The 27-inch Permagrin 9 has a tapered tail, which makes it easy to walk in and doesn't hamper its balance in deep snow. An extra cleat talon under the toe delivers excellent grip on steep descents, and strong, small-diameter tubing keeps its weight down to just over three pounds for the pair. The deck and binding straps are Hypolon (a strong, stretchy material that grips the boot securely). But we didn't like that the heel strap has a plastic ratchet buckle that points outward when it's under tension-it has a tendency to snag on brush. But what really bothered us was that with each step this shoe slapped against our boots like a sandal. It would be difficult to stalk a whitetail, or for that matter a squirrel, in these shoes.