Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Friday, 26 March 2010

New Scarpa Infinity GTX Boots take a Mud Bath

Scarpa Infinity GTX Boots

My old Asolo Fugitives* having seen better days, I took a trip on Wednesday to the Alpenstock emporium in Stockport.  Their boot selection isn’t as extensive as that at Outside in Hathersage, my usual source of footwear, but the Infinity seemed to fit, so I bought the pair and saved myself a wet drive to Hathersage.  They are very similar to the Fugitives, and at 1475 gm (size 43) are virtually the same weight.  Thanks to Hugh and Jose at Alpenstock for their patience during my lengthy visit.

The boot quest had become a little urgent, as I could do with these boots for some upcoming trips.  Whether I can break them in in time remains to be seen, but tonight (Thursday) they got their first outing – a 6 km jaunt around Alderley Edge with Andrew.  We were the only ones daft enough to turn out for this scheduled evening walk.  It was dry and comfy in the Drum and Monkey; not so outside.  The boots were ‘well muddied’ so there’s no chance of them going back.  They were ‘reasonably’ comfy, and should be ok so long as the ankles don’t rub my tendons, a problem that I’ve encountered in the past (but not with the Asolos).  So a few short walks with these new boots will be needed to break them in.  This is a slight problem, as some longer walks are on the cards for next week; it looks as if I’ll be carrying a spare pair in the bag!

The walk started just as the overhead tap was turned on, but the rain did ease from time to time, with the moon even coming out for a while.  Despite the rain and the canopy of trees, the ambient light (Andrew theorised that it all emanated from the local footballers’ security systems) meant there was no need for torches.  This didn’t prevent my esteemed companion from taking a bum slide down a boggy path, causing him to reject any idea of re-entering the pub after the walk; and my muddied new boots – the only footwear I had – probably wouldn’t have been appreciated either. So it was home to an early bath!

Hopefully our forthcoming evening jaunts will be better attended.  All are welcome, of course.

Scarpa Infinity report as at March 2014:

A second pair of boots was soon acquired as Alpenstock offered a very good deal on them (£99). They were comfortable from the start and hardly needed any breaking in.

The first pair is still keeping the water out and has covered over 2,400 km (1,500 miles), including two TGO Challenges, the Dales High Way, a trip to Turkey, backpacking in the Maritime Alps, and a week along Markus Petter’s Caledonian Trail route. They have been superb.

The second pair was used, as was the first, for numerous day walks, and for one TGO Challenge and a couple of weeks in the Apennines. Their biggest trip was 2013’s 950 km GR10 trek, at the end of which they were showing serious signs of wear. So, knowing that the other pair was in better condition, I abandoned this fine pair of boots after just 2,200 km, on the outskirts of Banyuls-sur-Mer.

Excellent boots. I hope that the Mustangs that succeed them will be as good.

*The Fugitives bought in October 2008 have now (March 2010) done about 1000 km and are in good condition but leaked after only a few (albeit very wet) km.  The ones bought in 2007 leaked after less than 500 km, and are now starting to disintegrate after over 2000 km of use.  Both pairs have been extremely comfortable.
 

8 comments:

afootinthehills said...

Easy on the eye, I notice!

Phreerunner said...

Of course. Shoeglasses like the ones you need are an avoidable encumbrance, you see!

afootinthehills said...

Quite so. Please see my blog in a few seconds!

Martin Rye said...

A Gore-Tex membrane will always fail long before the boots wear out. Hope you have blister free miles in them Martin.

afootinthehills said...

Which means that you are stuck with the extra weight for the rest of the boot's life. It seems to make even less sense in leather boots, but it's getting hard to find leather or fabric boots without some sort of membrane.

Still, it keeps folks in work I suppose.

Phreerunner said...

Ah yes Gibson, the Zamberlans are the boots to use in dull weather. I hope they last better than my very light (deceased) HI-TECs.
Martin, as you know, I am a fan of DRY FEET. Incidentally, one of my original Asolo Fugitive boots still has an intact membrane after 2000 km, although the rest of the boot is falling apart, so I'm pleased to say that your theory isn't foolproof. I always like to have a waterproof pair of boots (other than the old faithful winter boots) for Scottish backpacking etc, but older boots can be used for day walks, summer backpacking, and Alpine trips long after seepage starts. I just hope I can break in the Infinities quickly (I won't get blisters, it's just a case of softening the ankle fabric to avoid tendon rub).

Martin Rye said...

Back in the days when I used boots on the Pennine Way I had the left boot of a great pair of boots fail with its membrane. Wet left foot in the Cheviots and dry right foot. I have a pair of great Mendil boots with a Gore-Tex lining. Not used now since the 2007 Challenge. Still they are good boots and could come in handy one day. Have fun breaking in those boots.

Phreerunner said...

Martin, I find older boots fine for Alpine trips, on which it's unlucky to get a period when the boots don't quickly dry out, even if they do get wet. Actually dew can cause more wetness on an Alpine trip than actual rain - dew perhaps being the Alpine equivalent of Knoydart bog...?