Mammut does not have a long history of alpine boot making. As such I was nervous about forking over the 450 euros necessary to purchase a pair of the Nordwand TL. What Mammut did have though was plenty of spare cash, and as such purchased Raichle another boot maker with a great reputation for high quality alpine footwear. Raichle had been making alpine boots for over 100 years. With this purchase Mammut almost overnight became a serious player in the alpine footwear market. The Mammut Nordwand Tl, claims to be the lightest, warmest boot in its class. Im not sure if the claim that these boots are comfortable down to minus 30 is accurate. I can say however that I have worn them alpine climbing with temperatures around minus 20 and they performed much better than you would expect for a pair of boots that weigh under 2kg. In fact my feet have never felt cold while wearing them.
I have been using the Mammut Nordwand TL now for over 7 months. They have accompanied me up many waterfall ice and mixed pitches. I have also used them on several alpine winter routes in both the European Alps and Southern Alps. I was pleasantly surprised after a moraine bash up the Hooker Glacier left them unscathed. I had truly wondered if this trendy looking piece of European footwear would fall to pieces when faced with a good old fashioned Kiwi moraine bash. Each time as I lace up the thin laces with their speed lacing system and strange locking mechanism I wonder how long it is going to take for heel lift to set in, or the laces snap. However this never seems to happen and the boot holds just where I expect it to. I love the high built in gaiter. This is perfect for NZ conditions.
The closest boot I have found in terms of stability, warmth, built in gaiter etc would be the Scarpa Phantom Guide. This is a good alternative if you don’t fancy footing the bill for the Nordwand. The zip seems to be very high quality and to date I have had no issues. I feel that in general terms the Nordwand like many other Mammut products is made from superior materials. However you do pay for the privilege. The Nordwand is the most waterproof non plastic boot I have ever owned. Overall I have never worn or owned a more versatile comfortable boot that is perfectly suited to NZ winter alpine climbing conditions. I would rate it five stars if it was not for the hefty price tag and the fact you will have to order them online as no kiwi shops seem to stock them. So for this review 4.5 stars. The Nordwand seems to size similar to La Sportiva