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Gear Review

5 5

Learn to use your boots before returning

So, after reading the reviews with so many people having problems, I felt the need to defend these boots. First let me say that these were purchased as a gift, and without trying them on before. I agree that they tend to seem like a narrow boot, and they are, but its necessary to fit them correctly to take advantage of the blister free "guarantee." Now, I've made some major summits wearing these, sometimes they worked great, other times I got horrible blisters. Through this though, I figured out what I (emphasize on I) needed to do to adjust the shoes to my feet. First, dialing in the insole thickness is key. With too thick a insole, my achilles heel grinds on the heel cup and rubs them raw. I took out all but the thinnest yellow insole (which seems ludicrous because its so thin) and my heel sinks into the heel cup never to move until I unlace (awesome for hiking and climbing). Second, I found that the toe box just seemed so tight and narrow for me. To solve this, I lace the toe of the boot really loose. Then when I get to the lace hooks that are attached to the heel cup (see thin metal wires that run backwards from the lace hook), I lock in the laces and pull tight (the lace hooks lock the laces if you cinch down tight). Last, despite the gore tex, they don't breath as well as some other boots I've used (Lowa, Ogg Boz, Merrel, Garmont) but they've stayed waterproof over a bunch of hikes. The best bet is to dry them out at night, and as someone else mentioned, they dry faster than anything else I've had. The neoprene cuff at the top of the boot it the best, most comfortable thing I've ever used and works wonders for keeping rocks and other debris out (anyone who has grimy socks after a dusty hike can appreciate this). The kevlar rand is great (anything else would get torn up even faster) and the soles are perfectly sticky (sure they can grind off, that's the trade off for sticky soles). I hope lots of people don't buy these so I keep looking cool :)

Responded on

Thanks for the review, I'm going to have to try this. I've worn these boots on relatively flat hikes with great success. However, a few days ago I did the cactus to clouds hike in Palm Springs (i.e., nothing but steep uphill for hours and hours). I ended a 14 hour day with large, very painful blisters on the back of both of my heels and some thoroughly bruised toes. As soon as I can comfortably slip my foot back into boots I'll try with and without some of the insoles. And I'll definitely be loosening the laces at the toebox. These boots sure can take a beating, and they've got pretty amazing traction. If I can just get them to fit correctly they'll be a wonderful piece of gear.