Zamberlan Vioz GTX Boots Review 2020

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A premium quality leather hiking boot, handmade in Italy and perfect for a whole variety of hiking adventures.

Hiking boots are a very personal purchase and you need to take plenty of time to find and develop a relationship with a brand of boot that both fits you well and serves your adventure needs. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time in them and as outdoor equipment purchases go a pair of hiking boots will mean either a great hill day or a miserable one.

As a Mountaineering Instructor I’ve seen my fair share of hideously blistered feet from poor fitting boots and poor quality socks and I can’t emphasise the importance of getting these two elements perfect; not ‘just right’ or ‘they will do’ but perfect – absolutely perfect. A high quality, well made hiking boot will be worth every penny you spend on them and should last you many years if looked after correctly.

The Zamberlan Vioz GTX is a premium quality 3 season hiking boot that is well made using high quality leather and Gore-Tex linings. These coupled with thoughtful features and handcrafted in Italy means that the Vioz GTX has plenty to offer in your quest for the perfect boot.

A well crafted all mountain boot made with premium materials.

The boot is crafted using premium grade, full grain leather that is 2.4mm in thickness so it’s plenty robust enough to tackle the roughest of terrain, including scree. It has a Hydrobloc treatment that means it repels water as well as works with the Gore-Tex to help breathability. In practice the boots have been perfectly waterproof in what has turned out to be a very wet winter here in the UK. I’ve used them over all manner of waterlogged and boggy ground and worn with good gaiters my feet have remained dry throughout the season. 

The Zamberlan Vioz GTX shed water and mud easily.

I haven’t had to re-apply any Hydrobloc as yet but that should be an easy enough job and the Zamberlan website has a great Boot Care Guide to help you take care of them. Do remember that after shelling out a lot of money for a high quality pair of boots the quickest way to ruin them is to dry them out on a radiator or in a boiler cupboard! So do take your time and enjoy caring for your boots and they should last a long time. Hydrobloc is available in the UK from specialist retailers but you could use a similar brand if you can’t get hold of it. Zamberlan do recommend that re-treatment is done with Hydrobloc cream as this is the original treatment.  So as I said, the combination of the Hydrobloc treatment, Gore-Tex lining and gaiters should keep your feet as dry as they can unless you need to ford a river.

The bellowed tongue is made with beautifully soft leather that allows for a cushioned closure and helps eliminate pinch points on your foot. It is stiffened at the front to help keep the boot in shape and the laces tightened. There are 8 lace points that al worked well, the ankle hook locks the lace into position nicely which allows you time to make the correct adjustments around the top of the boot. Eight points have been enough to adjust the lacing to match the thickness of socks I’ve been wearing as well as providing a good length to secure gaiter hooks to and keep the entire tongue under a gaiter when I’ve been wearing one.

Super warm and comfortable for those long and cold days out.

There is soft leather faced padding and the achilles heel are which is finished with a breathable polyester scrim. This is all breathable to help keep your feet cooler and prevent blisters. A nice touch which has worked well. There is also some flex in the ankle zone to aid stability when moving over varied terrain. I like the small details such as the red flashings at the heel and tongue and the Italian flag tab which helps add a little flair to the design. I really like the Dark Grey colour scheme which is a refreshing change from the usual brown hiking boot colour.

The fit on the Zamberlan Vioz GTX has been what I would consider a ‘solid’ fit. My normal boot size is a UK8.5 and I used a EUR43 for the test. This was spot on and I measured the Vioz against several pairs of UK8.5 and they came up the same. The toe profile is on the narrow side, but then so are my feet. If you have wider feet the Zamberlan do make the Vioz in a wider fit so you may want to try those if you have a wider foot profile. I experienced very little movement in the shoe when on the move. The boot has a low density PU midsole which helped cushion my tired legs on rocky descents and the ZFS midsole is flexible enough to be comfortable yet stiff enough to take a walking crampon. I tried my Grivel G10 walking crampons on them and they provided a good fit and I’m confident that they would be fine for all but technical winter climbing. Snow gullies and steep slopes have been fine.

The Vibram sole is excellent, super grippy on dry rock with a nice pattern of lugs to help on wet grassy slopes and looser terrain. They have performed in all conditions and the rigid midsole has kept my foot stable when scrambling on rocky terrain. I really liked the undercut, slightly tapered heel which gives more surface area for heel strikes on rocky descents. Although the website doesn’t state that the boot can be resoled, it can be and Zamberlan recommend Feet First in Chesterfield for UK customers.

So, in conclusion, the Zamberlan Vioz GTX are a great hiking boot. The build quality is as excellent as you would expect from a premium Italian bookmaker. They are made in Italy with quality materials and over 90 years of boot making experience. I have used them on a whole variety of winter and wet hiking adventures and they have performed in all conditions. They have taken quite some time to wear in, but that is only to be expected from an all leather boot but they are breaking in nicely and I haven’t had any blisters in them (yet!). As always, I’ll sign off with the usual caveat: do go to a specialist retailer to get your boots fitted correctly but if you are ordering online I would start with ordering a half size bigger than your usual hiking boot size.

The Zamberlan Vioz GTX come is sizes EUR40 to 49 in half sizes to 47. There is a women’s specific version in Dark Brown in sizes EUR 36 to 43 in half sizes to 42.

The SRP is £220 and they are available direct from Zamberlan Europe and specialist retailers.

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Disclaimer – CGR reviewers and writers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!


  1. I own 3 pairs of Zamberlan boots in 46 WL. AN 11″ Pro Hunter, Leopard 6″, and Pro Guide 6″ all WL.
    All fit incredibly well. Same as Hanwag in 45 EU. Italian boots tend to be more narrow, aesthetically beautiful. If Zamberlan had more models in WL I would own them all. Smiloden is my last option.
    Do not hesitate to wear Zamberlan. Comfort, style, superb soles.

    1. Can you give an feedback on the toe box? I need something a bit wide there and I’m not finding very much feedback. Thank you.

      1. Hi Ken – I’ll get back to you re toe box as Dave reviewed these. I have hobbit wide feet so I’m always interested in wider fit boots and shoes. Perhaps we need a ‘wide-fit’ index page? 🙂

      2. Hi Ken – Dave says they were more toward the narrow side of things. From my personal experience I find Scarpa tend toward the wider fit, Danner offer EE fittings in many of their boots, Hangwag did a wider fit as well. In trainers I’m loving the Hoka wide fit Speedgoat but they sadly don’t do the wide fit in their hiking books to my knowledge.

  2. I suffer with Hallux Rigidus on one foot. My big toe is down to 18% of normal range of motion. A one mile walk had become something I didn’t look forward to. I had tried several of the leather/ fabric type boots with a mild rocker sole, but the mid foot part of the shoe wasn’t rigid enough, so the flex took away the benefit of the upward curve of the sole.

    I went to a more serious outdoor wear store, and explained my issue, and the sales person suggested these boots. I told him my injured foot was wider from the arthritic condition, and he said they had wider models. I need a roomy box. To look at their style and build, they appeared narrow. I put them on, and my left foot had a bit of extra room, but amazingly, my damaged foot did not feel pinched ?? I took a few steps, and realized these boots had the proper rigidity mid foot, and the slight curve at the toe literally rocked me through my step with little foot or toe flex ! This was Nirvana ! I walked around the store for 10 minutes, and I had no bone to bone collisions in my big toe joint.

    The boots leather is very stiff and of good quality, and I feared that it may not soften enough to assure giving me a bit more room with break in. I used Lexol Leather conditioner on the critical spots for my foot, and so far things are going splendidly. It’s a firm and supportive fit, but not so much to affect me negatively. The more I where them, and that’s almost daily as my ” no pain” shoes, I’m feeling even better about them for long days of normal walking.

    In conclusion, I get how these are a very well done hiking boots, done in quality materials. But I want to encourage those who suffer from Hallux Rigidus to try these boots. For me, it’s the perfect combo of stiff, mid foot shank, and the curve in the sole and toe literally rocks my foot through with so little flex in my toe, I’m suffering no inflammation or pain. For 30 years my condition worsened, and now I’ve put aside the dreadful idea of yet another surgery. I’m a new man ! Of course if one has wider feet than mine, this could be a problem, with only one width wider than normal available. I encourage Zamberlan to make more width sizes, as there millions who suffer from Hallux Rigidus, and those boots could be their salvation. They need to market them that way too. All of us sufferers are seeking shoes and boots that simply allow us to walk normally….again.

  3. Aaa. Zamberlan boots failed me almost immediately souls fell off and stitching gave way. Had them fixed 3 times already super dissatisfied. Previously had Scarpa that wore out over many seasons. Going to glue soul back myself and see if I can get any value from the overpriced boot. Have pictures sent to factory no reply as yet.

  4. I purchased a pair of women’s Vioz Zamberlans in March to replace hiking boots whose soles had split in several places. I am an avid walker. I did not wear the new boots until snow hit this November. I have worn the boots on a light base of snow for approximately one hour/day for three days. My ankles are extremely tender and bruised in several places. I have narrow ankles and calves so have difficulty understanding why the leather is chaffing me. What can you suggest?

    1. Hi Krista, thanks for reaching out. When I worked as a mountaineering instructor this was a common problem for people and I found that the main issue was socks and not tightening the laces sufficiently. Have you considered what socks you are wearing and whether they are a) thick enough and b) fit properly – as in they fit your calfs snugly and do not wrinkle and feel loose. Other than than that it may be that they just need wearing in more and over time the leather will mould to the shape of your feet. You can soften the leather using Hydrobloc cream which will help keep them waterproof. I hope that helps. Happy adventures, Dave.

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