Price Paid: $220
Bought some Vasque Montana from A16 years back. I have wide front foot with narrow heel. Stupid me, listened to the shoe tech who said it would "break-in".
Dumb ass me, many heel blisters later gave them to my brother and he sold them at a swap meet (he wasn't into hiking).
I bought a pair of Raichles in Sedona and have nearly worn them out. Those Vasque sure were heavy duty feeling though, but not for me.
Price Paid: $190
I was looking for a solid pair of hiking/backpacking boots I could use for anything. I have always preferred leather lined boots but they are hard to come by these days.
I saw these on ebay and bought them -- greatest boots I have ever owned, Solid, I got lucky and they had not been broken in yet. Easy break in period and comfortable as hell.
I highly recommend them if you can find them.
Materials: leather stitch-down
Use: purportedly rough trail, light mountaineering
Break-in Period: 3 days
Weight: not too heavy
Price Paid: ~$250 US
I cannot recommend these boots for any real hiking at all.
I bought a pair of these for an extended trip through Africa and Asia, figuring the stitchdown style would be good if they blew out somewhere remote. After two weeks the soles started to separate from the midsoles on both shoes. They were pretty gutless from the start, actually: very weak midsole for a heavy boot, and the leather was too soft to provide real protection for my feet. They were so soft I couldn't get them tight enough for any real clambering.
They were a major disappointment, but Hudson Trail Outfitters gave me my money back no problem, even though I didn't get them back to the US for a year. In Africa I picked up a pair of Hi-Tec (yeah, I know) McKinleys, which are supposedly made by Garmont and are a great old-style light mountaineering boot. I used them for 7 months with stiff use almost every day and they were as good as new at the end of the trip.
Materials: Heavy leather
Use: Heavy backpacking
Break-in Period: They are still growing
Price Paid: $265
Bought these because I could not find a pair of Asolo Yukons, and I like the old style norwegian welt one piece boots with the folded tongue. These boots are fairly stiff when new, but they become very flexible with use. I have had them for 3 years and they bend much too easily for hiking with a heavy pack. The leather is very thick and full grain, but I swear it has stretched and stretched to the point I can barely use them. I have a good friend who also bought a pair and his have done the same. These boots are for people with wide feet, and because I have wide feet up front with a narrow heel this yields beacoup heel blisters for me. I've been kind of disappointed with these compared to my Yukons which I no longer have.
Materials: Heavy Leather
Use: Rough Trail
Break-in Period: sever weeks
Weight: 5 lbs
Price Paid: $300
I can't say enough great things about this pair of boots! I have a wide foot, and most other boots are just too tight for me. This pair is about 12 years old, I've just had them resoled. Don't misunderstand, I've put this pair through the paces, I've been on glaciers in the Canadian Rockies, hiked throught rocks, mud and the like. I'm very hard on boots, and these are simply the best pair of boots I've ever owned. They wear great, there's still a lot of life left in them, and if I ever wear them out, I'm buying another pair.
Materials: Thick Leather / Vibram Sole
Use: Heavy Backpacking (emphasis on Heavy)
Break-in Period: 2-3 Weeks
Price Paid: $330
This boot is like a tank, nothing can destroy it! I have had mine for three years and have worn them very frequently, yet the sole is barely worn. I found them hard to break in because the leather is pretty thick and the sole is very rigid. They are a tad bit on the heavy side but they provide good support for the ankles, the rigid toe is also a plus. If you are into serious backpacking and are looking for a no nonsense boot the Montana is the choice for you.
Use: any time vital protection is an issue
Break-in Period: 3-4 wks
Weight: 3.5 lb
Price Paid: $79
I bought my Montanas in 197??? 1, 2, or 3. I have used them for every purpose imaginable--hiking, snowshoeing, 10-hour days on the concrete floor of a GM manufacturing facility, tearing down barns and roofing. They are about half gone and I am kicking myself in the butt for not having bought a new pair on close-out when I had the chance. Of course with globalization I think that $79 was easier to come up with than the $250+ was just a couple of years ago.
Materials: heavy duty leather
Use: Everyday use at work
Break-in Period: Month, if you wear them everyday
Weight: 4.5 to 5 pounds I'd say
Price Paid: $250
Best boots I have ever owned. They never wear out or lose shape! I wear mine for everyday use, at work, hiking, hunting, everything. The Norwegian welt design is awesome, wish they still made boots like these. Had bought a pair nearly 20 years ago and they finally wore out -- lucky to find another brand new pair (in 2003) on eBay which should outlast my life! :)
Materials: full grain leather
Use: every day!
Break-in Period: takes 6 months
I absolutely love these boots I have two pairs. One pair is 26 years old. I also have and like Raichle, Asolo, Scarpa. I would love to buy more Raichle or Vasque Montanas size 12d or medium.
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