Zamberlan 960 Guide GTX

EDITOR: Cory McLaughlin

Just the Facts:

The Zamberlan 960 Guide GTX RR is Zamberlan’s most rugged backcountry boot perfect for extended backpacking or big game hunting trips in rough and rugged terrain.


Features include:

▪ Zamberlan Vibram® StarTrek soles feature 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 grippy lugs for easy cleaning, and a non-slipping heel strike zone

▪ Resolable

▪ A 3/4 RRS (Rubber Rand System) is constructed using an elastic rubber compound and beveled edges underneath (non-visible) to prevent catching and reduce delamination

▪ Zamberlan’s ZBPK technical backpacking last offers a more precise fit, including an anatomical heel pocket, comfortable over the foot wrapping, and a toe box with enough room to wiggle toes

▪ Insoles are stiff (4.0mm) for excellent support to the foot, transferring workload from the foot to the boot

▪ The 2.8mm Hydrobloc® Tuscan Nubuck leather uppers ensure excellent protection from elements and debris while the Zamberlan RRS (rubber rand system) protects the leather and foot from deterioration caused by cracking, cuts and scratches

▪ Gore-Tex® Performance Comfort membranes offer maximum water protection and breathability and are guaranteed for the life of the boot by Gore-Tex®

▪ Made in Italy


UPPER Nubuck Leather With Hydrobloc® Treatment

THICKNESS 2,4mm – 2,6mm

LINING GORE-TEX Performance Comfort

INSOLE Flex 4mm + PE

MIDSOLE Low Density PU Wedge + EVA And TPU Inserts

OUTSOLE Zamberlan® Vibram® Star Trek

SIZE RANGE 8 – 12, 13

HALF PAIR WEIGHT 820 Gr (Misura/Size 42)

LAST ZBPK Performing Fit

My Story:


If you have been to before you will see that I have reviewed a good number of boots and for good reason. Boots are the foundation of a great adventure and without proper footwear you will likely have to cut your trip short or suffer needlessly through pain and blisters that otherwise would not have plagued you. It all starts with your feet and thus this is the area that I tend to spend the most money and time preparing.

So in a world full of Nubuck and Vibram how is a person to decide which is the best boot for them? I would love to tell you that you just look at the features and buy what sounds best but sadly it is not that simple. You want to set yourself up for success and this starts with making sure the boots you think that you like are actually a good fit for you. Go find a retailer and try them on! Luckily for my feet Zamberlan boots seem to fit me very well. I say luckily because I truly feel they are some of the best boots on the market today.

The Zamberlan 960 Guide GTX (960’s from here on out) are just about everything you could want in a boot that will carry you though 3 seasons. They start with the bullet proof Vibram sole and end with the equally tough Nubuck leather. Throw in a Goretex liner and some really cool technical features and you have wrapped your feet in success. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here. Italians know how to make boots! Us Americans just have to bow our heads and accept that if you want the best you are going to buy Italian. I bet you can’t guess where Zamberlan boots are made.

So without getting all technical and talking about midsole composite materials and a bunch of other stuff that sounds really fancy but is over the head of nearly everybody not in the boot business. Let’s talk about just how well these boots fit and function on real adventure. If you want that technical information it can be found above.

It has been my experience that to test a boot you have to give it a pretty substantial amount of time. Just about any boot is going to hold up for a trip or two so it takes some time and some series miles. So after wearing my boots to and from the office for a few weeks I was very excited to get out in the field on some predator hunts. It was time to get some dirt on the boots!    

My next adventure was in the wilds of Idaho. The jagged granite of many Idaho mountain ranges is like a hungry shark to most boots as it chews them up and leaves them looking tattered. Luckily the 960’s have a great ¾ inch rubber rand to protect the already super tough Nubuck and they held up without a hitch. I put just over 27 miles on these boots during my hunt and my feet never bothered me once.

The waterproofing membrane on the boots seems to be as solid as you would ever want. Several creek crossings and miles of walking in the snow left my feet still feeling dry and happy. I call that a big win!

These boots are really a thing of beauty. I found myself sitting at camp after long hikes in some really nasty terrain and I was in no hurry to take off my boots. This is saying a lot as that is usually the first thing I want to do. When your hiking boot also works as your lounging shoe you have hit the lottery! If you are in the market for a very sturdy mid-range boot that will take you to all the places you wish to go I think you would be remiss to overlook the Zamberlan 960 Guide GTX.


Find it here:

What can be done better?

You know, I just can’t think of anything that I would change with these boots.


5 stars for sure!

  • Functionality
  • Value
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability