The first time Southwest editor Annette McGivney put these boots on, she immediately set off on a 40-mile off-trail trek through Arizona's Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Then she did a rocky weekender in the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness. The report? The flexible midweights broke in easily on the go, causing no blisters despite the heavy pack she carried. The rubber toe cap and Vibram sole provided outstanding protection against rocks and cactus, and they offered sticky traction on steep slickrock. On the Vermilion Cliffs trek, the Gore-Tex liner kept her feet dry during a surprise storm that brought wet snow. Bummer: The Cordura fabric abraded slightly from the desert abuse. The women's last fit well on her low-volume feet.