Good boots, but definitely not old school quality

Verified Buyer Reviewed by Bob from Eastern Oregon on Monday, June 16, 2014
The number of lined, non Gore-Tex welted boots is a pretty short list unless you're willing to pay for custom boots and wait a year or three. These appeared to be closest to what I needed. These boots are very different than the summits, of which I have two pair. Much stiffer, one piece uppers, stiffer soles. However, the thin leather flap sealing the tongue to the boot body was coming unstitched after wearing them three times for short durations to break them in.

The boots were desperately dry out of the box, and as I'm not one to wet a new boot for break in, I treated them lightly with Obenaufs liquid.

The toe boxes broke in nicely but the soles and uppers are not in synch and are still so stiff that heel lift is a problem. I have to wrap the very substantial laces around the boot to squeeze the shaft of the boot above the heel. This forces them to flex and sped break in.

When lacing the boot, the lower portion is designed to fold with two equal flaps as shown in the photo's. Not going to happen. All of the material goes to one side so you have no roll on one side and all of the roll on the other. This forces that portion of the upper off center. When that happens, it drags the tongue with it, so one must struggle to center the tongue especially during break in. It also stretches the web of thin material all the way out on one side of the tongue which will not help longevity. It's all caused by the tongue being stitched in differently in each boot. Maybe they were seconds.

Don't get me wrong, they are up to the job I'm using them for. They address all the shortcomings of the summits and then some, but they are far from perfect. They will undoubtedly outlast the Summit's, but that's really not saying much.

About the Summits. I bought two pair on the same day, same store. It's like they were from two different companies. One pair broke in immediately, lost all of it's body and shape and is little more than a shapeless work boot with no stiffness anywhere. The other took extensive break in and has kept its shape for the most part. I was hoping to alternate them to get the best out of them, but they fit so differently that wasn't practical.

I work in dry, rough country everyday, and the Summits are not up to it. Sole not stiff enough for rocky terrain, not stiff enough for side hilling, and not thick enough for protection in the toe box. The Guides are definitely up to it, despite my nitpicking.

After seeing the indifferent attention to detail on every pair of boots I've purchased, this is likely my last pair of Alicos. I'll spend twice as much and get some European (not U.S.) Meindl Super Perfekt's.
Previous Review “Das Boot”
“Great Boots!” Next Review