17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
New Balance Abyss II Review,
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This review is from: New Balance Men's Abyss II 8-Inch Tactical Boot (Apparel)
I was a little sceptical about buying this pair of boots online as I like to wear my boots before buying. A few of the reviews had some interesting points; the sole was a little thin and flexible, the smaller 6" boots did not have enough ankle support and the inserts were not "comfortable". Well, I took a chance and bought the size 9 boot in black anyway, but I purchased the 8" version due to the reviews I had read. The first thing I noticed was the inserts. The review I read said to go and buy a new insert as the ones that come with the shoe are super thin and do not offer any support for the arch. The boot itself is pretty much a flat foot boot. If you have high arches, definitely get a high arch insert. I bough some at a local sports store and put them in and it made all the difference. NB include three inserts for these boots which make it a pretty customizable fit. At first I was not sure, but after trying a few combinations I found the right fit with the inserts and am pretty impressed at the fit. If I use all three inserts it is a snug fit, if I take out an insert, I can use thick socks. As for walking/ hiking; I have not yet spent a whole lot of time hiking in them, from what I have done, I think a good hiking boot would be better suited for long term hike (say anything over 3 miles) However, they are a comfortable boot after you buy a good sole insert and they are extremely light weight. The sole is flexible and might not suit some people. I now that when I use my hiking boot the are definitely a lot more stiff. If you take out the inserts, you can flex the boot to extremes. The 8" model seems to have pretty good ankle support when laced all the way up. The newer Abyss II model does not come with a "steel shank insert". The boot material seems to be pretty tough, however only time will tell how well they actually wear. Seems pretty tough though. There is "white material backing the tough material, so if you need absolute "covert", this might be a little bit of an issue. However the white is not easily seen and might be able to darken it with a black magic marker. The laces supplied are a little funky and are 63" long. You will need to leave the last eyelets open until you tighten them up. I bought a longer set of laces (73") and that resolved that issue all together. Hope this helps you all make a decision. Have a nice day.