User Review: Zamberlan Men's 310 Skill GT
Materials: gore-tex, 2.4mm one peice leather, Vibram
Use: Casual, short dayhikes through to rough trails w/ heavy pack
Break-in Period: short - one piece leather 'gives' uniformaly
Weight: 610 grams or 1.35 pounds
Price Paid: $240 AUD
I purchased these boots three months ahead in preparation for a two month stay in Canada's Rocky Mountains. I chose the black model and as such was able to wear them with my business clothes to work each day so I could wear them in prior to arriving in Canada.
These boots were so remarkably comfortable that I did not wear my business shoes again before departing! I simply could not put my business shoes on of a morning.
I was attracted to Zamberlan for many reasons; their 80 year three generation family owned heritage, their comprehensive design philosophy and their apparent perfect blend between tried and tested design and modern influence.
When i got to the wilderness of the Rockies, I was delighted with my decision on the Skill GT; they are so protective, snug, comfortable, feel compact yet very sturdy, and make walking a rough trail a treat.
I tested my boots via hiking, scrambling and day touring over surfaces which include ice, snow, gravel, rocks, mud, grass, water. Temperature range i used them in was 30degC (Yes, canada has a heat wave in September 2009!) down to minus 20degC (in a blizzard at 2800m altitude), never were my feet hot or cold - just perfectly warm.
The one piece leather construction (similar to Scarpa's legendary SL M3) manages to use one piece except for the heel. Unlike the slightly taller Zamberlan Vioz the Skill seems to have perfected the one piece leather design. And unlike the Scarpa, the Zamberlan have utilised a far more user-friendly and modern Vibram sole.
I loaded these boots up with a heavy pack and walked some amazing terrain, having owed many taller boots specifically designed for heavy loads I know the Skill GT are perfectly capable of performing as well as a taller boot; the support and strength of this boot is remarkable. And hence I disagree with the limitation that I have read in descriptions that these are a 'day walk' or 'short hike' boot. Disagree completely.
And finally, the Vibram soles perfect this boot. Made with a far more modern design than any other one-piece-leather constructed boot, they offer a compactness which allows the user to enjoy a more agile feel which I appreciated over heavy rocky surfaces and also when i wear them casually.
Make sure you choose the right fit and buy these; you will also find you'll have a wall-of-text to say about them!