Good and Bad but not Ugly!

Verified Buyer Reviewed by hiker hankster from Wisconsin on Sunday, January 1, 2012
Ahh Italia ! I bought the Tahoe boots for use as both a comparison and backup to the Merrell Wilderness Hiking Boot of comparable style and use - mainly for 2-3x/week hikes. STP's price was extremely competitive during the 2011 Christmas / Holiday sale, around $135. I've owned them now for almost 2 weeks - long enough to get-in 6 hikes over rolling and moderate fields & hills mainly in Wisconsin state and county park trails under moderate 30-40 lb pack load. At first, I found the flat arch insoles quite uncomfortable as my feet have medium arch height. However, I use aftermarket insoles on almost all footwear, and after adding a pair of Green Superfeet, was quite elated. Prior to adding the "Greenies", leg strain and overall foot discomfort for me was 4-5/10, too much discomfort to really enjoy a quality boot. However, for the 3rd hike, the addition of the "Greenies" made a 12 mile hike feel like 1 or 2 miles. Paired with a thin first sock and second thick wool-blend sock, the pair fit like a glove. In temperatures of all hikes that hovered just under freezing, the sock / boot combination maintained an excellent level of warmth. If it was too warm or cold, I expect changing sock types based on temperature range would be the answer. As I enjoyed additional padding with the "greenies" insoles, the break-in period for me was mostly complete after two 15-mile hikes.

The tongue is a bit short in that it surpasses the top shoestring crossing by just around a centimeter, and does not extend an inch or more above the top of the boot - this may cause debris to collect or catch. Lateral width of the tongue for the top same area seems to be enough, although it is not substantial or excessive. nevertheless, the ankle feels appropriately supported and "encased". The tongue width seems wide enough to offer good padding during lateral foot landings, where one foot is not level like the other.

The design of the upper ankle wraparound being padding for around one inch from the top will hopefully not wear out sooner than expected compared to having leather there instead. That is why I'm rating a score of 4 instead of 5 - I'm cautious about the durability of the upper back heel padding design.
  • Arch Type: Low Arch
  • Best Uses: Cold Weather, Day Hiking, Harsh Terrain, Light Loads, Long-Distance Hiking
  • Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer
  • Pros: Ankle Support, Comfortable, Great Traction, Sturdy/Durable, Warm
  • Sizing: Feels true to size
  • Was this a gift?: No
  • Width: Feels true to width
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