Initial Impression - Awesome
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I've been on a long hunt for a boot that is tolerable on the up hill, but feels as close as possible to a "real" (aka alpine) boot on the downhill. Major bonus points if it is so good I'd use it for a full resort day.
I just got these boots out for their first tour, and they are very promising. The weight and range of motion isn't record breaking, but I found them to be plenty adequate for getting up hill. I was in a very familiar area, and didn't feel noticeably more taxed on the hike than I would in my old Maestrales.
Then, as you might expect, the 4 buckle design of these boots and the relatively (for touring boots) heavy shells make for a pretty great feel going down hill. I was in tight trees and bad snow, and they had a ton of control compared to more touring specific boots. I'd say these are definitely up there with the big names in this category like the Hawx and Zero Gs.
As for resort days, I definitely plan to use these, but I think the inevitable shortcoming will always be the liners. In order for a liner to be light and flexible enough for touring it just simply can't match a beefier alpine liner for all day comfort and control. This isn't a problem specific to these boots though, and for a "one boot to do everything" these are absolutely worth trying on. If they feel good for your foot, I would give them a go! Interestingly,