Granted, the shoes had been on sale. Granted the shoes were probably 1/2 a size too big (thick socks needed, don't you know?), and in the men's sizes to boot (pun intended or not intended?). ^_^
Then I decided to visit REI and check out their women's hiking boots. After approximately 20 minutes of deciding among three models on my own understanding of what I was looking for, I decided to ask the attendant to check on the size for two models. One was out, the other was in. I like when decision making gets easier. So I went and tried the model that was available, it was everything I ever dreamed a hiking boot could be--for a price that was below what I thought I would be overpaying. ^_^
Meet my new shoe: Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots.
It's my new four wheel drive ;o)