I really wanted these boots to work for me, but they just didn’t.
Montrail gear has been bought by Columbia Sportswear, so the boot style that I’d been wearing for ten years was discontinued (see my biggest pet peeve about products). I found a store that was willing to work with me to find a replacement in plenty of time to break in a new pair before summer. They even called the company to see if one of the new styles was being made on the same last as the model that has always fit me. That style came, but had been made into a very heavy, very high boot. So those went back, and I decided to try the Torre GTX model (for women).
I broke them in for two months, walking over a mile a day, and some longer hikes, before we headed out on the big hike of the summer. The boots were trouble right from the start. I developed blisters in places I’d never had blisters before, particularly on the outsides of my little toes. (One toe lost pretty much all its skin and didn’t heal completely until three weeks after the hike ended.) Then my right heel started to go too. Needless to say, we tried to work magic with moleskin and duct tape, but walking was pretty much torture each day. The last straw was (100 miles into the hike) when my left leg went numb from the ankle bone banging on the boot. I switched to my old broken down boots at the next opportunity, and all the problems disappeared. Clearly these boots are not going to be good for me to use on real hikes.
The boots are made well. They have an injection molded lastingboard with a steel shank, Gore-Tex lining, and a Vibram sole. They weigh 1 lb, 7.8 oz each. They are medium height: I measure 6.5 inches from floor to top of ankle cuff. They feel comfortable on my feet, apparently until I walk a few miles. (But I want to walk more than a few miles.) The outside is suede leather, and there is a rubber toe cap for extra protection against soaking through in wet grass or leaves. They come in sizes 5-11, narrow to EEE.
Here is what I liked about the boots:
- The tongue is fastened high up the body of the boot for extra protection from water getting in at shallow stream crossings.
- The rubber toe cap
- The top three eyelets are hooks, so it’s easy to get the boots on and off
- They claimed to have excellent flex- that sounded promising
Here is what I don’t like about the boots:
- Suede- I would prefer to be able to use an oil dressing rather than one of the spray or liquid waterproofings, and you can’t on suede. The other kinds of waterproofing just don’t last as long, and they don’t protect the leather. Despite how little I’ve worn these boots I can already see the telltale crease forming behind the right toe where the boots will fail first, and crack. It’s where I always wear boots out.
- The rubber toe cap. I think this may contribute to the problems I had. This keeps the toe box stiff, in it’s original shape, even when the boots are broken in.
- The height. I will never again buy a hiking boot that comes just above my ankle bone. I could not tolerate the boot banging on it, even with several different styles of padding we tried to implement.
- The weight. Three pounds of boots is way too much to be lugging around on my feet.
- The stiffness. After 100 trail miles, and at least that many at home to break them in, the boots are still very stiff.
- The eyelet hooks are recurved so it’s hard to get the lace behind them, and then to get them out when you want to remove the boots.
- They may be sized a little small. I had to buy an extra half-size larger than what I wear in any other shoe.
These are well-made boots that may work for you. I have small, narrow, hard to fit feet; perhaps the fact that they did not work for me is good news for you.