hiker with a large pack.
Materials: Leather w/ classic blue strings
Break-in Period: 6mths
Weight: heavy at first
Price Paid: $235
Best Damn boot anywhere! I have had this boot since 1992.
They need to be resoled and I can get another 15 years out of them. I thought they were discontinued but a salesman at REI told me to go to their website. I will definitely order another pair.
Use: Rough trail with heavy pack
Break-in Period: Lengthy
Weight: 3 lbs 8 oz
Price Paid: $200
These bad boys are old fashioned, heavy duty, leather Norwegian welt (stitched on soles) hiking boots. Be advised that they will therefore take a considerable amount of breaking in prior to an extended hike.
Price Paid: 200 C$
They broke after 1 week of use in treeplanting. The sole separated completely from the boot after a week.