This shoe represents my freedom from heavy, hot, blister…
Materials: Man made materials, Gore-tex liner
Use: rough trail with 30 pound pack
Break-in Period: None
Price Paid: $99
This shoe represents my freedom from heavy, hot, blister busting hiking clods - so I was very conscious on my last backpacking trip on how they'd do - Turned out to be a great trip for the test: 20-plus miles with 10,000 feet of elevation gain, lots of rain & snow patches and high wet grass. Trail conditions ranged from loose gravel to mud to sharp rocks to slippery granite.
These shoes were great. I wore no duct tape over typical blister areas and I came out blister free. I did wear low-rise gators to keep water out of the tops and my feet stayed mostly dry - certainly as dry as the high-tops with Gore-tex do. And the rough trail conditions did not bother the bottoms of my feet or ankles. Good stability, great traction on slippery rock. (Note that I did switch out the insole with Super Feet.)
So why should I ever go back to traditional hiking boots? I can't think of a good reason.