Lighter weight than any hiking boot I've ever purchased, perhaps due to their composite materials, these boots feel like I'm flying in a 787 Dreamliner versus a 747 Jumbo airliner. The material eyelets for bootlaces have been replaced by some metal eyelets in strategic areas, which should help prevent the eyelet failure my old pair of Merrell boots suffered. (After 7 years, their failure was termed "normal wear and tear" by the company but rendered these boots unlaceable). Vibram soles are terrific grippers. Too early to tell whether the composite upper material will be more waterproof or more breatheable (two opposite qualities?) than my old boots, but I like their look and feel. Price is reasonable. Minimum break-in period necessary....these boots are like putting on a new pair of high top running shoes. Made in China.