Zamberlan Cristallo Gore-Tex
Comfortable, warm, good ankle support, good arch support,…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $280 USD
Comfortable, warm, good ankle support, good arch support, nice cushioning in midsole.
- Painless break-in so far!
- Good traction
- Hot, of course, in hot weather
- Liner is loose inside boot in places
My feet are broad, high volume feet with thick ankles and low arches and these fit like a dream!!!
I'm in Australia, and these boots retail here for nearly $400 (around same in U.S. dollars). (I didn't actually pay that, as I got them on sale.) As they are a premium item, as a purchaser you have high expectations.
I note that the boots I have — bought in Feb 2012 — are slightly different to those pictured, I think they are a previous model. Mine have grey around the top, not black. And the EVA midsole is thicker in mine, which makes the sole thicker and more cushioned. Hopefully those are the only differences, but I can't be sure.
These Zamberlans are the only boots I've tried on that don't put pressure on the back of my leg above the heel, even on steep descents. I tried lots of others — Asolo etc — but they were all too high cut in the Achilles region and pressed in too much here. The Cristallos are roomy enough in the toebox but supportive in in the midfoot, very comfy and soft padding through the instep area and the laces. Very nice arch support. The laces are very long. Very comfy on ascents, heel sits nicely in the heel cup. Feet don't slide forward on descents. Traction is good.
The EVA midsole is very cushiony and I find them good even on concrete. I feel like these pretty boots are saying to me on each step "I've got you!"
Only concern is that the liners which are fabric/Gore-tex seem to be a bit loose and wrinkled; they are not fully bonded to the leather outer all the way around inside the boot... so far I haven't developed any sore spots of blisters, hope this continues to be the case on multiday hikes.
If not for the liner issue I'd be giving them a four and a half stars at this early point in their career!
After about 100 miles — Still comfy. Little less rigid around the ankles now that they have softened a little, but overall still look and feel much as they did at the start. Waterproofness is good. It's winter now, so they are nice and warm.
The wrinkled liner issue — I followed up with Zamberlan via Australian retailer and they advise that this is just how the boots are made so that the waterproofness is not compromised — the liners are just stuck in one place to the toe and the rest just sits inside the boot like a loose sock.
So far, this has not caused major problems for me, but I've still only done day hikes in them, with a 26lb pack.
Very impressed with the traction of the soles on wet slippy surfaces.
Hiked half the John Muir Trail in these boots last year (summer) and currently training in them for upcoming season. Maybe 300+ miles on them, and they still look and feel great. I did not get a single blister on our trip.
I would unreservedly recommend these boots, but of course they are not for ultralight backpackers. I have not been in snow in them. The support, traction and waterproofness is fabulous.
I'm changing my rating from 4 to 4 1/2 stars!