Being sensitive doesn’t always mean you’re weak. It can make you aware. It brings certain factors to your attention so that you alter your position, if ever so slightly. It can turn a potentially ugly situation into an opportunity to thrive. SCARPA sees this value, and has taken that mindset into redesigning the Phantom Guide, which has made several advancements that turn “sensitivity” into information the climber can use.
As expected, many of the boot’s advances come from below. When we travel over broken terrain, our feet get stressed and our reserves are quietly eroded over time. New micro porous polyurethane midsole inserts provide 15% more shock absorption than regular EVA that is currently used in other boots on the market. What does that mean? It means energy savings for you by decreasing muscle fatigue when carrying a heavy load or moving over arduous terrain.
Of technical note, the new SCARPA/Vibram TT sole more effectively concentrates power over the big toe and edging platform, whether it’s on rock or when using crampons on ice or mixed terrain. A thinner sole profile in the forefoot also enhances climbing sensitivity to provide better information for performance.
The Phantom Guide and the updated Phantom 6000 also boast a new rear elastic rand for a hell of a heel hook. Yes, it helps with many aspects of climbing, but it really comes into its own when front pointing. The snug rebound increases sensitivity and exactness when negotiating steep ice and mixed ground.
The other significant quality in a mountain boot is dexterity, and that comes down to how well the ankle can move about. The current redesign increases universal ankle flexibility (think walk-ability) without compromising warmth and support. Again, this saves us energy over time.
For its part, the Cordura/Kevlar outer gaiter uses Outdry® technology to create an abrasion and tear-resistant shell that is also waterproof and breathable for optimal cold weather protection.