Le Chameau Condor LCX Review
The Le Chameau Condor LCX is a new boot from Le Chameau for Autumn/Winter 2016 and we decided to try one out to see how it performs in the picturesque Snowdonia National Park.
We started out early on a crisp, autumnal October’s morning. The trees had begun to turn a shade of burnt orange and the ground was clinging on to the morning’s frost. Our route of choice for the day was to reach the summit of Tryfan via the western face, starting from the A5 as it passes Llyn Ogwen.
Initially the climb from the road was steep but short, levelling out somewhat before a further ascent. It was on the flat where the waterproofing of the Le Chameau Condor LCX was tested. The boggy sections of the North Welsh Mountain were dealt with easily. A fully waterproof outer and a waterproof tongue meant that the Condor LCX was just as adept at handling water and mud as a traditional rubber welly would be.
After navigating the various bogs, our chosen route to the summit of Tryfan meant crossing several mountain streams. Stepping across wet boulders can often end in disaster, or at the very least a red face but thanks to the Michelin developed sole on the Condor, feet were planted and stable even on the slickest of rocks. The separated tread lugs meant any mud picked up along the route, struggled to cling to the sole, allowing transitions between mud and rocks to go smoothly.
A further scramble over the boulder fields just north of Llyn Bochlwyd showed the sturdy nature of the sole unit, preventing too much flex when landing on uneven surfaces but allowing just enough to aid comfortable walking.
The final stage of Tryfan involves a scramble over some steep and rocky terrain to reach the summit(s). It is during this final stage where the sturdiness and ankle support of the Le Chameau Condor was tested. After suffering a skiing accident some years earlier, the ankle support of the Condor was truly appreciated. The quick lacing hooks allowed a firm grip of the ankle, without reducing blood flow, while the arrangement of the leather outer segments allowed enough flex in the ankle so as not to be uncomfortable. The sole unit of the Condor gave surprising grip on loose surfaces and meant scrambling to the top was relatively simple.
During the descent, there are a number of sections where hands are required. Bending to reach rocks proved to be easy in the Condor, while scuffs to the leather outer were kept to a minimum thanks to the hard wearing protective rubber rand that encases the lower section of the boot. While the ascent certainly caused a few red faces, feet were kept relatively cool with the breathable layer of the Condor and plenty of energy was left for the descent owing to the boot’s light weight.
An extreme test for an incredibly high specification boot, the Le Chameau Condor LCX handled every condition that Snowdonia could throw at it. Considering these boots were picked straight off the shelf, we were very impressed at the comfort and the lack of “breaking in” that they required. All in all a very high spec boot that more than stands up to the claims that Le Chameau make.
Click here for more information on the Le Chameau Condor LCX