i usually recommend Lake brand but today I was in the Austin Performance.

The laceless model of Lake they had was sweet looking--even decked out in blue trim. however in this particular model I found 45 to big in the heel cup and 44 to short and narrow in the toe box; I was really disappointed.

Then a salesman (and I usually shun most salespeople) said why dont you try the Pearl Izumis (sp?). The model is vagabond and they're only 85 bucks I think. Also laceless. He haded me a 44 which for Pearl brand is equiv to a US11 (usu I wear 10.5US). PERFECT! I couldn't believe it--just right in the heel and toe area. Although I like this brand's lycra shorts for when I hop on the roadie, I would never have dreamed they would be the provider of my next mountain shoe.

Just goes to show---can't get caught being too brand loyal--there is other good stuff out there at times.