On paper, Alpenviolet looks the business – low weight, high specification – but I struggled with them, on two counts. The combination of a high cuff with minimal rear dip, a high, padded tongue with a sharp-edged, inward- folding bellow, plus a forward-set top ankle hook meant I couldn’t avoid pressure on my ankle bones. I fared better with the Orthosole footbed, which raised my foot higher in the boot – although the downside was lower volume in the toe area. Ankle comfort was finally solved by loose lacing and pulling the tongue bellow to the outside. This worked because heel security, courtesy of recessed hooks and reinforced heel cradle, is excellent. The lacing run starts at the toes with a fairly smooth pull through suede loops to the heel hook and up to two ankle hooks. Nylon heel reinforcing continues forward along side walls, offering good midfoot support and contributing to torsional stability, to a toe rand. This curves around the front and over the big toe. But it also creates a forced flex point: the boot can only bend where the rand lets it. Unfortunately, that didn’t match my foot’s natural flex. The Pomoca outsole has a pronounced front rocker, which saved the day: the rubber compound felt great on rocky terrain and widely spaced lugs gave great purchase on steep, slippery going as well as in the dry. This boot didn’t work for me, but if it suits your feet it could be a contender.
Read more: Three season boot review
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