- Oct 13, 2011
- Girdwood, Alaska
Been wearing a pair of the Grand Dru's for about a month now. I work on a mountain and have been wearing them pretty steadily while at work when it hasn't been too hot (for Alaska). I'm usually between a size 10 and 10.5 so I was thrilled to see they came in a size 10-1/3. Work consists of heavy equipment operation, trail construction, logging, hazing black bears, construction site management, and a good bit of desk work. My impressions so far are that the boot is stiff. Almost too stiff for the general day to day work stuff. I've done a few backpacking trips in prep for my wife's fly in moose hunt this September and the boots like to have a load on them. Pack weight was around 45 lbs and the boots seem to settle in a bit once they have some weight on them (I'm 175lbs). No blisters as of yet but I did have a few hot spots on my heels after scrambling up some steep ridge stuff. I put a layer of Leukotape on and put an end to the hot spots. Lacing is standard stuff but the double tongue is a nice feature and allows some adaptability in terms of heel retention and downhill foot forward slippage. As far as construction goes they are bomber while still being fairly light. My last pair of boots were Salewa Repace's and they were, and still are, a great pair of boots that served me well on a couple caribou hunts and a Dall hunt but I wanted something a bit beefier for hauling out (hopefully) a bull moose. The Grand Dru's have a nice toe on them that is stiff and able to toe point well on small rock seams but they don't smear quite as well as a softer soled boot like my Salewa's do. Side-hilling is great and the sole has great torsional stiffness that creates a nice shelf to stand on while crossing scree and shale. Waterproofness is solid and I crossed some larger streams (with gaiters) without getting my socks wet and no issues after trudging through a couple bowls of corn snow. I wouldn't get these boots last minute and expect a quick break in. These things are diesel and take a good bit of time to warm up but once they do they'll sure pull a load. It all comes down to fit though and if they don't feel good in the store its likely they wont improve with "break in". I have no doubt these boots will hold up through the apocalypse and serve me well for many trips into the back-country as well as at work. My crampons fit tight and there wasn't any weird heel float even when walking on dirt and rock which I've experienced with some other semi-auto crampon compatible heels. They ain't cheap and I might have gone a different direction if my wife didn't run the retail dept at the mountain. $450.00 is a lot to throw down on a pair of boots that are pretty heavy duty for most hunting. I'd wear them for rifle hunting elk in the high country but they'd be hard to keep quiet for bow season hunts (and hot). Hope this helps with your decision and good luck out there this season.