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Gear Review

5 5

Versatile Shoe for Alpine Objectives

I love this shoe! Used it for the first time this weekend on a short hike (7.5 miles) over varied terrain (Class 1 dirt trails, Class 1/2 steepish but easy cross country, Class 2/3 ridge scrambling, and a stream crossing), and they remained comfortable and supportive for the entire time. I bought these to replace my 5.10 Camp Fours on longer dayhikes/approaches and hikes that involve a lot of snow, as I've rolled my ankle the last couple of times out and they aren't waterproof. Here's my synopsis:

SIZING / FIT:
True to size. My street shoe size is mainly 6.5, I tried these on in 6.5 and 7.0 and went with the 6.5, and they fit like a glove. No heel slippage and no toe bang. Very minor hot spots on the outside edge of my little toe, but I was only wearing one pair of socks and my feet trend on the wider side. Additionally, there is a variable footbed, so the shoe can be customized based on your sock system (same comfort level with light and medium hiking socks and heavy mountaineering socks with liner).

PROS:
* Comfortable - they really fit like a glove.
* Light - not much heavier than my Camp Fours (subjectively, anyway)
* Very supportive - the sole is stiff and provided a different experience from the Camp Fours, not as flexible, but definitely more support. Also, I'll have to try to roll my ankle in these.
* Sticky sole – not as sticky as the Camp Four, but definitely sticky enough and definitely confidence inspiring
* Great edging – the boot is stiff, so the edging is definitely better than with the Camp Four
* Waterproof - I forewent a bridge and walked through a shallow stream to test how waterproof these shoes are, the stream was short (~15 feet), but my boots were submerged as far as possible before water would start entering over the top, and my feet stayed dry. And the outer part of the shoe must be treated as well, because they dried immediately.

CONS:
* Durability, maybe – I put a 2mm shallow divot into the leather on the left toe while scrambling. During my creek crossing, I could feel the temperature of the water in that area and that was the only part of the boot that did not repel water/dry immediately. Instead, the leather absorbed and held water. Not sure if it was due to the nick I put in the leather. This said, my feet stayed dry.

REMAINS TO BE SEEN:
* Insulation
* Snow travel with and without crampons

Versatile Shoe for Alpine Objectives