Rated 2 out of 5 by NHHiker24 Comfortable - yes, everything else - not so much
I got these boots last summer to replace my previous hiking/backpacking boots. I was planning on buying leather boots with vibram soles, but when I tried these on at the store, I was wowed by the comfort and lightweight feel of them and enticed by the promise of a shorter break in period and high quality waterproofing.
They were extremely comfortable out of the box and I have not gotten a single blister while wearing them with wool socks and liners over two years. Solomon did a lot of things really well with these boots. I put ~65 miles on them in the first 3 days and they were very comfortable with no need to break in first. However, after putting another ~75 miles on them in the next few weeks, I noticed a few serious problems with the boots.
First, they do not stay waterproof. Crossing streams and hiking in the rain quickly exposed this flaw, as water eventually started to seep in and soak the "GoreTex" fabric after a week of use. Second, they are not very durable. At the end of last summer, after maybe 3-4 weeks of heavy use, they began to split along the top of the toe box. This made them even less waterproof. Third, because of their lightweight construction, they do not support heavy loads (40+ lbs) well, especially on steep or rocky terrain, leaving ankles sore on extended trips. Fourth, the outsoles are average at best. They provide traction in most conditions, but on steep rock faces they can slip and in wet conditions they do not provide adequate traction at all, leading to slips and falls that can be frustrating and dangerous.
I have also found that the boots run a little bit large - especially in the toe box. This is fine given the fact that my feet swell after a dozen miles, and the additional space hasn't caused blisters. However, it can compromise support on steep rocky trails or with heavy loads. Also when scrambling on steep rock, the room in the toe box makes it difficult to get a toe hold.
Last winter I sent the splitting pair of boots back to LLBean, and their AMAZING customer support ensured that the boots were replaced. I got the same pair again because I wasn't able to return them in person to try on other boots and I needed a new pair asap for winter hiking. The second pair has been the same as the first. Comfort out of the box, no issues with blisters, issues with everything else. They were very warm with a double pair of socks in winter, but the waterproofing left me unimpressed again after a week of use.
Overall these boots are ok - but the problems they have frustrate me to no end and I will be returning my current pair soon, as I am once again dissatisfied with the construction of this boot. Going to buy something heavier with time tested leather and vibram. Thank you LLBean for having the best service around - I won't be buying boots anywhere else.
August 4, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by FinFan1966 Comfortable, durable, light weight
I bought these boots because of the tread design and material (rubber) because I walk on roofs all day. The fact that they are waterproof and Gore-tex is an added bonus.
In addition to the rugged design, these boots are extremely light weight. They are the most comfortable boots I've ever owned. They feel like an extension of my own feet-I have so much control and flexibility. I feel very safe on almost any roof surface or pitch.
October 15, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Miguelon X Ultra Mid 2 Gore-Tex
Excellent waterproof shoes.
April 22, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Steelpanther Durable and comfortable
A excellent 3 season boot. Fast shipping and great customer service will keep me shopping at Beans.
April 1, 2015