Zamberlan 760 Steep GTX
I bought this shoe because simply because I wanted it the moment I tried it on for size at a local store. I already have a back packing boot from Zamberlan called Vioz. But I really liked the look and feel of this boot. I was ok with having two backpacking boots. I was really in for a pleasent surprise. This is a little more of an a backpacking boot. The Backpacker magazine had described this as a Cadillac for your feet. There are NOT kidding I tell you. These shoes feel awesome, especially once you get on the trail. The way the soft leather encases your feet is something that is to be felt to be believed. The shock absorption is, well, like a Cadillac.The shoe is also has a more rigid shank than the Vioz. This makes it particularly very comfortable while climbing steep trails. The grip of this boot is amazing as well. Much better than the Vioz. There is a particular stretch in the trail that I often go to that is about 40% incline and filled with scree and small pebbles layer on top of one another, I almost always skid atleast once on that stretch coming down. But with the Steep the grip was solid. Because the boot was pretty rigid and sole was really sticky. The ankle support is fantastic and there is absolutely no issues with the toe hitting the front of the shoe.
However, be vary of wet rocks. I heard that this boot skids on wet rocks. But that is a trade off. Stiffer boots have this problem. This is due to the kind of rubber that is used on the sole of the boot.
I did not face any such problems but however, in my honest opinion this shoe is more for summer mountaineering in the West coast, Alaska or Colorado rather than backpacking say in the Applachian. This boot would handle ice and snow much better than running streams. I have carried up to 30lbs with this shoe and it is the most comfortable boot I have worn to date. I have had other hikers just look at this shoe and tell me that this shoe looks so comfortable. I tell you what they are not wrong. Go get it. Right now.