I just had the outer sole of one of my expensive, 22 month old, Hanwag hiking boots completely delaminate from the boot in the middle of a four day backpacking trip on the Olympic coastline. I managed to complete the trip without incident since the midsole was surprisingly grippy. However, they are completely worn out now.
Researching the problem when I returned home I discovered that this is a dirt common problem for multiple hiking boot manufacturers. It looks like the issue is hydrolysis of the polyurethane midsole. Apparently this is all my fault for not taking care of the boots, and/or not hiking enough, and is also a totally expected property of the PU material, and in no way a manufacturing defect.
What the heck? I swear my boots live under my bed when I'm not hiking, aren't exposed to extreme temperatures. I'm doing 20-30 miles of day hiking a month, from April to November, and also a couple of week-long backpacking trips a year. I'm not sure what level of use and care the manufacturers expect from users. My hiking boots used to last a decade or more. I might give the modern boots a nod for comfort and ease of breaking in, but do I have to resign myself to buying new boots every two years?
Are there manufactures that still do sewn on soles?