Airmax, Janoski, Stan Smith, Air Jordan, Airforce 1.
Urban brands like Nike and Adidas are always on point at giving their footwear iconic and memorable names which create big fan bases and dedicated collectors.
Outdoor brands tend to not perform as well on this side of their marketing. Introducing the Men’s T Aenergy Trail Boot. What a mouthful, I just call mine my Mammut boots.
It’s All Good
Thankfully the only negative part about this boot is its name. This really is a versatile piece of technology that will protect your foot from your pinkies to Achilles, all whilst hopefully keeping your body vertical on treacherous trails.
This shoe has been on the market for almost a decade and has had many updates along the way. Back in 2013 you could get the boot in a garish lime green but the design team have now settled for a stylish setup of dark greys and blacks.
I know it’s not a fashion show on the hills and mountains as I have stated in previous posts but these boots do look cool. They’re the kind of boots that you wouldn’t feel embarrassed to wear in the pub for a post-descent pint. Understated, they can traverse the outdoor and urban divide.
Tough as Old Boots
Anyway, that’s more than enough about looks. How do these bad boys perform when put to the test? These boots were a kind birthday present from my wife and they have been used and abused countless times. Bashed off rocks, submerged in puddles, living in a permanent home of despair in the back of my car.
As you would expect from most boots in this price range, they are lined with GoreTex. I can confirm that they do exactly what they claim. I have dipped these boots deep in water and bogs both on purpose and by accident and my feet have always remained warm and dry as I put my trainers back on for the drive home. As you can see these are high tops which means submerging past the ankle will really take some doing and would have to be blamed on user error rather than poor design.
GoreTex doesn’t only claim to be waterproof but also breathable. These boots are designed with the autumn months in mind. Luckily I am not a shoe snob and I will happily wear these all year round. Personally I am the kind of person who is almost always too hot and I never found overheating in these boots an issue.
Another third party addition to these boots are its Vibram Scale Sole. Undoubtedly the kings of the outdoor sole market, this time Vibram are giving us a sole that is modelled from the scales of an anteater.
But does this inspiration and implementation from the natural world actually do anything? Yes, it definitely does. I have used these boots on the unforgiving mountain of Tryfan in North Wales.
A Grade 1 scramble which gets more and more rocky and barren towards the summit. The mountain is famous for a couple of rocks at the top known to most as “Adam and Eve”. Jumping between the two is a rite of passage for local ramblers, something I had chickened out of many years previous due to wearing cheap boots from Aldi that were caked in flooring glue from my job at the time.
If you mess up the jump the exposed edges of the rocks will allow you to fall to your likely doom. This time, I was confident in the grip of the shoes and my own ability. I made the jump.
The boots also perform well on slippy patches of mud, grass and bog. To put it simply there’s really not many terrains where the grip will let out. Pangolin power indeed.
Memory foam is present around the ankles and the soles are comfy as hell. There is a short wearing in period and I felt that these boots were harder than some I had worn in the past but the good fit was worth a few walks of mild discomfort.
This is the type of product that excels in its ergonomic function, Mammut have again utilised their Rolling Concept technology. The boot actually stimulates your foot’s natural roll to reduce your chances of injury on the trail. Before you know it these boots will become an extension of your body and give you the grip of a mountain goat. The balance side of things are unfortunately still up to you.
As with almost all high-top hiking boots as the lacing moves up the ankle you have to put the laces into grips and lace the boot yourself. Usually you would have to keep the laces under a constant tension so that they don’t fall out but the grips on these boots hug on to the laces allowing you to tie up your boots in a much more relaxed fashion. It’s not a feature you need but once you’re used to it you would never go back. It also gives you more confidence on the trail that your laces won’t come undone.
The laces utilise yet another Mammut system known as Base Fit. This means that you never have to fiddle with the laces at the bottom of the boot to pull the tension through. The boots design will naturally tension the whole boot as you cinch at the top allowing for a perfect fit with legendary grip.
There’s not much else I can say about these boots except for that I am truly convinced by their competence. I have used them extensively for a year and I am still seeing no signs of wear that would give me cause for concern.
Their price tag will look high to for those who don’t spend half their life in the great outdoors. But for those of us that wish to become part pangolin, these are priced fairly competitively considering how well they function. When I hit the trail now it’s my Mammut nameless boot or nothing else.