The Spark boot by Deeluxe is what I have been waiting for in a boot since departing from Hard Boots after my attempt to snowboard the north face of Mount Everest in 2003. The security of this boot's grip while walking on firm snow is incredible. I hiked up Mount Glory on Teton Pass last Friday under the full moon with a group of friends. It hasn't snowed in several days and the boot pack was firm and slick with rocks protruding in several places. I have never felt so secure and comfortable on the boot pack as in these boots. The Vibram sole takes sure footedness to another level. I was convinced I was a billy goat for a little while and it had nothing to the products, services and beverages imbibed in and around the Stagecoach Bar before departure.
I am still getting used to the lacing system, which is not super intuitive. There has been no need to kick steps in firm snow yet with the cold snow this time of year, but I will be doing that soon enough. My initial thoughts on the toebox construction is that it could use some beefing up. I may doctor them up with a layer of Aquaseal, which would add some stiffness and protection to the toebox.
They Spark's ride well. I have ridden them a few days and they also tour fine. I am using an older Scarpa liner at the moment until I cook the ones that came with the boots, which will happen soon.
The four stars is for the seemingly flimsy toebox. If after use (I may only Aquaseal one boot) they hold up well and penetrate firm snow well, I will come back and amend the rating. But for now this is a great start to a splitboard/backcountry snowboarding/snowboard mountaineering boot.
Regarding Crampons, I haven't messed with that yet. Soon. I do know the Grivel G10 Wide's look ideal for snowboarding boots. But I am hoping for a great aluminum crampon,for most of the climbing I will be doing in these boots will be on snow.
Bottom line: A niche has been filled with the addition of a "real" Vibram sole. Gain security and confidence on snow, ice, rock and icy parking lots with the Deeluxe Spark Boot. Rides well and is light weight to boot!