User Review: Salomon Super Mountain 9 Guide
Materials: Double, leather and man made
Use: heavy pack, off trail, alpine, ice
Break-in Period: nominal
Price Paid: $325
I recently purchased a pair of Salomon Super Mountain 9 Guide boots. I intend to use these boots primarily for extended winter outings with 70 lb. packs and mountaineering. I also plan to explore the boots compatibility with randonnee bindings for backcountry transportation and fun.
I have not had a chance to put the boots through their paces in the field. However, I can say that I am very impressed with their feel, workmanship and innovation. This initial opinion helped forge my decision to purchase the boots.
The boot gives good, overall support without creating pressure points on the ankle. The heel is held in place without the usual, annoying hugging abound the Achilles tendon that I have found on many other mountaineering boots, such as the Vasque Alpine.
Salomon employs a double lacing system enabling one to tweak and customize the degree of pressure around the foot. The inner boot automatically cinches when the tongue is pulled into place by gently pulling on a tab-loop on the boot’s tongue. The greater the pull, the greater the tightening action on the inner boot. However, not much tightening is required, as the outer boot lacing system augments the inner boot’s pressure. The outer lacing system provides uniform support around the entire ankle, without yanking the laces. ......just a slight tug is all that is needed for the desired effect.
I was impressed with the cushioning/dampening effect of the boot while walking on smooth, rough and jagged surfaces. The outer sole provides a feeling of an air cushion, and the inner foot bed re-affirms this cushioning sensation as well. However, never was the cushioning so great that I lost feeling for nuances of the underlying terrain. I was particularly impressed with the lively character of the boot when walking. Although the sole does not appear to be rockered nearly as much as other boots, I was bewildered how Salomon was able to achieve such a lively characteristic without a more extreme rocker. None-the-less, it works well and walking in them is a cinch. While the boot seems bulky in appearance, they in fact feel light on the foot. I also found the sole material to be very “grippy” on dry and wet rock.
Since I just purchased the boots, I cannot attest to the their durability and usability under all conditions, However, my initial reaction is very positive, as I think this boot may prove to be the all-around, all-purpose mountaineering boot we dream about, assuming the boot’s last design works well for one’s foot shape. I recently heard from someone who just returned from Chamonix this summer, and he told me that many of the guides there are using the boot....a fairly good endorsement.