I spent hours trying on various boots for backpacking with a heavy pack. Got it down to two different manufacturers, ended up with the pair "made" by REI, but really made by Raichle for them (I think they are the Spirit GTX's, with Gore-Tex liners). I didn't fool myself into thinking I wasn't going to be carrying a heavy pack, for week-long trips, so I was only interested in a well made, supportive boot. I'm old school enough to still do the two-sock thing. The boots required little breakin, haven't disappointed and its been a few years now. I wouldn't say they make my feet hot, but not sure how much they breathe either.
Some of the above posts by others indicate they like to go crosscountry and/or travel pretty light, so the choices they've made were tailored accordingly. I've got some day-hike boots for when I'm not carrying much of a pack, and have tried them with a load but ended up with some flat feet at day's end.
So, for me its fit and function driven. If I can get 'em on sale all the better, but I've never bitched about my boots while I'm out there either.
Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
The two boots I am currently wearing are the LOWA Renegade GTX Mid and the MERRILL Snowmotion 6. I put 1,000 + miles on the LOWA boots before the toe rubber and side stiching broke down. They are light-weight (some reviewers I have read say "Not for Backcountry", but they did work for me. I hike trail and x-country during my duties as a Backcountry Ranger for the USFS, with packs @50lbs. I like the lightness and feel of these boots. For wet conditions I really like the MERRILL Snowmotion. I use them for snowshoeing and all winter and wet condition hiking. I do carry a pair of gore-tex socks if I know I will be crossing streams.
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