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Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex Review

Climbers with wide or otherwise unusual feet could find a great fit with this boot
Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex
Credit: Salewa
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Price:  $500 List
Pros:  Weatherproof, fits big feet
Cons:  Heavy, thick sole
Manufacturer:   Salewa
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 14, 2022
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 10
  • Climbing - 25% 4.0
  • Weight - 20% 5.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 8.0
  • Warmth - 15% 6.0
  • Hiking - 10% 4.0
  • Lacing - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Salewa Vultur Vertical ticks the boxes for mountain boot performance without impressing us. It climbs ice well enough but was below average on mixed ground and rock. It's on the heavier side, which left us clomping along on approaches. However, it's decently warm and quite weatherproof, with one of the higher waterlines in our test. What's unique about this boot is the fit - this is the roomiest boot in our test. Additionally, that fit is customizable with multiple lace locks and an insole system. If you have wide, weird, or otherwise hard-to-fit feet, you may have found your boot.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards   Best Buy Award   
Price $500 List$650 List
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Star Rating
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Pros Weatherproof, fits big feetWeather-resistant, warmLight, versatile, great for rock climbingGood laces, does well on all mediumsGood all-around climbing performance, secure lacing system
Cons Heavy, thick soleHeavy, old-school lacing systemNot very warm, minimal calf supportHeavy, snow comes in the topNot as light or warm as other options
Bottom Line Climbers with wide or otherwise unusual feet could find a great fit with this bootNo fancy tech here, but this heavy boot gives wider feet weather protection and warmthThese light, versatile boots are good for all-around performanceA decent all-around boot that's good for those with wider feetThis 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
Climbing (25%)
4.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Weight (20%)
5.0
4.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
8.0
8.0
4.0
3.0
5.0
Warmth (15%)
6.0
8.0
3.0
3.0
4.0
Hiking (10%)
4.0
5.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Lacing (10%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Specs Salewa Vultur Verti... Lowa Alpine Ice GTX La Sportiva Trango... Lowa Alpine Expert GTX Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro
Style Single Single Single Single Single
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.

Performance Comparison


Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex mountaineering boot - on lead with the vultur.
On lead with the Vultur.
Credit: Omri Navon

Climbing


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 sock, 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.

Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex mountaineering boot - put the black piece on top of the short yellow piece to take up less...
Put the black piece on top of the short yellow piece to take up less volume, and the long one to take up more.
Credit: Ian McEleney

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.

Weight


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.

Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex mountaineering boot - petzl crampons play well with this boot.
Petzl crampons play well with this boot.
Credit: Ian McEleney

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.

Weather Resistance


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.

Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex mountaineering boot - the vultur in 6 inches of water. the top of the cuff is the boots...
The Vultur in 6 inches of water. The top of the cuff is the boots waterline.
Credit: Ian McEleney

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.

Warmth


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.

Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex mountaineering boot - the cuff adjustment snap has two positions.
The cuff adjustment snap has two positions.
Credit: Ian McEleney

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.

Hiking


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.

Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex mountaineering boot - the vultur's thick sole and deep lugs.
The Vultur's thick sole and deep lugs.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Lacing


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.

Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex mountaineering boot - the lower lace lock is a little tricky to release with cold fingers...
The lower lace lock is a little tricky to release with cold fingers or with gloves on.
Credit: Ian McEleney

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.

Salewa Vultur Vertical Gore-Tex mountaineering boot - ice is what this boot does best.
Ice is what this boot does best.
Credit: Omri Navon

Ian McEleney
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