Scarpa has been a world leader in the mountain boot industry since 1930 and are still going strong today! Released in 2016, the Phantom Tech is the lightest boot in Scarpa’s Phantom series which also includes the Phantom 6000 and Phantom 8000. While both the 6000 and 8000 are geared more towards high altitude mountaineering, the Tech is designed specifically for technical climbing and replaces the Phantom Guide . After a season on the Tech’s I’m impressed, they’re one the best ice climbing boots I have ever used!
- Weight: 1630g (per pair 42)
- Last: NAG (replacing the AG last of the Guide)
- Built-in Gaiter: K-Tech + S-Tech + OutDry
- Upper: Cordura, Aluminum
- Lining: Outdry® + Primaloft®
- Insole: Carbon Fiber
- Midsole: Microporous EVA
- Sole: Vibram Zero Gravity
- Crampon Compatibility: Full Auto
Feel and Fit:
As with most technical boots, the first thing I did when I got my Phantom Tech’s was replace the foot-bed. The stock foot-beds suck! Nothing against Scarpa though, most boots come with nothing more then some reinforced fabric.
I fitted my boots with the intention that they would be my “Performance” climbing boots. So they are certainly on the snug side. The heel is great, it actually holds your foot in place. Not sure if “Cupping” is the right word but more like a tight sock hugging your foot.
I was very impressed with the toe box, even with no toe nails (don’t ask) the boots performed great. The feeling and stability that you get is impressive. Also they are very light for the warmth due to the luxurious Primaloft lining, reflective aluminum layer and insulating EVA mid-sole. But be sure to try them for yourself.
It’s worth noting that I do get a bit of an uncomfortable pressure point on the top of my foot from the lace keeper. (seen in picture below) I think that if your boots were not fitted as tight this would not be a problem.
For a light weight, warm, technical ice boot I can’t expect more. After a solid season of climbing, the soles still look brand new. Keeping in consideration most of my approaches have been on ice or snow. The tops of the boot look as good as they did when I got them. The attention to detail in the manufacturing of these boots is quite amazing, not a stitch out of place!
The one thing that did surprise me was how much the laces were wearing. After about 7 days of climbing I was starting to get scared that the laces would snap with how much they were fraying. I ended up replacing them, but the new ones are not doing much better.
One other place that is showing a bit of wear was the inside of the shell, I think it got poked by the crampons a few times. I can’t say I’m surprise with that, more user error then anything.
Overall the boots have held up well, and I’m hoping to get many more seasons of climbing out of them.
This is where these boots really earn their gold star.
I was blown away with how dry they kept my feet. The “Outdry” membrane really works. The fact it has a built in top gator means that when you accidental step into the creek like yours truly, your feet will remain dry for the rest of the day. Even after hiking through wet heavy snow for 10km my feet were happy and dry.
The boots have a B3 crampon rating which means that they should preform well with any high performance crampon, I personally was using the Petzl Dart. The way the lacing hugs your foot means you won’t bash your toes into the front of the boot when kicking hard into ice. Even though the Phantom Tech’s are stiff there is still a good amount of sensitivity. You can actually feel the small edges you step on when dry tooling.
Climbing in these boots is almost like using fruit boots. The Phantom Tech’s use the NAG last which is used in all of Scarpa’s new boots such as the Rebel Pro, Mont Blanc Pro and Charmoz so this feeling of dexterity makes sense. Paired up is some high performance crampons and you’re set for some steep ice or mixed climbing as well as big alpine missions!
- Warm (for such a light boot)
- Great performance on steep ice & rock
- Durable (except the lace’s)
- Laces wear out
- Stock Foot-bed sucks
- Ankle lace keeper can be annoying
I would highly recommend these boots to anyone who is looking for a performance lightweight Alpine / Ice Climbing boot. The Phantom Tech’s are amazingly comfortable to walk in for such a stiff boot and very light on your feet. These guys will have a place in my closet (and my feet) for a very long time.
I purchased the review boots and so was not influenced in my review in any way.