After the last two years of brutal cold climbing, Ice Fest friend and Down Wind Sports employee Bryan LaRue decided to upgrade to a warmer climbing boot and got a pair of Verto S6K Extreme from The North Face.
He took a few minutes to give us his thoughts on his new boots. Here’s his review:
This is a full featured double boot that is light and warm. The boot features an inner boot with Primaloft insulation and aerotherm technology. The aerotherm maintains its R value when compressed and has very high thermal performance. The inner boot has laces with a quick pull closure to speed time up putting the boots on. The outer boot contains laces by the forefoot and a Velcro closure around the ankle for added support. The outer shell has an integrated gaiter to keep out the snow and has a YKK waterproof zipper. It has a Vibram sole with plastic toe and heel welts for crampon compatibility. The lasting board under the inner boot is made of carbon fiber to give the boot its stiffness but keep the weight down.
On initial inspection the boot felt like it was made with a lot of detail, you can tell the boot will last for a long time. The outer stitching has taped seams for added waterproof. It felt light for its size and warmth. The boot fitted to my BD Cyborgs quick and felt very secure. The inner boot is removable for use inside of a tent or quicker drying after long days. The laces on the inner boots have different colors for the different feet so you can easily tell the left from right.
After a couple trips out on the early season ice I am pretty pleased with the boot. It is very light and warm. The hikes in and out are very comfortable but the carbon lasting board keeps it stiff while climbing. I really got to see how well the boot performed on thin technical foot work as that was most of the climbing that was in. You can definitely tell it is a double boot as it is pretty wide and almost the sole length of my ski boots but the boot is still sensitive.
I had to add some lube to the waterproof zipper on the outside as it was very stiff and hard to pull but now it works great. The outer boot laces could go higher and ankle support could rely less on the Velcro to add ankle stability but this is certainly not a deal breaker.
It is definitely warm, I wore my boots during the Nordic ski, snowshoe and fat bike demo this past weekend and stood outside in the sub 10-degree weather for over 6 hours and my toes were no where near the point of getting cold.
Overall I am happy with this boot. It is light enough that having the double boot warmth is not a hindrance on climbing technical ice. I know it will shine when the wind chill picks up while climbing along the lake shore of Superior.
The North Face is bringing boots to demo at this year’s Ice Fest so make sure you check out their latest offerings.