|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – June 2008
Get maximum support, traction, and protection without wafflestomper weight or break-in. Welcome to the new breed of all-terrain, any-load boots.
BEST FOR HARD MILES
Zamberlan Baffin GT
The Baffin's full-grain nubuck upper, armorlike toe rand, and best-in-test traction make this boot our choice for the toughest terrain. The aggressive Vibram sole, with its large heel lugs, held tenaciously on loose and crumbly descents in California and Nevada, and it shed mud and snow instantly. Though the Baffin's ankle is cut a tad lower than the Scarpa and Lowa models (but equal to or higher than others here), the padded cuff and extra-supportive heel cup provide plenty of stability for loads up to 50 pounds. The Gore-Tex lining kept our feet dry, even when one tester got rain-lashed in an epic storm in Ohio's John Bryan State Park. Fit was spot-on for all foot types: "A snug heel and ankle, with plenty of forefoot room and no toe-crunching on the downhills," wrote one tester. The Italian craftsmanship and full-grain leather promise years of hard-duty service. The only bummer: Testers had to wrestle with the thick, stiff tongue, and the bulky logo patch interferes with lace cinching. Best for medium-volume men's feet; narrow to medium women's. $245; 3 lbs. 5 oz.; men's 8–12, 13; women's 6–10. (925) 398-8453; zamberlanstore.com.