Brand: Nordwand High GTX
This super-stiff mountaineering boot safeguarded our ice-climbing tester’s feet through a season of abuse. “Everything from waist-deep snow, to scree, to vertical ice—these boots can handle it all,” he says. A carbon shank keeps the boot extra stiff and lightweight, while a rockered profile adds the illusion of flex. “You get the benefit of an ultra-stiff boot, while the rockered sole lets you roll through each step,” our tester says.
The boot’s invisible highlight is its double-insulated insole, which sandwiches the carbon shank between two layers of foam. Additionally, a Thinsulate liner and padded, fully-gusseted tongue trap the heat inside the synthetic upper, which is wrapped in a full gaiter. The result? Our tester stayed warm down to 10°F—impressive for an ice climber who spends much of his time belaying. “My toes are extra sensitive to cold, thanks to past frostbite, and these boots kept me warmer than any leather boot has,” he says.
Speedily dial in fit through an easy-pull lacing system, then fasten a Velcro power strap across the ankle (like a ski boot) to secure. Zip the integrated full gaiter around the lacing system, and you’re done. It can be done with a gloved hand, but you might need to ditch the gloves to fine-tune.
Glove-friendly straps on the shaft and tongue allow you to pull the tongue out so you can easily slip into the mid-calf-high boots.
$595; 4 lbs. 6 oz. (m’s 9.5); mammut.ch