Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Verglas
Manufacturer Montrail
Page By JScoles
Page Type Feb 20, 2002 / Feb 20, 2002
Object ID 141
Hits 5820
A boot for technical mountaineers and ice climbers ascending vertical ice and mixed routes who want the performance of a leather boot with the warmth of plastic.

A contoured beech wood lasting board inside the midsole ensures rock-solid support on ice or rock.

Why Wood?

Wood is not only stiff, but highly insulating allowing your calf muscles to remain relaxed while front pointing and your feet to stay warm.The snug heel cup and medial support keeps your heel from lifting in the boot even on very steep sections, reducing fatigue and blisters.


Viewing: 1-1 of 1

JScoles - Feb 20, 2002 11:04 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Unfortunately I have the shape of foot that makes those nice plastic boots a nightmare to wear and my first experiences with leather boots and ice climbing put me right off the sport but these boots have brought me back.

I was skeptical that they would be as warm as plastic and still be rigid enough to do sustained vertical ice but I can safely say that they are. The first route I did in them was one of 2 vertical and 2 steep mixed pitches and found them to perform just as well as any of the plastic boots I have worn in the past and had no problem adjusting to them. I have tried them with a number a different step in crampons and all fit and worked well. I also found the extra weight of the boot actually made it easier to get a good front point placement on very hard ice.

As for warmth, I went out last winter on a –35c day and just sat around to see how long it would take to get my feet cold. After well over an hour of just casual milling about my feet were still toasty. They worked very well indeed.

I have used them in modest mixed climbing and lower grade rock climbing and found them to work much better that any other boot I have ever owned. The ice-routes in my area normally require at least a 1-hour hike in and I am usually the only person who can walk in and climb in the same pair of boots.

They were most likely a custom design that one Montrail’s owners had hand made Italy and then put into production over there. I do not know which manufacturer makes them and the guys at Montrail aren’t telling either. The design is a few years old and I can now see the there are many boots that are imitating its general design, the Sprotiva Nepal Extreme is a good example.

Breaking in is always problematic with very stiff boots like these and I did manage to get rather large heel blisters the second time I wore them. I think this can be avoided though by taking the precaution of retightening the boots after 30 mins on the trail. They did break in very fast, after figured out the lacing correctly, and in only two days or about 20km or rough ground the really fit well. They became very comfortable boots to walk in after this very short breaking in period which is nice given the long approach hike that are needed in some of the places I climb.

They are quite waterproof and I have yet to have wet feet with them. They do breath somewhat but they are highly insolated so they will get wet from sweat during a long warm day. If I was using them on a multi-day climb in very cold conditions they I would use some form of vapour barrier between the socks and the boots to keep them from getting wet from the inside out.

The workmanship is superb better than standard productions boots and just as good as the 1,800$ custom jobs I have seen. There was not even the slightest bit of glue out of place, the stitching and waterproofing is suburb, even the wooden last is beautifully hand crafted.

All in all they are well worth the price and I can say they truly offer the all the performance and warmth of plastics with the benefits of leather boots.

They are hard to find however I have only seen them on one online retailer so you might have to special order them. The after sales service is great and the got back to me by phone for a simple lacing question I had within 1 hour of me sending the email.

I would rate them as a 6 is Josh would let me.

Viewing: 1-1 of 1