|Tear on cheaply-stiched "rope gripping" patch tore out after the first couple of months. Also note the Aqua-sealed drain holes on the fore foot, definitely the worst place to put holes in a boot!|
They never did break in, though -- up to the day I finally trashed them they still felt stiff where the material has to flex around the ankles. And the "drain holes" were a big mistake: they let every puddle, no matter how small, splash in, plus all the dust and dirt on the trail. I eventually plugged them with Aquaseal.
Synthetic boots are on par or better than leather boots now, and the weight and cost savings of foregoing Vibram rubber is a fair tradeoff. I just bought another pair of synthetic boots but decided to go with Irish Setter hunting boots. The fit isn't as good for my toes, but they are lighter and seem to be of higher quality construction. Time will tell.
(Note: my Desert Spider boots were size 9 wide)