With pleasure

Reviewed by Anonymous from Western PA mountains on Tuesday, March 26, 2013
With pleasure, I write this review.

Thirty years ago and I'm 60 now, I bought a pair of "seriously stout" European boots. It was then that I learned the benefits of a stiff, 3/4 or full shank boot that yes, takes time to break in and requires continued leather care, but it's worth it. I live in the mountains of western PA where I hike and hunt, but I have also been fortunate to have used boots like this one in the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire as well as New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. There is nothing like a heavy-duty European boot to traverse rough terrain. We have lots and lots of hunters and hikers in this area and I honestly don't know how they deal with their flimsy boots; I guess they just don't know better.

With regard to the Alico's, I am breaking in my first pair and ordered a second pair as back-ups; by the time they are worn out, I should be ready to be 6 feet under. I am using a mini-smartwool sock as a liner with a heavy sock on top of that. Wear your boots around the house, at the office, up and down steps, etc. I just started light hiking and can tell that they'll be golden. Of course, I put a heavier duty insole in them.

The Perwanger leather is just awesome. With both socks on and inside the house, the boot still breathes. Google Perwanger and read about the history of the tannery, as well as the care. I just put my first coat of Natur-Seal that is manufactured by Trondak (google it) and distributed by Red Wing. They also distribute under their name Aqua-Seal. I learned of their products when they marketed the product for Vasque before Vasque moved their production to China. It's a silicone based product; Perwanger is saturated in silicone. This product is approved by Gore-Tex, too, which shows that it does not clog pores.

In summary, this boot is not for city-slicker backpacker wanna-be's. It's a serious boot that is built like a brick poop house with quality name-brand products like Perwanger and Vibram and by "real" bootmakers. The boots fit very true to size. I ordered an 11 and 11.5 as I am about an 11 1/4. Sure enough, the 11 was a hair too small and the 11.5 a hair too big, but the insole fixed that plus the worst thing you can do is to have a boot where your toe touches the front as you go down a hill. Try the boot on with the socks that you are going to wear, snug up the shoe strings and push it against a wall and/or walk down a set of steps.

Lastly, keep buying from Sierra Trading. They are good folks to deal with.

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