A stiff pair of technical boots is amazing for slashing steps over short sections of snow without needing crampons, confidently edging on rock, or using with technical crampons. Stiff boots are often heavy and cumbersome though. I was looking some light stiff boots for summer climbing when I came across the Salewa Raven Combi. I must admit I didn’t know much about Salewa boots but I was immediately sold on their light weight (800g) and the fact that these boots are available in two different widths: normal and wide. Amazing if, like me, you have hobbit feet.
I’ve used the boots on a wide range of different routes, mostly in the summer but occasionally in the winter too. I’ve found I really like the combination of the super stiff sole but relatively flexible ankle for approaches and technical climbing. They have a heel welt for crampons but no toe welt so are not compatible with wire toe bails. I’ve found they climb well on ice but I tend to switch to a heavier pair of winter boots with more ankle rigidity if I’m planning on endless front-pointing. As expected they don’t have lots of insulation but I’ve not had a problem with cold feet wearing them. One detail I really like on these boots is the neoprene cuff around the top of the boot to stop snow falling in, meaning that if you leave the gaiters behind to save weight your feet stay remarkably dry even in deep snow.
My one disappointment with these boots has been the rate at which they have worn. This is partially because I enjoy wearing them so much but also because of their thin weight-saving sole and rand. As with all super lightweight gear some durability has been sacrificed. In summary I think they are a great pair of boots unless you want to walk up the Tasman moraine often! I’ll be buying another pair soon. - Review by Reg Measures