The T-Aenergy GTX boots by Mammut are a GoreTex lined fabric boot designed for autumnal and wet weather use. To keep you upright on those slippery rocks, they boast a grippy sole based on anteater scales.The review pair were a rather bright shade of lime or Spring-basilic, but they’re also available in a couple of more discreet colours if you don’t’ want to stand out; Graphite-inferno and Graphite-yolk.
I was initially worried when I saw that they’ve been manufactured by Raichle, which have sold as as Mammut over the last few years, as their boots are usually too narrow across the toe for me. Thankfully, these seem to be based on a wider last, and didn’t pinch my toes. In fact, the fit turned out to be spot on. I’ve usually worn Meindl Burmas for non-summer and non-winter conditions as they’re such a good fit, and these are a similar fit.
The boot boasts a rand that extends across the toe to form a rubber toe cap and is as rugged as you can expect on a walking boot, providing protection for rocky conditions and especially so the sharp shale scree so typical in this part of Snowdonia. I’ve had expensive boots in the past that have lacked a rand across the toe, and they’ve looked tatty within the first few week’s use.
The Base Fit® lacing system means that the upper tensioning d-ring is set back quite far, which makes cinching the laces easy and effective – no need to be pulling the lower laces through to ensure you’re properly laced up. Although, the laces are, as seems to be the latest fashion, thin and lightweight which makes them more fiddly to tie. The d-rings are quality metal, but connected to the boot by a lace-loop which looks like a potential weakness, though I’m yet to have a boot fail me at that point and I wouldn’t worry – though we’ll see how they cope with a couple of hundred k behind them. With the GTX liner the shoes are waterproof and warm, which is just what you need this time of year.
But how do they grip? If my boots don’t grip, I’ll quickly lose confidence on the hill as my balance is poor enough as it is! Grip is the most important thing for me, and for good reason! The Vibram® Scale sole is aggressive and has it’s own unique scale-like arrangement inspired by the scaly armour of the pangolin. This design is meant to improve traction on all kinds of surfaces along with promoting a smooth, rolling motion. We put this to the test on a few wildly different routes – the steep and grassy Moel Eilio ridge and the relentless rock, scree and boulders involved in a crossing over Elidir Fawr, Garn and descending to Gwastadnant, and a peaty moorland walk on the flanks of Mynydd Mawr to name a few. On the steep grass, which was damp from dew, I felt secure at all times. Likewise, they performed well on the more varied and rocky terrain, providing excellent grip on whatever surfaces were thrown at them. We were impressed!
Together with the proven flexible ribs, the scalelike arrangement of the lugs on this hiking sole ensure maximum grip on all kinds of terrain and rounded, gentle rolling behaviour. – Mammut.
Just take a look at the image below of a Pangolin / Spiny Anteater and the boots, and see if you can see the similarities!
While marketed as an autumn boot, you could push their use into the winter months if your’e walking in non-technical terrain. They certainly feel warm enough for that, and were on the cusp of being too warm on an unseasonable September day when the temperature rose to the low 20s. Even if they’e rated B0 and not crampon compatible they’re stiff enough to take a crampon for short distances and they’ll definitely be in use in the Northern Carneddau over the winter. Of course, this is not recommended by the manufacturer and you should only do so at your own risk! If you’re walking lower level trails, then they’d be spot on for winter use, coupled perhaps with some Microspikes if you expect ice.
Overall, we found this to be an ideal boot for autumnal UK conditions and for lower level winter walking.