Features (in plain English):
- Easy to use quick lace system with Dyneema laces
- Improved shock absorption and durability
- Ergofit system
- New Vibram Total Traction sole
- Waterproof T-zip and waterproof integrated gaiter
- Aluminium support and reinforcements
- Primaloft insulation for extra warmth
- Integrated Kevlar fibres in part of the boot, to increase durability (Kevlar is what bullet proof vests are made from)
From the first moment you wear them, they are comfortable, no need for the long painful road of having to wear in your boots. The built in gaiters keep your feet dry, and dry feet means comfort. Whether wading through knee deep, wet, sticks-to-everything Scottish snow, or hanging on a belay whilst your friend is dealing with the crux pitch, or accidently plunging your boot in foot deep water because a snow bridge collapsed over a river/stream, your feet will remain dry, and that can mean the difference between enjoying a day out, or having to suffer through it.
Scarpa have constructed the Phantom Guide boots of the same material as their high altitude boots, meaning it will retain heat more. Again, comfort is a big part of enjoying the outdoors, it allows us to concentrate and take in the surroundings, all part of type 1 fun (*).
At 1800grms (per pair), these are some of the lighter B3 boots on the market, and weight does matter. Whether climbing in the Alps, or lugging a great big rucksack in Scotland for all eventualities, plus climbing kit, these do make a difference. As these are lightweight, they also seem more sensitive, and can feel small placements, even with crampons on. Even though these boots are light, they have not compromised on the quality like some others on the market.
The Vibram sole featured on the Phantom Guide boot is very grippy on wet rocks, which is very useful on the approach or descent of a route, or even when you get caught out mid-way on a route in the rain.
The Phantom Guide is low cut, which makes articulated movements with the ankle much easier, combine this with its light weight, you have a very sensitive B3 rated boot, with a freedom of movement that makes climbing easier. Unlike some of the other boots on the market which lock the foot and lower leg in a fixed position. This can mean the difference of being able to reach that crucial foothold or not.