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Gear Review

4 5

very adjustable

In footwear, I've gotten away from Gore-tex and stiff soles. Even backpacking, I found myself choosing running shoes over hiking boots, but I wanted to have something with ankle support, for approaches, and for peaks. I ordered these boots with high hopes. The build quality is better than I've seen in other light, breathable shoes (i.e., Merrill Ventilators, which are also nice, and cheaper), and I usually need a pretty narrow fit (my feet are B or C width, and these are noticeably narrower than most, particularly in the forefoot). I got the 45.5's and had to exchange for 46's, even though I was happy with other Sportiva shoes I had in size 45.5. In this shoe, the 46's fit fine, but they're not roomy. The sole is pretty flexible. Grip is fine (but they can't hold a ledge like a climbing shoe). The lacing down to the toe makes this shoe very adjustable and so it's possible to keep my foot from moving around inside the shoe, which I find to be a problem with many boots. After very little break-in (an approach or two), I took these up and down the shifting talas ridges of Mt. Sopris, including the west summit. I was surprised to finish the long day without blisters. These boots are expensive, but they fit unusually well (if your foot isn't too wide for them). They're fairly breathable, but not breezy (no mesh). Generally, they're very nice technical hikers. I do think I'll use gravel/scree gaiters with them next time I hike a peak. I had to stop to remove pebbles a number of times.