Ben Pederson

Ben Pederson

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Ben Pederson

Ben Pederson wrote a review of on August 11, 2012

5 5

I just ordered a pair of these and really like these shoes. I originally got the size 43, which is my size for some shoes including my ski boots but they fit were a little big with some heel slip. I went into a local shop and tried on a pair of the 43's and 42.5 and in the store the 43s felt like the ones I needed as the 42.5's came right up on my toe. When I riding, the 43 had extra space and felt soupy. When getting road shoes, your foot actually slips back into the heel cup so toe space when trying on like normal shoes (i.e. standing and walking a bit) don't worry about the toe space. When in doubt, go for the 0.5 size smaller for the snug fit that you'll really want when your riding. I wrote them once and returned them; I emailed the dudes at realcyclist and they shipped out an order that day for the 42.5 for a swap. Great customer service, which is esp great when trying to order shoes online. These shoes are amazing; very much recommend them to anyone. I was wondering if the upgrade to the Ergos would be worth it, primarily for the heel tension mechanism, but once I got the right size these shoes fit exactly like you want them to when your riding. Usually my feet get a little tingly when I ride and i thought that was something that I'd just have to deal with; my first ride with these shoes my feet were warm and without numbness. Proves that having smartly fit and nice riding shoes are worth it.

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Ben Pederson

Ben Pederson wrote a review of on March 30, 2012

2 5

I bought a pair of these boots with the idea in mind that I wanted to get a pair of hiking boots that would last me a lifetime and perform well under some serious trekking conditions. I was disappointed; I do not recommend these boots and disagree with the review by Peter below. The first real test of these boots was a three week trip trekking in the Annapurna region in Nepal. I had three major issues with these boots. The biggest issue was that of waterproofing. I had treated and proofed these boots with recommended Nixwax leather cream a few times prior to the trip and within a week of wear the leather was sopping up water. The leather literally absorbed the water and made these boots incredible heavy. They already are very very heavy boots, which is something you should really consider if you are doing long hikes. The second issue I had was the stiff leather and flex of the boot with the step; the toe box is really big (which is actually nice, esp with descents) but the transition from the tow box to the foot uppers creates this collapse of the uppers downward (if that makes sense, you can kinda see it on one of the photos below). This results in an awkward fit around the bulk of your foot. Thus, these boots did not have a great fit, they were not snug and not consistent b/c of this toe box issue: I had to really tighten the hell out of the laces to get snug around my foot erstwhile my toes were super roomy. This is awkward. My last issue was something that I noted below in one of the photos: there is this transition point between the formed heel cup and the soft uppers that creates this ridge that is right on the apex of your calcaneus (heel) bone that caused serious serious blisters for me. Everyone's feet are different, so not everyone will have this issue. The construction issue, though, remains, the leather in the heel cup is really stiff and this ridge causes some serious issues and was incredible annoying throughout my 3 week hike, even with the callouses that I'd developed from wearing these boots previously. I was able to stay on top of my blisters but taping religiously (but the lack of waterproofing didn't help as my feet were always wet). I am disappointed with these boots on all fronts; they are very expensive and, although they are constructed well (clearly Zamby knows what they are doing) they did not perform well for me on my trek. After this trek, I am going to get rid of these boots and buy a pair of Gore-tex lightweight synthetic boots that have a better flex and that are not leather. There is something 'classic' that draws people to leather, some sort of aesthetic, or prior experience with leather boots that becomes romanticized (it is certainly why I bought these). But when it comes to getting up in the mountains where you expect your boots to do their job and to not become a burden, these boots fail on all accounts. I would recommend these boots to someone who works in the woods or construction or farming or something where you need to protect your feet, but NEVER to someone who is interested in hiking/trekking; there are just so many other better boots out there that are lighter, deal with moister better, flex better, and provide better foot support than these. These leather boots are not worth it.

Bottom line: These are not hiking/trekking boots. They have zero 'performance' characteristics. Not waterproofable when compared to what a good Gore-tex boots gives you, the leather absorbs water. Funny flex and awkward transitions in the leather at heel cup and toe box.

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Ben Pederson

Ben Pederson posted an image about on March 30, 2012

Post-trip: Annapurna

These boots are definitely bombproof; everything held up well and I sure will hold up well for many years and miles (however, not with my feet in them, I am gonna give these boots to my friend who works construction as they are much better 'stand around' boots than actual hiking boots).

You can see how the uppers 'collapsed' around the more-solid ridge of the toe box. This gave these boots a very awkward and inconsistent fit to my foot. I do not recommend these boots for walking any distant, very good boots to stand around in, but very bulk construction to really allow you to take advantage of the nice soles/rand of the boots as they are really not made for hiking.

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Ben Pederson

Ben Pederson posted an image about on March 30, 2012

Snow: Annapurna

These boots are not waterproof, nor do they waterproof well, at least initially, with Nixwax waterproofing cream. After a week of hiking below the snow line my first treatment was already shot, the leather literally absorbed the water making these already heavy boots even heavier. Also, they didn't have a lot of great foot flex for longs days of walking, sometimes they felt like stiff planks, not that agile.

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Ben Pederson

Ben Pederson posted an image about on March 30, 2012

Pre-trip: Annapurna

It too a very long time to break these boots in; even after a month of really trying to like these boots, they still simply did not adjust comfortably. I used Nixwax leather waterproofing cream. Lace them loose when you are breaking them in, the heel cup is very unforgiving. There is this density ridge right above your calcaneus where the formed leather heel cup transitions to the softer leather uppers that was a blister issue for me from day one and all through the trip, kind of a bummer.

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