This is a great all around boot. It is effectively a lighter, more flexible, more comfortable version of the Makalu. It is great for heavy backpacking, off-trail use, and light mountaineering with Newmatic or strapon crampons.
If you can only have one pair of boots for everything from dayhiking to glacier mountaineering, this would be the pair. They are sturdy enough for pounding through scree and scrambling over rocks, but comfortable enough to wear for mile after mile on the trail. The soles have good traction on a variety of surfaces.
As with any boot, you have to check the fit and allow for a reasonable breakin period. That said, these are very comfortable boots.
I cringe at the thought of my Glaciers finally wearing out and falling apart. The break-in period was a little tough (shin bang mainly) but have now put many a mile on them and cannot imagine hiking in any other boot.
The only downfall is that they are not water proof, however a few treatments with Nik Wax took care of that probblem.
I really enjoy these boot and have put about 700 miles on them. I wear orthotics and have always been plagued by a poor fit and discomfort. Finally I decided on the Glacier after trying on a slew of boots over a couple day try a thon. The boots were quick to break in and never gave me a blister except one day when I went 24 miles (but that was my fault for not clearing the boot). I absolutly love these boots and have to say I will be very sad when they finally burn up. They are not waterproof as the other reivew says, but treating them takes care of that.
Another cool aspect of these boots is that they are light. I use them for heavy backpacking to 5 mile day hikes. These are super boots!
Oh, and if you find yourself contemplating a pair once you have zeroed in on the size you want get 3 or 4 pairs in that size and try them all on. There are differences in fit since they are hand made so one will probably fit better than the others.
I have found the Glaciers great for general mountaineering and glacier travel. Here are some of the good features:
1. I have wide feet, and they seem to fit very well for me.
2. It was relatively easy to break in - I backpacked (with 40-50 lbs) for about 30 miles. Did not get any blisters (I usually use thick woolen socks on top of liners).
3. *** The tounge below the laces can be set all the way in or pulled out (they attach to the inside of the boots using velcro). I found this feature very useful - you can create a little extra space for your toes when walking downhill (by pulling the tougue all the way up and lacing up tightly).
4. They are decently water-resistant. I have used them on fresh snow, as well as through the occasional stream or puddle. Putting a thin layer of NikWax makes it much more water-resistant (its important to apply only a THIN layer). Putting the wax might discolor the leather though.
5. They work great on several different terrains - from talus to glacier to ~40 degree snow slopes. The half steel shank makes it comfortable on boulders and scree, but its still great on glacier terrain. I've used them on Mt Williamson, Mt Raineir, Mt Baker and others.
If you want a single pair of all-purpose boots, look no further!
I really love these boots. I have issues with plantar fasciitis, so I need a heavy boot even for dayhikes on easy terrain. I've used these boots all year, in all kinds of conditions. They are great on dry trail, talus, and snow. The half steel shank in the solemakes them stiff enough for moderate snow slopes with newmatic crampons.
I am amazed by the out of box comfort and fit of these boots. I had zero break in time. They climb well on mixed terrain and are comfortable with my Grivel G-12 crampomatics. After about 5 or 6 hours of wet snow - I had not one cold or wet spot on my foot. Perfect for summer and mild winter mountaineering. I am giving them a 4 star rating as I have not really used other boots in this classification and may be missleading to state that they are perfect. I would not trade them in though. They are comfortable due to the half shank and still have enough gusto to kick steps in some really hard snow. Can't beat the price in my oppinion.
These boots have been totally awesome... I wore them for 2 weeks to break them in, and then climbed 2 14er's in Colorado in the snow. Make sure to waterproof them or else your feet may get a bit moist if you're in snow all day. Also- make sure to get new insoles because the ones that come with the boot are terribly thin. Overall these boots are comfortable yet firm enough to kick steps comfortably in snow and front point on ice.
Got a pair 6 months ago, they had a very small break-in period and have been very comfortable, actually using them instead of my light backpacking boots more and more. I waterproof them once in a while and that works well. I like their flex for smearing and rock scrambling... used them on up to 45-50 degree ice/snow slopes with crampons, also very happy. They do flex a fair bit so cannot really frontpoint on steep ice... as the description says they're good all-around and while I haven't used many others, I love these. Use them with superfeet insoles, and a liner/wool combination on long trips.
Great pair of boots that can do it all!!- They are extremely comfortable and offer enough support to tackle moderate mountaineering routes.... I've climbed mt. baker and mt. adams in these bad boys and was totally happy..
however nothing compares to the stability of plastic boots on steep snow.. but this is a great all purpose boot..
My favorite boots. Sturdy and perfect for spring snow climbing with crampons. A good boot for backpacking, and I've even been caving with them. Stiff sole isn't too much to be able to hike in, but stiff enough for low level ice climbing. Consider using a good waterproof on the leather to extend the life. Resolable!
Very versatile- comfortable on approach and on steeper general mountaineering routes. The laces/adjustable tongue make it easy to customize the fit for whatever you're doing. It definitely needs some waterproofing (like Nikwax) and a better insole however.
I've been on several climbs now in my Glaciers. I think these are the ultimate overall mountaineering boot. They've worked well with my crampons, and some low class 5 climbs. Despite not taking the time to apply my Nikwax yet, I haven't had problems with my feet getting wet even after climbing in snow and ice.
When they do wear out (I dread the day) I'll get another pair!!
My first real mountaineering boots. I climbed Spring and Summer in these and have no complaints. I've done my best to take care of them after each climb with the Nikwax Cleaning Gel and Nubuck Waterproofing. They've returned the favor with no hot spots or blisters from out-off-the-box to every major hike and climb I've done. I'd much rather have these boots that carry me comfortably on the approach and descent, than a plastic boot that does better at hammering snow and ice, but kills you on the approach/return. To me, a lot of climbing efforts involve getting to and walking away from the mountain. I imagine there are better and stiffer boots for front-pointing, but I'll stick with these for the forseeable future. I recommend a good insert (Smartfeet) in these boots. But since I have narrow feet with a low arch, I'd wear an insert with ANY boot.