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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2013

Editors' Choice 2013: Zamberlan 230 SH Crosser Plus GTX RR

Get no-compromise lightweight boots that perform like heavyweights.

by: The Backpacker Editors

Zamberlan 230 SH Crosser Plus GTX RR (Ben Fullerton)
Zamberlan 230 SH Crosser Plus GTX RR (Ben Fullerton)

“These aren’t the lightest high-cut boots I’ve worn,” reports an editor with almost 20 years of testing experience, “but they strike the best balance of weight savings, ankle support, and heavy-duty load-worthiness.” Many lightweight high-cuts trim grams by subtly lowering the ankle cuff, employing less-stiff upper materials, dropping a deeper Achilles notch, or minimizing midsole structure. “Just a half-inch less height on the cuff can make a huge difference for chronic ankle rollers like me,” he says. And a flexible trail runner-style midsole can leave your feet mighty sore when carrying a real backpacking load for 10 to 15 miles.

The Crosser keeps the key features that make a traditional midweight boot the best choice for multiday trips with up to 45 pounds, but saves weight with lighter synthetic materials, adroitly placed structural supports (like a deep heel cup), a TPU plate under the arch, and a minimalist outsole (no heavy rubber lugs). The result is a sturdy, all-purpose backcountry boot that’s light enough for speedy dayhikes yet tough enough for strap-on crampons and light mountaineering.

A rockered profile helps keep the pace up by easing the toe-off phase of the stride while you’re hiking and climbing, and the low-profile Vibram sole gripped well on slick Oregon rocks and steep Utah sandstone. Despite the trimmed-down outsole, the Crosser doesn’t skimp on protection, thanks to a Gore-Tex lining, plus Kevlar and Cordura wrapping the sides like a rand. Footbed cushioning is minimal; add an aftermarket insole for more spring and to adjust fit, which runs a bit wide in the forefoot. $170; 2 lbs. 6 oz. (m’s 11); m’s 8-14, w’s 6-11;

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Reader Rating: -


Star Star Star Star Star
Jul 25, 2013

REI has these boots in stock!!

Star Star Star Star Star
Jun 24, 2013

These are top notch boots, bought them not too long after the gear guide came out back in the spring. Looks like everyone is out of them now. REI, doesn't even list them anymore which is where I got mine. Probably just ran out, wait a while, they'll probably be back in the fall. Great hikers, and light back packers. Been using mine non stop for day hiking in Texas, got 3 months on them, very light and comfortable. No complaints.

Jun 12, 2013

I was very interested in purchasing these boots but when I tried to locate them I found out they aren't available. Bummer. I was disappointed that BP would promote gear that we can't get.

Star Star Star Star Star
May 09, 2013

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