Zamberlan IBEX

Huntfun

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Messages
93
Location
Michigan
Does anyone have experience with the Zamberlan IBEX? What are your thoughts on them? I want a very stable boot for the higher rough elevations. My Hanwag Alaskan GTX that I have been using are great but I need more toe room so I am looking for something in the Zamberlan line up that is on par with my Hanwag Alaskan GTX. I am curious if The IBEX feel like insulated boots….I was told they have what would be equivalent to 200 grams or less insulation…I like un-insulated boots but am thinking at this level they will be OK. Any input would be appreciated.
 

Tiger Rag

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
459
I just ordered a pair so I'll let you know my impressions. If I keep them I'll put a review up after I've got time to evaluate.
 

Kotaman

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Messages
2,773
Location
North Dakota
Tiger...Let us know how they work out. I am intriqued by this boot and the new KUIU Zamberlan boot, IF it ever comes to fruition.
 

Tiger Rag

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
459
Yeah, I've been watching the Kuiu Zamberlan boot progress as well. I noticed many of the features were similar to the Expert Ibex and some of the high end mountaineering boots. I think most thought the price would be around $500 for the Kuiu rendition....which is probably about right for such a technical boot. When I found CC Outdoors and their April sale, I couldn't resist taking a shot at the Ibex boots for 30% less than the projected Kuiu cost. I can always send them back if I don't like them. Seems like all the features I'm looking for though. Reported fit on Zamberlan boots theoretically should fit my narrow heel and "spreading as I age forefoot" with alleged roomy toebox.

I've got a pair of Crispi Wild's that I would think it would be hard for them to supplant as an overall boot but may indeed nudge out the Kenetrek Mountain Guide's for heavy load mountain duty (although I have no real beef with them either). Mountaineering boots are tough fit for me, but the Kenetrek Guide's are really not bad at all for a fairly stiff boot. With such a low volume foot and overpronation issues, I've had a tough time over the years with boot fit. Really not great places locally or within several hours to try quality European boots. I've gotten used to ordering online, wearing around the house, and sending back if the fit isn't right. I've also lowered standards over the years not expecting a perfect fit. Glad to find other boots out there with a chance to fit my oddball feet to keep me out there doing what I love!
 

Racethesunset

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
639
Location
Arizona
I am a Zamberlan convert, and am interested in your report on the Ibex.

Two things that kept me from ordering the Ibex in the past are the listed mass (1020g) and the general purpose of the Ibex, "alpine", rather than "mountain trekking" or backpacking. The Ibex are tuned for vertical ascents and descents and thus have crampon compatibility and crazy amounts of stiffness and support. They should be bulletproof in this regard, as my Monster GT RR's have been. The Ibex weight is competitive with other high end alpine boots. But up against Zamberlan's many backpacking offerings, there are alternatives that shave weight and are little less intense, e.g. Steep GT (770g) if you don't use crampons and such.

The Kuiu boots (there will be two variations, no?) will be good, great even, as they will be made by Zamberlan :)

Keep us posted.
 
Last edited:

Tiger Rag

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
459
I am a Zamberlan convert, and am interested in your report on the Ibex.

Two things that kept me from ordering the Ibex in the past are the listed mass (1020g) and the general purpose of the Ibex, "alpine", rather than "mountain trekking" or backpacking. The Ibex are tuned for vertical ascents and descents and thus have crampon compatibility and crazy amounts of stiffness and support. They should be bulletproof in this regard, as my Monster GT RR's have been. The Ibex weight is competitive with other high end alpine boots. But up against Zamberlan's many backpacking offerings, there are alternatives that shave weight and are little less intense, e.g. Steep GT (770g) if you don't use crampons and such.

The Kuiu boots (there will be two variations, no?) will be good, great even, as they will be made by Zamberlan :)

Keep us posted.

You make some very good points. When following the Kuiu Zamberlan threads, much of the feedback was to have at least one of the offerings without Goretex or use eVent instead of Goretex. Zamberlan is an authorized Goretex manufacturer and can't change or lose their license from Gore. They could potentially offer a non membrane option though. I do wonder what the postponement was caused by. Jason seemed to really like the boots on a bear hunt. I wonder if the price point coming back from Marco Zamberlan made this un-advantageous for Kuiu to offer? Could be a number of things.

One other thing. I know you mention them being listed as Alpine. You can also come to these boots by clicking the "field boots" tab if I'm not mistaken. I hope they'll be a compromise as far as stiffness goes. I do like a stiff boot, but you may be right, these may be too hard core for the average backpack hunter. I'll give you my thoughts though. At 6'3" and 225, I think many boots that have a reputation as being stiff don't really seem that stiff to me. I do like the Kenetrek Mountain Guide as about the right stiffness. The K-trek Guides flex a little and have a nice roller sole so they may be the boots I stick with for heavy loads/mountain hunting. Just wanted to try the Ibex's out for that price, I can always return them and all I have invested is a little time and a return shipping fee. Knowing me, I won't be able to return them and my stable will grow.....lol.
 

Racethesunset

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
639
Location
Arizona
Knowing me, I won't be able to return them and my stable will grow.....lol.

Haha, yea, I wouldn't return Zamberlan's if they fit well.

The Ibex should be less bulky feeling than the K-trek's. I wore k-treks for a while, both high and low cuts, and always knew I was wearing them. Even the stiffest Zamberlan's disappear beneath you after an hour or two. There's just something different about them, and it's subjective of course with foot shape and proportions.

Honestly, I'm probably going to pass on the Kuiu boots, just because Zamberlan's end of year pricing is crazy cheap like you mentioned. Kuiu would be filling a retail role for Zamberlan, an already expensive, hand made product that is oftentimes marked down 50-70% or more at the end of a season.
 

bighouse31

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
112
Well I will give it a go as far as reviewing these boots as I have had them for a little while now. I have probably 75 miles on them all on trail so far.

Quality - One of the best made boots I have come across. I feel this boot is pretty much bomb proof 100% Italian quailty.

Durability - These boots are going to last if you take care of them properly. The Ibex is a heavy duty boot much more so than most of the other hunting boots out there, this boot seems to just be built sturdier and beefier than most.

Fit - Is a very personal issue so I am not going to tell you they are the most comfortable boot out of the box nor am I going to tell you they are uncomfortable. I will tell you I have a hard foot to fit and I am on the fence on these. Most people are not going to put this boot on and go do 10 miles out of the box. The Ibex is a very stiff mountaineering boot and is going to take some miles to get broken in. However, they are very comfortable for such a stiff boot. The heel cup is one of the best I have come across. The boot does have a roomy toe box and I have a wide forefoot. The only fit problem I am having is the width of the middle of the boot may be a little narrow for me which is common in most boots. The boot has an adjustable tounge so you can increase and decrease the amount of volume in the boots. Again this is stiff boot and there is very little flex in the sole. As far as sizing goes I normaly wear a 10 in regular shoes and found that a 9 1/2 in the Ibex to be the best fit for me (I also wear a 9.5 in Kenetrek).

Overall - I would classify this boot as a sheep and goat hunting boot and would never consider wearing this boot for elk or deer hunting (possibly for high country above timberline deer hunting but would not be my choice). This is a big country boot made for heavy packs and steep rocky country. They are a little on the heavy side but for the amount of boot you get they are not bad but do take a little getting used too unless you are used to a heavy boot. They are made with a insulated gore tex but i have not noticed that my feet sweat any more in these than my non insulated boots.

Let me know if you have any other questions and I will try to answer them for you.
 
OP
H

Huntfun

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Messages
93
Location
Michigan
I had ordered the IBEX when I was told by the store I bought them from the Gortex Insulation was equivelent to 200 grams thinslate. I cancelled the order after talking to Zamberlan USA and they told me the insulation is more like 450 to 500 grams of thinsulate. I buy uninsulated boots and 450 to 500 is probably more than my feet can handle. I went with the Guide 960s which actually weight more than the IBEX.

Bighouse31 have you ever tried the Hanwag Alaskan GTX? They have a very stiff sole too and I am wondering if the IBEX are stiffer or the same. I had my heart set on the IBEX but at 450 to 500 grams if Thinsulate equivalent that is just too much money to spend on a gamble. If the Steep had a rubber rand I would consider them.
 

bighouse31

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
112
I have not tried the Hanwag Alaskan but am willing to bet the Ibex are stiffer
 

Racethesunset

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
639
Location
Arizona
The Steeps leather rand is pretty durable. It is double layered, and doesn't peel off.

Did you see the Monster GT RR's on sale for low two hundreds? Same technical sole as the alpines, rubber rand, super comfy leather upper. I wonder what their effective insulation is. You got me worried about the insulation ratings now that I have a few Zamberlans as primary trekkers.
 

Tiger Rag

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
459
Finally got tracking today on my Ibex's. They're coming straight from Zamberlan in Boise. Should have them Saturday, looking forward to putting my hands on them!
 

Tiger Rag

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
459
Ok, quick first impression - incredible boot. It's clearly a mountaineering boot and made with plenty of insulation. I'd say the 500-600 gram equivalent is potentially a low estimate. Feels like a ski boot. I think it will be pretty warm - potentially too warm for me.

Extemely stiff as mentioned. Much more so than my Kenetrek Mountain Guides. If I keep them, they'll be the stiffest boot I own for sure, well other than ski boots.

Fit- excellent for my narrow low volume foot. I like the adjustable tongue - perfect to help compensate for my foot.

Lacing - a little weird since there is a speed lace hook below the captured loop at the flex point. I probably am ignorant on how to properly use that, but it does lock in the laces nicely in the lace-to-toe area. First boot I can remember in my adult life (sized properly) that I could tighten properly with the stock insole.....that is saying something with my low volume foot. If I put one of my insoles in, they feel incredible.

Quality - appears, very, very good. Better than my Crispi's and Kenetrek's on impression, however probably not as perfect as the Lowa Baffin's I ordered at the same time. Plenty good enough though.

Ok, that's the initial impression. I'll report more as I learn more about them. I fear they'll be hard to return as well as they fit despite stiffness. I do also fear they're a limited duty boot as mentioned above. It may be that Zamberlan is my boot, just maybe not this model because of limited access to the terrain they're designed for in my case. I may have to call Zamberlan up an discuss what other boots they have might fit the bill. Maybe Sella, Tofane, or Latemar. I was already considering the Latemar for the duty planned for the Lowa Baffin's.....since they didn't work out fit wise for me. If the Ibex's go back, them maybe the Sella's to replace both.
 
OP
H

Huntfun

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Messages
93
Location
Michigan
I am still waiting for my Guide 960 in 9.5 to show up to make sure 9.5 is in fact the correct size for me in Zamberlan. If they fit well, as I expect they will (the size 10 I now have are too big), I am looking at going with a pr of the Steep too but in the darker color. I checked with KUIU to see when their boot collaboration with Zamberlan will be out and they have absolutely no idea...so whether it pans out or not, time will tell....if they had an idea I was going to hold off getting a 2nd pr and consider thiers when out. I wish Zamberlan would come out with an uninsulated IBEX with just a little flex in the sole...that is one good looking light boot!
 

Tiger Rag

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
459
Huntfun, have you received your 960 Guide's yet? Curious if you have a review on them yet? When I spoke to Zamberlan about other boot options for a slightly less hardcore boot than the Ibex, they suggested the Guide as well. I have still haven't made a final decision on the Ibex, I'm leaning toward keeping them, but again - probably a limited use boot for me. Fit and quality tell me I should keep them though.
 

Kotaman

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Messages
2,773
Location
North Dakota
I ordered some 960 Guides yesterday. Would've tried the Ibex, but I can't get passed that much insulation. If Zamberlan comes with an IBEX type boot with little or no insulation and maybe a hair more flexible, they may have the perfect boot for me.
 

Tiger Rag

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
459
Buddy of mine ordered the 960 Guides yesterday as well. I'm going to check his out when they arrive and decide whether I want to order a pair of those. If I do and like them, I'd most likely send the Ibex's back despite how nice looking they are. Love the look of the Ibex's though. They look much better in person than the internet pictures. All dark chocolate brown-very handsome boot. Great fit as previously mentioned. They are heavy though.....pretty clunky as well. Moreso than even my Kennetrek Mountain Guides. I weighed pair of Ibex's and they came out to 6.1 lbs in size 12. One other nice thing about the adjustable tongue I should mention is that if you change the weight of your socks dependent on the season, the tongue will help you adapt that change some.
 

Tiger Rag

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
459
I ordered some 960 Guides yesterday. Would've tried the Ibex, but I can't get passed that much insulation. If Zamberlan comes with an IBEX type boot with little or no insulation and maybe a hair more flexible, they may have the perfect boot for me.

By the way, I think I overevaluated the insulation in my first opinions. The tongue is thick which gave me a false impression of the insulation. I think they'll breath as well as my 400 Kenetrek Mountain Guides and my Crispi 400-600 equivalent - which neither are extremely hot. Both breath well for a goretex boots. Still haven't cut the tags on the Ibex's yet.....thinking about it today though.

One other point. The boots do flex a little. Not much but a little. Still tweaking my lacing so I'm getting more dialed on. Padding not a cushy as originally thought. Looks like it but pretty firm when laced properly. Just about right I'd say. Still though, there is no doubt, this is a pretty hard core boot. They're really winning me over at this point.
 
Last edited:

Racethesunset

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
639
Location
Arizona
Thank you for the updates.

Do you think you would wear them more than the KTreks?

I would buy them if I had multiple 13,000 footers to ascend within driving distance, and use them until the soles came off.

Is your hesitation cost or use or weight? I might hesitate on weight, even for mountaineering. Still awesome looking boots though.
 
Top