Finding the right chainsaw protective boot is a mission by anyone's standard. Price, performance, durability, water-proofness, comfort, availability, warmth (but not too hot), weight, height… the list goes on.
Treetools landed the first shipment of the new Stein Phantom chainsaw protective arb boot last week and they look pretty damn good. The Phantom is Stein's second generation in this style of boot, super-ceding the heavy weight Stein Quest.
The newcomer is 15% lighter and more flexible from the outset, making it more comfortable for all-day use and shortening the break-in period, while retaining the longevity of the original Stein Quest.
The leather is silicone impregnated Perwanger and the boots are made in Southern Tyrol (they've been making boots since 1780). The inner uses WINDTEX, a heat regulating membrane which is windproof, waterproof and breathable.
The Stein Phantom offers Class 1 chainsaw protection, a steel toe cap with rubber rand protection and a heavy-duty Vibram sole.
By the looks of it, the Vibram sole on the Phantom should be a bit 'harder-wearing' than the sole on the ever popular Meindl Air Streams.
The Air Stream boot is specifically designed for tree work. As such, the sole is softer than normal to protect the cambium. The soft sole is not a problem in itself, particularly if you restrict use of the boot to climbing, but most owners (over)use their Air Streams… consequently the sole is prone to wear prematurely.
The one-piece Perwanger upper, rubber side rands and rugged toecap protector make the Phantom a real contender for boot-of-the-year. And the price is right at just a nudge under $500. Only available in Black.