I walk and hike, a lot! I am out every day and a lot of the year I am on rugged terrain over peaks and mountains at home and abroad. You can imagine I have gone through many pairs of boots, and of course, looking after your feet over many miles is a must. I am currently still wearing the L.L. Bean Gore-Tex Cresta Hiking Boots and feel I need to write about them due to how long they have lasted, their comfort and durability.
Look at them here, you can tell I have used them and used them. Battered and worn for sure but they just keep on going. Superficially looking well used but absolutely no sign of any wear to performance and comfort. I have used them for 2 whole (busy hiking) seasons already and to be honest this is one of those rare times that I can see many more seasons to come with them.
Over the many years I have been walking outdoors I have become an advocate for you get what you pay for. Everyone’s budget is important as well as needs and where you will walk. I am in the outdoors a lot so try to avoid boots that although save me money on purchase, I only get one season if that out of them and end up paying again anyway. These being a higher end product and price, will actually cost the same a keep getting cheaper, less lasting boots.
The materials and build go a good way to explain why they are so durable. Italian leather waterproof upper. Plus the lining is Gore-Tex so even when on a whole day multi mile trek on a hot day the problem of hot sweaty feet is not there. Also the sole is Vibram that gives extra grip, especially with tired legs on downhills. The ankle support is something I look for in a boot, when guiding on walks over rocky fells I have seen too many accidents where ankle support is not adequate. Here you have it, lots of cushioning, in abundance.
With all that, and being built for durability, it is not the lightest boot in the world. But sometimes the land, or ankles, are not built for flimsy.
Peaks like Helvellyn above with Striding Edge, these boots allow me to not worry about slips and pain.
Or even in the snow capped High Tatras Mountains of Slovakia I found they did extremely well indeed.
Out of the box they are already comfortable, but you will also find that with wear and time, and breaking in, they get more and more comfortable and shape to your feet well.
I must admit I was drawn to trying these because of my muddy times dog walking boots. The iconic beanboots for those wet days and shorter walks. Or days I want to go for a paddle with Malc the Border Collie 🙂
If you are serious about doing a lot of walking and trekking and want a boot to last for years not months then they are definitely worth looking at. You may not find them in a UK shop though and can order the L.L. Bean Cresta Boot on their website. Think hard about sizes too, as they do a narrow, medium and wide fit as well as size. For me I am size 8 UK and the Size 8 sent fitted perfectly.
Ok, back to the trails for me. Malc is growing ready for joining me on some special hikes and climbs this year with some extra special new stuff for you here on BaldHiker to join in with. Bring on the mountains. Let’s Go!