Thought it might be a good idea to make notes from my first week wearing the M.E.B. and keep track of how the boots felt each day. I’ve never kept notes on boots before but in the age of the internet and censored reviews it may help others make a wiser choice when purchasing vital items like boots. Don’t want company propaganda, I want real people sharing their experience. Here’s my first 7 days wearing the Danner Marine Expeditionary Boot
For those interested and for consistency I’m wearing Darn Tough Cool Max socks exclusively. I’ll blog/video about them after I’ve worn them longer. At present they are comfortable to wear and help keep my feet dry when moisture builds up.
Day one notes are in the blog and video Marine Expeditionary Boot: First Impressions
Day two feet feel good. No hot spots or rubbing. Still new stiff but soften up a little with body heat/moisture. The fit is snug and well fitting. Will need more arch support than the original insoles provide. It feels like the space is slightly empty in the arch. I have high arches I expected to add them and ordered *high arch insoles in anticipation. When standing stationary the rounding on the sole is noticeable. My ankles are wanting to tilt inward or outward. Depends on where I position my body weight.
Day 3 sat on my ass all day in front of a computer, boots on. Comfortable, so much for day 3.
Day 4 of boots on my feet. Light duty day. Grocery store, water the plants, worm bin maintenance. Really hardcore test huh? There are some notable experiences. The addition of an insole used for high arches helps the boots fit a little more snugly. Unexpectedly making the boots feel much more like they had been made for my feet. When I first put on the boots I had over tightened the lace in various places causing fatigue. Once this was addressed the comfort and fit felt good to be wearing.
Day 5 working on projects required me to be knelt down after several minutes noticed a pressure point in the same place on the inside ankle bilaterally. Not bad because I try not to spend time working like that because it is uncomfortable to work in any way. It could get uncomfortable when kneeling on the ground or in a confined space for a lengthy period of time. The shifting weight/switching sides or slightly moving could help remedy or give some relief. I make a note so if you’re in a predicament out there you won’t be surprised. It won’t keep me from wearing them and it’s a position humans don’t normally spent time much time in anyway.
Day 6 88°F/31°C, 65% or so humidity, thunderstorms on the way. Perfect time to move stuff into storage. Moving around obstacles, pushing heavy carts the tread kept traction on pavement, concrete and painted concrete. The arch or roundness of the tread is noticeable. Since the sole isn’t flat the ankle tends to tilt lateral until it settles. So far not a deal breaker it is something to be aware of. It may be the way I walk, when I do there is a rolling feeling when the toe part of the boot moves into the next step to push off. Not so sure how descriptive that was it is demonstrated in the video.
The heat build up but was never uncomfortable. I’m sure the tan color helped when in the sun. The socks and the Gore-Tex liner may be helping with moisture buildup. The socks were very wet with sweat. The liner of the boot felt dry. After a change of socks it was back to normal. No noticeable hot spots or rubbing. An issue that surprised me was the top speed lace loop on the left boot pressing into my leg. The way the boots are tied, the wrap around of excess lace presses one of the lace loops into my leg. Just the one on that boot. The right one, nothing tied the same way.
After experimenting its clear it had to do with the way the lace crossed the loop and amount of pressure on it. Fine tuning that really helped. It hasn’t been a problem after the adjustments.
Had to go through some mud and wet sand typical of Florida after the storm. Shortly after was able to hose them off. All of the dirt washed off. The leather beaded water like car wax. My feet were dry. This was after I’d changed socks. The boots stayed dry inside no problem. So far, good comfort without all the excess padding. My feet are liking these boots.
Day 7 putting the on boots is getting faster. The paracord lace has stretched and is settling into the memory spot it develops after regular use. No hot spots, rubbing or compression on the foot, ankle, arch or lower leg. As long as the laces are adjusted properly. My heel fits into heel cup well adding to the comfort. Although boot has a glove like fit on my foot there is enough space to flex the foot and toes as is sometime necessary for comfort.
The tongue stays centered like no other boot I’ve worn. With the help of a tool from the window glass industry I like to call a tongue fid I’m able to keep the tongue centered and free of bunching that causes pressure points. The tongue fid is stout but flexible plastic. The tapered end has rounded edges. It works really well for pushing the tongue into place as the boots are laced up. Those double folds can cause gnarly pressure points and be hard to move once the boot is tied. Sometimes it can also be used it for scratching parts of my leg or ankle without having to take off the boot. Some itching can’t be ignored.
The heat factor isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. In south Florida heat and humidity are part of life here. It’s expected. These boots don’t seem overly hot here. At this point it does seem I can feel a difference in temp where the Cordura is. It seems to be cooler than the foot. The foot area does build up moisture. The Darn Tough Cool Max socks are making a difference in a different way than I expected. Watch for a blog/video soon.
At present, they’re comfortable boots. Over the next six months I’ll take more notes and video with an update. Check out the blog Marine Expeditionary Boot: Why I choose the M.E.B. for everyday wear and video below. -13
*NOTE: Spenco Total Support Max will not fit the M.E.B. After trimming the insole to match the factory insoles I attempted to put one into the boot. With or without the laces in place it was so difficult to get into place I was sure I would either break the plastic support of the insole or the edge of the plastic support would tear the inside of the boot or liner.
The insole seems like it might be too wide or inflexible to work properly with these boots. I was able to angle them into the boot after much trying, aggravation and fear of damaging something during the process. Once in the boot it was clear it would not work in any way at all. In place the insole wanted to push up down the length as if it was being folded in half. Not a drastic bend, just a small raised area from lateral compression making them unusable in the M.E.B.