Take Montrail’s running-shoe DNA and give it up-armored construction, and you get this go-fast hybrid. “It’s bedroom-slipper light and instantly comfortable, thanks to the great-fitting meshy upper, with good cushion, ankle stability, and underfoot support,” says a NOLS instructor who wore it on a two-week trip in Montana’s Absarokas, while carrying a 30-pound pack over long miles, steep terrain, snowfields, and talus. The sole’s toothy, in-cut lugs give it plenty of traction on packed dirt trails.
Webbing lace guides are easy to tighten without pressure points. Testers praised the midsole’s springy-yet-protective layers of EVA and TPU*, and they loved the built-in debris protection. “The midcut neoprene collar is soft and snug,” reports a tester, “and, combined with the gusseted tongue, kept out all detritus.” But beware of wet rock, she warns. “I slipped on steep, slick slabs.”
Bonus: A progressively harder midsole from heel to pinky toe supports the outer edge of the foot to prevent ankle roll. Fit runs wide. $135; 1 lb. 12 oz.; m’s 7-15, w’s 5-11Zamberlan's most acclaimed alpine boot, the 4041 Expert Pro GT RR is designed for high level mountaineering and use on routes to glaciers. Lasted for a precise fit, the boot is constructed to provide maximum sensitivity and great performance. A double-tongue allows the user to customize their fit: push the tongue down and let the velcro and lace system provide a secure lower-volume fit; pull the tongue up and give yourself a higher volume fit. The Gore-Tex Duratherm lining and 3.0mm thick single Hydrobloc infused Swiss Perwanger leather upper combine to ensure warmth and durability to minus 20 degrees Celsius. The Expert Pro features a newly designed Vibram Teton sole that works in conjunction with Zamberlan's P.C.S. (Professional Crampon System). The Carbon Flex midsole makes the boot stiff and stable. The exclusive Zamberlan® R.R.S. protective rand helps prolong the life of the boot and offers improved protection for the foot. Available in Acid Green.