The Salewa Ortles Ascent Mid is a comfortable boot straight out of the box, says Kirsty Pallas, who recommends this boot – but adds some features need developing.
The Salewa Ortles Ascent Mid is an attractive boot, with good warmth and comfort, but with a few features that I don’t think work quite as well as they could.
- Rating: 4/5
- RRP: £340
- Weight: 1432g (EU38, pair)
- Pros: Comfortable ankle collar, solid sole unit
- Cons: Debris gaiter not high enough, no lace lock at ankle
B rating: B2 | Waterproofing: Goretex Insulated Comfort | Upper: 2mm Suede | Crampon welts: Heel welt | Sole: Vibram Alpine Guide | Sizes: EU35-42 with half sizes | Men’s version: Yes
The suede upper with Goretex membrane is waterproof and comfortable to wear without any breaking in, even for a wide forefoot, despite not looking particularly wide. The ankle collar is soft and flexible at the back to make descending feel comfortable, but supportive at the sides for ankle protection. It’s the only boot in my selection where the tongue is a separate unit from the main boot, which does mean it can move around more independently. To prevent snow and debris in the boot there is a gaiter, which sadly doesn’t reach the top of the boot. It sits below the knotted laces, which seems to make it stick out and almost act as a funnel for snow and debris! I always wear winter boots with an additional gaiter so it didn’t massively affect me, but it’s worth being aware of.
The lacing starts very close to the toes, and has a ‘3D lacing system’, which divides the laces into two zones to customise the fit. This is split just above the forefoot, but I feel it would be more suitable at the base of the ankle, as there’s nothing to keep the heel tight into the back of the Salewa Ortles Ascent Mid .
The lugs on the sole are deep and aggressive, and there’s a really good edge for kicking into snow, plus a nice climbing zone at the toe for on rock. There’s a reinforced rand right around the boot to protect the suede, which is higher up than on the other models in this test.
Overall, the Salewa Ortles Ascent Mid is a very comfy boot straight out of the box which has some great features, and a few more that could be refined.
Compare the Salewa Ortles Ascent Mid with other models in our buyer’s guide to the best winter mountaineering boots.
Kirsty is a UK size 5/EU 38, with a wide forefoot. All boots (with the exception of the Aku) were tested during the winter of 2022/23 on both personal mountaineering days and while delivering winter skills courses, in all weather and conditions. The latter often involves lots of standing still and digging, so the waterproofing and insulation properties were well tested! The AKU boots are a new model so haven’t been tested in snow, but were used in cold autumnal weather on steep and wet terrain. Boots were weighed on Kirsty’s digital scales.