Lowa Silberhorn GTX
Materials: Leather, vibram, gore-tex
Break-in Period: Moderate
Price Paid: $270
I set out for Colorado for a fourteener winter ascent and instead of the usual crusty snow we encountered the biggest snow storm to hit the front range this year (Feb 2010) which made mountain conditions an all out winter mountaineering experience.
My feet stayed warm but I did not sweat much in them at all; overall excellent insulation. The temperature was about -10 F with a wind chill into the negative teens/low twenties. The first part of our ascent was normal hiking on snow without snowshoes and they did not give any problems; they were extremely comfortable for a mountaineering boot, however, don't expect them to fit like street shoes.
I sized up a half size from what I normally wear and that worked great for me. I did not develop any blisters or hot spots in our 18 mile hike. They fit very similar to Lowa's hiking boots. I did wear them for 25 hours at work and went on one 3 miles hike in the snow before I took them out and that was enough break in time.
They went great with snowshoes and especially great with crampons. I didn't even use automatic step-in crampons but I can only imagine the improvement because of how good they performed with strap-on crampons. The sole is extremely stiff which is what you want for a mountaineering boot. If you were to venture into colder temperatures a super gaiter (over boot) would add the extra warmth for any expedition.
From someone who has actually used them in harsh mountain conditions I highly recommend this boot.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
Whether you're headed to this boot's namesake on Switzerland's Jungfrau or planning a multi-day jaunt in the Tetons, the Men's Lowa Silberhorn GTX Boot will provide the rigidity and warmth required. The seamless Gore-Tex and Primaloft liner provides waterproof protection and warmth in extreme wet and cold while the grippy Vibram outsole pairs nicely with your crampons. The last thing you want to worry about in the chaotic alpine realm is your feet, and with the classically styled and tech-savvy Silberhorn, you can direct your focus upwards on the next pitch instead of down toward your toes.
The Silberhorn GTX Alpine Boot for Men by Lowa is ideal for longer distance trips and expeditions. This is a classic one piece mountaineering boot for expedition use. It Features the new "Balance Insole" that has a breathable top layer with foam that molds to the shape of your foot. This top layer transports moisture away from the foot, eliminates pressure points, minimizes friction and reduces fatigue.
- Altrec Outdoors
Ideal for long haul expeditions, Lowa Silberhorn GTX mountaineering boots feature waterproof protection and stout construction to keep your feet warm and comfortable as you look to the next summit. Flexible and breathable, the single-piece split-grain leather uppers feature protective rubber rands for enhanced protection from abrasion and impacts. Seam-sealed Gore-Tex® liners with wicking polyester linings deliver complete protection while allowing moisture vapor to escape. Warm, light and nonbulky PrimaLoft® polyester microfiber insulation delivers great warmth. To-the-toe lacing allows a precise and adjustable climbing shoe-type fit. Special insoles feature a highly breathable top layer of foam, which conforms to the shape of your foot to deliver comfort and support while also managing moisture. Polyurethane midsoles are durable and shock absorbent, providing mile after mile of cushioned comfort. Rigid, full-length nylon shanks control flex and add the stability needed during use on rough terrain and with crampon use. Vibram® Teton outsoles offer excellent grip, stability and durability; outsoles are step-in crampon compatible (sold separately).