I have been wearing Merrell hiking boots for years,and many other types of footwear. I have never experienced a 'brake-in' period or any issues with new boots. My high arches are falling and making my feet longer and harder to fit. But Merrrell has my size in a few select styles, which is how I got this style. Loved them from the first outing, comfy, water proof, sturdy at ankle without pinching. Was wondering about the bright color, but fellow women hikers loved them...bright colors are 'in' with tennis shoes, why not hiking boots? They'll be covered in red dust before long anyway! I will continue to be a loyal Merrell fan/wearer.