This morning I spent an hour trying on hiking boots…
Materials: Leather/Gore-Tex/Polyurethane Bumper Toe
Use: Rough Trail / Light Pack
Break-in Period: not sure yet
Price Paid: $149
This morning I spent an hour trying on hiking boots at Sport Chalet. Of the lot, these are the absolutely best boots to purchase. I have a narrow heal and these fit perfectly. The toe is a solid polyurethane cover which will make toe jamming into rocks less of a pain. I purchased them and wore them all day so far.
I have worn hiking boots since 1978. My first pair was a leather Sears model that lasted about 1,000 miles. Then I moved on to Vasque. Wow! These were great. Then I became frugal and have worn three pairs of Hi-Techs. They were adequate and comfortable for the price. Well I need a more substantial and stable shoe for my two Mount Whitney hikes I am taking this summer among other hikes. These boots are perfect.
The downsides: 1. The Mid Top height is mildly adequate for a man wearing a 50 pound pack. I am concerned about twisting an ankle on the trail with a pack on. 2. The other downside is that the inner top side of the Mid Top is cutting below my inside ankle bones. Perhaps these are best in their low cut design if you need a boot for fast maneuvering and not for back packing. 3. The last downside but not a deal breaker is that you need to add Superfeet insoles to have proper arch and foot support.
I plan on returning these shoes if after a five mile hike up a hill does not break in the ankle area. I hope that Merrell is making a high top version of this excellent model for serious back packers.