Last fall I needed some boots, and now. My LaSportiva Boulder X Mids are a little small and were harsh on my feet after this packout, and rather than wait for a larger pair to arrive in the mail I paid full retail for the lightest waterproof things I could find that fit properly. Waterproof footwear is a good idea for hunting, when snow combines with slow walking and sitting around. Stiffer soles and maybe even some drop are both things I want when carrying a potentially very heavy pack, along with good durability for off trail work, but even hunting I want footwear light as possible and fairly flexible.
The Crossers weigh 18 ounces each in size 11.5, which is satisfactorily light. They fit my narrow heel very well, and have just enough room in the midfoot for a light liners and a pair of vapor barrier socks. That said, they are not for the wide-footed. The rubber toe bumper and fabric “rand” provide nice protection in rocks are holding up decently after quite a bit of rough use, though I expect the tread to wear down and the upper to start falling apart at around the same time.
The only alterations I’ve made was some precautionary seam sealing on the toe stitching, shortening the very long laces, and swapping the stock footbeds (which had a bit of an instep bump) for the thinner and thoroughly neutral Inov8 3mm footbeds.
I was skeptical of the low tread, but it has worked out surprisingly well, mostly because of the nice sticky rubber. The formula of large tread blocks, to put plenty of rubber down, with large spaces between them, to cut through dirt and mud, is very effective. The only place they struggle, compared with a deeper tread pattern, is in nasty sticky mud (like I had this past weekend).
The Crossers have a decently stiff sole; in this respect they are definitely a boot rather than a tall trail runner. They have what feels like 10mm of drop, which is a lot for me but low enough to be stable. I adapted easily enough.
The Goretex lining has proven to be only somewhat waterproof over six months of use, which I’ve come to expect in all non-leather boots. My theory is that flexion and dirt go to work and separate the membrane from the fabrics in short order. As of this weekend the boots were waterproof in driving snow and rain, but leaked a hair during stream crossings. Not ideal, but a compromise I’m willing to live with, as that level of leakage keeps my feet warm, if not dry.
The Crosser Plus’s are not a perfect boot, but perfect footwear is a promise best discarded. Like those damn Lone Peaks the Crossers do the truly important things well enough that even with some glaring flaws I’d probably buy another pair, even at $160 a pair. Ideal fit and on the ground performance make almost anything else worth tolerating.
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