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Gear Review

4 5

Blister Free?

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Initial review/thoughts: Me: 6-1, 198, purchased size 11. I'm a 10 1/2 and the 11 fits great in the Performance.
Now keep in mind my first climb in these was in relatively hot weather. I live in So Cal and close to Mt. Baldy and we've had some good snow thus far. But, I picked a day where it was in the high 60's at the trail head, around 5,700 ft. I need to break them in, so instead of wearing trial runners at the start, I wore the boots. I got hot. I also want to say my sock choice was stupid as they were thin but old and kind of worn on the inside. My bad. But I got a blister x2. Witholding judgment for now as to the "Blister Free Guarantee" but the seam was noticeable.
Ok, now for the climb part. In the walk mode, I dug this boot. It flexed just enough to put some miles in on the approach. The heel underfoot was very stable. Not too wide, not too narrow compared to my Mammut GTX. So getting going was....thoughtless. Meaning, I was motoring along and never thought about traction, roll or anything. Once on the route, the snow was super firm and I didn't put my crampons on right away, switched to climb mode and edged up a 35-40 degree angle. I cut a couple of steps with my ice ax, but mostly just edged and used the toe to climb a short section. Kinda dumb as it was super icy and sketchy, but dang there's nothing like a new Vibram sole! The sole on the Salewa is quite different than the ones on my Mammuts. It's better. Better uphill and downhill, as breaking was awesome. Once the crampons were on, I made short work of the route section I was on. Is there still some flex? Yes, a bit. But not much. Is this a completely rigid boot like my Millet Radikals? Nope. But for me, who is more of an Alpine / Mountaineer climber, they are bomber. I just wish it was colder and I was not moving so fast in order to see how warm they were, but I'll never get a good feel for that until I get into the Eastern Sierra next month.