Verdict from 3 experts and 60 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • There were no hot spots and blisters, a satisfied expert claimed.
  • According to a significant number of owners, it required little-to-no breaking in.
  • The ultra-expensive boot was worth the money spent, based on many user reviews.
  • A backpacking guide was so stoked with its performance; he looks forward to getting his next pair.
  • The waterproofing of the Zamberlan 960 Guide GTX RR did not disappoint, as testified by numerous wearers.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few hikers and experts stated that it has a narrow fit.
  • Some users mentioned that the 960 Guide GTX RR was a bit heavy.

Bottom line

A product from Zamberlan, the 960 Guide GTX RR proved to be a well-performing leather hiking boot that received praises and commendation. Those who own a pair did not mind spending money on it as they were pleased with how the boot performed. Overall, the Zamberlan 960 Guide GTX RR can be fully enjoyed by narrow-footed backpackers who are fine with the extra weight on their foot.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Good to know

  • The 960 Guide GTX RR is an Italian backpacking boot made ready for traversing rugged, backcountry trails. Its Hydrobloc-treated leather is reinforced with the brand’s Rubber Rand System (RRS) for ample protection and durability.
  • The boot is equipped with the Vibram Star Trek. This sole unit includes a PU wedge midsole. EVA and TPU inserts are added to stabilize the foot. Its outsole renders adequate surface traction. 

The Zamberlan 960 Guide GTX RR is a backpacking boot for male and female adventurers. Both versions come in standard width and lasted with the ZBPK performance fit. ZBPK features a lower instep and wrapped foot flex point and toe area. Its heel zone has a tighter fit too. Men’s is also offered in ZWL wide fit. This last has more volume at the forefoot and heel, as well as a more spacious toe box. This boot fairly runs true to size.

The profile of the Vibram Star Trek includes pronounced boots that are widely spaced to prevent muck build up. The particular tread design at the heel and toe enables the 960 Guide GTX RR to bite on most types of terrain. It has an undercut heel which delivers braking power on descents. Additionally, the sole is a bit extended to the toes, acting as a bumper and providing grip on climbs.

The boot features a dual-density polyurethane midsole which has one part for delivering comfort and another part for granting support. The midsole unit has a wedge with a soft rear component for cushioning. It also includes a TPU insert that’s in charge of stability.

The product comes with 4 mm flex and PE insoles. They aid backpackers by allowing the workload from the foot to be transferred to the boot. 

The upper of the Zamberlan 960 Guide GTX RR uses a 2.8 mm Tuscan nubuck. This durable leather is treated with Hydrobloc during the tanning process to enhance its looks and water-resistance and extend its life. The brand’s RRS, with beveled edges underneath (they cannot be seen from the outside), is added to the boots to protect the foot and leather.

This high-cut backpacking boot is lined with a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort laminate. It offers modest insulation, waterproofing and breathability. A soft juncture found on the heel adds walking comfort.

  • The rubber rand and outsole of this boot can be replaced as necessary, at a cost.


How Zamberlan 960 Guide GTX RR ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 28% hiking boots
All hiking boots
Top 38% Zamberlan hiking boots
All Zamberlan hiking boots
Top 34% backpacking hiking boots
All backpacking hiking boots


The current trend of Zamberlan 960 Guide GTX RR.
Compare to another shoe:
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.