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>  Can anyone
> offer advice on brands and styles of boots?
>                                 Ryan

Hi Ryan,

I was so pleased with the performance of my boots on my thru-hike last 
year that I thought I should drop you a note to that effect. I wore One 
Sport Moraines. I'm very clumsy at times with my feet, stubbing my toes 
etc. and I found the full-grain leather uppers very durable and the vibram 
soles provided excellent traction on rocks wet or dry. I think all in all I'd 
have to say that those boots saved my ankles (and my butt!) a few times 
every day and probably saved my life coming over Wolf Rocks, PA in a 
downpoor. Although I did require a second pair to finish the hike, I feel 
certain that my first pair would have made it way past Harpers Ferry if I 
had not followed the recommended treatment. I used the Nikwax for 
nubuck and suede religiously at each mail drop but, being a water based 
product, It just didn't hold up very well under the rigors of trail life. The 
problem that I had was slight cracking in the leather which eventually 
allowed the boots to leak like a sieve. When I called One Sport's 
customer service number I was put in touch with a very friendly and 
helpful woman who had a new pair sent overnight to my next maildrop. I 
had to buy that pair on credit and send the faulty pair back. After having a 
look at them they credited my visa account and replaced the first pair at 
no extra cost. I treated the second pair with good ole' snow seal every 
week or so. Not to be noted for it's aesthetic qualities mind you, but 
very functional. Those boots still have quite a few miles left on them. The 
soles have held up surprisingly well. I met a few other thru-hikers in 
Moraines and to my recollection none of them had the same problem as I 
did and they were all very pleased with the boots. 

Well, that's my two cent's worth! Good Luck.


"And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to 
                 --- Kahlil Gibran