Among the line up of mountaineering boots on the market the Arc’teryx Acrux AR Mountaineering boot is a solid contender and in many respects comes out on top as first choice.
Acrux AR Boot Observations:
The first thing you will notice is the sleek, low profile design. All black with a flash of red on the toe and zipper pull tab, the boots are classic Arc’teryx with clean lines, no fuss and attention paid to the smallest detail. This clean, minimal design gives the feeling of the the boot being small on your foot and not cumbersome at all.
After you admire the design, you will notice that the Acrux AR boot has a removable GORE-TEX liner. Easily removable, fits like a glove, dries very quickly and can double as hut booties. The liner added a level of fit that I didn’t find in my previous pair of mountaineering boots. With front and rear pull tabs you will find it takes a couple good tugs to get the liner on. In order to avoid frustration when putting the boots on I recommend putting the liner on first and then slipping your foot into the outer shell.
There are a few other details like the upper Velcro fastener which adds comfort when hiking in the boot and is easy to tighten, if needed, for more stability when transitioning to vertical terrain. The upper gaiter has an additional pull tab for extra tensioning to cinch down the upper boot for times spent plunging through deep snow.
While I did not have the chance to use it anywhere near the 5000m altitude that it is designed for, I did spend a season ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies in temps ranging from -5c to -30c. I found the boots extremely comfortable in all conditions, my feet stayed warm and dry.
The boots do take more time than I expected to break in, but once they did they were awesome. I paired them with my Petzl Lynx crampons and found them to be a very stable combination. Due to excellent rigidity when the boot is strapped down and laced up, I never really had to think about my feet when I was climbing, which is the last thing you want to have to think about when you’re leading.
Overall the boots performed well, kept my feet dry and warm and were surprisingly comfortable for such a technical boot.
- Design: Low profile so the boot feels small on foot and precise when climbing.
- Comfort: The lacing system with the Velcro strap around the top ankle makes for comfortable hiking and quick to tighten when needed.
- Removable Liners: A liner that is easily removed, dries quickly and can be used as hut booties .
- Rigidity: The combination of the inner liner wrapping your foot and cranking down the lacing system makes for a solid, stable boot for front pointing.
- Lacing System: It would be great to have a lock down system for the laces at the ankle to make it easier to tension at this point.
Buy It If:
You are looking for a durable, low profile, precise alpine boot that not only delivers on design but functionality as well.
Arc’teryx Link: Arc’teryx Acrux AR Mountaineering Boot
Cost (at time of writing): CA$880.00