Monday, 25 February 2013

Arbortec Scafell XER Chainsaw Boot Review

I think the time has come for me to review the Scafell's, I will be as open and honest as I can ever be, even though I am now a retailer I am also a climber and want all the possible purchasers out there to see and hear what I have to say about them.

I got them 6 months ago and they get worn at least 3 times a week to do all sorts of work from big section fells to horrible thorny hedges to site work. We have just had our wettest year on record and a very cold, snowy winter so they have been through testing times.

My last pair of boots were Cofra's, not the best but they lasted me 16 months so I can't complain and to be honest I never really was fussy with my PPE, if it protected me that was enough.

The first thing I noticed when I tried them on was how stiff they were (skiers boots came to mind) and I wasn't sure about them even though you always get this with new chainsaw boots. The look and feel of them impressed me, yes they are quite sexy ;) if you know what I mean but they have a look of quality and strength.
They are class 1 protection which is the lowest protection, class 3 is the highest but this would surely make the boot a lot heavier and as a climbing boot it needs to be as light as possible.
They took around 1-2 weeks to soften up and once they softened they were great. So far I have had no wet feet, no cold feet and no bruises or bangs on the foot and ankle.
They're 100% waterproof and also allow your foot to breath which equals no sweaty sock and foot keeping them nice and dry.

Climbing in them is a joy, the front is narrow allowing for extra room when you get your foot in a crotch it won't get stuck like my old Cofra's would have done. The sole stays straight which gives you extra strength in leverage when pushing through up through the tree, this might sound like a bad thing ( the sole staying straight) but believe me it isn't, your foot moves inside.

The soles are Vibram and have a removable steel instep grip which I removed and haven't used as I think pruning trees they may do more damage than good and when taking a tree down I wear climbing spikes with the steel instep the spikes would not fit on. I have to say the spikes I use (Distel Gecko's) fit into the heel fantastically, the best boot I've ever used with spikes. I think the steel instep would be great if you was working in a woodland and not climbing, they would give you extra grip underfoot if you was walking across brash, logs etc...

Final thought - £229 may seem like a lot of money but to me they are worth every penny, pure quality.
A 14 month guarantee comes with the boots through Arbortec and I can't see this being used as the build in them is solid, I will review them on 12 months.

Heres a video of my Scafells, you will notice no stitching has come away and the soles are still sealed to the boot with no signs of them coming away.
Skyland - Arbortec Boots