Customer Review

45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good boot that needs some modifications, May 4, 2013
This review is from: New Balance Men's Abyss II 8-Inch Tactical Boot (Apparel)
I bought a pair of these boots for wilderness tripping (Boundary Waters) on the basis of glowing comments by several other canoe campers. I want a boot that provide some ankle support, is unaffected by repeated immersion, and fits well with heavy socks (SealSkinz). These criteria seem to be met, though the boot is too flexible to provide much ankle support without an additional brace.

I had several problems with these boots:

1: The lacing tabs make it extremely difficult to loosen and tighten the laces, and the laces themselves make it all but impossible. The laces are thick and thin - like a sine wave on both sides - and the thick parts can almost not be pulled through the lacing tabs. It's easier with standard boot laces, but still quite difficult. I fixed this by installing eyelets so the lacing works like a normal shoe.

2. The thickest part of the insole is in front of the arch. This makes the boot uncomfortable to walk in over short distances, and most likely painful over longer distances or with a heavy pack. I replaced the insoles with an old pair of arched insoles and they feel fine.

3. The soles are not razor siped as advertised. They have a series of paired lugs around the edges, and each pair is separated by a narrow groove. Of course, narrow spaces hold dirt. This isn't a serious problem - it's just one more thing to make a mess. Using a Dremel rotary sander I reshaped these grooves into a V so they shed dirt more readily.

In sum, I'd say if you like these boots be prepared to have a very difficult time lacing them and to replace the insoles with something that fits.

Do I recommend them? No. Would I buy them again? No. However, given the modifications I made I anticipate they'll serve their purpose over many portages.
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Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 22, 2013 10:09:10 AM PDT
Chas. V says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2014 3:45:41 PM PST
L. Wright says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2014 6:49:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2014 6:58:53 PM PST
T. Patocka says:
Well, what if you are chasing down the bad guys over long distances and it involves you lugging tactical gear, does this then qualify (could involve some hiking)? D. said they were not comfortable for just about any distance when he first started wearing them. Furthermore, in the review D. said that the boots were just outright inconvenient to lace with the arch padding in all of the wrong places making them uncomfortable in shorter distances or, say a "tactical" situation, like a SWAT team storming a building and such. My take on the review is that the boots are a poorly executed design and D's review was perfectly fine.

Posted on Jun 24, 2014 2:41:30 AM PDT
R. Smith says:
These boots were designed for wear in and around water. The insole is designed for quick drying and efficient draining.

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 1:33:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2015 4:14:35 PM PDT
KP Ripper says:
If you have all these demands for your footwear, why would you buy a pair of $50 New Balance boots? A smart person would do their homework and spend the extra cash on a good pair of military style boots. Seriously, complaining that your $50 New Balance boots aren't tough, top-shelf boots is like complaining that a McDonald's cheeseburger doesn't taste like a steakhouse Angus beef cheeseburger. I think these boots are just fine for doing work in the yard or comfortable enough for snow blowing/shoveling activities. I was Army Infantry and I knew going into the purchase of these boots I wasn't going to be trekking into the north woods with them. For any type of real outdoor activities you should have spent the 30 minutes and Google a reputable article from Outdoor Magazine (or wherever) and educate yourself on decent boots.
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Review Details

Item

3.8 out of 5 stars (43 customer reviews)
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$49.35 - $49.96
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Reviewer

D. Birren
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Location: Wisconsin

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,994,010