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I was shopping some of the end of the season sales this weekend and found a pair of Salomon Crossmax 10.0s that seemed like a good deal ($350). They seemed to fit well and I have done a lot of research on these boots and they have uniformly had good to great reviews, BUT, how legitimate can these reviews really be? Boots pack out and conform to the foot over a couple of days on the snow yet I suspect that those testing the boots only use them for a few runs. Is that a fair way to judge boots or are you just selecting boots who have the advantage of feeling good at first?

P.S. On a related note, how much wear can you have on the heal on toe of your boot before they need to be replaced?