Koflach's Back - Koflach Arctis Expe & Degre

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For expedition mountaineers, Koflach’s “plastic” double boots were mandatory footwear on any trip. The iconic white Ultra, introduced in 1980, and then the yellow Arctic Expe, which replaced it in 1993, were wide and comfortable in the forefoot and known for their indestructibility and warmth. Unlike leather outer boots, Koflachs didn’t freeze solid at night. Eventually, climbers wanted rock-shoe sensitivity in ice boots, and most of us retired our Koflachs; production stopped in 2003. Now, a team of Swiss owners has bought the old molds and is bringing back the Koflach Arctis Expe ($429, scarpa.com) and the DEGRE ($359). They’re distributed by Scarpa at prices that will put them back on any winter mountaineer or ice climber’s potential gear list. —Berne Broudy