Boreal Nelion 2010

A new boot from Boreal that drives their product range well into the 21st century, the Nelion competes directly with the best boots in its class thanks to its combination of functional features and competitive pricing. The boot has a leather upper that is free from too much stitching so it should be pretty durable. There is a rubber rand for extra protection. Inside you get a Dry-Line waterproof lining incorporating a Sympatex stretchable membrane, which should be more breathable and more durable than some alternatives. The Boreal Nelion also has a great Vibram outsole with deep lugs for grip and a spacious pattern of lugs so that they don’t drag the mud along the trail. The boot has a good rolling action too which makes it reasonably comfortable below the snow. On more challenging terrain the narrow toe provides a precise feel to the rock, while step-in crampons can be fitted for use on snow.  But there are lower-priced options including the Boreal Triglav at £200 with a synthetic upper. The toe flex is softer than some other B2 boots, so it is not quite so good without crampons as it does not hold an edge quite as well. The toe profile is narrow and quite pointed, which is ideal for climbing, but walkers may prefer a slightly broader toe. Note that you might want a half size bigger than usual as the Boreal Nelion comes up a bit short.

Upper 2.6mm split leather, Lorica textile, Dry-Line waterproof lining
Sole Vibram Mulaz, dual density rubber, EVA cushioning
Sizes 6-12 (men’s); 5-8 (women’s)
Crampon compatibility B2
Weight 2110g (pair, size 11)
Made in Spain
Stores in the UK 15

The Boreal Nelion is a great all-round winter boot for the UK but the toe flex is a little soft compared to other 4-season boots.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2010