Gear Review: Scarpa Rebel GTX Carbon Mountaineering Boots

One of the world's lightest mountaineering boots designed by climbing phenom Ueli Steck.

[ultralight mountaineering]

Leave it to alpine speed climbing phenom Ueli Steck to design what is arguably the world’s lightest mountaineering boot. The Rebel GTX Carbon, at a hair over two and a half pounds per pair, is as light as many midcut hikers, yet stiff enough for long climbs and vertical ice, with semi-automatic crampon compatibility (a bail on the heel only). “These boots are ideal for alpine rock and snow climbing objectives that require extra support, like snow couloirs,” says one tester. “But they’re uninsulated, so don’t plan on staying warm below 20°F once you stop climbing.”

Deep, chunky lugs on the Vibram outsole held on rock and snow, and a stiff midsole with three densities of durable PU topped with a rigid, carbon-fiber insole provides enough support for carrying loads of up to 50 pounds. “The extra stiffness of this boot means they excel at edging on rock,” says our tester. “And the trim toebox offers excellent sensitivity, minus the clunky feeling common to boots in this category of support.” For all of its stiffness, the Rebel was comfortable enough to wear straight out of the box for a long day on Laurel Mountain in California. “But they’re too stiff for extended trail hiking,” he says. Drawback: The waterproof finish on the synthetic leather upper wore off fast on our sample, causing water to absorb and toes to get chilled (but the Gore-Tex liner didn’t leak). Fit is best for low-volume feet. $439; 2 lbs. 10 oz.; m’s 37-48;