When Scott, the director of the mountain guide service where I’m employed, returned from his AMGA Ice Instructor course in Canmore, Alberta, one of the first things he spoke about as highlights from his three weeks away was his pair of Arc’teryx Acrux AR mountaineering boots. He said the mountains in the ranges north of the US border were jaw-dropping in their magnitude, that his team of fellow students and instructors was top-notch, that he was glad to be home to his daughter and team here, and that he immediately sold his old ice climbing boots after giving the Arc’teryx boots a shot.

He could go on at length about the specs of this boot and why they’re so great, about their feather-light weight, the security of the carbon fiber sole, about how the liner and lace-up systems work together seamlessly, but it’s the fit that matters most to Scott, making these such winners.

He says, “the boots fit my feet like a glove,” which translates to no more hot spots or blisters for him ever again. The inner liner can take a bit of maneuvering at first, especially for climbers with wider forefeet, but the system makes up for itself in snugness and comfort. The boots are warm, weatherproof, and Scott recommends pulling the inner liner out of the shell each night to let them dry completely and reduce any smell that may develop over time, as is generally good boot care for any double boot.

He used these in ice and mixed climbs of grade 3-5+ and on alpine climbs and approaches and says, “they were outstanding to walk in for days and hours.” Fully synthetic and looking a bit like techy martian-wear, the boots sit in a place of honor in the guide office now, ever ready for their next adventure.