There are better boots, but not for the price and quality you get here. My first Northface and I've hiked Merrell for many years in Central Idaho's mountains, but changed this spring for moderate price. Not as "stiff" as Merrell's "Sawtooth" (discontinued?), which is still my fav, but I like this Hedgehog Mid far better than Merrell's Mid-cap Moab. It's tougher. Here's why: 3 gromets on top are necessary in Idaho's terrain, as top 2 should be backlaced for added ankle support; Roomy toe (I'm 10.5; bought 10), and can be worn with one sock (two socks are stuffy and hotter), heel and foot pad are VERY comfortable. Insoles are comfy and form fitting heel pocket from get-go,so with proper lacing, foot is immediately secure. Secure at ankle with soft tongue. No hot spots at all. Vibram sole works well, as long as on ball of foot going downhill in shale, slickrock, or loose dirt/gravel (stay "over" your skis). If your weight is thrown to your heels, your weighted foot shoots forward, as heel potion of sole doesn't "bite" aggressively. OK/Fine if you stay forward on ball of foot. I prefer a beefier lace with bigger lace openings, but this one's adequate, so far. I've already put a hundred miles or so on these pups with challenging vertical and rockface, extreme angle descents - and I am confident and secure with its future performance. Shows no wear, so far. I think one of the best of the mid-price boots offered recently. Will prob wear two socks in winter, - one compression - and expect fine performance in snowshoes, as it's light; yet will be secure and stable in bindings. Rubber toe should keep foot dry. Good value in the Hedgehog.