At a glance
Pluses: A strong and fully-featured boot, stable and stiff, crampon compatible, comfort
Minuses: Expensive and heavy
Features: An alpine tramping boot with a soft leather upper and Gore-Tex lining. It has a ‘Stiff Flex’ 5mm nylon stabiliser running from the heel to toe to provide stiffness, stability and a ‘toe-hold’ grip in steep terrain. A Vibram sole offers excellent traction and widely-spaced lugs keep them mud-free. The wrap-around rubber rand offers excellent abrasion resistance. The Ticam is crampon compatible – a real bonus for those winter traverses.
Fit: The boot is neither too wide or too narrow, and so toe-space is nicely maintained, while at the same time providing a snug and firm fit. It laces up quickly, thanks to the hook and ball-bearing lace system which is smooth to use and provides great tension. The boots are a little taller than I normally use – by about 25mm – and this meant a pressure-point developed on my left ankle bone.
Comfort: With a soft leather upper and thick foam footbed, I found the comfort to be excellent from the first time I put them on right through to the end of a long weekend of tramping.
In use: I used the boots on a weekend tops trip in Lewis Pass, a day trip in the Canterbury foothills, and a steep jaunt through mixed terrain in southern Marlborough. I was particularly impressed by the stability and traction of the boot and its positive grip when climbing off track and straight up over rocky terrain – they really inspired confidence.
Value: A pricey boot with lots of features. The soft leather upper could hamper durability if you give it plenty of use over rocky terrain.
Verdict: These boots are built for carrying heavy loads over difficult terrain. They might be on the heavy side, but that makes them suitable for multi-day trans-alpine trips.