User Review: Merrell Wilderness
Use: High mile backpacking
Break-in Period: none
Price Paid: $200
I used one pair for my AT thru hike. Over 2000 miles. They are totally trashed (the weather in Maine sucked) and smell funky (actually, borderline toxic).
Mine may have lasted longer due to the fact that I weight 145 lbs and carried a 35 lb pack. The insides eventually ripped out. The insoles also wore out (this was to be expected though). I replaced them with superfeet and once again my Merrells were comfy.
Merrell has an excellent customer service department. They really took care of the thru hikers (not everyone had good luck with these boots). I've found that hiking style (kicking rocks, etc) and weight (heavy packs) effects the life of boots, as does the weather.
Currently I'm breaking in a pair of Makalus (If I have any skin left on my feet, I'll report back on their finer qualities).