Disclosure: I paid for these boots with my own money. I have no relationship with North Face. Links marked with (eBay⇒) or (Amazon⇒) are affiliate links. This means I get paid a small commission if you buy something after clicking on the links. This money helps to pay for the running of the website.
Update: Subsequent to this review, the boots started to leak, less than two years after purchase. Not so great.
My wife and I recently bought some new walking boots, and in the process we learned quite a bit about how they should fit.
We were just leaving an outdoor shop where she had been trying on some boots when I spotted a pair of North Face Jannu II GTX boots that had been reduced. I had not been planning on buying anything that day but they were in my size and they looked promising so I tried them on.
It was love at first sight. They were instantly (and have been ever since) the most comfortable boots I have ever owned. It had not even occurred to me that walking boots could be this comfortable. In use, they are terrifically supportive. The stiff but grippy Vibram sole makes a real difference on uneven, rocky surfaces and the ankle support is equally good.
I prefer leather boots as they are easier to clean and keep waterproof (I use dubbin) and I like the way they look. So far, the Jannus have been superlative in every regard. The only criticism I can level at them is that they are a bit too warm in summer conditions. However, seeing as I live in the north of England, most of the conditions I walk in are not at all like summer, so I am happy to compromise and have hot feet occasionally!
On a practical level, the boots have a broad rubber strip that protects the toes and sides of the boots from being scuffed.
They have a goretex lining for waterproofing and breathability (in addition to the natural water resistance of the leather), and they do appear to be completely waterproof. The Northotic insole is very comfortable and supportive for all-day use, too.
Although I bought these reduced, I would now pay full price for them without any hesitation – they are ideal for winter and mountain hiking. The Jannu II GTX is also available in a woman’s fitting.