Improbably light, double snow boot from outdoor footwear specialist, Teva.
It may not strictly be hardcore outdoor footwear, but we're seriously impressed with the new Teva Chair 5 snow boot for its combination of warmth, lightness and packability.
Packable And Light
Teva says its aim was to create a snow-friendly boot that was still packable and light and the Chair 5 was the result, with, says the brand, around half the weight of similar boots from other brands. And if you're used to general-use winter boots being shoulder-wrenchingly heavy, you're in for a big surprise.
Despite the high ankles and the substantial looking protective rand, the boot feels feathery light when you first pick it up and, on the OM magic digital scales, a single size 9 boot weighs just 511g. That's about the same as a lot of approach shoes.
But what's really impressive is that you're still getting an awful lot even at that weight. The uppers are waterproof and seam sealed with a high ankle cuff to cope with the odd patch of deeper snow and neat, tapered ankle fit so you don't look like some sort of refugee from an Eskimo fishing trip. Underfoot there's a White Spider Rubber outsole for snow grip along with a Nylon shank for stability and insoles infused with something called 'Mush'.
Removable Inner Boot
But it doesn't stop there. Remarkably the Chair actually has a removable inner boot - it Velcros in place - complete with its own outsole for hut or chalet use and has 250g of Thinsulate LiteLoft synthetic insulation to keep your delicate tootsies warm.
It's all nicely thought out, the inside of the inner is a slick, snow-friendly nylon, which is a nice touch, and there's even a Velcro tab to stop the heel of the inner boot lifting inside the outer layer.
Finally, because Brits in particular are most likely to use a boot like this in an alpine resort, the top section of the boot folds down so they take up no more space in your suitcase than a pair of conventional shoes.
It's a slickly brilliant bit of footwear design that would be just as much at home tramping around town in full UK snowy winter conditions as it would in the Alps or Rocky Mountains. Price is £110 and there's also a women's version called the Jordanelle, which comes in a choice of black or beet red with a fetching pink tartan patterned inner boot. Nice.
On the performance front, all we can tell you now is that it feels reasonably warm and comfortable on the foot, though not insanely hot, and the inner makes a rather nice insulated house slipper for those cold 'almost winter' mornings. All we need now is some snow.
More information at www.teva.co.uk.