Welcome to ice season people. Time to sharpen your picks and crampons. Time to get out and chase frozen pillars. And if you’re current footwear is looking a little ragged, it might be time to upgrade your boots. The new SCARPA Phantom Tech offers a whole new paradigm of performance for mountaineers and ice climbers. Lighter, warmer, and stiffer than any one-and-a-half boot we’ve ever made, the Phantom Tech climbs with incredible ease, precision, and comfort. Tested around the world by SCARPA top athletes, like Will Gadd, Gord McArthur, and Ueli Steck, this boot is ideal for places like Ouray, The Daks, Bozeman, Cody, and the Canadian Rockies.
Words on the Phantom Tech from SCARPA athlete Will Gadd.
This is the boot I wanted 20 years ago. Way back then I imagined a super-light, waterproof boot with the “fits like a glove” internal lacing system that had just developed in the Nordic ski and in-line skate worlds, combined with kayaking drysuit zippers. We tried a few prototypes and made a lightish “traditional” boot that I won the X Games in, but we couldn’t really get anything to work well. Fifteen years later the Phantom Guide came out, and I liked it but felt it didn’t quite go far enough. The Phantom Tech is one of the few products I’ve ever used that has gone far enough. It’s incredibly light (both boots together weight less than one of my boots from even 15 years ago), climbs on ice and rock really well, and yet is somehow (and this is across a spectrum of users I’ve been out with including Sarah who has “cold” feet) significantly warmer than the heavier Phantom Guides. When I first saw these I thought the 360-degree zipper idea was stupid. I was wrong, it’s great, and allows for a much nicer flex than a “front opening” zipper. I’ve put a lot of days on mine, and the only thing I’ve had go wrong was the zipper pull cord falling off, which was an easy fix. The Techs are as rigid, sexy, stiff, and almost as expensive as a carbon bike frame (actually not even close, they’re a bargain!), and just allow faster and more comfortable movement in the mountains. I’m in love with a boot.