Zamberlan 740 Steep GT
Materials: Hydroblok Nubuck Leather, Gortex, Vibram Soles
Use: Extended Backpacking, Mountaineering, Scramble Hikes
Break-in Period: none
Weight: 744 g or 1lb 10 oz
Price Paid: $225
I've been backpacking and mountaineering for slightly over fifty years now and I've constantly been searching for the perfect boot and I think I've finally found it. My usual regimen with new footwear is to try boots on in the store and walk around for a bit. If they're not immediately comfortable that ends the test.
Next, after purchase I take them home and wear them around the house for several days. Again, if not absolutely comfortable they go back. Next I take them to the fitness club and work them out for several days on a treadmill/stairmill to get them "loosened up" and fitted to my feet. Then it's on to the trails and/or mountains.
In the case of these boots I skipped the treadmill stairmill part and went out to Western Washington and the snowfields of Mt Daniel. In that hike they performed without a glitch. Started out on dry trails, then muddy trails, then off piste on scree, snow/ice, and finally on with the crampons. I had not waterproofed them - they were just as they came out of the box.
These have a comfortably wide toe box, they snug up nicely around the ankle (they have a stap that pulls up tight at the mid ankle level so they don't slop around on your foot with the lower portion loosely laced), and, at 744 grams they are incredibly light given the design of the boot. They performed beautifully in the gammut of conditions mentioned above.
I usually look for some little nit pick to mention in these reviews but these boots are absolutely perfect - I can find nothing to complain about.
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