Mammut Ayako High GTX Boot | Review
The Ayako High GTX was developed for via ferrata use, but works well for combined mountain walking and scrambling with a light, precise feel.
'The Ayako High's via ferrata capabilities translate into a low-slung and very capable scrambling and mountain walking boot in UK hills and the overall quality is as impressive as you'd expect from Mammut '
Outdoors Magic: Light and supportive, excellent build quality, enough flex for walking, enough stiff for scrambling, low and stable, grippy sole, reinforced uppers.
Outdoors Tragic: Best on more technical ground, slightly roomier than we were expecting.
Outdoors Grabbit? The Ayako High's via ferrata origins give it excellent scrambling and lightweight mountain walking credentials with enough flex for comfort, but plenty of underfoot grip and stiffness. Memo Foam adds support to the high ankle cuffs and down-to-toe lacing and Base Fit technology give a close, technical fit. We wouldn't buy them for general walking, but as a stiffish scrambling-orientated boot with reasonable 'in between' comfort, they work very well indeed. Finally, build quality is excellent as ever.
Via ferrata, scrambling and mountain walking boot / suede leather and fabric uppers / Gore-Tex waterproof lining / Memo Foam padding / Base Fit heel anchoring system / Heel Support heel reinforcement / rubber toe-cap / strategic Liquid Rubber reinforcement for uppers / three-zone lacing system / triple density EVA cushioning / Vibram Mulaz outsole with Climbing Zone toe area.
Full Review Below
Mammut Ayako High GTX Boot | Performance
Swiss brand Mammut is all about alpine use, so it's no surprise that the Ayako High GTX was designed originally as a specialist via ferrata boot with the support and underfoot stiffness you need for pottering about on a mix of iron rungs and more conventional rock.
The goods news is that this translates nicely into a lightweight, scrambling-friendly mountain walking boot that's got enough flex to roll along nicely, but enough underfoot stiffness to cope with standing on medium-sized scramble hold and give stability on uneven terrain.
The boot's decently light too, but has a high ankle cuff, which you'll either get on with or not. Mammut's Memo Foam (memory foam) padding is comfortable enough, but found the boot most comfortable for walking at least with the top lace-hook omitted. If you prefer lower-cut boots or shoes, check out the sawn-off Ayako Low as an alternative.
As you'd expect with a scramble-type boot, there's ample toe and heel protection and a close fit helped by down-to-toe rock boot-type lacing and the Base Fit technology which links the third lace-hook and the sole unit to help anchor the heel.
Underfoot, the proven Vibram Mulaz sole does a predictably reliable and grippy job and while the EVA padding isn't exactly sumptuous, there's enough to take the sting out of walk-ins on harder surfaces. The pay-off for its weight-saving properties though, may be reduced long-term durability compared to PU alternatives.
What is neat, if you look carefully, is that the EVA tapers away to a thin layer at the toe, which helps give the boot dependable grip on smaller edge holds without rolling off as the EVA folds.
Mammut Ayako High GTX Boot | Verdict
The Ayako High may look uncompromisingly alpine, but we found it makes a good choice for scrambling-orientated UK mountain walkers who are prepared to sacrifice a little outright comfort for support and precision on the rock.
It's not that it's uncomfortable per se, but you do lose some underfoot cushioning and upper flexibility for the sake of low-slung connectedness to the ground. Your call.
As ever, we can't fault Mammut's build quality - the brand was originally Raichle - and thorough design. One slight niggle though is that the lightweight 'Liquid Rubber' reinforcement only covers the outside of the uppers, the suede on the inside of the foot is unprotected from abrasion. Not the end of the world.
If you're s sure-footed scrambling demon who favours a higher-cut boot, try these for size and fit.