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