The North Face Verto S4K GTX (2012)

A new boot from The North Face, the Verto S4K GTX is designed for ‘serious alpine challenges’, according to the manufacturer. The Verto is very light at 1766g (pair, size 11) for its class – that is, being stiff enough to use with crampons. But get it on your foot and the toe is a little bendier than boots at similar prices, despite remaining a good 3-4 season design. The toe is also quite narrow, which makes it more suitable for scrambling and mountaineering but not quite so good just for tramping up snowy Munros. This emphasis on scrambling is further enhanced by the sole unit as it has a smooth ‘climbing zone’ at the toe and a slightly shallower pattern of lugs along the remainder of the sole than some options. The synthetic upper adds extra style and helps keep the weight down; only time will tell if it will be more or less durable than a one-piece leather upper. The ankle cuff is quite high but it also very flexible, so this boot is easier to walk in than the height of that ankle cuff might initially suggest. This is a great choice for scrambling and mountaineering, but others have the edge for year-round walking.

Upper materials synthetic leather, Panatex ballistic textile
Waterproof lining Gore-Tex
Sole unit Vibram Mulaz
Men’s sizes 7-14
Women’s sizes none
Weight 1766g (pair, size 11)


The verdict
The North Face’s Verto S4K GTX is a very good new lightweight year-round mountaineering and scrambling boot, but others may be better for year-round hill and mountain walking.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2012