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 5-11The 540 Rise GT rests on Zamberlan's exclusive Vibram StarTrek sole platform. A lightweight sister boot to the award-winning 760 Steep GT, the 540 Rise GT features split grain leather and Cordura construction for a highly comfortable and supportive, yet lightweight experience. The Zamberlan Vibram StarTrek sole features a dual density PU midsole for support and shock absorption with a TPU stabilizer below the arch. The tread of this sole has excellent grip with a wide enough pattern to easily clean debris as well as a toe climbing area and sharp downhill braking. Toes and heel are also protected by a PU-coated leather reinforcement to prolong the life of the boot and and foot in these critical zones. A Gore-Tex lining makes this boot completely waterproof. Hand-crafted in Italy.