I went through a lot of boots on the Appalachian Trail. I had issues with the first two (malfunctioning boots) and the pair I finally got to replace those was just not comfortable. While what type of boot (or if you even want a boot) is very much a personal preference, Andy and I both came to this conclusion: a bending food equals a foot in pain. We went for the rigid boots. If your foot can't bend, then the main reason why pain occurs is eliminated, and for us, it worked out perfectly. On the rocky terrain of Pennsylvania, our feet didn't curl and curve every which way because our boot kept them sturdy.
Unfortunately, I didn't find these boots until later in the trail. As soon as I put them on, I could tell they were a solid boot. I could barely bend the sole which meant they were very rigid, but on the inside they were soft and comfortable. I got them, and I have never looked back.
These boots are all leather, and on the front have a toe guard to protect from scratching and wearing down. The inside of the boots have indents above the heel to keep it from slipping out (and also makes for an incredibly comforting caress). As with most good outdoors shoe, they have vibram soles, and also are completely waterproof. I have a very distinct way of dealing with water on and around the trail; if it's not deeper than my boot is tall, I walk right through it. Needless to say, this boot has gone through some major water and not once has it soaked through. The tall nature of the boot allows for good ankle support as well, protecting you from any sprains or twists.
From working in burnt down buildings with the Red Cross, to walking through streams and over saturated trails (such as the picture above suggests) these boots are still in top shape even after 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail and almost a daily use since then.
I hate to start off my reviews by giving a 5 out of 5, but I really can't find anything to complain about. The fit is great, they are durable, comfortable and one of the best buys I had. So, I will give it a 5. However, it won't be easy for other reviews to achieve that!