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August 2004 Hiking Boots

Boot Review: Scarpa Alpha

No toes will be lost in these mountaineering boots.

I have friends who have lost toes to cold mountains, and they swear it’s as miserable as it sounds. So when I head out for frigid peaks, I prefer plastic double boots–damn the weight, and get the lightest that work. With its removable foam liner, the Scarpa Alpha is not only the lightest way to stay warm, it’s also the most comfortable, thanks to a foot-hugging molded plastic shell. I wore my Alphas to 17,000-feet in Tibet and on frozen waterfalls in sub-zero New Hampshire, and I never worried about my toes. The sole’s curved rocker managed approach hikes without pain, the lugs stood on dime-size ledges, and the foam insulation trapped body heat like a Thermos bottle.

Price: $365

Sizes: men’s 5 1/2-12 1/2, 13

Weight: 5 lbs. 2 oz. (size 10).

Contact: (801) 278-5533; www.scarpa.net

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