State of the Industry: Peak bagging footwear

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Before the snow really starts to fly, many of us are finishing up our summer/fall projects. Wildsnow Backcountry HQ has seen several new improvements (posts forthcoming) this summer. While things are progressing up at 9500 ft, my footwear after months of backcountry work has seen some serious use and abuse.

Not one to use boots lightly, my footwear needs to stand up to hiking, running, dirt-bike footpegs, repeated stream crossings, rock moving and copious amounts of wood splitting/dragging/burning. Some prefer dedicated trail running shoes, lightweight hut shoes, protective toe wood splitting shoes, mountaineering boots, race mountaineering boots, and so on.

Guess I’ll still be the guy with almost as much footwear as his lady friend.

Garmont and Salewa both have sturdy all-purpose alpine boots to look forward to in 2013. Loud Euro colors will be flying past you at the nearest trailhead come next year.

Garmont and Salewa both have sturdy all-purpose alpine boots to look forward to in 2013. Loud Euro colors will be flying past you at the nearest trailhead come next year.

Salewa's newest alpine climbing boots feature an anti-blister footbeds and ample adjustment for climbing and descending.  The boots are also great for adapting to colder and warmer days when a thick sock is needed or left at home. Denny Ink's Eric Henderson shows the inner workings of Salewa's 3D System evo which divides the shoe into three areas allows fine-tuning to achieve the best possible comfort and performance.

Salewa's newest alpine climbing boots feature an anti-blister footbeds and ample adjustment for climbing and descending. The boots are also great for adapting to colder and warmer days when a thick sock is needed or left at home. Denny Ink's Eric Henderson shows the inner workings of Salewa's 3D System evo which divides the shoe into three areas allows fine-tuning to achieve the best possible comfort and performance.

The approach/trail/fell running category is constantly expanding with Dynafit, La Sportiva, Scarpa, and Salewa adding additional shoes to their already capable fleets.

The approach/trail/fell running category is constantly expanding with Dynafit, La Sportiva, Scarpa, and Salewa adding additional shoes to their already capable fleets.

Shop for Salewa’s Firetail GTX here!

Dynafit's athletes on hand to testify their testing.  I thought this was a great idea for the marketing of any shoe. Plus what athlete doesn't like to exchange peak bagging stories in exchange for free beer?  Marketing gurus take note.

Dynafit's athletes on hand to testify their testing. I thought this was a great idea for the marketing of any shoe. Plus what athlete doesn't like to exchange peak bagging stories in exchange for free beer? Marketing gurus take note.

Shop for Dynafit’s MS Feline Superlight here!

These shoes piqued my interest in many ways.  Top left- is 5.10's Diddie featuring a Kevlar lace cover to protect againist chainsaws and a solid steel plate along the entire sole impregnated by their signature sticky rubber.  Sockwa showed off their newest sand soccer shoe. Honestly I didn't know that was a sport. Great idea for a hut shoe though. Alaska worthy Xrtratuff's in a new updated neoprene form.

These shoes piqued my interest in many ways. Top left- is 5.10's Diddie featuring a Kevlar lace cover to protect againist chainsaws and a solid steel plate along the entire sole impregnated by their signature sticky rubber. Sockwa showed off their newest sand soccer shoe. Honestly I didn't know that was a sport. Great idea for a hut shoe though. Alaska worthy Xrtratuff's in a new updated neoprene form.

The footwear above was spotted at Summer OR 2012. Many thanks to Outside Media's Hilary Hutcheson for setting me up with the Salomon trail running crew to test and get my blood flowing in Park City this August. Take note that is Ashley Arnold of Trail Runner Magazine who carried on a full conversation while ascending and descending Park City's network of trails. I on the other hand was just trying to keep up. You'll notice another tester trying to breathe after our little run.

The footwear above was spotted at Summer OR 2012. Many thanks to Outside Media's Hilary Hutcheson for setting me up with the Salomon trail running crew to test and get my blood flowing in Park City this August. Take note that is Ashley Arnold of Trail Runner Magazine who carried on a full conversation while ascending and descending Park City's network of trails. I on the other hand was just trying to keep up. You'll notice another tester trying to breathe after our little run.

Visit our friends at Backcountry.com for all your peak bagging footwear needs!

Comments

6 Responses to “State of the Industry: Peak bagging footwear”

  1. Lisa September 27th, 2012 4:44 pm

    Nice post, Joe. Thanks for the overview. After many work days at WildSnow HQ’s backcountry site, I need new boots too.

  2. Mark September 27th, 2012 9:36 pm

    I’ve got several pairs of approach shoes, and the Garmont Dragontail is my favorite. For most of what I do, these shoes are exceptional in the mountains. I might even get some mid-cut Vettas–essentially the same shoe with Gore-Tex.

  3. Eric Steig September 27th, 2012 10:12 pm

    The coolest sounding thing from Salewa is a boot that evidently you flip a switch and you have a shoe-like flex, then flip back and its a rigid sole. Will look forward to hearing if these work (like the TLT5 for skiing) or are a gimmick.

  4. Mark September 28th, 2012 12:19 am

    Great post! Only just getting over the summer surf season and already thinking about my snowboard adventure. Gotta get my Garmont Dragontail’s outta the dark!!

  5. Lou Dawson September 28th, 2012 6:14 am

    Eric, I saw those a while ago and I think I blogged about them somewhere in here. Seemed like a great idea, but might be for most hikers and climbers might be a solution without a problem. Based on my own experience with years of wilderness alpinism, when we struggled constantly with having boots that were rigid, but ended up being used for what was essentially backpacking, I can see how a variable flex boot could be useful… Lou

  6. Dan September 29th, 2012 9:08 am

    Lou, your comment about wilderness alpinism being essentially back-packing hit the nail squarely on the head (for me, at least, here in the N. Cascades). I recently put myself through the ringer trying to find a boot that I could use for hiking/back-packing and light summer mountaineering. Of course, probably like most of your readers, I put more effort into a boot purchase than buying a new car. I ended up with the Scarpa Charmoz, a light-weight summer mountaineering boot, which has proved to be an ideal all-around boot (not technical) for the Cascades (and me). I have even resorted to the Charmoz in lieu of my 8 year old Limmer hiking boots for day hikes/scrambles. True, the Charmoz is not nearly as comfortable as the Limmer is for hiking and one would not pick the Charmoz for front-pointing all day. Still I find myself having to think about which pair of boots to take even on a longish day hike, which nearly always ends up with some “off trail” travel. Enter the Salewa “Flex switch”, A great idea. Hopefully, it is not just a gimmick. If any Wildsnowers have a chance to test/use the Salewa, it would be nice to get some feedback.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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