ZAMBERLAN 4039 EXPERT IBEX PRO GT RR ALPINE BOOT REVIEW
By Randy Johnson
iReview Gear Lead Field Editor
Alti2ude Outdoors Pro Staff
Basic Description of item:
Zamberlan’s GT RR Ibex Pro Alpine Boot is designed for high altitude big game hunting. Lasted for a precise fit, the Expert IBEX boot is constructed to provide maximum sensitivity and great performance. A double-tongue allows the user to customize their fit: push the tongue down and let the velcro and lace system provide a secure lower-volume fit; pull the tongue up and give yourself a higher volume fit. This boot is very capable of carrying heavy loads and will provide you with great confidence to navigate through the roughest hunting terrain on the mountain.
Just the Facts:
Zamberlan continues to take the manufacturing of quality mountain boots to another level with their latest addition to its alpine boot collection, the Zamberlan 4039 Expert Ibex Pro.
The Zamberlan 4039 Expert Ibex Pro GT RR Alpine Boot features a duratherm laminated Gore-Tex lining to ensure warmth and guaranteed waterproof protection and breathability, while the single-piece Hydrobloc infused Swiss Perwanger leather uppers are rugged, durable and lightweight. The Expert Ibex features a newly designed Vibram Teton sole that works in conjunction with Zamberlan’s P.C.S. (Professional Crampon System). The Carbon Flex midsole makes the boot stiff and stable. The exclusive Zamberlan® R.R.S. protective rand helps prolong the life of the boot and offers improved protection for the foot.
The Zamberlan 4039 Expert IBEX Pro GT RR Alpine Boot was developed for nothing but serious high mountain hunting, trekking and use!
• Upper: Hydrobloc Perwanger 3.0mm Leather
• Lining: Gore-Tex Duratherm(R)
• Footbed: Zamberlan Footbed
• Padding: Z.A.S.- Zamberlan Air System
• Midsole/Shank: Zamberlan Duraflex
• Toe & Heel: Thermoplastic
• Sole: Vibram TETON with P.C.S.
• Construction: Gore-Tex Duratherm
• Weight EA (size 8): 2 lbs 4 oz (1020 g)
• Crampon rating: B2
• High rands for upper protection
• Handcrafted in Italy
As a big game hunter, outfitter/guide for 20 years I’ve had the opportunity to wear a lot of boots. It’s no secret that I demand a product that is going to hold up in extremely difficult terrain. When I make a decision to test a particular boot companies product such as Zamberlan, I’m very particular. My choice of footwear is at the very top of my “high priority list” relative to the gear that I must place my safety and trust in. Any boot I wear must endure sharp rocks, mud, cactus spines, mud, water and other weapons of nature that can literally torture the human foot. I can’t afford to have bloody toenails, bone bruises or painful blisters.
Having had the opportunity to wear Zamberlan’s Guide GT last spring I was more than happy to try out the new Ibex Pro Expert GT at Phillip Benson’s recommendation. Mr. Benson is the Zamberlan North American representative and he knows his boots. Always willing to field test the newest hunting boot that is being manufactured I immediately felt lucky to have been given this opportunity for I quickly discovered that the Ibex would provide me with outstanding performance!
It is important to recognize that the Ibex Pro runs about a full size smaller than most boots. Although I was a little bit concerned about ordering a size smaller I found out quickly that this was the right decision. After slipping the Ibex Pro onto my feet I could tell that the insoles on these mountaineering boots were definitely stiffer than what I was used to as it took a short break in period to “acclimate” to such firm soles.
These boots fit really well and were made for abuse! At 2 lbs. they are a little heavier than some boots I’ve worn but were comfortable. They were definitely designed to take any wear and tear that I could hand out as these boots are at home in a high alpine mountain environment and can handle abuse at a different level. Zamberlan’s new technical backing provided my feet with a more precise fit. I was impressed with how flexible the boot felt after I got used to the very firm soles and shank. These boots can be used for technical climbing or Mountain Hunting and were made for “high performance” on glaciers and in high mountaineering environments.
I’ve been extremely happy with the unique and comfortable zonal lacing system my Pro’s. The innovative double-tongue has allowed me to customize the fit to my upper ankle and leg. If I choose to push the tongue down the velcro and lacing system will provide me with a secure lower-volume fit. If I pull the tongue up, which is generally my choice, I get a higher volume fit to my upper ankle/shin.
I’ve found that the Ibex’s Gore-Tex Duratherm lining and single Hydrobloc infused Swiss Perwanger Leather upper is very capable of providing warmth and durability to below zero Fahrenheit temperatures although I haven’t used my Ibex’s in bitter cold weather just yet. The Expert Pro GT RR also features Zamberlan’s newly designed Vibram Teton sole that has provided me with incredible traction, wear and stability.
Much of the terrain I backpack in is rugged, shale covered talus slopes and steep sandstone inclines. I appreciate very much Zamberlan’s well-designed Achilles notch in their Ibex boot that has alleviated the pressure and strain on my tendon. The upper portion of my Ibex’s will never wear out as they have been crafted from the finest Italian leather available.
I have no reservations in recommending the purchase of Zamberlan’s Ibex Pro GT RR to anyone. This famous boot company has crafted an incredible new mountaineering boot that has to rank at the top of the ladder with anything on the market for durability and toughness. I do suggest that hunters purchasing this boot use in the Ibex in high mountain terrain, as this is the kind of environment that they were designed for.
As with all Mountain Hunting or backpacking boots it is easy to start an argument over what boot is best so I will just say that I own and wear boots from Zamberlan, Kenetrek and Crispi. All of them provide my feet with great service.
Zamberlan’s Ibex Pros are currently priced at $440.00 and can be ordered in brown or a lime green color. For hunters I suggest brown of course. Although expensive, their quality and durability are well worth the price. You should expect these boots to hold up under any pounding you can give them. You can depend upon the Ibex Pro to get you on and off the mountain as they will never break down!
( Zamberlan Ibex Pro’s helping me navigate some tough terrain “out on the mountain” on a recent desert sheep scouting trip.)
Zamberlan’s New and Extremely Functional Vibram Teton Soles)
(Zamberlan’s Reinforced Boot Rands)
Something that is also very important with any boot that I purchase is whether or not they will stand behind their product. Regarding returns and exchanges Zamberlan guarantee’s satisfaction with every purchase. Returns are subject to normal usage. If their boot does not meet your expectations during its useful life, they promise to repair it, replace it, or provide you with a refund. This is very important to me. The companies that I purchase my hunting or backpacking gear from have always been very willing to take care of a problem when I phone them personally.
What Zamberlan could do better:
Zamberlan is a well known boot company noted for manufacturing outstanding footwear. I recommend that all high-end boot companies provide better quality insoles.
Zamberlan 4039 Expert Ibex Pro GT RR Alpine Boot Review