What a relief that Vasque FINALLY brought back a Sundowner worthy of the classic. The Redwing leather construction and sole are nearly identical to my old Sundowners. I broke these in for only a few hours before taking a 9-mile out-and-back hike on the AT to Mt. Rogers (highest point in VA). I had a sprained ankle, so only wore one pair of socks and did develop a nice heel blister around mile 6 on the descent--but that's my fault, really. No other issues breaking them in on the trail. I would recommend a little bit more break-in time in shorter hikes (or at least two pair of socks and maybe some mole skin!) Otherwise, the sole and heel support proved tough enough for rocky ascent/descent, with comfort and pliability for scrambling and bouldering. IWe will see whether they stand the test of time like my classics did. Now, if Vasque would just bring back the stainless steel hardware on the boots!
SIZE NOTE: I have a pretty wide foot (not gargantuan, just wider than most American shoes). I originally bought the WIDE, but found that the sole wasn't really wider, there was just more volume added to the boot (leather), which just ended up creating a really uncomfortable spot where the toe bends after wearing them around the house for a little. I am not a fan of heavy socks and bulky insoles to fill in this volume, so I was able to exchange for the regular width and they are fine. They are snug, but not too tight...like a hiking boot should be. I am sure they will stretch a little. I currently wear two pair of thin socks for hiking, one pair for "casual" wear and breaking in around the house and at work. I will likely buy another pair of the Hawthorne color/model.