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Reviewers Paid: $200.00
Excellent boot for heavy backpacking. Mine are three years old now and still in good shape after 250 miles on A.T. and another 200 miles on other trails. Have not had any blisters so far but using sock liners and heavy outer sock. I bought one full size larger than my street shoes. Mine are not water-proof by no means but are still wear OK when wet. They do get extremely hot on very hot summer days after walking 15 miles. Like most leather and leather lined boots they are heavy.
Materials: All Leather inside and out
Use: A.T. and other trails w/light & heavy pack
Break-in Period: About two weeks
Weight: 4 plus lbs
Price Paid: $200
I bought these boots in Germany about six years ago. They've served me rather well -- I finally retired them this fall after trashing them in the Austrian Alps.
Each boot is made up of eight different pieces of leather. This translates into a lot of seams, and the boots are not particularly waterproof, even when treated with Nikwax.
However, the boots are extremely comfortable -- probably due largely to the leather lining -- fits like a glove -- and durability has been decent. After six years of use, the seams are starting to go, but then so is the rest of the boot.
I probably wouldn't buy this boot again, but it did serve me well. I'm not a big fan of boots pieced together out of many smaller pieces of leather -- because of both waterproofness and durability issues.
The sole on these boots -- inhouse, not Vibram -- has been good, grippier on rock than Vibram, presumably because it is softer -- but also less durable (same reason). One big complaint: the lack of a significant heel. A heel really helps when descending on either snow or mud -- it digs in and serves as a brake. This boots don't have much of a heel, which probably makes them more comfortable, but, as mentioned, can be problematic. One more complaint -- the midsole/shank is not really firm enough: it doesn't sufficiently protect from sharp rocks, ice, etc., and after a long day of hiking on rough terrain my foot, particularly the arches, was often sore.
I should note that I used these boots in conditions that were definitely "over their heads" this summer. I used them for many weekend trips in the German Alps, then killed them with a five day trip in the Austrian Zillertal (sort of an Austrian version of the High Peaks region of the 'Dacks, on the Italianborder).
Overall, a decent boot. Very comfortable. The company is trying to break into the North American market for leather boots --they've had a lot of success with their plastic boot: the Civetta, formerly Denali Red Hot.
One more thing: I should note that these were far and away the most popular boot in the German/Austrian Alps this summer. Which is sort of justified: for non-technical trailhiking in good conditions, they are *very* confortable.
Use: backpacking, mountaineering
Break-in Period: couple weeks
Price Paid: 250 DM (?)