I was in the market for new hiking boots. I tried on a bunch of different ones and first went with the older version of this boot (WOMEN’S ULTRA FASTPACK MID GTX). I liked everything initially, but after a short hike I found the lack of tongue padding bruised the interior of my ankle. Luckily they released this new version with an updated, more padded tongue and so I returned the old version, bought this one and haven't had that issue since. I frequently hike and even backpack in Saucony trail runners, but my feet are hypersensitive to water and simply cannot get wet or they will itch. So whenever I am hiking in the shoulder seasons, when rain is in the forecast, or I am hiking in a wet environment these are my go-to footwear. Their waterproofing also handles snowshoeing well, since I have not yet bought a pair of dedicated winter hiking boots.
Things that I like about this boot are the wide toe box but narrower middle. I am an A width foot with a high arch. I added heat molded foot beds in these shoes for more arch support than the standard insoles provided. I use the SOLE Dean Karnazes Signature Series Custom Footbeds - Medium Volume, which were a little narrower than the Superfeet Green/Orange insoles. B width feet (standard women's width) will probably find these suitable as well, but women with wider feet will want to look at a different shoe. I am a true 8.5 on the measuring platform but purchased these in a 9.5 as I do with all of my shoes for extra toe clearance.
The look and feel of these shoes reminds me a bit of basketball shoes. Actually a lot, minus the soles. When I am tired I sometimes accidentally trip or my ankles give out on me, and this boot provides basic support that the trail runners don't. There is no comparison to a backpacking boot but compared to a low cut shoe, it is a definite step up in protectiveness and support. A lot of ultralight backpackers prefer trail runners but I think this would be a great boot (more like high cut shoe) option for those looking to get a slightly more waterproof and supportive package. Its also a great day hiker of course. Anyways, try these out.