Excellent boot! This is a leather boot designed for…
Use: approaches, climbing
Break-in Period: some
Price Paid: list $160
This is a leather boot designed for the hikes that take you to the cliffs (approaches) -- and, doing some of the climbing as well.
It does require some break-in. It is made of substantial, high-quality leather. It is not very heavy though. The sole is vibram and the midsole is pretty stiff. This makes for comfortable travel on long, rough trails, even with a pack full of climbing hardware and ropes. The Vibram sole is some type of hiking/climbing hybrid. For the most part it is a standard vibram lugged sole; however, under the big toe area, it is flattened (like a climbing shoe) so that when you're edging or trying to smear, you get a bigger contact patch on the rock. The lacing extends far down the foot towards the toes so you can really crank them tight if you actually plan to rock-climb with them.
Downside: mine came in a vicious lime green color - yow! hard on the eyes. Should be fine once they get good and dirty.
These are on sale for a fantastic price at REI.com in fall of 2000. Also check lowaboots.com -- they may have them on sale as well.
Here's what other sites are saying:
Scrambling up rock slopes can be exhilarating fun, but the rough surfaces do a real number on your hiking shoes. Lowa brings these technical, ankle-high approach shoes to the scene. Suitable for easy rock climbs -- uppers are a blend of hydrophobic "Velours" leather (similar to nubuck, but softer) and Cordura
- Sierra Trading Post refers to the men's version