The lightest and most agile crampon-compatible mountaineering boot available’ is how Salewa describes the Rapace. At 1528g (pair, size 11) it is certainly light in weight. The upper is made from a supple leather with a rubber rand for protection. The boot also has a lower ankle cuff than other 3-4 season boots, so it is instantly less supportive when traversing slopes or mountaineering on rougher terrain. But that lower ankle cuff does allow more movement in the foot, which is great for more precise scrambling and via ferrata routes. The outsole is the Vibram Mulaz unit, which is a more dedicated climbing sole, so you get a shallow pattern of lugs and a smooth climbing zone – and this again nudges this boot into the scrambling and climbing area of best performance rather than the walking area. The sole is more flexible than other 3-4 season boots too, and while it can be used with crampons and it is stiff enough to use the edges to get a grip in snow, stiffer boots will perform better in this sort of terrain. On the foot the Salewa Rapace GTX has a nice close fit with a narrow toe, which is ideal again for scrambling and via ferrata, but overall it provides a less stable platform than stiffer, more supportive boots. It did not make the top eight featured in the magazine review of 3-4 season boots as it is more of a scrambling and via ferrata boot than a year-round hill and mountain walking boot.
Upper materials 1.8mm nubuck leather, textile
Waterproof lining Gore-Tex
Sole unit Vibram Mulaz
Women’s sizes 3-9
Men’s sizes 6-13
Weight 1528g (pair, size 11)
The Salewa Rapace GTX is a unique boot that is best used for scrambling and via ferrata where its lower ankle cuff, low weight and precise feel are real benefits.
Review by Graham Thompson
Just missed out on being in Trail magazine November 2013