I finally got around to trying my new hiking boots. I bought the Kayland Zephyr boots several months ago because of their great rating by Backpacker magazine in 2009. I would be more hesitant if I were shopping today, as I've come across several reviews and posts by people who've experienced sole delamination with them. I hope mine can avoid that because they worked well for me.
I hiked Cave Mountain with them. That's a rugged off-trail hike in the Mojave desert on a peak covered in lava-like boulders. You can see the photos in my upcoming post about that hike. When I hike there with trail shoes and light boots, the soles always flex over the boulders and I end up with a cramp in the arch of my foot. Very painful. The Kayland's soles are much stiffer, and I had no cramps.
They did feel a bit tight around the ankle, but I am attributing that to their newness (ok, I didn't really break them in). My foot and ankles showed no signs of excess rubbing or anything else. I suppose the fit will improve with more use.