By reducing the height of the ankle cuff, Mammut has produced in the Mt Cliff GTX a mid-cut design that still offers many of the benefits of standard scrambling boots but with a reduction in weight and price. The lower ankle cuff also allows more ankle movement, which is useful when scrambling. But is this combination of features ideal for everyone?
The Mt Cliff GTX resembles higher-priced and heavier alternatives in many ways, so you get a similar leather and fabric upper with a Gore-Tex waterproof lining. Equally there is a rubber rand around the boot, except for the heel, and a Vibram Mulaz outsole with a smooth ‘climbing zone’ under the toe for improved performance when scrambling. But the big difference on this boot is that lower ankle cuff, which is about 3cm lower than on similar models from Scarpa and La Sportiva. It also means there is one less lacing eyelet too and generally this means there is more freedom of movement in the ankle but correspondingly less support and protection for the ankle too. Crampons can be fitted but like most other boots here there is no facility to fit a heel clip, so standard strap-on designs are required.
On the hill
Some people will love the Mammut Mt Cliff GTX as it is lighter and that lower cuff does allow a little more ankle flexibility. But for me those advantages do not quite outweigh the drawbacks of this particular boot when used for general mountain scrambles. This is because grit and mud can more easily enter the boot. So this boot does feel better if used for popular clear rock routes, such as some via ferrata terrain, rather than routes that include a lot of scree and approaches across British bogs. Surprisingly the forefoot area did not feel as well-profiled for obtaining as close a feel for the rock as some other boots and that I think is due to its slightly rounder shape. If used with crampons the lower ankle cuff would also be a drawback on snow. Having said that, when I used this for scrambles it did feel great as long as all areas of possible conflict are avoided. I have done some via ferrata where this boot would have been ideal, and equally it is great for using on clean rock day after day. But on the whole I’d prefer a higher ankle cuff for any routes that extended onto higher mountain terrain or for when I had to cross scree, bog and snow as part of a mountain day.
Upper velour leather, synthetic fabric, Gore-Tex waterproof lining
Sole Vibram Mulaz sole with integrated climbing zone
Sizes 6-13 (men’s); 4-9 (women’s)
Crampon compatibility B1
Weight 1675g (pair, size 11)
Made in Romania
Stores in the UK 136
Stockist details tel. (01625) 508218; www.mammut.ch
The Mammut Mt Cliff GTX offers excellent stiffness for rock, it’s lightweight for its performance and features, and the low ankle allows greater freedom of movement.
But the lower ankle cuff offers less ankle support and allows water and grit into the boot more easily; and it’s generally not so good for long mountain days. In summary it’s ideal for scrambles and via ferrata if not combined with rougher mountain terrain where a higher ankle cuff would benefit. It won ‘Best Value’ in our test.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine June 2010