I'm resurrecting this to report on the Belleville boots, they're the Tactical Research 555.
Originally Posted by JMSZ
I like them, but they have some serious design flaws and poor QC, so from a practical standpoint I have to say the ones that I got are junk.
I got the first pair, laced them up and a speedlace eyelet popped out. The rivets for the eyelets weren't fully spread and one slipped out.
Got a second pair, the eyelets held, but all of the rivets were questionable as to whether they would hold, so I used a center punch on all of them.
Longer term, the upper eyelet design puts all of the stress on a small spot on the leather, so they will rip through at some point. I now wear them around the yard, etc, but I really don't expect them to make it to hunting season next year, especially if they get wet a few more times, but we'll see.
The eyelets Belleville normally uses crimps onto the leather itself, eliminating the stress point issue.
In addition, they are advertised as being waterproof, but they aren't.
The basic design of the boots is actually really good, after a short break-in they are really comfortable, I like wearing the, and they have a good tread design.
If Belleville fixes the eyelets and the waterproofing, they'd be great boots.
As I'm sure many of the military guys here relate to, I've had multiple pairs of Belleville boots, most of which have had the soles worn flat while the rest of the boot still has some life left in it. So, this isn't typical of the manufacturer, it's just cutting corners and poor QC on this particular design.
I have the pronghorns the jackel and UA boots. They are all great boots for the price, however the pronghorns are a little heavy and offer the best support with a stiffer sole. They are definitely a boot. The jackel is much lighter with fair support but you can still cover the miles with these boots, it was hard for me to trash these boots even after wearing the soles out. UA I have only had one year yet they fit like a glove and are very light. They are more like a shoe rather than a boot. I think I could jog in these boots. I do like them however packing heavier loads they don't feel as solid and supportive as the Danner boots but definitely a great 3-4 day boot as long as the country isn't to rough.
Salomon 4D GTX Cosmics - wore them 14 straight days between 9 and 12.5K feet last year and they performed flawlessly. Less than 3 pounds for the pair. I think it was 45 ounces, but I'd have to check my records to be sure.
Originally Posted by dihardhunter
I got a pair of those boots, they are awesome, except for one thing...I need a wide and they don't come in wides. The regulars almost fit, but were too narrow through my arch.
The boots look and feel bullet proof, curious to see how they'll hold up long-term.
So far I've been extremely impressed. Got a killer deal on some neon green ones which almost hurt my eyes. Stepped in a few elk wallows and tromped through a few creeks and they are stained up nice now. Not so blinding. Logic says they should outperform most "hunting" boots since the backpacking industry has been on the ball far longer than the hunting industry. The hunting industry gets most of their "cutting edge" improvements second hand from that industry...somebody else's old news in other words.
Stay away from the Mendle light hunters mentioned. I picked up a pair of these. They were poorly built in Viet Nam and just had the Mendle name. I would never pay that much for a boot of that quality. I ended up returning them and picked up some Zamberlan Dakotas a little heavier but 3 times better boot.
+1 on the Zamberlan Dakotas. Picked up a pair recently -- super comfortable and seem really well built.
Guys with the Lowa Tibets...what seasons did you hunt with them? We're planning a muzzleloader hunt this Sept and as bad as my feet sweat, these looked warm. I'm looking at Salewa Alp Trainer Mids. Anyone have any experience with these?
Another vote for the Salomon's I have the Quest 4d GTX's, a step down from the cosmics. They are awesome! I have had great luck with them.
New to the sight
I agree with everyone saying the salomons - great boots, super light and durable, i sometimes also pack in my salomon trail runners and hunt from camp in those if its warm.
I also wear Asolo Fugitives GTX - there much stiffer, but great if you packing in heavey loads, or your hunting an area with a ton of rocks, there super tough! True backpacking boots.
As far as some of the other boots like Danners and UA i guess it depends on your hunting styles, for me those boots will never last. Last pair of danners i had i destroyed on top of a mountian in wyoming in 2 days, thank good for my salomon trailrunners at that point.