CGR test Boreal’s general purpose mountain boot for UK and Alpine use.
Value for Money ****
Rapid high mountain winter ascents. Long mountain traverses. Technical trekking. Superb light yet rugged 3-4 season mountain boot.
Although Boreal are well known for their rock climbing and approach shoes in the UK, it’s more difficult to find their mountain boots. For those of you who don’t know-Triglav is located in the Julian Alps and is the highest mountain in Slovenia and means ‘three headed peak’. There’s some gnarly looking ice adventures to be found in the National Park.
I’ve been using the Ice Master, now named the Cerro Torre boot for technical ice climbing for several years now. I love the power strap and could never understand why more manufacturers didn’t utilise this lightweight and great feature. So I readily accepted to review a more general purpose mountain boot.
The boots have had a thorough testing as a family tragedy (and the rubbish summer through all of Europe) meant that I was unable to do much climbing, let alone testing during the summer of 2012. So I’ve used them for two winters now for all my easy and intermediate mountaineering days. I’ve climbed quite happily up to winter grade 4 and have found them a great, all round mountain boot.
Firstly the construction – they are a hybrid leather and fabric construction. Sizing is from UK 6 – 12 in half sizes, it is important to try mountain boots on before you buy, a good retailer should spend some considerable time helping you find the right size boot.
The toe box and rand area are all 2.6 split leather. The rand isn’t complete but covers all the main areas of wear and hasn’t peeled off anywhere, it’s still looking as good as new. The tongue gusset and other areas of wear are reinforced with Lorica, a very tough and flexible synthetic leather. The main area of the boot is made with Termida – a very tough and abrasion resistant polymide fabric that is very breathable. I’ve had these boots almost two years now and the fabric is showing no sign of wear whatsoever, so full marks on the fabric choice. All the lacing loops and hooks are riveted except for a fabric heel tightener, this is an area of concern as I have plenty of mountain boots fail at this point. It’s not showing any signs of wear yet, but it will be the first thing to fail and I feel should be replaced with a riveted hook for extra durability.
The boot comes in two models – the Triglav and the Triglav Vibram. The difference is not just in the choice of sole. The normal Triglav model can be fitted with either a wire bale or plastic bale crampon. The Vibram model will only take a plastic bale crampon, you also get a little extra grip with the normal model as there is an extra layer of rubber to grip the wire bale. I have had no problems with crampon attachment and I like the softer rubber on the lugs, it seems to really grip the crampon. The Vibram model has a slightly cleaner profile for rock climbing, but to be honest I have climbed in the normal model with no problems at all.
The boots were very comfortable to wear especially around the heel thanks to the padded Heel Fit Sytem. The lateral support was very good with the TPS 3
unit, it has good grip for rock climbing and snow cleared out of the cleats with a simple tap of my axe. The stiffness was more than enough for short periods of steep ice climbing, although my calves began to tire after prolonged climbing at low angles. The boots were just too flexible for prolonged, steep ice climbing.
No-one can really guarantee a mountain boot keeping your feet dry. The membrane becomes clogged up with sweat salt, dust, grime and the membrane will eventually leak in the areas where the boot bends, However I’ve used the boots in plenty of deep snow, slush and rainy days and my feet have always been comfortable and reasonably dry, most of the time they have been completely dry.
The boots were fantastic for walking and trekking in, they felt very light on my feet: much lighter than my leather hiking boots. When I wore them for my tour of the Stubai Alps they were easily comfortable and coped great on glaciers, rock and through all alpine terrain. They have also performed very well in all the UK settings I have used them, which has been mostly winter mountaineering. For winter they have proved a great boot, plenty warm enough for routes where you are moving all the time.
If you mountaineer at the Scottish grade 3 with the odd Scottish grade 4, alpine climb AD and enjoy alpine tours and treks then these boots will not let you down, I would not recommend them for sustained ice routes. They have become my mountaineering boot of choice.
UK RRP: 209 GBP
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