It’s hard to find the perfect woman - or so the Speights ad tells us - but when your wife brings you home a brand spanking pair of tramping boots to try out it’s fair to say she had one very happy husband. Within moments I was stomping my way around our little house planning a mission to try these puppies out. Fast forward half a year and I've had a good chance to get to know these boots on a variety of terrain and to get a good few kilometers under my belt.
The Garmont Pinnacle GTX fits nicely into the kiwi four-season boot category with full 2.8mm suede leather construction and a full rubber rand. The boot is semi-automatic crampon compatible and has a beefy vibram sole. Whilst I have found the boot more than comfortable below the bush line, it really comes into its own in the alpine environment.
My first outing was a day long ridge mission out the back of Hanmer Springs with the dog. Having never worn the boots prior to this I expected to get blisters during the day. A couple of hours in after the first decent downhill of the day I did notice a few hot spots on my foot - after stopping to re-tighten the laces I didn’t have any further issues. The boot is somewhat heavier than my normal tramping boot (Salewa Rapace) and I definitely noticed the extra weight by the end of the day.
The next trip was a jaunt up the Otira slide to Low Peak of Rolleston. The boot gripped well on the scree and offered a good amount of protection from the numerous rocks I bashed my foot on during the day. Here the boot really excelled, making me feel much more comfortable than I would have in a lighter boot. I would definitely be grabbing for this boot over my Salewa’s for any mission involving snow or any significant time spent with a pair of crampons strapped on.
Having had these for a while now I see them as a great option for trampers looking to spend a little more time above the snowline where crampons may be needed. The boot is very warm and would easily cope with wintery New Zealand conditions (though i probably wouldn’t go for them if you are planning to climb your first 3000m peak - see the Garmont Mountain Guide Pro….). Whilst they won’t be your first choice for a light and fast overnighter, these will easily become your favourite do-anything, go-anywhere boot.
When it comes to a big investment such as buying boots we often make compromises as there isn’t really a ‘perfect’ boot for all conditions - that said I think the Garmont comes pretty darn close. Sure it’s a bit heavier than the Salewa Rapace, but this gives it added capability above the snowline and I feel that these will last a little longer as well. You can get lighter crampon compatible boots (e.g. La Sportiva Trango S Evo) but the Garmont is both cheaper (almost half the price!) and also seems to be holding up better than the Sportiva’s did for me.
All-in-all I reckon I will get quite a few years out of these boots.