Well-Rounded: Scarpa Jorasses Pro GTX

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I began testing the Scarpa Jorasses Pro GTX ($399, scarpa.com) on vertical ice last winter, and kept wearing them right through summer couloir season on Colorado 13ers. The Jorasses have a dead-rigid sole and minimal rocker for a solid front-pointing platform, yet they remained comfortable during a 12-mile snow climbing and postholing marathon in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Gore- Tex–lined uppers kept my feet dry even after wading an icy creek, and after seven months of use, the uppers and soles look almost new. These versatile boots are fairly light (4 lbs. 6 oz. for the pair, size 44), and the uppers are exceptionally flexible for mixed climbing, talus hopping, and flat-foot cramponing. The chisel-shaped toe is great for kicking steps and rock climbing, but it was too narrow for my semi-automatic crampons; I had to use crampons with a toe bail to get the right front-point length. The large toe box provides extra wiggle room, but my feet were still cold at belays below about 15°F. For this reason, I’d choose them for great all-around alpine boots, but not pure ice boots. —Dougald MacDonald