FIRST IMPRESSIONS of an ORTHOTIC wearer: Exactly what I wanted

Reviewed by MTDreams from Bozeman on Sunday, January 12, 2014
NOTE: Product not field tested yet. Know that this is a first impressions review. I will follow up once I have broken them in.

SIZING:

I wear a 10.5 US and use orthotics with aggressive arch support to counter suppination. Boots for me must have the interior room for inserts. This is why I put ORTHOTIC in the review - to help those who are looking for reviews matching their needs.

After spending hours, like I do, reading reviews all over the net I decided to purchase these site unseen. Again I wear a 10.5 USA (9.5 UK per the chart). Per other reviews [saying the UK size did not exactly match the US size - people kept getting boots too short] I ordered these in a 10 UK. The label on the inside (of the boot) says they are UK 10 EUR 44.5. My big toe reaches to just under the rubber toe Rand. Perfect - Thank you reviewers!

NOTE: The reviews were right about the insole. The insole which comes with these is pretty low quality. I don't plan to move my professional orthotics in and out of these constantly so I bought the SUPERFEET GREENS. There is plenty of interior room for "lifts" like these without creating hot spots.

WEIGHT:

These boots are light. I was concerned that the light weight would mean they were not serious boots. Concerned that they would be like a WALMART boot twisting and flexing like loose rubber. To my surprise they are supportive like boots should be. Twisting and flexing by hand doesn't create much movement, if at all. The fact is they are solid boots which don't weight me down. This is a bonus which I was not expecting.

APPEARANCE:

I got these in the Brown. The look is exactly what I like in a boot. Traditional and serviceable. There are makers out there who have gone so Bankok [...] in their styling (Merrel is one) that I can't even consider their boots. When I put the box on the table and pulled them out both my wife and 9- year old said "wow, those are nice looking boots". I agree. Nice, heavy brushed rubber toe and heels hands. Double stitching on all stitches. They look good and solid.

FEEL:

Being an orthotic wearer my feet put pressure on shoes in different ways. I find that I can tell within the first 10 seconds whether a shoe will work for me or not.

These felt great straight from the box. Forming and supportive but comfortable too. I can tell there will be little break in period. Like I said I threw in a pair of SF Greens without finding any detriment to comfort. I have worn them for a few hours running around town with the SF Greens in them. I have found no hot spots. They feel just right.

The North Face, Lowa and Asolo all fit me like a glove. Others manufactures are too tight or become too tight once an orthotic is in. I now have a new manufacturer who I can go to for boots!

TREAD:

Vibram. I have to say my first impression is that the treads are not very deep though. I worry that could lead to early loss of tread (as they wear down on the trail). But we'll see. The lugs appear aggressive enough to provide traction. Again I'll log another review once I have broken these in on the trail. These can be retreaded.

So there is my initial impressions. I'm quite happy with the purchase so far.

If you wear orthotics you should know that the UK sizing may be a little off so look to go up a little. For me they are able to receive the inserts while still fitting comfortably.
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