So a nice big box arrived at work with a set of boots I’ve had my eye on for a while. The new La Sportiva Nepal Cube; yes they are out!
Not many places are carrying them yet and not in the full size range. The size range is one really good thing from La Sportiva because it includes European half sizes a boot fitters dream.
Now I can get rid of my old Tango Ice evo’s. Well I might keep them because I like them for dry tooling as they have a very close fit; my feet have changed which is to be expected and they are a little tight for ice climbing.I’ve not really seen much on the web about these yet so most of this will be showing pictures of the boot. Obviously I haven’t had chance to use them so this isn’t a review, but a first look.
To start they are exceptionally light I was really surprised at how light they are. With each boot weighting in at 860g in a size 41 marginally more than what Sportiva claim but this is probably due to the inaccuracy of my scales. So a light boot especially given the boot it is; my Trango Ice’s are really light at 755g a boot in a 40, but they are’t warm or massively stiff. La Sportiva clearly went to town on the weight saving using really small and light eyelets and 3 open hooks at the top.
The sole is as you’d expect a Vibram sole which uses La Sportiva’s Impact brake system; which uses all sorts of clever magic to give better traction and and ankle movement without losing support. It also has a good shape with an area resembling a ‘climbing zone’ which should help when moving on rock.
Moving up the boot the clever carbon honeycomb construction of the mid-sole helps to reduce the thickness of the sole without compromising the insulation given. It also provides a very stiff mid-sole. This has two advantages; firstly it reduces the weight and secondly it brings the sole closer to the crampon which could improve the sensitivity, not a concern for most but it might help on the cutting edge mixed routes and if your name is Dave MacLeod.The welts on this boot do seem quite small which maybe an issue when putting on wire bails in bad Scottish conditions it may not this waits to be seen.
The upper on this boot is a 3mm+ Hydro Perwanger leather; which is very tough and is the similar but more waterproof than that used on the classic Nepal Extreme and the Nepal Evo. This should bring great durability. Another point worth noting is the lack of stitching on the boot this goes along with the cube series ethos of diminishing stitching to reduce weight and improve durability. The only visible stitching is on the fabric ankle cuff. and the 3D flex system.
The lacing on the boot is excellent using a similar system to many other La Sportiva boots as the picture below shows the lacing goes right to the toe to allow for a more precise and custom fit.
Another fit customisation is the ability to insert the removable tongues which also apparently help with the ventilation of the boot.
The boots main insulation comes from the Gore-Tex Insulated comfort liner, the carbon honeycomb midsole and the sheer awesomeness of the Hydro Perwanger Leather uppers. I can’t really comment on the warmth until I’ve tested them and it will vary on a number of factors including socks and your body itself.
Over all an epic boot by the looks of things. A super lightweight, warm boot that will be perfect for Ice, mixed and anything else you can throw at it. It will make an excellent Scottish winter boot especially for those with a bit more cash that had been looking at the Extreme but been put of by the weight. That is the main downside the £400 price tag; this said I think it’s worth it as boots aren’t the place to scrimp.
I’m also pleased its managed to keep elements of the classic Nepal styling that we all know and love and yes you do get to wear an awesome pair of big yellow boots. And yes Jack Geldard it is also possible to moonwalk in these.Rich