Zamberlan 960 Guide GT RR
Field Editor: Randy Johnson
HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES
Basic Description of item:
A high quality, very comfortable mid-height, insulated hunting, hiking or backpacking boot. The all-new Zamberlan 960 Guide GT RR is Zamberlan’s most advanced boot of this category to date. Designed to carry heavy loads the 960 Guide GT will carry you with confidence through the roughest hunting terrain on the mountain or any other outdoor hiking activity. The new GT was specifically designed to provide the comfort and support demanded for long mountain hunting or backpacking adventures. Tough and well suited for any obstacle or weather condition Mother Nauture have in mind for you. Zamberlan’s 960’s feature high performance midsoles that are rigid enough to ensure excellent stability and torsional stiffness on nasty, rough terrain, combined with high traction and high grip soles with cushioning systems for added comfort.
Just the Facts:
Zamberlan has taken their long history of quality boot manufacturing to another level with their 960 Guide GT RR. Featuring Zamberlan’s new technical backing last, this boot is dedicated for a more precise fit. This model displays a redesigned 3/4 RRS (Rubber Rand System), constructed by utilizing an improved rubber compound with greater elasticity. The new RRS also features a beveled edge to prevent catching and peeling. Perfect for carrying heavily loaded backpacks and hiking through rugged, mean, off-trail terrain and thick brush, Zamberlan’s Vibram StarTrek features dual-density PU construction (one for comfort, one for support), a TPU stabilizer, and a tread with excellent downhill braking, toe climbing zone, wide yet rock gripping lugs for easy cleaning, and a heel strike zone. The 2.8mm Hydrobloc Tuscan nubuck leather uppers ensures the greatest protection from water and snow and the Zamberlan RRS (rubber rand system) protects the foot and ankle as well as prevents the leather from deterioration caused by cracking, cuts and scratches. The Gore-Tex membrane offers maximum water protection and breathability. At 1.85 lbs. these boots feel light on your feet yet they are “rough and tumble hard hitters.” Please note these specific features of the 960 Guide GT RR’s.
Great Toe Box, and reinforced heel Rand, Great Vibram Soles
Hand-Crafted in Italy
Uppers are HYDROBLOC NABUK LEATHER with a thickness of 2.8 mm
Upper Protection features the R.R.S. “Rubber Reinforcement System with H.R.T. “High Resistance Treatment” Hardware.
Lining is GORE-TEX with a Zamberlan Z-Comfort Fit Footbed
Padding features the Z.A.S. Zamberlan Air System
Insole/Shank is Zamberlan’s Z-Flex GT
Toe and Heel are Thermoplastic with the Sole design Vibram Star Trek
Construction is GTX Bootee
Men’s Sizes come in USA Men’s 8-12, 13
It should be noted that Giuseppe Zamberlan, the grandfather, began to make boots soon after after World War I ended. From simple repair he moved on to footwear production, driven both by necessity and by his big passion for his local mountain range, the Piccole Dolomiti. He understood the poor performance of the early existing soles – made of leather with iron studs – and he both shared and supported the revolutionary ideas of Vitale Bramani, founder of Vibram, who was studying and developing rubber soles at the time.
These types of soles became accepted worldwide for the future as he purchased the first machinery and began building positive relationships with suppliers of raw materials, employing a few co-workers and starting a small workshop.
Boot making became a family affair as his wife Maria and son Emilio developed the same passion for making boots that would test the mountains. Now, more than 35 years later the Zamberlan Family is distributing to many European and world wide markets and today more than 90% of its production is destined for export to countries like the United States behind the savvy management of Marco and Maria Zamberlan and their valued team members dedicated to quality, comfort and performance.
As an big game hunter, outfitter/guide for 20 years I’ve worn out a lot of boots and demand a product that is going to hold up in extremely difficult terrain. When I make a decision to wear a particular manufacture’s boots, 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 were meant not to be tested by human feet. I can’t afford to have bloody toe nails, bone bruises or painful blisters. Always willing to field test the newest boots manufactured, one of my sheep hunting buddies, Chad Bambrough, a top Zamberlan rep, convinced me to try out their new Guide 960 GT. Great decision as I quickly found out that this boot would provide me with outstanding performance!
The first day I pulled the 960’s onto my feet I threw on a 90 lb. backpack and went for a 2 hour long hike. Wow, it was if I had been wearing these boots for a year. They fit really well, were comfortable, and I didn’t notice any hot spots. It should be noted that Zamberlan boots run about ½ size smaller than your normal U.S. size. Their new technical backing provides you with a more precise fit. I was impressed with how flexible the boot felt on my feet.
With the Zamberlan Guide GT’s they have redesigned their 3/4 RRS (Rubber Rand System), constructed with an improved rubber compound that provides greater elasticity. The new RRS also features a beveled edge to prevent catching and peeling. As I’ve discussed, the boot is very comfortable and light on your feet. With of the new hiking boots that you find on the market are very rigid and sometimes they seem to catch on rocks. I didn’t find this happening to me as the GT’s move smoothly over rock, yet provide your feet with rugged protection with Zamberlan’s Vibram Star Trek featuring a dual-density PU construction (one for comfort, one for support), a TPU stabilizer, and a tread with outstanding downhill braking. To my satisfaction I noted that these soles “clung” to the steep sandstone formations I do much of my hiking in. With Zamberlan’s “toe climbing zone,” I haven’t experienced any sore toenails yet!
The 2.8 mm Hydrobloc Tuscan Nubuck leather uppers have given me the protection I must have from water and snow and there have been several backpacking trips where I’ve experienced some unusually wet, cold conditions. The Gore-Tex membrane has offered me maximum water protection. Another feature that is critical to the welfare of my feet since I also hike in some hot conditions is that my boots are “breathability.” The Guide GT’s have performed well as my feet have not “overheated” nor sweat excessively.
The country I chase desert rams in with it’s loose, talus slopes is “condusive” to spraining your ankle so it’s noteworthy that Zamberlan’s RRS (rubber rand system) not only protects my feet but has provided me with the ankle reinforcement that is so important. The padded collars can be cinched up just as tight as I want them without any discomfort. Zamberlan’ tough rand design provides added protection to the leather uppers as I haven’t noticed any cracking, cuts or scratches.
I have no hesitancy in recommending the purchase of Zamberlan’s Guide 960 GT RR to anyone as their “masterful cobblers” have manufactured an incredible boot that has to rank at the top of the ladder with anything on the market for durability and toughness. 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 960 Guide GT RR’s are currently priced at $335.00. Although expensive, their quality and durability are well worth the price. You should expect these boots to hold up under the pounding you give them with countless hunting trips under your belt. You can count on the 960’s getting you on and off the mountain when you need them the most.
( Zamberlan Guide 960 GT RR’s helping me navigate some tough terrain “out on the mountain” on a desert sheep scouting trip.)
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 like their new Guide 960 GT’s. I do recommend that all high end boot companies provide better quality insoles.