UPDATE – Our full review appears here: Fitwell Backcountry Splitboard Mountaineering Boots
Fitwell has been making top quality mountaineering boots for over 35 years. In 2012, Fitwell’s owner – Giuliano Grotto – was asked by 2 engineers to create a splitboard specific mountaineering boot. After a few years of revisions they come to an epic boot for serious split boarders: the Fitwell Backcountry Splitboard Boot. This is not your typical snowboard boot that you transition over into splitboarding, this is a boot made from the ground up (by hand in Italy!) to be the best boot for getting after it in the backcountry. These boots are heavy (6lbs per pair), full of impressive features (like being semi – auto crampon compatible) and made of top quality materials.
We had a chance to test the boots out on a few tours and liked how well the boots fit, flexed front to back and yet had side to side (lateral) stability. Great for side stepping. The heel hold was excellent as well. In fact, we would say it has the best heal hold of any boot we tried – and we have tried A LOT of boots in hopes of keeping our heals down. Our splitboarder wears an 11-11.5 in most boots and we were given a size 290 (Mondo sizing) to try. They were very tight and his toes went numb after a few minutes of having them on. That did not stop him from climbing up the mountain and enjoying a nice ride down! The liners may pack out a bit, but be sure to double check your sizing.
Take a look at our review of the Deeluxe Spark XV for comparison. The Spark is designed for a similar purpose, but uses a different philosophy. If you need help deciding between the Deeluxe and the Fitwell, our splitboard tester has used both. Contact him via our Gear Concierge for help.