Puma concolor wrote:I don't know who came up with the whole science of plastic degenerating after 5-7 years, but my opinion is that it's a bunch of garbage.
Boots, always a discussion in trade-offs and the possibility you might have a Friday-afternoon Boot.
I used a second-hand pair of Koflachs (already pretty used when I bought them) and made around 1985 and the uppers finally cracked in 2006 doing the dog route on Shasta on a relatively warm day. That's about a 20-year lifespan for this particular pair of plastics. Pretty good I say. The lower portions of the boots were beat to shit, and the ankle section was the last section I though would fail.
atavist wrote: The plastic uppers basically disintegrated..
Perhaps it's the ankle section that's more susceptible to failure due the flexing nature of the plastic? In any case, as a result of the above experience, I always store my boots (both plastic and leather) away from sunlight and well ventilated when not in use.
asmrz wrote:I find the issue (leather vs plastic) quite personal...
Today, full grain leather boots are really thing of the past.
There is absolutely no need to use full grain leather boots any more.
For the most part I agree with you, however I still think your terrain dictates what boot you bring. I still use La Sportiva Makalus because I seem to be going up and down a lot of dog-route talus in the North and High Sierra these days. IMO, the 3m upper and one piece leather on the side resists the The Thousand Talus Wars that would wear out the synthetic materials a lot quicker (think shearing resistance). Often times too, the synthetic material on many boots is not one-piece on the sides, so seam presence seems more vulnerable to failure. Yes, I do pay the price for weight, but having a boot fail on a climb, really sucks. Lighter vs. Durability: the ongoing trade off.
Also, FWIW, my first pair of Makalus fell apart inside the mid-sole because the integrity of the glue/adhesive was gone after 15+ years. In the discussion about boot life, manufacturer adhesive lifespan seems to be rarely discussed (except in the context of drying your boots too close to flame/hot temperatures).
Results may vary.. Ah, the variables..