Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ouray Ice Tests:
Lowa Ice Expert GTX Boots

Lowa Ice Expert GTX BootsAs I said before, none of the Lowa boots at the demo fit my tiny, fat feet except the Ice Comp. However, the vast majority of the climbers around me were getting after it in the Ice Expert GTX Boots, so I figured I'd at least relay what they had to say.

As with all footwear, sizing is by far the most important issue. The consensus with the Ice Expert was that they fit medium to wide feet but struggled a bit with narrow dogs. These ice climbing boots come in a men's and women's version, so ladies don't have to deal with heel lift, painful arches, and other problems that arise from "unisex" sizing.

The models used at the demo had integrated gaiters. These are awesome features, and I don't have the slightest clue whey they aren't on more mountaineering boots from all brands. The Gore-Tex lining did a great job of keeping climbers' feet dry when they accidentally stepped in the river (which happened relatively often). Most people commented that their feet stayed warm in these Lowa boots, and I didn't hear anyone complaining about cold feet.

It seemed that these boots also fit well with a very wide range of crampons (which is not always a give-in), as no one seemed to have any problems.

Other than that, it's hard to give a more detailed review of these boots, but I'm definitely bring some ultra-thick insoles to try them out next year.

Pros:
  • Waterproof
  • Built-in gaiter
  • Relatively warm
  • Work with lots of crampons
  • Men's and women's models
Cons:
  • Don't fit really narrow feet
  • Man, that green color is bold!

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