I have a long drawn out story of getting my merrell hiking shoes, then having them not work out. I love backcountrys return policy and after a few months of trying to make my merrells work, I sent them back and switched for these boots. At first I thought I was going to have the same problem with them hurting my ankle (they hurt the first day). I continued to wear them everyday at work and also for short hikes in the snow around my mountain home. I have since gone on long hikes (in the snow) and my feet stay dry and comfortable. They also have a small raised strip inside the shoe that helps with arch support, which I love. So bottom line, they are exactly what I wanted: A strong, but light hiking boot, that is waterproof, good sole for traction in any condition, and a mid hiker. I hike EVERYDAY, so it is essential to have a good shoe. I am glad that I was able to test out the waterproofness before going in the spring mud also. I now know that they can handle the wet and the mud. I always wear wool socks for any time of year (smart wool light hikers and recently backcountry wool sock). I would recommend this boot if you need a good all around hiking shoe that can handle the elements! They are also good looking (I got the weimaraner brown/fog). My only recommendation would be to wear them in before going on a long hike. I wore them to work for several weeks before going on a long hike, and just walking around town (I work 8-10 hr days on my feet). They were true to size for me at 8.5. I dont have a narrow foot or a wide foot either, they have some give side to side for my foot. They support my ankles and keep water out. If you need solid ankle support, then these would be too low. They are the perfect height for everyday use and also for long day hikes in the san juans. I will put a lot of miles on these shoes!