Lotus GTX


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Lotus GTX
Manufacturer Montrail
Page By StephaneFitch
Page Type Jan 28, 2004 / Jan 28, 2004
Object ID 993
Hits 3678
One of three new boots designed around Montrail's new Integrated Climbing Equipment system. The Lotus nylon and carbon fiber midsole is flexible, but when either I.C.E. 9 crampons (taylored for hard-core frontointing) or Khumbu crampons (lighter weight for general mountaineering) are affixed, the Lotus boot gains rigidity. Ankle-high nylon upper is padded and reinforced. Gore-Tex liner. Stretch tongue has gusset construction. Thermoplastic toe and heel counters. Rubber toe cap.


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StephaneFitch - Jan 30, 2004 1:10 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
Bought these to handle mixed climbs in the Cascades in the summer. Despite a couple of problems, these are the best boots I've ever had. They're as comfortable as an ordinary hiking boot on dirt trails but are stiff-soled enough to accomodate kick-stepping into snow or a soft glacier. The two possible concerns are durability and waterproofness.

This summer, I gave them the mother of all workouts. I used them to climb Rainier (via Tahoma Glacier route), Baker (Easton Glacier) and Shuksan (Sulphide Glacier) in early March. They handled all the dirt trails and packed-dirt roads beautifully and had enough stiffness to accomdate kick-stepping in the snow on my way to the summit. The Khumbu crampons that attach to them were amazingly sharp and, because they attach not only to the front and back of the boot but also to the underside, they were super-secure. I'd say 85% of the time, I barely gave my feet a second thought. I never reached for my moleskin in 10 solid days of climbing.

The only real problem came any time I was plunge-stepping in wet, deep snow. Water penetrated the synthetic uppers on the boots and soaked my feet to the point where I could hear them squishing with each step. Granted, I didn't waterproof these boots before or during my trip, but since I'd only taken two major hikes in them, I didn't think it was necessary. But even considering this, why didn't the goretex keep the water that penetrated the uppers from going all the way to my feet?

Another issue, not all that bothersome to me, was durability. A couple of times, I misstepped with my crampons and put small tears into the rubber on the toe cap of the boot. I'm happy to put up with less durability in the name of a lighter boot. But a bigger concern was that at some point, the cute little metal thingy on the ankle came off. I'm not sure if it was done in by a crampon point or not, but it left a hole where moisture can get in.

I'm planning to take these boots to REI and see if they or Montrail are willing to fix the hole or replace the boots with a new pair. I hate the thought of giving these up becuase, despite the small problems, they were incredibly comfortable and did exactly what I needed them to. Even if REI and Montrail tell me there's nothing they can do about the problem with the ankle thingy, I'll probably continue to climb in these. My guess is that as Montrail hears back from customers, they'll make small improvements to them in future model years. And since in all likelihood I'll have worn these out completely in a year or two, I'll probably have a chance to try the updated versions out.

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