Mid-July saw the huge OutDoor Tradeshow descend upon the town of Friedrichshafen in Germany. This is the event of the year for European climbing companies, and there are literally hundreds of brands showing off their shiny new stuff.
Here is our final report - this time it is footwear. We've started with mountain boots, and from bolts and carbon to vacuum fitting, it is all here this year. Then we have some funky looking new approach shoes too - don't miss them.
An addition to Scarpa's non-technical walking boot range for spring 2014, the Revolution GTX looks at first glance like a fairly typical 3-season suede boot. But inside is where it stands out (if that isn't an oxymoron). Here Scarpa have used their 'Sock Fit technology', a nifty system first employed in their mountain footwear range and only now available to walkers. This is a one-piece tongue design constructed from elasticated Schoeller fabric, which creates a 'suction-like' fit that will continually hold the foot in place to stop any slipping or twisting. It fits so close it’s like wearing a sock, say Scarpa. Elsewhere it's more predictable - a Gore-Tex liner, a large ankle-flex 'window' for good freedom of movement, and a Vibram sole with an EVA insert for lightweight cushioning. The Revolution comes in both men's and women's-specific lasts (with slightly different styling in each case), and though the price tag is a not inconsiderable £174.99 you do look to get a typically well-built Scarpa boot for your money.
This boot also features in the video below with Steve Roberts talking about the Rebel Ultra and the Revolution GTX.
The Rebel Ultra have a new form of construction technology, which has been rolled out in many of the Scarpa range - soft fit construction. As mentioned above with the other Scarpa boots, this is a one-piece tongue design constructed from elasticated Schoeller fabric.
The Rebel Ultra is Scarpa's flagship ice and mixed climbing boot, and here Steve Roberts tells us more.
Clive Allen tells us about the next generation of the popular Nepal boot from La Sportiva. These have been seen throughout the Scottish winter scene for years, and this new, lighter version has a carbon midsole and looks the business.
Ian Hodgson explains about the Pro Vertical from Salewa, with its bolt that turns the boot from fully rigid to flexible - looks pretty cool!
A new tweak on the Firetail, Salewa's global bestselling shoe for the last three years, the Firetail EVO features a seamless upper construction rather than the more traditional stitching, to give a combination good strength and durability plus a lighter weight. Salewa have retained their 3F EVO system on the new model - a cable that wraps around the back of the heel and connects to the lacing to hold the foot securely in place without hindering ankle flex (we've previously tried it on Salewa boots, and like it). There's the option of a Gore-Tex Extended Comfort waterproof/breathable lining, or not, plus a high protective rand at the toe and a grippy Vibram Tech Approach outsole.
Weighing in at 415g (size 8UK) and costing £100 unlined or £120 for the Gore-Tex version, it all adds up to an attractive walker's and climber's approach shoe.
Big news for 5.10 fans for spring 2014 is the launch of an all-new take on the classic Guide Tennie approach shoe.
The popular current version will cease to be made later this year, and 5.10 tell us they've rebuilt the new shoe from scratch to make it more rigid and supportive. Key changes include a reinforced heel cup, a more asymmetric toe for better climbing footwork precision, and a more pronounced rocker underfoot for a natural walking action. There are thinner laces and stripped-down padding at the ankle too, both of which help to keep the weight down in the region of 400g average (size depending, obviously).
Perhaps best of all for use on the wet grass of a typical UK day, the lug size on the sole has been much increased - a renowned slipping point on the previous version of the Guide Tennie.
The shoe comes in three versions: canvas (£90), leather (£95) and mid-height (£110).
Katharina Habermann details the new approach shoe from adidas that features Stealth rubber from Five Ten
Mike Pickwell talks you through the updated features of the popular Flyers approach shoe. The edging ability looks great in these bad boys!
Steve Roberts gives us the low down on these very well made approach shoes from Sacrpa - nice!
Michel Paccalet tells us all about the very robust looking Super Trident Guide shoe/boot approach footwear from Millet - and they look good.