It seems like things have changed since I last bought a pair of mountain boots. The last time I bought boots I also bought new socks, followed by quite a lot of plasters, some ibuprofen, then some new insoles and laces, then the boots went to live in the garage. Since then I’ve been tromping around in textile boots or approach shoes, sacrificing dryness and warmth for comfort.
So when these lovely Zamberlan Vioz GT boots arrived I was pleased to give them a try.
Fresh out of the box they’re lovely, and you can really see the quality. There’s no glue overruns, loose stitching or dangly ends anywhere. They’ve been made with care and attention. The Vioz are a solid boot with single piece full grain leather upper, built in Gore-Tex waterproofing and aggressive Vibram soles.
These are very solidly constructed boots, top quality items, but they’re not light – weighing 1.4kg per pair, so don’t think you’ll be doing much fell running in them.
I’ve worn these boots now for a good couple of months, yomping around in the peak district, scrambling about on rocky terrain, but to me, they made the most sense when I took them up a snow-covered mountain in Wales over the Christmas holiday. For the technically minded, these boots are in the B1 class. (Read GWA’s Boot Rating Guide Here)
Wearing the boots for the first time, I felt like the soles were quite stiff, and had a distinct front section under my toes. I rocked from the flat sole section to the flat front section. This feels a little strange at first, but as soon as you start walking up steep ground or kicking your toes into snow, it all becomes hugely beneficial.
Another excellent feature of the soles becomes obvious when you’re contouring a hill in snow, the outside edge of the sole has quite a bite to it and digs well into the snow on each step, providing you firm grip and preventing an embarrassingly rapid descent.
In summary, these boots are excellent. I haven’t had a single blister or a rub. I’ve been kicking them into snowy mountains and scrambling around on rocky slopes happily for a few months now and they really aren’t showing a mark, they are clearly better boots than I’ve ever owned before, and my feet and snuggly and dry. I love them. If you’re after a quality B1 boot, and these fit the shape of your feet you really should give them a try.