Reviewed by SJG from NYC on Friday, February 28, 2014
After a couple of years in a pair of North Face boots that were just OK it's nice to be in a pair of boots made by a company that knows everything there is to know about boots. The detail in these things is amazing. They are a little bit on the stiff side (soles and uppers) but comfortable. The metal loops, fabric loops and metal hooks allow you to really dial in a custom fit if you want. I have found that if you really relax the tension for a very loose fit, the laces will slip off the top hooks and you'll be dragging a lace before too long. This isn't too big a deal though as it probably doesn't make sense to walk around in boots that are super loose. The upper doesn't have much padding but it is comfortable. A couple of days to break in and you're fine. I like that there's a lot of fabric on the upper which should allow them to breath better in the summer than many other gore tex boots (I specifically avoided boots that had more leather, suede or nubuc on the upper). I imagine the tradeoff is that they may be a bit less warm but with a pair of warm socks they were just fine today with temperatures in the teens. I wear boots most days and end up spending a lot of time on pavement and I find that tends to wear out the soles before the uppers even begin to show much wear. Pavement does wear out vibram soles and over time they get less sticky as well. If you spend more time on the trails than me then you may wear out the upper before the soles, but it won't be because of the workmanship of the boots which is excellent. The boots are pretty good looking. The only styling/material choice that went awry is the material that is on the back of the boot. It's synthetic leather with a diagonal stripe pattern reminiscent of carbon fiber or something. The only one who will notice is the person hiking behind you but I'd say it's an unfortunate choice for a boot that is otherwise well styled. With STP I usually try to figure out what's wrong with the items and all I could find on these boots were tags that say Neutron GV on the tongues. It is a tiny tag but it is sewed improperly so that it's hard to read the words. It's something you barely notice even if you're looking for blemishes and it's behind the laces when you're wearing the boots so it's not an issue at all.
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