I've been needing some new hiking boots, as my old ones are 6 years old, have started leaking, and shrank the last time I wore them on a big hike because they got submerged in a stream when I slipped off a wet log (fun times). Went into REI yesterday, and they would have gotten my hard-earned cash except no one there seemed particularly enthused with selling me anything, so I wasn't enthused to buy. Funny how that works. Anyway, this morning I went down town to the little old shoe store that's been in business since 1910 or something, was greeted by a cheerful sales lady who made me try on all sorts and sizes till I settled on some Merrel Chameleon mid-height boots. Amazing what a helpful staff will accomplish over an apathetic one.
All leather upper, nice sticky Vibram soles (hopefully to prevent the falling off a log incident from repeating), and a solid, stiff construction. Very comfortable, especially as I also bought some green superfeet insoles to go with them (I have narrow feet with high arches--the superfeet keep me from wallowing around in my shoes, and will hopefully keep me from following in my mother's footsteps (heh) of large, bothersome foot surgeries).
Looking forward to getting out on some more hikes, now!