The boots you have sound aweful. Mine arnt too bad to run in.
Oh, they were quite good and comfortable. Actually, a good boot is at least as comfortable as a quality mule, if not better. There are 5 points I look for in a boot:
1, Non-slipping treads. These are the most important point, as your $60+ footwear will not be able to do it's job if you can not walk securely in it. I usually look for boots that are good for the climate/terrain I will use them.
2, It needs to hold my ankles and heels and needs to support my ankles properly. Wearing a boot on the field is not about grip (sport shoes can do that too), but for your protection. It needs to properly hold your ankles, so that you won't end up in the emergency room after a wrong step.
3, Watertight material. I hate it when my foot is soaked, so I always get footwear that will keep my feet dry even if I tread in mud above my ankles.
4, All natural materials, or really high-tech materials. I have used two layer cow leather boots in the summer (they came in black) and they weren't hotter than a pair of sports shoes in 30-38 degrees (86-100 Fahrenheit). I have also played in full black in 38+ degrees. It is not about the color or the materials, but the quality.
5, I want to be able to feel everything in my boots, just like in a pair of mules. For this reason I buy boots that let me feel even small cracks in the pavement as I walk in them. There is no meaning in wearing boots, if you can not be stealthy in them.
+1: No steel plates if possible. I have seen awful accidents, when some cheapo steel toed boots were the culprit.
FYI I would like to mention some points that are AGINST normal steel toed boots:
- Steel toed boots usually have a steel plate above your toes, and it's relatively thin (1.2 mm or 1/20" usually). If something heavy is to press it (fall down on it, or roll through it) they would give way (as nothing supports it in the middle) and bend downwards. For this reason, if a heavy car goes over your feet there is a chance of you loosing your toes. And if it's out on the field there is also a chance of you losing your life due to blood loss. On the other hand armored boots do not have any kind of armor plate above your toes, and the armor plates are interlinked, so all weight and impact shock is shared among them. For this reason the worst thing that could happen would be to break your toes.
-Steel toed boots usually have two thin layers of leather around the steel toe, and one layer everywhere else. This is to keep the weight low. Armored boots have two thick layers of leather all around, as the leather acts like a cushion, lessening any impact. This means, that a steel toed boot will get cold really fast in the winter. Small frostbites are not uncommon after a few hours of treading in the snow. On the other hand, the thick leather of the armored boots will act as an insulation, so treading in the snow for half a day is usually not a problem. Also keep in mind, that steel in the treads (steel spikes, or steel reinforcement) is very bad in the winter, as the spikes will freeze in less than 20 minutes, and from then your fancy boot will act like a refrigerator effectively freezing your feet...
For the weight issue: Normally, if the boot fits your leg like a glove you won't be able to feel the weight of it. Running FAST is a problem in heavy boots, but running slow is easy, as the boots will travel by their inertia. Therefore it is effective to run at nearly jogging speeds (like you see in war commentaries these days). At those speeds you need very little energy to keep running, possibly even less than what you would need with sports shoes in the same field. Sure it takes about a week to get used to a pair of heavy boots, but one you gotten used to it you won't understand why you even considered a sports shoe in the first place...
And with this and the previous posts I think we have successfully walked around every aspect of choosing a good boot.