In our 2008 Annual Gear Guide, editor Jonathan Hanson chose some of the best boots for overlanding activities, and among them were the Zamberlan Skill GTs. That’s how we got to know Zamberlan, and we’re pleased to say the company decided to advertise with us starting in the Summer 2008 issue – as well as to join us as a Partner Advertiser and support some of our favorite conservation projects.
Part of Zamberlan’s commitment also includes a special discount to Overland Journal readers -aÂ discount of $20Â on your next purchase of $150 or more at the Zamberlan online store. Please use the link above to secure your discount.
I also recently had a chance to really field test a pair of women’s Skills on a three-week safari in southern Kenya, where every day was a combination of bush camping, walking, driving, and hiking in terrain as varied as talcum-powder dust to lava rock to multiple river crossings.
The most common comment I got from people who saw them on my feet were: “Aren’t they heavy?” This is because they are a beautiful full leather boot (handmade in Italy). What’s so surprising is that they are not heavy at all – barely 19 ounces each (538 grams). My biggest problem was forgetting I had them on – I got so used to the light support that a couple of times I started to do something I shouldn’t in a pair of full-shanked boots, like run. At one point I tried to take off ahead of a group to photograph a cool scene, and ended up pulling a muscle in my leg because my calf muscle overextended in the boot. (See image of me applying the coldest thing I could to my sore calf muscle – a cold Coke – thank goodness for Engel fridges!).
The leather was very waterproof even scuffed up pretty badly. I liked the extra peace of mind I got from the taller tops – you never know what kind of snakes are lurking the bush, either in Africa or at home in Arizona – but the softer leather ankle padding never chafed.
My only gripe – and it’s a small one – is that the tread pattern collects and holds little stones, which are deposited in a tent or my home carpet (I don’t take my shoes off when going in and out – too lazy!).
Overall I continue to be highly impressed with these boots – light enough to wear them on daily hikes here at home, comfortable enough for a long trip in Africa, and next year I intend to use them to climb Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa.