Got these a month before my first Grand Canyon hike. No break-in; they were good from the first wearing. I've hiked from the South Rim to Phantom Ranch three times in the last four years in these boots and they are comfortable on rocks, hills, and in water (snow melt). I carried a light pack, about 20 - 25 lbs. I enhanced them with insoles from REI. That made them more supportive.