Asolo Stynger GTX Hiking Boots - Women's
Upper Suede leather
Support DuoAsoflex shanks
2 lbs. 8 oz.
These boots felt very solid and supportive, with a boot-like fit. My concern: difficult to get clinching/locking over the instep laces due to the tongue design.
Montrail Blue Ridge Gore-Tex Hiking Boots - Women's
Upper Nubuck leather/nylon
Outsole Vibram rubber
Average weight 2 lbs. 6 oz.
I haven't tried these boots on yet, but they appear to be a step above the Torre in Montrail's line of backpacking boots. The description mentions that they have a stretch Gore-tex lining. Don't know if the other boots do. It also mentions a special woman specific heel cup design, and it looks like it has wicked lug design.
The only boots I've ever put on and literally said "Ahhhhhh". Out loud. In public. They are so damned comfy. They're like sneakers that just happen to be tough backpacking boots. They're very light, and have high quality lacing hooks that really lock in the laces. I simply cannot find anything wrong with them.
I initially tried on these boots because my old, beloved boots were made by Vasque. They felt OK. But nothing special. Very bootlike. They don't even come close to the Montrails for comfort, and they're $40 more. Why?!
I've also tried on the REI Spirit II GTX boots, which felt a bit off to me. Like they might stretch out and feel wierd somehow. Also, my heel pops up unless I buy a special insole. These are made for REI by Raichle. Again, I don't see why they should be $190. They are also the heaviest of the lot at an even 3lbs, though probably a few ounces more in my size 8.5.
Last, but not least is the La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX. These are ultralight mountaineering boots with strap on and hybrid crampon compatibility. They really are a terribly good fit on me, but they're also $250 and hideous. Why, WHY must they be metallic baby butt electric icky blue?!
At this point, I'm almost decided on the Montrail Torre boots. I will go back for one final fitting. I need to be sure that they fit as well as I remember. A big concern of mine is heel popping and toe slippage. I had some bruised toes with my old boots towards the end. This is Bad. The decision will be made by the end of this weekend.