Growing up in Alaska I both looked forward to and dreaded one annual ritual in particular: sheep hunting season, which started on my birthday thus guaranteeing that instead of eating cake and unwrapping presents I would instead be deep in the mountains (fun!) humping a heavy load (not fun!) for at least a five day trip. So went the quest for meat.
Sheep hunting is renowned for its difficulty, due to the steep terrain involved. There is, however, one way to make it harder, and we took full advantage of that option: we only hunted walk-in areas in the belief that fewer people meant bigger rams. The net result of all this was that any weakness in gear selection became painfully obvious in a very literal way.
Our chief complaint was usually our boots, generally heavy leather models that required a lot of saddle soap to gain any semblance of water resistance. Fast forward to today, and I would have traded at least one testicle for a pair of Garmont Tower Trek GTX boots. Weighing in at just over three pounds for a pair, these svelte boots are genuinely waterproof with supreme breathability and comfort, in a smaller last that people with lower foot volume will appreciate. Some boots built on a lower volume last have too little space in the toe box, but that's not a problem with the Tower Trek, which flares just enough in that area to allow your little piggies room to splay.
The Tower Trek is optimized for going off-trail in the mountains, with a high collar that perfectly balances additional support for sidehilling with enough flexibility to pick your way up or down a tricky talus field. The toe and heel rand will protect you from the pokey things in life, and the lower back of the collar in particular makes downhill walking easier. The lacing is rock solid, with the middle set of lugs locking down the lace for ease of tightening. The Vibram sole is sticky enough to provide traction on wet rock, and has a deep enough tread to bite into muddy tracks. The sole, like the entire boot, feels like it is custom tailored with a narrow but extremely stable stance.
Garmont clearly put a lot of thought into this boot's design. Not just another pretty boot, it sets the bar for comfort and performance in steep terrain. If you're looking for a true mountain trekking boot, the Tower Trek should be at the top of your list.