I'm really pleased that we have the latest version of the Boreal Arwa Mountaineering boots in stock.
A newer review of this version can be found here.
Whilst I've been keen on the Boreal brand since they invented sticky rubber for rock shoes way back in the 1980s, I hadn't heard of the Arwa until a few years ago. Thinking the name was some sort of acronym or perhaps an obscure Himalayan summit somewhere.
The other day I Googled it and turns out the word means mountain goat in Arabic. Spookily, 5 minutes after doing so someone asked me what the name meant. I calmly and confidently answered, trying and failing to give off an air that implied that I thought everyone knew that!
I have now climbed in my own Arwas extensively in Ladakh in India, Western Mongolia and the Karakoram in Pakistan in the summer to over 6000m.
They are also ideal for classic summer alpinism and Scottish winter climbing too. But I should make it clear that on none of the occasions in which I have worn them could I in my plodding, gasping state, in any way be confused with a graceful mountain goat.
The Arwa comprises, what used to be the B3 (automatic crampon compatible) rigid sole, Thinsulate insulation and Sympatex waterproofing technology to create a relatively lightweight(ish) all-round mountain boot. The fit is broad at the forefoot and snug at the back of the heel. The sizing is such that you really do need to try them on rather than just order your usual size from our website.
Crampon wise I nearly always use a pair of Grivel G12 New Matics. The boots have a traditional lacing pattern, no inbuilt gaiter so in snowy conditions I wear standard OR Crocodile gaiters. This means they are snug around the boot and leg to reduce the chance of snagging with my crampons.
If you are looking for me in the shop to discuss the Arwa between early June and October. I will probably be in either the Karakoram, Mongolia or Sichuan in China using them. Once again not being at all like a mountain goat!