I have been eyeing up these boots for over two years now (even knowing about the tongue issue), and so the other day when I walked by the Eddie Bauer store and saw the "entire store on sale" sign, I went in. Imagine my surprise when these were in the clearance area, marked down by 60%! With a new net price equivalent to $60 US (I know, right?), I thought I could live with some discomfort, but couldn't - so I took matters into my own hands.What you will need:- Leather softener (I used Neatsfoot Oil)- One or more pairs of needle-nosed vise-grips- A few days, and some patience1: Remove the laces.2: Work the softener into the folded area near the top of the tongue on both sides. Don't skimp on the softener… dry leather will snap back into original shape.3: Re-lace the boots properly, so that you can really reef on the laces. Put on the boots, and tighten the laces until you are about to cry.4: Wear the boots for a couple hours or so. This is so that you create the appropriate creases in the tongue where you will be using the vise-grips to flatten the bunched leather. What you are looking for, is a nicely pronounced V on each side of the tongue. Remove the boots.5: Take your vise-grips and clamp onto the bottom of the V, along the fold in the leather, so that the jaws are clamping a couple of cms or so of leather fold. Clamp them as tight as they will go. Leave for a few hours (or overnight).Repeat step 5 on the other side of the tongue, and for any area on the fold where you are experiencing discomfort, particularly the lateral seam on the tongue. I have done this about 4-5 times for each boot.Overall, great looking boots, with decent build quality; I love the retro look with the red laces. Do they have the support and features for summit attempts? Not really... but they make great fall/winter boots that look great trail-walking with the dog, hitting the aprés ski scene, or just wandering around town. When on sale or clearance, you can't do better.
Vancouver City Guy