Scarpa Bhutan GTX
Price Paid: $215
After multiple "tries" finding some hiking/backpacking boots that actually fit I purchased the Scarpa Bhutan GTX boots. I have a narrow foot and my heels are really the issue. The last pair of boots that I had that actually fit before the Bhutan boots were the original Italian made Vasque Sundowner boots back in 1996. That's a long time worrying about taping ankles, worrying about socks, researching different lacing options and using Moleskin on my heels.
I was growing sick and tired of outfitters telling me that every boot has these issues coupled with my type of foot. I was not backing down easy and learned of Scarpa and their focus on narrower, lower-volume feet. I wanted a full grain leather boot and liked the shiny leather classic look, but could not afford some of the boots like that. I also tried on the Asolo TPS 520 GV which seemed to fit well but it was like wearing lead on my feet.
I finally had to opportunity to try the Bhutan and it reminded me of the fit of my old Sundowner boots but with better soles and construction. I purchased them without a lot of expectations. I had previously had the Garmont Synchro GTX and it fit good when purchased, but it quickly became the worst blister-causing boot I had ever owned. Wearing them in the store and after miles of use is another thing.
So far I have put around 15 miles on the Bhutans and they feel great. They are light and durable at the same time. Some reviewers said they made their feet hot, but I think they are very breathable. I would recommend them to others with a low-volume foot. The Vibram soles they have on them are extremely grippy. Last weekend I hiked down a slope covered with frost covered leaves and I never lost traction.
Materials: nubuck leather
Use: long day hikes, backpacking
Break-in Period: not long, do some neighborhood walking
Weight: 3 lbs. 2 oz.
Price Paid: $165
These boots are the best made out there. Very strong, durable and waterproof GTX (gore-tex). I highly recommend these to any heavy hikers and backpackers!