Rating: 5 / 5
I purchased these after fitting and trying on boots at the Fifth Season gear shop in Mt. Shasta City (separate review of the shop in the Companies list). The shop really helps, because the people who fit and advise are themselves users, hikers, mountain and rock climbers, etc.
The Tecnica is so well built that it still looks like new after using them all summer, fall and now winter. They have a GoreTex lining so they are waterproof. The tie system is great and sinches up in balanced way, so there is no pulling and tugging. The stock laces have shown no wear (and I wear these all over town, on errands, daily as home shoes or boots.)
They weigh 1 lb. 2 oz. per boot, and the low cut models weigh half of that.
The sole has shown no wear, although it is not Vibrum like other Tecnica models.
The lining is soft and the tongue is part of the inner lining, so it fits like a sock.
It comes with a stock ortho pad, which is all I needed for them to fit perfectly and I tend to have narrow feet and high arches.
The lining keeps my feet warm in snow or cold rain, and dry because of the GoreTex. I have never had to use gators.
They do not get hot in the summer heat, with the expedition weight socks I use with them.
They do not have overkill in the upper part so are flexible but provide support when navigating rough, uneven terrain, of slippery cinder banks and slopes -- so no sprained ankles so far (knock on wood).
I tried them on and they fit like a glove or sock. I use Patagonia Expedition weight merino wool/synth blend socks in them and that is it.
They are perfect for me, have not worn at all, and are so comfortable I dread the thought of not being able to buy another pair in a number of years if these ever wear out. So they get a 5, like any of my gear that I wear almost everyday, at home or out trekking.
Were I to want a low cut I would buy a Tecnica low cut version of these, to reduce weight.