I have used these boots both in Winter climbing in the Sierras, Shasta, and in the Himalayas in Nepal up to 6200m.
1. The Boa system is GREAT since if it's very cold and you have to put these on, it is an effortless exercise. It can break, as somebody pointed out here, but NO BIG DEAL. I carry a repair kit in my backpack, provided by the manufacturer of the Boa lacing system. In fact, one of my boa wires got caught in the boot's zipper and I had to replace it - very easy and 10 minutes of your time. I do not recommend that any Boa boots get taken to the Himalayas without a spare kit. Without one your trip will be quickly ruined.
2. The inner boot is not the best and in fact due to its material it ended up rubbing against the center of my foot and hurting. I had a pair of Arcteryx approach boots and had bought their inner boot for them. I now use this Arcteryx inner boot with my Sportivas and I get the benefit of GoreTex, no rubbing, and perfect foot temperature.
3. Great with crampons (Black Diamond Hybrid crampons is what I use).
4. Great traction without crampons.
5. I still wish they could be lighter - don't we all wish for lighter boots?
6. Not quite sure what the difference is between the Mons Evo and this boot aside from the higher gaiter. Can somebody tell me? Is the Mons Evo warmer? Any other differences aside from the gaiter?
In short, I'm giving them four stars because their inner boot could be better (I replaced mine with the Arcteryx one) and because my Boa wire got tangled in the zipper and had to cut it in order to be able use the boot. As for price - they are a little pricey but I have yet to feel cold feet in very cold and windy environments. Value? How much would you pay to not lose a toe?
(Posted on 12/4/2017)
Make sure you try this boot on in person. I have a pair of Nepal Evos in 42.5. They fit tight and are good for technical climbing but are too tight for colder weather or sitting around. I heard G2SMs ran large so I figured the same size would be perfect. The 42.5 G2SMs are WAY bigger than the 42.5 Nepals. Even with thick wool socks and fully cinched BOA system my feet are moving over 1cm in multiple directions inside the boot!
(Posted on 8/4/2017)
-Warm and comfortable boot.
-I've owned two pair of Spantiks and these are significantly lighter (and the Spantik was a pretty light boot!).
-Easy to tighten and loosen. You can keep the forefoot tight and loosen the ankle for easier walking/ski touring
-Boots just keep getting more and more expensive. They aren't cheap
-BOA system will definitely break when you don't want it to (high up on some technical route. Then what?)
-Not as stiff as the Spantik even when tightened down
-Wider forefoot than any other Sportiva boot I have ever owned. I have had almost every boot in the line and been a constant 44.5. I wish I would have bought these in a 44. The toe box feels wide and not as technical (like a rock shoe) as the Spantik
-No way to tighten the inner boot (this was a great thing with the Spantik).
Long story short: I like the gator. I really wish there was an option to have a draw-string lace instead of the BOA. Cool design, but the BOA was put there to win some gear awards at the sacrifice of practicality. I'll be really pissed when mine inevitably breaks (or I shear the knob off through the gator with a crampon/ski/hitting it against a rock) high up on some technical route.
(Posted on 2/16/2017)
The mountaineering boot I was waiting for! Can't believe it took so long for a boot like this to be made. Warm like the Spantik but much lighter. Amazing.
(Posted on 1/31/2017)