La sportiva in my opinion makes quality shoes! I also found Backcountry to be very easy and helpful to communicate with and plan on ordering from them in the future! I waited for a couple of months before writing a review on the shoes to get a chance to wear them. They do keep my feet dry and the gators are pretty damn cool. They aren't that long but they do the trick for walking/running on snow and are really easy to put on and take off the shoes. The shoe does rise up into my ankle bone which bothers me on sideways lunges. However thicker socks do help and they are my winter tennis shoes anyhow. After a little time I have found they don't bump into my ankle bone as much. I did not have that problem with the non gortex version of these trail runners but I figure it has a slight rise in order to keep snow out??? Don't know. Had I tried them on I wouldn't have gone for anything that bumps my ankle but wearing them has decreased that issue. Regardeless of the shoe I am still impressed with Backcountry and their quick customer communication.