“I put this shoe on, and it just made me want to walk,” says one tester, trying to articulate the subtle appeal of these Italian-made boots. The winning recipe is a combination of classic design—an all-leather upper, inside and out—with thoroughly modern materials under the hood.
High-tech shock absorption (a polyurethane wedge) and support (a polypropylene midsole with good flex for trail striding) create a platform that handles 40-pound loads, yet doesn’t feel too stiff on dayhikes. Thermoplastic toe and heel counters provided exceptional rock protection, from the Italian Dolomites to New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington, and they also helped the boots keep their shape after hundreds of miles.
Loosely woven Cambrelle lining in the forefoot wicked sweat, and, in combination with the waxed, full-grain leather upper, it kept testers feet dry in all conditions—and actually felt cooler than boots with a waterproof/breathable membrane. (Apply a new leather treatment after each season.) And the supple calf-leather-lined heel pocket and ankle didn’t show any wear—except for conforming perfectly to our feet—after months of hikes. $215; 2 lbs. 15 oz.; m’s 8-14, w’s 6-11The Zamberlan 1009 Vioz Top GT RR is a unique cold-weather backpacking boot featuring full-grain, waxed leather, the Zamberlan-exclusive StarTrek Vibram sole, an extra-high cut, and Gore-Tex Duratherm insulative membrane. Good to minus 20 degrees celsius, the 1009 Vioz Top GT RR will ensure warmth, comfort, and technical ability in the roughest of terrain. Made in Italy.