My boots have been a standing joke in our house for the past year or two – trusty old Scarpa’s originally bought some 12 years ago to go up Kilimanjaro and which were on their last legs and well past retirement age. I’d ummed and arrghed for so long, read umpteen boot reviews, watched the lightweight revolution gather pace, tried a few boots here and there and basically never taken the plunge. I had it in my mind to find the perfect all-year round boot destined to never be satisfied but our winter skills day had tipped the balance. Rather than a do-it-all pair I recognised I needed a stiffer winter pair for crampon-work and bit of climbing/scrambling, and then a lighter-weight option for less demanding summer outings, trail-shoes perhaps.
Scarpa Manta’s seem to be the definitive 4-season boot but they just looked and felt a bit clumpy. After chatting to the guys working in Cotswold Outdoors while we were up in N.Wales they all seemed to have the Scarpa Charmoz (they obviously get a decent discount), which work well for winter as well as summer scrambling. After trying on the Manta’s the Scarpa Charmoz were a revelation and fitted my like a glove – I usually struggle to get boots to tighten round the ankle in lieu of my low-volume, fallen arch feet. Still B2-rated but slightly less stiff and much lighter than the Manta’s at 1470g the Chamoz seemed ideal. They are (at the moment) rather silver and shiny and they were a little expensive but no buyers remorse yet, though I did have brief moment when I saw a pair of Scarpa Mirage GSB (which is really a fabric version of the Manta) on offer for a ridiculous £79!
Now I have a few months to find suitable summer footwear. Lightweight boots vs trail shoes, goretex vs no-lined, my head’s hurting at the thought……help! Suggestions welcomed, nay needed!