Materials: Leather and Viabram Soles
Use: Heavy Pack and light mountaineering
Break-in Period: 15 - 20 uses
Weight: 4 - 5 per pair
Price Paid: $215
Great boot with a solid feel that gives confidence in an array of situations. I have used them on mountaineering trips as well as rock scrabbles up to a 5.8 rating. They take a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of them they will be your friend for life.
I wear a size 13 and they were true to fit. They have a wide birth at the toe and a semi secure heel. I do get blisters still to this day after long periods of separation from them, but that's standard for any full shank boot that I have ever worn.
It's a full shank, full leather upper with a bomb proof sole. You are looking at 2 lbs per boot - don't buy these for thru hikes.
I have very little ankle roll in these bad boys and have hauled packs in excess of 65lbs with little stress.
I have noticed some wear and tear to the toe box region over time, especially during crampon season which provokes concerned.
Warmth & Waterproof
If you are climbing in snow, wear gaiters. If you are at higher altitudes get a pair of down over boots.
Just about any pair of strap on's will work.
Use: Heavy (18 days on Appalachian Trail w/45lb. pack)
Break-in Period: FINALLY after 13 "Trail Days"
Price Paid: $240
So I wanted to go backpacking and I let someone else pick out my pair of boots. A sales representative. BIG MISTAKE! These boots really did some damage to my feet and no combination of socks and/or insoles seemed to help.
#1) The crease in the toe region of the leather wore the tops of my toes to the bone. #2) My low volume feet slid in the boot (though it was supposedly sized "perfect for me") and huge blisters developed on my heels. #3) Once they were broken in, I could pull them so tight that my feet lost circulation. Loosening the boots until I could feel my feet, my feet slid again, cramming my toes in the toe box on descents. #4) The boots were not waterproofed from the factory!!! $240.00 for a boot and you'd expect it to be waterproofed! #5) The bootlaces snapped after only 13 days on the trail.
I'd never wear a pair of Couloir's again, though I've had good luck with Montrail in the past. Just a bad investment, I guess.
Use: Heavy backpacking
Break-in Period: couple of weeks
Price Paid: $199
These boots fit like they were made specifically for me. The insole is as good as a new Superfeet, but I don't know how long it will last? Over perhaps 30 to 40 hours of use they have broken in until they are very comfortable. Use two layers of thin socks... not the massively nubby wools, but smooth ones. Doing this I never blister and they're a joy to wear. The break-in period was rough but now they're worth it!
Materials: Leather with Vibram Soles
Use: rough trail, snow, ice w/heavy pack or summit bag
Break-in Period: about 50 miles
Weight: 5 lbs
Price Paid: $100
Yea! These boots took some breaking in and I did get some blisters early on... but after the break-in boy are these boots great. My Cassin automatic crampons fit just right and the boots are warm even in deep powder snow (wear gaiters). Worked great across the Sierras, up San Gorgonio, and up Mt. Shasta. They're going to Mt. Rainier after a few more tune-up trips.
I recommend a nice liner sock with a heavy hiking sock.
Where to Buy
The Montrail Couloir is not available from the stores we monitor.
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