The Haglöfs Grym is, says Haglofs, an innovative lightweight hiking boot that uses high tech materials to reduce weight but without sacrificing stability or durability, that said, it’s sttff enough and butch enough that we tend to look at it more as a lightweight 3-4 season boot that’s stiff enough to take a crampon for general mountain-walking use.
So for us it’s more of a lightweight winter walking boot than an all-round option, but that’s very much a personal choice and, if you prefer a stiffer-soled boot, then the Grym is one of the lightest options out there.
Haglöfs has gone to serious lengths to keep weight down. The upper is made from something called ‘SuperFabric’ which was developed as part of the NASA space programme and is apparently 12 times more resistant to cutting than aramid (kevlar) fabrics. Then there’s the rand, it’s made from, erm, Smartlite. Together they save a serious 45% compared to traditional materials like cow.
Then there’s the sole unit. There’s a serious Vibram outsole, but the cushioning is mostly lighter EVA foam with a PU wedge under the heel for better wear.
Last but not least, the boot, like all Haglofs footwear, comes with a set of Sole heat-mouldable insoles – normally £30 or so – which can be pre-heated in the oven to adapt them to the shape of your feet and simulate extended wear.
The Grym does that weird thing of looking far chunkier and heavier than it actually is – pick it up and you’ll be amazed that it’s far lighter than you’d think. That said, it’s stiff enough that for our tastes anyway, it’s a little OTT for normal mountain walking, so we ended up treating it mostly as a lightweight winter walking boot.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use it for year-round hiking and mountain walking in particular, but the combination of stiff sole unit and supportive upper – the SuperFabric is quite stiff in a slightly cardboardy sort of way – makes it ideal for matching to a C1-graded crampon for wandering around in the white stuff.
Internal volume is quite high, so it’s probably just as well that the Sole footbeds, which we really rate, are also quite bulky and help to keep things under control. Normally we’d prefer a snugger fit for our medium broad feet, but the combination of footbed and Memory Foam ankle padding seems to translate into decent comfort and support regardless. The lacing system is fine too and easy to adjust to a comfortable tension level.
We also found the boot comfortable to walk in thanks to a reasonable amount of toe flex . Further back, the sole is pretty stiff however, which works well with crampons. We also got on really well with the Vibram outsole, which grips tenaciously in snow and on softer ground, but also takes rocky surfaces in its stride and works on scrambles too where the sole stiffness scored on ledge-type holds.
Those high tech uppers are showing few signs of wear and the rands give confidence that the boot could handle scree and rocky, rubbly terrain quite happily. They also have the bonus of absorbing very little water and drying fast, which makes them a good call for multi-day trips, unlike many leather boots which have and tendency to hold water.
The Grym isn’t super lightweight compared to more flexible, ultra-light offerings out there, but where it scores is giving the same sort of performance that you’d expect from a stiff-ish 3-4 season-type boot, but at a lower weight.
If that’s what you’re after, either for winter walking crampon and snow use, or, if you prefer a stiffer boot generally, for all-round walking and the high volume and fit suits your foot shape, these are flippin’ excellent boots.
They’re not cheap, but you are getting a lot of technology for your money along with superb Haglofs build quality and a pair of custom(ish) footbed that would cost you around £30 if you bought them separately.