Rated 4 out of 5 by Paddleswithlabs So far, worth the expense
This review is for the women's Cresta hikers. I am a traditionalist and like hiking boots with full leather uppers. I have been looking at these boots for about the past year, and when the sole split open on my Vasque Sundowners a few weeks ago, decided to make this expensive purchase. The boots are, as one would expect with leather boots, stiff when you get them, but I hiked 4 miles up and down some steep hills in the Adirondacks on the first day I wore them, and my feet did great! I usually wear between a 7.5 and 8 - these run large. The 7.5 fits very well and especially on the down-hill, my toes had plenty of room in the toe box and were not getting jammed. Traction on the vibram soles is good, as expected. I also like the fact that I could order in different widths - medium is a great fit for my not narrow, not wide feet. The ankle supporting portion of the boot is a bit taller and snugger than my last pair of boots - takes a bit of getting used to, but I like the extra support.
I'm hoping that these boots hold up well over time, as that was the main disappointment with my last pair of non-LLBean boots. Bean's excellent warranty is part of what made me switch to this boot, given the expense.
The boots arrived with a second set of laces. Nice touch.
So far, I'd say they are worth every penny. However, it is a lot of pennies! Thus my 4 rather than 5 star review (plus, I'm holding out until I see how they do over time).
October 11, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by SeaMtnGal Wow! This boot come in a narrow size!
This is my second pair of boots. I purchased my first pair 2 years ago. I couldn't be happier with this boot. It is hard to find a boot that comes in a size narrow. The boot is well made with very good support. It's was a little heavy feeling the very first time I wore them, but I quickly got use to this and knowing my feet are protected no matter what type of terrain I walk on. I walk every day and have these boots on as little as 2 hours and as long as 10 hours. Thanks LL Bean for carrying an excellent boot in a size narrow.
September 15, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by NCtoMA Fantastic tread, but stiff leather uppers
BREAK THESE BOOTS IN BEFORE YOU WEAR THEM ON A LONG HIKE!!
The leather on the tongue was very stiff on my pair and actually left bruises on my ankles the first few times I wore them. Thankfully, an LL Bean employee showed me some alternative lacing strategies to alleviate this issue as I broke in the boots-- my secret is to lace up the regular laces, then start at the highest set of hooks and work my way down the ankle hooks.
The saving grace on these babies, however, is the tread and resulting stability. Went on a 7 mile hike that involved a lot of gravel-covered surfaces, both flat and hilly. There was no slipping, no turned ankles, no lost footing. I'm incredibly klutzy, so I was surprised to have made it through the hike without falling. Unfortunately, the boots rubbed my heels and left me some great blisters. Again-- make sure you break the boots in really well prior to anything longer than 4-5 miles!
August 29, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by YosemiteHiker Fit is awful
I wore these boots on a 13-mile dayhike and lost my little toenail. The toe box is too narrow with my usual liner sock and hiking sock, and the heel is too wide. Overall there is just too much volume in the boot. I tried a variety of tricks to get these to fit properly, including replacement insoles and extra gel inserts to take up some of the excess room in the heel. I still slipped enough to get blisters on my heels, in addition to having my toes squished, and also developed a blister on the side of my foot. Plus I hit the front of the boots coming downhill. The fit is just all off on this boot.
August 8, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5
by nicknamesareforninnies Fifteen years and going strong!
I became an evangelist for these shoes after I wore them for ten straight days backpacking in Torres del Paine (Chile), trudging up and down mountains and through mud, carrying a 60+ pound backpack. I didn't get a single blister.
These are hands-down the best shoes I have ever owned, let alone the best backpacking boots. You'd think after 15 years of backpacking and river hiking in these boots they would be thrashed beyond repair, but somehow they are still going strong. Even the laces are basically intact.
After my Chile trip, I immediately called LL Bean and ordered a "backup" pair of these boots. They have been sitting in storage for more than ten years because the original pair just won't quit!
Do your feet a favor and buy these boots. If they're the same quality as the ones I purchased in 1998 (and LL Bean seems to be pretty reliable this way), you will not regret it!
Note: my feet are rather narrow, but the standard-width boots were plenty narrow for me (when wearing thick socks). I found the Narrow size a little pinchy on the toes. One reason I love these boots is that they actually fit and support a narrow foot. It's hard to find boots that are this well designed for slender feet!
July 13, 2014
Rated 2 out of 5
by YosemiteHiker Munched my feet
These boots seemed fine on a 6-mile dayhike, although they slipped a bit on the downhill. But on a 13.3 mile dayhike in Yosemite they munched my feet. Even laced properly and with Superfeet insoles in, they slipped on the downhill, so that I developed a blister on the bottom of one foot. But the real problem is they are too narrow in the toe box (I always wear regular width, never wide). These boots bruised my small toe so badly I have not been able to wear anything but sandals for a week and I may lose the toenail. This has never happened to me with any other boots in 18 years of hiking and backpacking.Very disappointed in these boots. Shipping them back.
June 22, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by igwg Amazing boots
These boots are amazing. I am a wildlife biologist and have worn these boots from the tops of the rockies to the lowland tropics and have been completely pleased by their versatility, durability and waterproofness. Completely wonderful boots. My feet are pretty narrow and these boots do run a bit wide, but I usually wear wool socks anyways so it's alright.
June 13, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by ChildOfBVM Corrected my daughter's pronation!!!
I bought this boot for my daughter who has a very pronounced pronation in her right foot. These completely corrected the problem!! Alleluiah! I can't tell you how many shoes and boots she's been through in just the past year. Most shoes don't last more than a few months (she walks a lot on her university campus). These are the first boots we have found that completely correct her pronation. It has to be the flared out heel that is doing the trick. We also bought a pair of the bean boots--they are so cute but she is heartbroken that she can't wear those because the heel width is too small for her particular walking needs. (The "up" side is that she gave them to me ;)
Beautiful craftsmanship, LLBEAN! I would buy many more of your shoes if you offered different styles. I love that you make them in America!!! Congratulations and please keep up the great work!!
June 1, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Rescu82 Buying my second pair!
I've been hiking in these since 2003. I LOVE these boots they are comfortable and rugged. Waterproof unless you misjudge the depth of the water and flood your boot. Super sticky on ledge as well. The pair I have is finally worn out but I am buying a new pair and hope to wear them out too!
March 14, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by llbeanshopperfan2014 Perfect
First time experience with these boots and I absolutely love them! Wore them to work the day after they arrived and got lots of compliments and questions about where I got them, etc. The quality is AAA+. I don't normally order shoes online, finding the right fit is hard enough in a store, online - forget it. This time, I got lucky. My feet are a standard size 10.5 medium width. 11's are usually too big, and 10's too small. Hard to find 10.5 though, most stores don't carry it and if they do, the choices are minimal. So after reading the reviews stating these had a little room in them, I ordered a 10. The fit is perfect! So, that means these run a half size larger than your common shoe, order a half size down if you don't plan on wearing really thick socks with them, your usual size if you do.
Also, if you want a cushy interior sole, these don't have that, but you can pick up some gel inserts at a local pharmacy and you'll be good to go! The rest of the interior of the shoe is lined in soft fabric. I can't stress enough, the quality of these boots are superb, inside and out. I know they'll last for years to come.
They look so good, I bought a brown leather jacket that perfectly matches them. I'm set! :)
February 22, 2014