Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex Review
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Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex
|Price||$500 List||$650 List|
$649.95 at Backcountry
$475.00 at Amazon
$459.95 at Backcountry
|$578.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Weatherproof, fits big feet||Weather-resistant, warm||Light, versatile, great for rock climbing||Good laces, does well on all mediums||Good all-around climbing performance, secure lacing system|
|Cons||Heavy, thick sole||Heavy, old-school lacing system||Not very warm, minimal calf support||Heavy, snow comes in the top||Not as light or warm as other options|
|Bottom Line||Climbers with wide or otherwise unusual feet could find a great fit with this boot||No fancy tech here, but this heavy boot gives wider feet weather protection and warmth||These light, versatile boots are good for all-around performance||A decent all-around boot that's good for those with wider feet||This traditional single leather boot is a reasonable value|
|Rating Categories||Salewa Vultur Verti...||Lowa Alpine Ice GTX||La Sportiva Trango...||Lowa Alpine Expert GTX||Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Salewa Vultur Verti...||Lowa Alpine Ice GTX||La Sportiva Trango...||Lowa Alpine Expert GTX||Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro|
|Weight||2lb 1oz (935g)||2lb 2.2oz (969g)||1lb 13.6oz (835g)||2lb (907g)||2lb 1.7oz (955g)|
|Sizes Available||39-47 EU||5-14 US||38-48 EU||7-14 US||39-48 EU|
|Upper||Microfiber/Superfabric||Synthetic||Nylon 6.6 with Honey-Comb Guard and FlexTec 3||Split leather/microfiber||3mm silicone impregnated Perwanger leather, S-Tech fabric|
|Waterproof Lining||Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort||Gore-Tex Duratherm||Gore-Tex Performance Comfort||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort|
|Shank||Nylon and Fiberglass||Hard winter stabilizer||9mm Insulated IBI-Thermo||Nylon||Pro-Fiber XT20 insole|
|Midsole||TPU||DuraPU||6-7mm TPU/ Dual-density micropore EVA||DuraPU||PU + TPU|
|Sole Rubber||Vibram Salewa Pro||Vibram Alp Trac Ice||Vibram "One"||Vibram Alp Trac Ice||Vibram Essential AC / Mont|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Salewa Vultur Vertical is a standard single leather mountaineering boot with a few twists. The lacing system provides two lace locks, which allows lace tension to be customized in three areas. The boot comes with a combination insole system that allows the fit to be customized. Lastly, it has by far the most voluminous fit of any boot in our review.
At this point in the history of mountain boot development, we rarely expect anything eyebrow-raising in the climbing department from a single leather boot. However, we do have certain expectations, especially when it comes to climbing ice.
Of our metrics, fit has the biggest effect on climbing performance. Climbers with high-volume feet should be aware that this is - by far - the most voluminous boot in our review. Our lead tester has slightly lower volume feet, and even with a thick aftermarket insole and thick socks, he struggled to get this boot tight enough. The Vultur comes with a two-piece insole system to customize boot volume for a better fit.
Straightforward ice climbing is the forte of the Vultur Vertical. The sole of the boot is totally rigid, providing a good platform for front-pointing. While the upper isn't quite as tall and stiff as some similar boots, when laced tight it gave our calves plenty of support.
We were less impressed on mixed ground and climbing rock sans crampons. This boot felt clunky and cumbersome on that kind of terrain — especially on rock without crampons, where we felt the extra thick sole was detrimental.
The Vultur Vertical is not a light boot. One boot in size 43 weighs in at 2 pounds 1 ounce (about 935 grams), which is among the heaviest boots tested.
Compared to single leather boots from the past, the weight is comparable, or even lighter. However, modern boots with similar weights often have additional performance benefits, and there are lighter boots that are warmer and/or climb as well.
The Vultur Vertical is a very weather-resistant boot. Throughout testing, we had no problems with snow, water, or debris penetrating the seams or coming in over the top of the boot.
The top of the boot has an integrated gaiter with a two-position snap closure. Though this was a little roomy on our skinny-legged lead tester, it kept snow out of the boot when post-holing. In our tub test, the Vultur kept our feet totally dry in 6 inches of water. We think that the only way liquid water will get into this boot is if it comes in over the top, which is 9 inches off the ground.
While we don't perform qualitative warmth measurements on our mountaineering boots, we do feel comfortable saying that the Vultur Vertical is a decently warm boot.
We think a couple of design choices contribute to this. First, the sole is really thick, which provides extra insulation from frozen surfaces and cold metal crampons. Second, the boot's voluminous fit makes it hard for most climbers to overtighten and thereby compromise circulation to their toes.
When it came to approaches or hiking off from the top of a route, the Vultur Vertical gets the job done without knocking our socks off. The sole is only slightly rockered and quite thick. These two qualities, coupled with its noticeable weight, did not leave our testers sashaying up the trail.
Lacing is a metric where the Vultur offers something unique. It sports a standard lace configuration with two lace locks instead of one. The lowest is at the third eyelet, just below the top of your arch. The next is where you'd expect, right in front of the ankle. This allows you to separately tighten and adjust lace tension in three different areas, a nice feature for customizing fit.
Should You Buy the Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex?
The Salewa Vultur Vertical is a run-of-the-mill single leather mountaineering boot. It can climb ice fairly well and gets by on mixed terrain or rock without crampons. It's pretty waterproof and fairly warm. What sets it apart is its really roomy fit, and the option to customize that fit with insoles and lacing. If you have a wide or hard-to-fit foot, this could be the boot for you.
What Other Mountaineering Boots Should You Consider?
For a single leather boot, the La Sportiva Trango Tower Extreme GTX is our favorite for its great price point and overall performance across the board. If you'd rather go for a supergaiter style, take a gander at our favorite boot of them all, the Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo.
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