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Backpacker Magazine – 2010 Editors' Choice/Gear Guide

Editors' Choice 2010: Zamberlan 760 Steep GT Hiking Boot

Tackle the biggest terrain–under the heaviest loads–in this uncommonly comfortable boot.

by: BACKPACKER Editors

Zamberlan 760 Steep GT (Steve Howe)
Zamberlan 760 Steep GT (Steve Howe)

MORE HIKING BOOTS
Heavy Duty
Mid Duty
Light Duty

video icon VIDEO REVIEW: See the Zamberlan 760 Steep GT in action in Switzerland.

One of our editors bravely put these boots to the ultimate test: With zero break-in, he took the all-leather Steeps on a two-week expedition to Alaska’s Brooks Range. He crossed glaciers, climbed in crampons, and hiked 50 miles across often-soggy tundra with a 70-pound load.

Conclusion: This boot delivers tanklike support and stability with Cadillac comfort. For starters, a leather collar wraps your ankle like a soft glove, so you can crank the laces tight for support without any pinching. A low-density polyurethane midsole absorbs shock so well that one tester noted, “Even after a full day of trail pounding, I didn’t take off my boots until I crawled in the sack.”

A plastic toe and heel counter increase stability and help the boot hold its shape in wet conditions. And the Steep excelled off-trail, thanks to a polypropylene shank with good torsional rigidity and Vibram soles with a toothy lug pattern. It’s not the lightest or cheapest midweight, but you get an Italian-made beauty that’ll handle years of big-trip, big-load abuse with total comfort from mile one.

Fit is best for medium- to large-volume feet with medium width. $258; men’s 8–12, 13; 3 lbs. 1 oz. (9); zamberlanstore.com

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Gary
Dec 13, 2012

Definitely try them on before buying. I was going to buy sight unseen, but I had an opportunity to try them on at a local retailer. I tested out the Trekker and the Steep. There was a noticeable difference for me. The Trekker was a great fit, just like a top of the line ASolo, but the Steep presented an uncomfortable heel when leaning forward (e.g. stepping up on a rock). I put on a thicker sock to limit the movement and that helped, but in the end my heel still felt a hard surface on the back side rather than cushioning. Maybe it had to do with the shaping and that in time they would break in. Oddly, the Trekker (a slightly cheaper model Zamberlan) felt comfortable in the heel straight off and I was confident no break-in period was necessary.

The store didn't have my size in the Skill GT, which I was dying to try, but now that I've discovered an inconsistency in fit between models I'm a little leery of buying Zamberlan without trying them on. Overall, an excellent crafted shoe. It seems you pay a little more over the Asolo to get slightly better aesthetics.

Raphael
May 08, 2012

I'm hesitating between the zomberland 760 steep and the Scarpa Bhutan but can't try them (since nearby stores only offer very low quality boots). I usually do daily hikes or 2-3 days hikes with a max load of 40 pounds and I have a normal sized foot. Any advices?

Jean Coumans (The Netherlands)
Sep 30, 2011

Bought these with hesitance, but they delivered big time during daylong hikes in the French Alpes (Ecrin). Extremely (yes, extremely) pleased with them. Hesitance was, that I couldn't believe a shoe this comfortable, could give enough support and stability. My previous Zamberlans were much stiffer in the vertical (shaft, fit around the foot) and since I have difficult feet -flat, broad-, finding a perfect pair is near as impossible. I always have to comprimise on something, but these Zamberlans are really amazing, for me, that is. What I have learned in al these years is, that there is no one perfect shoe for everyone, but that you have to try as much shoes as possible to find YOUR perfect match. As any knowledgable hikingshoesalesperson (remember this one for Scrabble) should tell you!

Ron
Apr 28, 2011

I can't agree with the review on the 760 Steep GT. I have a pair of the Zamberlan Vioz and love them! They have a great sole and support? The 760 Steep GT have a very narrow heel, lack support around the foot and are sloppy. They are liking in a high top sneaker, comfortable but not much use on the trail! The Editor struck out on this one! Stick with an all leather boot since they can't be beat!

Bill
Dec 28, 2010

I am currently shopping for new boots and looking for something that can handle the Sierra Nevadas well: steep trails, off trail, bare wet granite, scrambling, early spring to late fall. I also would like to be able to use strap-on crampons for snowfields. The reviews from Alaska and Switzerland mention crampons, but I wonder if anyone could say a little more. I am trying to avoid a heavy mountaineering boot since 75% of the time I am not in snow or ice, but want a boot that can handle the snow and light ice work when necessary. This boot seems like a really good choice, but would love to hear advice from anyone with personal experience.

mark
Jun 24, 2010

Iím looking for a great hiking boot to use in the Adirondacks in the late fall.
I was leaning towards the Zamberlan 760, primarily based on your findings and some of the blogs; however, last night I received my Backpacker issue for August 2010.
On page 56 the article refers to the 5 boots that survived a 4 month grueling test.
One can surmise that the shoe in question was not included or did not farewell in this particular test? In either case please advise if you were going to buy the best all-round hiking boot for the north country what would you choose?

Regards,

Mark
Wineshark@hotmail.com

mark
Jun 24, 2010

Iím looking for a great hiking boot to use in the Adirondacks in the late fall.
I was leaning towards the Zamberlan 760, primarily based on your findings and some of the blogs; however, last night I received my Backpacker issue for August 2010.
On page 56 the article refers to the 5 boots that survived a 4 month grueling test.
One can surmise that the shoe in question was not included or did not farewell in this particular test? In either case please advise if you were going to buy the best all-round hiking boot for the north country what would you choose?

Regards,

Mark
Wineshark@hotmail.com

Guerdon
Jun 02, 2010

you cant even find these anymore.....everywhere...SOLD OUT!

damo
May 12, 2010

Matthias, there is nothing wrong trying on other boots, you dont have to buy them. but I would have thought after 15 years, maybe without knowing it, you would have lost some of the support and shape of the boot to some degree. to say that this zambo boot is good for everyone is also not true, different shape feet etc. If you paid $250 for your Scarpas, that has cost you $17 per year - not bad going! Most people would spend that on coffee every month!

Matt W
May 12, 2010

Matthias, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. At least when it comes to footwear. Just my $0.2.

matthias...
May 06, 2010

So here's the thing...
I've worn a pair of scarpa SLs for ~ 15 years.. they've faithfully delivered over countless smiles and countries... here are these boys at the same price point getting a rave review.. do I replace my sls with a new pair.. or are these gonna be better?
why change?

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