Boreal Nelion (2016)


The Boreal Nelion is a well-priced boot with a good weight and good features. The upper is primarily one-piece leather with minimal stitching for durability and a rubber rand for extra protection. There is a waterproof Dry-Line lining as well. The outsole is Vibram with widely spaced lugs. The sole offers good stiffness for the B2 category. A great all-round design for winter mountain use. 5/5


There’s a wide size range here: men’s 6-13 and women’s 4-8. This feels close on, particularly around the forefoot and toe, which some may not like if they prefer roomier, wider boots when walking. The cuff is a good height and fits neatly. The quite close fit feels slightly better for climbing than just walking. 5/5


That close fit means the Boreal Nelion does feel a little restrictive, and while not uncomfortable, boots with more room and more flex in the ankle cuff are more comfortable when walking. But if you like that close fit then this certainly provides it in a comfortable way and will suit those with narrow feet. 4/5

In use

The stiffness and precise fit are great when scrambling, climbing or mountaineering, but it feels a little too restrictive for walking when a little more toe room and ankle flex can be enjoyed. The outsole lugs are well-spaced but not quite as deep as others, so they won’t bite into soft snow quite as easy easily as some. These are tiny points, though, as mountaineers will prefer these features. 4/5


The price is very good and the Boreal Nelio’s  mountaineering bias may be tolerated by walkers. 5/5


The Boreal Nelion is a very good winter boot with a slight bias towards mountaineering rather than pure winter hill-walking. The price is very appealing. 4.6/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine January 2016