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490 Sportiva - Ganda Guide 2011-10-05

La Sportiva Ganda Guide

I first saw the Ganda Guides after our summer of climbing the Colorado 14ers. I had worn a pair of running shoes on most of the mountains that summer; but had also found myself in precarious situations a time or two because of the soft soles. The running shoes did fine on rock; but were not stiff enough in the re-frozen snow of the early mornings. I was in the market for a new pair of approach or scrambling shoe.

Over the winter the Ganda Guides became available in the US. I was very interested; but the boots were expensive. I would never buy the boots without trying them on first and no one close to Nashville sold them; so they were just a dream that I saw on the web.

In the summer of 2010, we went to Colorado and visited the Bent Gate store in Golden, CO on our trip out to the mountains. They had the Ganda Guides in stock. I tried on a few pair of similar shoes as well as the Guides; but finally decided the Ganda Guide was the best boot for me. I have a long history with Sportiva and their products generally fit my feet well.

The boots performed flawlessly. Over the last two years, I have worn them on snow, trails, scrambles, and rock climbs - and I would not change a thing, but I still wish they were less expensive.

A few Ganda Guide notes ...

They fit smaller than my Trango Boots.

I fit my Guides so they would be more comfortable hiking and scrambling.

The lacing system lets you really tighten the boots when you need to move over more technical terrain.

The snug lacing also allows you to keep your heel in the cup and not sliding forward.

The edges and sole are stiff enough to kick steps in snow. I would not want to kick steps all day; but the boots have a much better foundation than running shoes.

The biggest surprise for me was how comfortable they were on the trail. I am used to approach shoes that are sized slightly larger than climbing shoes and send shocks of pain from your toes on each step. The Ganda Guides are a soft comfortable walking boot.

The Ganda Guides are not approach shoes. I would not wear them on the approach to a climb and then try to climb with the bulky boots in my pack. The Guides are boots. They are climbing boots. You put them on in the morning and wear them all day on whatever the terrain happens to be.

I try not to use the Guides on normal trails, to save wear and tear on the boots, but they are comfortable enough to wear everyday.

Amy just wishes they made them for women.

The Ganda Guides are the best 14er boots. They are a do it all mountain boot.

Exum Mountaineering is using the boots. You might be able to rent a pair in Jackson to try out, if you are going that way.

Happy Ganda Guide trails


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