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The North Face's first mountaineering boot (really)


The Verto S-4K is The North Face's first mountaineering boot.

The North Face has been outfitting alpinists to climb high, technical peaks around the word since the 1960s. But up until now, those athletes did so wearing mountaineering boots made by other companies.

To fix what The North Face saw as an oversight, the company has built its very first mountaineering boot, the Verto S-4K, for 2012.

"It was something our experts wanted," said a public relations representative of The North Face.

One benefit of having had The North Face-sponsored athletes use other alpine footwear brands in the past, is that they had a lot of feedback on what did and didn't work in competitors' shoes.

"When Conrad [Anker] brings back his boots from Everest, we can see" how they wore, said The North Face rep.

The Verto S-4K features synthetic leather over the forefoot, Panatex ballistic textile and a TPU cage through the mid-foot, a Gore-Tex membrane, and a TPU Cradle heel, which is designed to ensure the crampon never falls off the boot's bale, but that the heel still stays cushioned.

The Verto S-4K is for a very niche market, says The North Face, like a concept car that informs the rest of The North Face footwear line.

A women's version of the Verto S-4K will likely follow. By spring 2013, The North Face also could have a 6K, an 8K, and an ice-climbing boot in the same mountaineering footwear line.

The North Face Verto S-4K

  • Sizing: men's
  • MSRP: $350
  • Available: Spring 2012

Comments

Hmmm, I wonder were there made. China? Italy? Slovenia? What about rock shoes? Will see an all day trad slippers in the future?

Louis-Alexis said:

Hmmm, I wonder were there made. China? Italy? Slovenia? What about rock shoes? Will see an all day trad slippers in the future?

I'm working to get that info, as well as the weight. Thanks.

Thanks Alicia! They sure got my curioustsity started. The MSRP aint to bad.

Of course that'll depend if their good quality. Cant wait to see.

I kinda wonder if these will make their way to college campuses across America to help with the accessorizing of the TNF fleeces. Hmmm.... :)

Rick-Pittsburgh said:  "I kinda wonder if these will make their way to college campuses across America to help with the accessorizing of the TNF fleeces. Hmmm.... :)"

Ya think......no doubt........ If you could get your hands on a boat load of these you could retire in 22 min.

Forgot to ask: do they have temp rating? You dont mention any kind of insulation so I guess not. Still, I'm curious...

"Synthetic leather" ???

Strange way of describing "expanded vinyl".

Mehh ....  China ?

                                         ~r2~

Interesting! And strangely enough, I have a pair of boots I got about 4 or 5 years ago that are labelled "The North Face". More accurately, since they turned out to not be a good fit, Young Son (no longer so young) does fit them quite well, and currently has them and wears them regularly for his day hikes in Wisconsin. They are a full grain leather with a Vibram sole, basically a pretty standard design.

So why is TNF calling the new boots shown at the OR Show "TNF's first mountaineering boots"???? Oh, wait! I get it! The boots I have (had?) are a "hiking" boot. Even though I used them (and my son uses them) as a mountaineering boot.

Ah, the labeling game.....

I almost pulled the trigger on a pair of TNF boots awhile back then almost purchased a pair of the Jannu model a short time ago. Something about TNF on my feet just doesn't work for me.

I like their bags(I have 2,) and I have 2 pair of their convertible pants. I think it may have something to do with the overdose of TNF fleeces and beanies I received while in college.

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

I almost pulled the trigger on a pair of TNF boots awhile back then almost purchased a pair of the Jannu model a short time ago. Something about TNF on my feet just doesn't work for me.

I like their bags(I have 2,) and I have 2 pair of their convertible pants. I think it may have something to do with the overdose of TNF fleeces and beanies I received while in college.

 I had the poor student TNF "targai" that a girllfriend bought for me  fleece wise. My caplin from REI I bought. Timberland when they made good boot's and REI Alpine day pack I had from the 80's that finally went in 2005. My climbing gear was a mix.LOL

 

Nice looking boot. The silver leather looks quite Mod, like something Austin Powers would wear! Guess maybe its to reflect the cold?

GaryPalmer said:

 

Nice looking boot. The silver leather looks quite Mod, like something Austin Powers would wear! Guess maybe its to reflect the cold?

 

Heh - heh ....

                                                          ~r2~

WAS THAT BILL?? Welcome back stranger!

I'll stick with my Mammut Mamooks.

Louis-Alexis said:

Hmmm, I wonder were there made. China? Italy? Slovenia? What about rock shoes? Will see an all day trad slippers in the future?

I'm still working on most of these questions, but here's an update on other climbing footwear.

The North Face does not have any plans for a rock shoe at this time. However, they did unveil the new men's Verto Approach for 2012:

VERTO APPROACH
Designed for scrambling and running exposed ridges, this lightweight, technical approach shoe features performance cushioning, Cradle support and a high-friction Vibram outsole.
sizes/ 7–12, 13, 14 last/ TNF-S12-02 1/25/12–2/15/12 approx weight/ ½ pair: 15 oz (425 g) pair: 1 lb 14 oz (850 g) *based on Men’s 9
UPPER/ Synthetic microsuede and ballistic nylon leather upper / TPU midfoot support welding / Protective rubber toe cap and mudguard / Northotic™ Pro upgraded EVA footbed BOTTOM/ Cradle™ heel cushioning and stability technology / Compression-molded EVA midsole / Vibram® IdroGrip DOT rubber outsole / 80% post-consumer recycled Bi-Fit™ insole board.

Thanks Alicia! Still no news on where there made?

Hmm....I just don't see myself ever buying a pair of these. I don't have anything against TNF, I just will not use synthetic leather (AKA: Glorified Vinyl). Been there done that and not going back for a repeat. Unless TNF has reformulated fake leather and has made a miraculous break through it does NOT hold up well at all. You can double this negative if it is made in China, as I have a personal code to not buy products made there if I can help it. Does this limit the products I can buy? Sure it does, but I still will not change my mind because of that. Just my honest opinion.

Oh really Walt? I agree on the not buying made in China, but I am pretty sure if 14X8000 No O2 climber Denis Urubko can use these during the 2012 Nanga Parbat Winter Expedition they should hold up just find for you in the Colorado 14ers 
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I had some TNF light hikers a few years back...they were ok, but seemed more for day/town wear looking like a hiker than actually hiking.I see on ZAPPOS they have them under SHOES. But the prices on all of those hikers are much more than I paid...I am going to say 10 years ago....for the ones I had.

These boots are already available for sale in Europe.  gleaned from a few reviews over there, UK size nine weighs 3 pounds, four ounces.  not bad.  some claimed they were 'designed' in Italy; unclear where they are being manufactured.  

appears designed for semi-auto crampons - take a look a the article and note the photo, particularly the toe of this boot - no shelf at the toe for the full auto bail.  not a big deal, but interesting.  (in case that doesn't make sense - a semi-auto crampon has a heel piece that locks into the heel of your boot, but has a basket or system in the front that is more 'universal,' whereas a fully automatic crampon has a metal bail in the front that locks into a small shelf on the toe of your boot).

i would be interested to hear what people think the temperature range is for this boot; if it gets really cold, -30 or -40, are these OK on their own, or do they require overboots?

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