First thing you notice is the colour. They are blue, red and black. When released this was an interesting combination of colours making them stand out against other pairs. On closer inspection, they have 3D lacing with a climbing style lace pattern at the front. Going up the laces from the toe, you have 2 pairs of standard eye loops (this is the climbing style section) followed by 1 pair of 3D locking eyelet which prevents the laces coming undone unless you release them manually. After this there is a pair of locking hooks then the 3F tightening system (more on this later). From here you have 3 more pairs of hooks in which you can tie your laces a multitude of ways.
Inside you have the MMF+ footbed which along with the 3D Lacing and 3F system ensures an “Alpine Fit 100% blister free guarantee”.
Pros during testing
During the test year the boots did a variety of mountain activities, including winter mountaineering in Glencoe, Summer Quality Mountain Days across the UK, Climbing Mount Toubkal in Morocco and Scrambling in Wales.
On rock the boots were extremely grippy, even in the harsh wet conditions of North Wales. When scrambling the Vibram WTC sole got a good hold on parts of the rock my fingers couldn’t find a few moments earlier.
While winter mountaineering in Glencoe, I tested the boots compatibility with C1 and C2 crampons. Due to the lack of a toe hook the boots are not C3 compatible. Both the C1 and C2 crampons fitted very well. While preparing I made sure they were the correct length and were tight when locked onto my boots heel hook (C2 only). Although the boots are relatively light at 750g they were able to cut into the steep snow effectively.
Cons during testing
Biggest one for me has to be due to my own mistake. I took out the MFF+ footbed as I thought I didn’t have enough space in my heel area after using the boots for a few mountain days. Before doing this I didn’t get any blisters but once removing it I had a heel blister. After this I learned I was over tightening the laces which caused the 3F system to fail.
During the test year, just after taking the MFF+ footbed out of the boot, the 3F system failed. The boot itself snapped making the 3F system useless. Later I learned, after getting them repaired, that the boots had been over tightened, this is probably due to my climbing history.
At £250 on the Salewa website these are able to compete against higher priced B2 mountaineering boots. They are bright and modern and use a large collection of technologies which makes them unbelievably comfortable (as long as you use them).