With quite an amazing selection of new alpine, ice and mountaineering boots being showcased at the OR show this summer it seems like a great place to start our series of summer OR Show Reports. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more articles on climbing gear, packs, etc..
La Sportiva Trango Tech:
The popular Trango line is expanding with the release of the new Trango Tech. Lighter than the other mountaineering boots in the line this new 3-season option is sure to be popular with the fast and light crowd. It features the same QB3 waterproof fabric with GORE-TEX membrane as the Trango Cube, a 4mm PPE insole, a PU light midsole and a Vibram® “CUBE” sole . A lighter option that the Vibram® “ONE” that’s used on the rest of the line. The boot is compatible with semi-auto crampons but doesn’t have a locking eyelet at the ankle to create a dual zone lacing. One really nice feature is the small gaiter-like cuff that’s designed to keep out snow and debris. The Tech weighs in at 1400g per pair (M’s sz. 9) and will come in both men’s and women’s models. MSRP will be $269 USD.
La Sportiva Nepal Cube & EVO:
La Sportiva is updating both the Nepal Evo & Nepal Cube ice climbing and mountaineering boots with a new gaiter-like cuff and some new graphics.
Mammut Taiss Light Mid GTX:
This sleek new 3-season alpine climbing and mountaineering boot from Mammut actually felt fast on my feet. Very lightweight with a soft interior and dexterous feel (for a boot) I’m excited to test out a pair as soon as I can. The upper is made from a combination of Microfiber and Schoeller with a GORE-TEX membrane, ripstop textile and mesh protection. Board lasted, they’re semi-auto crampon compatible and have a sticky Vibram® Ascension Lite Base outsole. They also have dual zone lacing and I was happy to see a small gaiter-like cuff and a tongue that’s secured along one side so it won’t migrate when walking. At 1060g per pair these are the lightest full featured 3-season mountaineering boot I’ve found. The Taiss will come in both men’s (pictured) and women’s (white in color!) models and retail for an affordable $399 USD.
Mammut Nordwand Knit High GTX:
This new insulated, 4-season ice climbing and mountaineering boot features a very unique knit upper that keeps the weight down while providing a very secure fit. Basically the boot is made from a 3D printed knit material that’s reinforced in certain areas to support the laces, etc. While this gives the boot a sock-like fit, don’t be mistaken, it’s still a board lasted climbing boot. Features include a dual zone lacing system, GORE-TEX membrane, B3 auto crampon compatibility, insulated carbon shank and a Michelin® Alpine Lite sole. This brings the weight in at 1580g (US Sz. 9.5) per pair. About 200g lighter than La Sportiva’s Nepal Cube for comparison. It will be fun to test this boot out and see how it stands up to extended exposure to moisture and low temps. The Nordwand Knit High GTX comes in both men’s and women’s models and will retail for about $625 USD.
Lowa Alpine SL GTX:
Developed with the help of alpinist David Gottler, the Alpine SL has unique PU scales dotted along the boot. This feature, which Lowa is calling Reptex, is designed to replace a traditional rand and protect the microfiber upper from abrasion and wear while keeping the weight down. A lightweight, 3-season mountaineering boot the Alpine SL is compatible with semi-auto crampons, has dual zone lacing and of course a GORE-TEX membrane. Other features include a low-profile EVA midsole, Vibram® Alp Trac® SL outsole, full shank and they weigh in at an amazingly light 1100g/pair. Currently only a Men’s version the Alpine SL will retail for the significant cost of $500 USD. Given this rather large price tag Lowa may find it difficult to compete with other similar boots like the new Trango or Mammut Taiss.
Garmont G-Radikal GTX:
Working closely with the Italian Guiding Association Garmont has been developing this poorly named but very innovative 3-season mountaineering boot. Where many companies seemed to focus more on cutting weight Garmont has focused on tackling issues like boot dry time and eliminating foot movement regardless of activity. Innovations include double laces, one for the upper and another for the lower parts of the boot allowing amazing flexibility in fit. They have also incorporated what they’re calling a G-wrap lacing system. This is basically an interior foot harness that’s snugged up using the laces. The G-Radikal also has a thin, ¾ length liner that can be removed to facilitate quick drying. The upper is constructed of a unique fabric that includes a very thick PU yarn that stands proud in the weave to protect the other yarns while still keeping the weight down. Of course it also has the standard features you’d expect on a 3-season mountaineering boot such as semi-auto crampon compatibility, a GORE-TEX membrane and a Vibram sole (Apex) with a climbing zone. Now while this tech sounds a bit heavy and clunky the boots only weigh in at 1490g per pair! Right in-line with the Trango Cube or Charmoz. I’m not sure where they’re going to land with pricing yet but will keep this page updated as I hear more.
Salewa Raven 3 GTX:
Salewa is replacing the Raven 2 with the Raven 3 for 2019. This updated boot uses a new wear resistant fabric in the upper, has a pre-molded toe cap (instead of molding the rand material over the toe of the boot), and drops about 100g per pair over the Raven 2. The boot still falls all on the heavier end of the lightweight alpine boot spectrum at 1400g/pair for a US size 9 though. Salewa’s kept the same last and basic construction so the fit and feel should remain the same as well. A little on the less technical end of the spectrum, the Raven will only take step-in crampons but does have a dual zone lacing system. Available in both Men’s and Women’s versions the Raven 3 will retail for $340 USD.
Well that’s it for cool new mountaineering boots for now. Scarpa is working on a new, less technical version of the Ribelle Tech but it wasn’t ready for the show. I expect we’ll see it this winter or next year. Stay posted for an update on climbing equipment.