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They are indispensable. The expectation on my part is that a boot should be supportive, protective, durable, and reliable. Further, the boot must be solid enough so that I can concern myself with the whatever obstacle I face rather than looking down to see if they are damaged.
The Moraines have been all of that and more. From a Yellowstone trip to a couple of week and a half trips out beyond Medicine Bow Peak near Laramie (there is lots more these are just highlights) to Sam's Club trips (loaded pack with 35lbs laundry detergent, 10lbs dishwasher soap, 20lbs chicken, 20lbs of fish: seems like a lot? nothing compared to the load a grunt is expected to function with!).
I am a big and muscular guy (200lbs+) and the overbuilt tennis shoes that pass for boots today just don't cut it. Seams everywhere, Gore-tex more to maintain integrity than anything else, seam tape everywhere and suddenly your feet can't breathe! The Moraines have been exceptionally durable, supportive, breathable yet waterproof, far lighter than you would expect after looking at them, and very very comfortable.
Now, you can't drive in them but I suspect that if you have read this far then that is just not a concern. I have used them in summer and winter with semi-automatic crampons and "city crampons" and they have just kept coming back for more.
True, to break them in I had to lace the first 3 loops separate from the rest and I did double up the liner socks during the break in period. However, these boots can do things neither my old Sundowners (great boot for light people and on trail only loads) or my Trekkers can do.
I love my Trekkers dearly and Vasque refuses to make more, but supportive and thick leathered though they are, they can't do what the Moraines have with no damage. I have relied on these boots for years and I can recommend them without any reservation whatsoever to anyone who wants boots. When asked, I tell people that until something goes really wrong the gear that seems overbuilt doesn't seem to make sense; afterwards, nothing else will.
Arch: moderate, tall arches might look elsewhere.
Heel: mine fit perfectly, my girlfriend's narrow heel did not find a home. However, her feet did find the breathability they needed.
Toes: wide or narrow toes ok. just lace different.
Laces: replaced very early on with accessory cord.
Hardware: all original after 10 years.
Materials: 3mm+ Leather NO GORE-TEX
Use: Long distance on trail, rough rrails, urban treks, pack weight up to 50% body weight (between 210 and 235 lbs)
Break-in Period: aproximately 1.5 weeks indoor only first few days
Price Paid: so long ago I can't remember!
When the guy in the hiking shop said "hey try these boots they are the best of the best " I thought here we go another sales line. then when I saw the price I thought this guy owned the company or was on some kinda major commission but at the end of the day these boots are the best. they are comfortable, waterproof, supportive... all the things I thought were impossible to find in one boot.
I recently broke my ankle in 2 places and was looking for a comfortable boot that would support my ankle on a hike that would consist of several days and then in 6 months would do the same for a trip to Nepal. these boots fit the bill. So at the end of the day ...remember "if you pay peanuts" you get monkey's.....(you get my drift!!!) enjoy ...
Materials: nubuck leather
Use: all of the above
Break-in Period: approx 2 weeks
Price Paid: $365
Oh, Boy! These are SERIOUS boots, not heavy-duty tennis shoes. Make sure they fit and you will not regret buying them. I bought mine on-line after researching them and almost convinced myself that a half-size too small was OK. I'm very glad that I traded up.
They do take some breaking in, but these boots provide me with total confidence in the roughest of conditions that I hike in -- winter ice and rocks in the Adirondack high peaks. They accept semi-automatic crampons well. Total security, warm, dry and COMFORTABLE, despite (or, more likely, because of) how heavy they are.
There are some great lace tricks and a high-tech tongue that help customize the fit. Get a pair of Moraines that fit and you're good to go for just about anything that doesn't need a double boot. They're the real deal.
Materials: 3mm leather
Use: heavy-duty backpacking
Break-in Period: 100 miles or so
Weight: 5 pounds a pair
Price Paid: $175
I have had these boots for years now. They are a staple of my hiking kit as they are rock solid and supportive. They are definitely old school, but that is something I love about them. They simply do the job: stiff, solid leather, heavy construction. I'm still using the original laces as well!
The downside: not great for snow as there is little insulation. The break-in period is rather long owing to the hard stiff construction... but I once got lost on an extended downhill, ended up following a river to the base (5k down to 1k), slogging through endless river crossings and got soaked to the bone. My feet were drenched after nearly 10 hours hiking through muck... but after that, these boots never fit better!
I consider them my security blanket as they've never let me down.
Use: dayhikes as well as extended heavy pack
Break-in Period: lengthy
I wish I had good things to say about this boot. I never had problems with the contruction of the boot. It's a bomber boot that would last for years and years. I just couldn't get them broke in I guess!
I weigh 190 pounds and put a little over 300 miles on them, a horrible painfull 300 miles. The boots never gave me blisters, and not much foot pain until I would reach about four hours of trail hiking with a heavy pack on. But then they became almost unbearable, I want to cry just writing this. The problem for me was they have ZERO cushining, and the bottoms of my feet just killed. I tried several insoles and none helped. I wish they would have worked because they are probably the best built I have ever had!
Use: Rough trail w/heavy pack
Break-in Period: Never ended
The best waffle-stomper yet. Fit like a glove (I have wide toe area). Took them straight out of the box and went for a 4-day hike in Shenandoah with full backpack and without any break-in period. No blisters, no tender spots. The ultimate comfort.
Hiked in them when they froze at night in California. Rough at first, but even then did not get any blisters. I've had them for 8 years, used them on several 14ers in Colorado and California -- no dammage whatsoever (except for a few scrapes on the front nose due to rocks). They hold crampons very well, have a tremendous grip even on slimy wet rock in Vermont and New Hampshire. This boot is tops!
Break-in Period: zilch!
Weight: 190 lbs
Price Paid: $269 Canadian
I did not have good luck with these boots. Break-in was long and painfull. Never really fit that well and could never lock in my heel no matter what lacing methods I used. It was very heavy and bulky. They were like a sponge in the wet Washington weather. And getting them to dry mid-trip....forget it.
The good things: Constructed very well (except the eyelets rusted b/c of saltwater and one popped off), great traction, and the footbed was supportive enough to handle my 220lb body + a 50lb. pack. I did a lot of multi-day backpacking in these. Lots of memories of blisters and soggy steps. Maybe next time Montrail.
Price Paid: $200
I have had lots of problems finding a boot that fits my feet right. In the past, intensive foot pain has been the price that I paid for extensive hiking in rough country. These boots have made all the difference. I am working on a masters project researching bighorn sheep in SW New Mexico and spend 6-7 days a week hiking 10-15 miles per day in some really torturous terrain! My feet don't ache at the end of the day and these boots are holding up really well. They are well worth the money!
R.H.L. Gila, NM
Use: rough trails/no trails/ mountain desert terrain
Break-in Period: about 2 weeks
Weight: about 3 pounds
Price Paid: $255
I have had the montrails for three weeks and the rubber came unglued from the leather. But, the funny thing is I have not went on any trails. The most strenuious work I have done would be playing football in the back yard with the guys. My advise would be a pair of vasque boots. I bought a pair in September of '91 and they still hold up even though I have grown out of them.
Use: very rough trails
Break-in Period: 1 day
Price Paid: $180
I recently spent 6 weeks trekking in Nepal hefting a fairly heavy pack in these boots. They were great through rain, mud, rock and snow. Not once did I have a problem with the waterproofing or support. Best of all, while other hikers had bruised soles of feet due to all the rock my heavy duty Moraines provided the needed barrier.
Use: through hikes
Break-in Period: one week
Price Paid: $200
I am 15 years old and am a very active backpacker. This summer I attended Philmont High Adventure Camp. I arrived with unbroken in boots. It was a 10 day trek over 90 miles long. These boots held out, and almost no break in time. I love these boots and would recommend them to anyone.
Use: rough trail with heavy pack
Break-in Period: 3 days
Weight: 65 lbs
Price Paid: $205
I have the older One Sport version. Great boots, made a mistake of replacing them with Salomon SM Lites. BTW, these boots are eight-years-old, have had a 500 lb chunk of limestone roll over the toe box with no injury to me! I wish I would have bought another pair.
Materials: leather and Gore-Tex?
Use: Short hikes, long hikes, work
Break-in Period: Month?
Price Paid: $240
I really have not got any complaints with the boot other than the leather on the inside at the back of the heel has ripped. This only happened on the right boot and yes they do fit I just don't understand it. Over all I would recommend this boot.
Materials: Full grain Leather
Use: Extended Backpacking with 60+ pack.
Break-in Period: Didn't notice
Weight: 3.3 lbs
Price Paid: $235
I have put over 100 miles on these boots, including a climb up Mt. Shasta, and even though they really were not built for that they performed well. No break in was necessary for me.
Price Paid: $99
Boots just didn't want to break in. I gave them every opportunity and lacing pattern. After a 30-mile multiple overnighter and ruined feet I decided they were not made for me.
Break-in Period: long
these boots are awesome. i have problems with the heels inside the boot. very good boot
Use: occasional crampon use, and heavy backpacking
Break-in Period: 1 week, for me
Price Paid: $238
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