I bought them a few days ago and took them for a long walk and then a short hike to try them out. They were fine with the walk, they felt great, but with the hike, problems problems problems. A seam seems to have been done slightly wrong and looks damaged. A friend who runs the shop and was with me at the time took one look at them and apologized, offering either an exchange or money back, that it's clearly a manufacturing fault, very uncommon with this brand, but it can happen.
I thought I'll go for the exchange, but then on the unaffected boot something started rubbing really bad against the top of my big toe joint with every step. The other with the loosened seam was OK. We were going downhill for most of the time. I had an unrelated blister on my heel from before so I started out with that foot slightly loosened, but then came to the point that no matter how I laced it was just bad. It's like the boot decided on a point where it bent in and that point was exactly against my toe. It was really, really painful in the end.
Now I have the option of looking elsewhere, but after trying on tons of boots these are the closest I came to a good fit. They were also great on the walk and they felt fantastic at first. I actually have this problem very often with boots, just not this painful. I often pad that area for a while until the boot "learns" to bend differently. I think I generally get shoes that are too long to accommodate my width and then certain parts of the shoe hit places they were not designed to... But it also could have been down to the initial bad lacing. That is why I don't want to give up on them.
But then, I'm really afraid that this coupled with the defect is actually a sign of them being a poor fit on me. That perhaps there was no fault in the boot and it's just my foot and walking style that broke it and I feel really bad about it...
I just don't know. Any ideas or pointers?