I bought a new pair of boots for my spring 2010 bear hunt in Alaska. The LaCrosse Alpha Lite 5 mm boots that I wore 80% of the time over those nine days worked great. The air temperatures in our spike camp varied from right at freezing to a high of 75-degrees or so. There was no artificial heat for our 8'x8' tent and we had to keep ourselves warm for the eight nights spent in spike camp.
I had another pair of boots with me, some nine-inch, waterproof, leather/Cordura boots that I wore in conjunction with 18" waterproof gaiters. These boots were lighter and more comfortable than the LaCrosse boots, but at a price of "true" waterproof-ness. They worked fine for the half days I wore them while our weather stayed dry and warm during midday. However, when the weather turned relentlessly rainy and chilly, there was no way to dry them and the LaCrosse footwear proved their mettle during those last three rainy days in the spike camp.
If they had leaked at all, I would have been miserable, as another hunter's hip boots did on the day last. Instead, the Alpha Light's maintained perfect waterproof integrity and held up without a hiccup when we chose to ride the ATVs a few miles out of camp to try new hunting areas. Shifting and constant contact with the hot engine never left so much as an abrasion or mark on the Alpha Lights. I'm not going to claim that several months worth of the abuse I gave them would not have compromised the rubber/neoprene construction of the boots, but I sure never saw any hint of a problem after 10 days of walking and wading in water from 2" to 18" in depth.
What I got was an affordable pair of waterproof boots that needed no break-in, were comfortable to walk several miles and kept my feet warm and dry in temperatures varying from the low 30's to mid 70's. While doing so, they held up to the additional stress that riding an ATV through rough, wet terrain put on them. That's a good bit to ask of any pair of boots and when you find a pair that can and does do all of that for under $100, you have done well!
These boots will get a lot of wear during the upcoming deer, bear and hog seasons in Maine, Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia, especially on the swampy ground we normally hunt in both Georgia and Kentucky. I am even more anxious than normal for those seasons to get underway now! When and if these boots wear out, they will more than likely be replaced by another identical pair. What better recommendation can I give them?