I Broke Mine

Reviewed by Webbed feet from Boreal Tiaga on Tuesday, September 28, 2010
OK, like mountain woman from Oregon who reveiwed on 7/19, I am also a full time wildland firefighter, and a recreational mountaineer in my off time. I work in Alaska and bought these boots two seasons ago for work, primarily for work in the western states, as the fire grounds up here tend to be very marshy. I got them broken in with the expected level of pain, no big deal, part of the magic. Loved them for one whole season. This year I took them on a work assignment up North in some pretty swampy ground, just didn't have time to change boots before leaving and figured they'd hold up 'cause they're tough, even if they weren't the ideal choice for swamp work. I wore them in the swamps for three weeks. The interior of both boots is now shredded along the achilles and behind the tongue, in the softer, thinner leather. Dont get me wrong- I love these things and I've recommended them to other fire fighters, but they do have a weakness. I am writing this because I noticed that pretty much all other reveiwers listed these boots as good in wet conditions, and I would say they aren't, because I've broken mine by using them in wet conditions. I've been doing this kind of work for about twenty years, so I do know how to care for leather boots properly. These simply shouldn't be used in sumberging condtions for extended periods. I am bummed because I really loved them and I will buy another pair, but I'd hoped that I'd get a lot more time out of the first pair than two seasons work, particularly afer the break in. My recommendations? Buy 'em, expect some real discomfort if you hike them on break in, grease the outside and the inside occasionally during break in, and keep them in the mountains where they belong. They are tough, but not swamp tough. Also worth noting: many have mentioned the relative ease of breaking in the boots by wearing them "casually". This worked for me too, but I found that when I first took them out for a real hump in the woods, there were new places in the boot that hadn't broken yet (under the toe eyelets), even after quite some time of casual wear. I had much better results (less blood) with two pairs of (thin) socks once I was ready to hike them hard.
  • Arch Type: High Arch
  • Best Uses: Cold Weather, Day Hiking, Everyday, Harsh Terrain, Heavy Loads, Keeping toes on feet, KICKING THINGS, Light Loads, Long-Distance Hiking
  • Describe Yourself: Professional/Guide
  • Pros: Ankle Support, BURLY OUTSIDE, Comfortable, Good Arch Support, Great Traction, Sturdy/Durable, Water Resistant
  • Sizing: Feels true to size
  • Was this a gift?: No
  • Width: True to size
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