the north face verto S6K extremes: third impressions
3 days/2 nights. +5c to -18c. 35km w/ 2000m gain/loss. knee deep snow, easy terrain, half a day of ice and medium loads.
getting a better picture of these boots now – think Spantiks with integrated gaiters, tho they walk like Baturas. the main element is the Primaloft inner boot, its seriously warm but soft so it both reduces dead air and is easy to walk with – no grinding at the shins. the negative is the ankle is a bit looser as a combined flatter sole profile and softer inner allows a bit more lift. heel articulation is great, but compared with spantiks any heel lift takes getting used to. it does make for good ice climb-ability tho, but due to a large sole area crampons want setting back a rung to reduce too much protrusion.
the outers lacing i was at first dubious about, and after some modification am now happy. the design that laces only to the top oof the arch, then a ‘power band’ over the ankle works well, softening easily for walking then cranking easily for climbing. a loop of 3mm cord on the pull tabs helps a lot, as does switching the knot-less adjuster from the inner to the outer boot.
winter nights being long, sleep-ability matters, and these inners win. being softer and reducing dead air matters most at 3am when the cold creeps in from hours of inactivity. being able to massage your feet directly thru the bootie is a huge advantage. having removed the inner booties knot-less adjuster i rethreaded the laces as a single which allows for both a tighter fit and easier cranking. in a cramped tent the different coloured laces for the near identical left and right booties is a nice detail.