Better late than never.
Since the 1960s, The North Face has been a mainstay in the modern alpinist movement; yet, interestingly, it has never produced a technical mountaineering boot ... until now. Mountaineers, the time has finally come for The North Face to introduce the Men's Verto S4K GTX Boot. Designed with decades of input from elite TNF athletes such as Conrad Anker and perfected with top-shelf materials such as a Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane, the Verto S4K might be a newcomer, but its climbing resume and pedigree are impeccable.
- Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane keeps your toes dry through wet, icy, and snowy conditions while allowing foot sweat and moisture to escape
- Rugged Panatex ballistic textile throughout keeps weight down without adversely affecting breathability
- Synthetic leather front and side rand provides durability for kick-stepping
- X-Frame tech provides lateral stability without sacrificing flexibility; injected TPU cage delivers a supportive midfoot
- Northotic Pro+ EVA footbed features a gel heel for supreme comfort
- TPU shank and polypropylene and fiberglass lasting board deliver the stiffness you need for French and German techniques
- TPU Cradle heel system is stiff to ensure that your crampon stays put, and an EVA heel pad ups the cushioning for your foot
- Vibram Mulaz outsole features climbing-specific zoning for superior edging and control over mixed terrain
- Item #TNF7533
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
I don't usually write reviews but, after my experience with this boot, I feel I have to. This wasn't my first choice for a three-season mountaineering boot -- or second -- but I found a pair on sale so I decided to give them a shot.
When I received them I was initially impressed with how they looked at fit -- they seemed really comfortable. After a couple trips, though, they started to fall apart everywhere. The waterproofing failed on the second trip and my feet got completely soaked. The rubber around the sides of the boot -- I don't know what the proper name is -- started to peel completely off. Overall they seemed to hold up as well as a pair $30 hiking boots from a big-box store.
I ended up sending them back to The North Face, and they replaced them for me. The second pair ended up falling apart just as the first. I sent them back again. After the third pair, TNF just gave me a gift card instead of another pair of boots. I bought a sleeping bag with it, and I will never buy a pair of TNF boots of any kind ever again.
These boots are simply not up to par with the competition at the same price point -- namely the Trango and Charmoz. Junk junk junk.
The North Face Verto S4K GTX Boots
Ouch... ouch... OUCH!
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I have about 10 miles on these boots now, and that may be all they get. Out of the box everything looks great. Good materials, nice design, solid construction. The fit was even very comfy out of the box. Supportive, good heel hold, decent width overall for medium/wide feet. I would put the fit somewhere between my Scarpa Charmoz Pro GTX boots and my La Sportiva Trango S EVO boots. The Charmoz have a stiffer shank that runs nearly to the toe for better front pointing, and a much more supportive cuff. LOVE those boots. Tons of miles. They are a little narrow though. The S4K boots are more like the Trango boots in the forefoot fit: medium wide. They S4K also have a softer sole flex than the Charmoz, so more like the Trangos. Nice for walking on flats, BUT, all the sole flex happens right behind the metatarsal area (behind the ball of your foot), and it causes the uppers to fold at one specific point and basically try to chop your foot in half. Yuck. It feels like someone standing on your foot with a hockey skate when you flex the boot hard, like when front pointing straight up a steep slope. The Charmoz and Trango all flex around your toes, where a shoe is supposed to flex. I do notice the problem a lot more in the left S4K boot than the right, so they are breaking in a little differently. Add to that the fact that the left S4K has a chunk of plastic inside the heel cup (part of the 'exoskeleton' plastic) that gave me a pinpoint blister on the second hike, and I'm ready to return these things.
In a nutshell:terrible design, or at least defective construction on one (left) boot. Odd sole flex pattern located too far back, with uppers not designed around this detail. Support is more like a backpacking boot than a true light alpine climbing boot. Shows potential, but needs work.
Bottom line: Sometimes late is not better than never.
See pic for guillotine flex point:
Verto S4K GTX Boot.
Need a crampon compatable boot for a trip in early September this year. I chose the Verto because it looked like it required the least amount of break in time.
I took this boot out for the first time last week. Right out of the box, up Garnet Canyon to the saddle between the Middle and South Tetons. I used an older pair of Grivel G10's for the snow fields. The boot was super comfortable the entire time, with only one small rub spot on my heal. Socks were a set of heavyweight smartwools. All together, I spent about 4 hours in crampons with an additional 8 miles of hiking, and some short boulder fields thrown in. The support around the ankle is great. I can see this boot being great for mixed terrain, but not perfect for all day crampon use. Vibrum sole provides super traction and grip. Didnt get to use it much on scree or tulas, but it seem very solid on the parts I did travel over.
Is this a B2 rated boot? Or to put it...
Is this a B2 rated boot? Or to put it differently, does this boot take C2 rated crampons like the Grivel G12's or are those too stiff? Thanks for any info.
Foot Width??? Looking for a EE at least...In...
Foot Width??? Looking for a EE at least...In a hard sole boot, it is imperative my feet are comfortable.. Any recommendations for one?
Customer Asked "Does this boot have a full...
Customer Asked "Does this boot have a full Shank or a half Shank?"
After researching this and checking with our Gurus this boot is only a Half Shank. Which if you are looking to do some serious mountaineering / use crampons this is NOT a good boot.
If you are looking for the Full Shank version check out TNFs Verto S6K Glacier Boot. Which is the big brother of this one.