New from LaSportiva next year is the Batura 2 GTX. It’s a high mountain boot, rigid sole with nice welts for a matching crampon with a nghuge rubber rand which has a mid-height Gore-Tex gaiter growing out of it. There’s continuous velcro and a chunky zip to seal it all up.
It’s very light, in the hand if feels like a trekking boot I’d wear without complaint. It’s hitting a middle ground between your insulated 8000m boots and plain alpine boots with the gaiter showing a nice clean shaven face to world. Nice bit of kit, although I suspect it was secretly judging me and my lame backpackers outlook of recent years.
Also for 2012 is the Vertical K. Which I keep calling the Special K. This is light, must be around 200g per shoe and it’s very soft and flexible. The mesh upper is very minimal, and the sole unit has the cutaway design they’ve used on some current models but here there’s the addition of a proper grippy outsole..
Madness, I like it.
The new Xplorer is a classic kinda approach/scrambling shoe. It’s got a nice flex to it and an outsole with enough grip to make it a properly usable shoe. The looks too are definitely more, I dunno, crossover(?) than the Ganda and Boulder X approach shoe in the current range so maybe less intimdating for folk wanting this kind of shoe without wanting to like a climber on a day off.