The Zamberlan Crest XCR/Venture multi-activity shoe won ‘Best in Test’ in 2008 and 2007, and for my money it is still up there. Typically of Zamberlan the Crest is a functional shoe for those who demand performance in the mountains and so it is built to take plenty of abuse. You get a Gore-Tex XCR waterproof lining to guarantee dry feet. The upper is a mix of suede leather and synthetics, but you also get a rubber rand around the toe and forefoot areas for extra protection on rock. The lacing system extends a little further towards the toe than most to give a more responsive feel. The toe box is stiff enough to provide valuable protection from stray boulders. Underfoot you get good cushioning and a good stiff flex in the sole to make rocky terrain easy on the foot. The lugs on the outsole are 4mm deep, which is ideal for mud and grass. But the main drawback of the Zamberlan Crest XCR/Venture is probably the weight. The flex is quite stiff, so those who don’t need performance may prefer a shoe with a softer flex. The fit is slightly narrow, too. A deeper heel breast and even more aggressive lugs would be better for tackling mud.
Upper Hydrobloc split leather, Cordura, Gore-Tex XCR waterproof lining
Sole Zamberlan AMS
Sizes 41-48 (men’s Crest XCR); 37-43 (women’s Venture)
Weight 1232g (pair, size 11)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 100+
Verdict: The Zamberlan Crest XCR/Venture is a true multi-activity shoe that’s ideal for a wide variety of outdoor action including mountain biking, hiking and scrambling. It won ‘Best in Test’.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine May 2009