Keen Circadia Mid Polar
Size: Men’s 7-15 / Women’s 5-12Weight: Men’s 1.3 lbs / Women’s 1.1 lbs
The Circadia Mid Polar is the winter version of the good old, sorta boring, ultra-reliable and well-loved, non-insulated Circadia hiking boot. They feature the same standard design that thousands of people have come to love–a mid-ankle cut, a reliable and durable leather build, and a solid fit accentuated by a roomy toe box. What makes them winter ready: 200 grams of insulation plus a proprietary waterproof membrane. Our principal tester on this boot was Sarah Ryerson, an Illinois-based Outside reader who put it through the best the Midwest has to offer, including rain, heavy snow, ice, and plenty of rocky trails. Her feet stayed dry and warm–but never sweaty, even when temps rose above freezing. The rubber soles are nothing fancy–dense, lugs on Keen’s standard rubber sole material– but they provided dependable traction, even while trudging over nasty, fall-inducing ice. Her only dig was that the boots are a tad heavier than some other hikers she tested, but she was happy to trade the weight for the versatility. At the end of the day, the Keens are for folks who want affordable and reliable everyday winter boots. If you really want to get after it, look at something like The North Face Vectiv.
The bottom line: A no-frills all-around winter boot.
Scarpa Rush Polar Gtx
Size: Unisex 36-46 , 47 and 48 whole sizesWeight: Unisex 1.5 lbs
These are the boots we’d wear to stalk an animal. Translation for all non-hunters: they excel at handling the kind of miserable terrain and conditions that hunters often face while bushwhacking through the forest in pursuit of an animal. They come with a torsional stability plate underfoot: a full-length EVA midsole with a stout, stiff TPU frame that’s narrower up front and wider in the heel, to prevent unwanted twisting of the sole.
Stout and stiff TPU material covered with EVA goes from the midsole to the heel of the boot. The TPU frame gets wider in the heel to control and prevent too much twisting of the sole. This resulted in the stiffest, most reliably supportive, and most durable sole we tested all winter. That, plus an above-the-ankle build, made them great for carrying a heavy pack full of meat and for scrambling over sharp rocks and rough trails all over New Mexico. Matched with a wool sock, the Primaloft Gold Eco insulation performed well down to about 20 degrees, and a Gore-Tex membrane kept our feet dry even after slogging through deep mud that did its best to wet them out. At nearly 24 ounces per-boot, these boots are not the lightest, but you get a lot of much-appreciated support and protection for that extra weight.
The bottom line: Best for hunters and anyone looking to tackle rough winter terrain.
From Lightweight Models To Double Boots Built For The Worlds Highest Mountains We Break Down The Top Mountaineering Footwear
- / Best Mountaineering Boots of 2022
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No piece of gear is more critical to summiting high peaks than footwear. A great mountaineering boot fills countless roles: it offers support while carrying heavy loads, grips confidently over slick rock and snow, keeps your feet warm when the mercury dips, and allows for the attachment of crampons and skis. Our picks for the best mountaineering boots of 2022 below are broken down into three categories: extreme cold/high-altitude boots for the worlds tallest mountains, 4-season technical alpine boots for keeping your feet warm while moving fast and light, and lightweight mountaineering boots for less technical and lower-elevation routes. For more background information, see our comparison table and buying advice below the picks.
- Best High-Altitude Mountaineering Boot: La Sportiva Olympus Mons Cube
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Shell Materials: Synthetics Leather And Plastic
The shell is your first line of defense against the harsh conditions of a mountain environment. It needs to be durable , and also must keep out snow, water, and mountain grit. In addition, much of a boots stiffness comes from the shell, which is important when its time to ice climb or do a little survival skiing on the way down. The vast majority of boot shells are now entirely synthetic or a combination of synthetics and leather.
Many climbers prefer modern synthetic boots, namely because they weigh less, offer more precision with less bulk, and dont stretch out of shape like leather. However, the downside comes in the form of durabilityalmost without exception, leather boots will last longer. For example, our La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX took a beating during a two-week traverse in the Alaska Range, whereas a leather model might have just started to feel broken in. If you do opt for a leather boot , we recommend adding an aftermarket snow and water seal to keep moisture from soaking through and weighing you down.
Mountaineering Boot Fit And Sizing
Different companies use different lasts for their mountaineering boots. Some tend to be slightly narrower while others routinely have a slightly boxier feel . Just because you wear a size 44.5 street shoe doesnt mean that it will translate directly into a big mountaineering boot. You may be a 44.5 in La Sportiva, a 44 in Scarpa, and a 45 with a thick insole in Arcteryx, for example. And every boot has a unique fit and it can take some work to dial it in. Always try on your boots well before a tripa little extra heel room quickly can develop into a show-stopping blister that keeps you from reaching the summit. Or a tight toe box can restrict blood flow and lead to frostbite. Your feet swell as you stand on them, so we recommend trying boots on in the afternoon after you have been walking around for a few hours.
Mountaineering involves long days carrying heavy packs and using your feet in dynamic ways. Accordingly, an insole is the first line of support in your boot. Custom boot fitters will say, If you buy a $1,000 boot, throw away the $0.10 insole. Often that is true, although companies like La Sportiva and Scarpa seem to have taken note. Many of their boots now come with quality insoles that not only offer support and comfort, but a bit of additional warmth as well. A good insole should support your foot, both in terms of supporting your arch and cupping your heel.
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La Sportiva Trango Cube Gtx
REASONS TO AVOID
Though not ideal for vertical ice climbing, the La Sportiva Trango Cube GTX is a top-notch, three-season alpine boot that excels at hiking and rock climbing. It is incredibly lightweight and nimble, allowing the climber to move light and fast over snowy and rocky terrain. Footwear is arguably the best place to focus on going lightweightjust think of how many times you lift each foot en route to the summit, and suddenly shaving a few ounces becomes a much, much more significant savings.
The Cube is a lightweight specialist, however, which comes at a cost to durability. That makes it a great “sending” boot for your fast-and-light missions, but it might not be your best choice for regular trips in rugged terrain. If you have a quiver of boots, however, this one will be beloved for its lightweight, tennis-shoe-like feel, and your body will thank you at the end of a long day.
Best Winter Hiking Boots Of 2023
Backpacker and Yahoo may earn affiliate commissions on some items promoted through links in the article below. This article originally appeared on Backpacker
Many people assume that hiking season is over once winter rolls around. Those people are wrong. Winter is a great time to explore: the local trails are less crowded and are often prettier thanks to all the snow. But it’s only fun if you have footwear to keep your feet warm and dry, and with good traction to bite into slippery terrain.
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Double Boots Vs Single Boots
Nothing is more frustrating or potentially dangerous than cold feet, and toes can go from cold to numb to frostbitten in a matter of minutes. That is why its imperative to have the proper boot design for your objective. Single boots lack a removable liner and therefore are the lightest and least warm type of mountaineering footwear. Double boots, on the other hand, have more insulation along with a removable liner, making them warmer and better suited for multi-day trips. The ability to remove the liner and dry it out at night is imperative on big mountainsnothing is worse than shoving your feet into frozen boots in the frigid, pre-dawn darkness of an alpine start.
For spring and summer ascents in lower altitude ranges like the Cascades or Canadian Rockies, a single boot should provide enough warmth. It will be light enough to wear on a lengthy approach, but offer enough support to keep your feet comfortable under the weight of a heavy pack. Single boots almost always have more of a next-to-skin feel, meaning they feel more technical and lower profile than their double-walled brethren.
Merrell Moab Speed Thermo Mid Wp
Size: Men’s 7-15 / Women’s 5-11Weight: Men’s 1.1 lbs / Women’s 14.5 lbs
Much like winter tires, this waterproof hiker has an odd-looking but highly-effective outsole. Half of the six-millimeter lugs have micro-edges , which help bite into packed snow the other half of the lugs are siped, which means they open up and clamp down as the bottom of the shoe bends and then makes contact with the ground. A few lugs around the outer edges of the sole boast semi-rigid plastic studs, for a further boost to lateral stability. The result is incredible traction in snowy and slippery conditions, like where we tested them throughout the Rockies. Even though it’s just four ounces lighter per-boot than something like the Scarpa Rush, this boot felt significantly lighter on the trail the longer we wore it. It was more like an insulated lightweight hiker than an insulated backpacking boot. It also has 200 grams of Primaloft Gold Eco, resulting in enough insulation throughout the forefoot to keep our feet warm well below freezing.
The bottom line: The best boot for keeping you on your feet in slippery conditions.
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Best Mountaineering Boots For Women Of 2022
For 7 years, our experts have been testing the best mountaineering boots for women. With deep research on over 25 models, we selected 20 women’s specific and unisex options to compare side-by-side. Our testing took us high into the mountains in different locations all across the world. We spent time smearing up granite slabs, kicking into frozen waterfalls and intricately comparing key performance features to determine major differences. After testing heavily in the field for months on end, we evaluate each boot using key metrics, to assign a score. Using this, we offer our best-unbiased recommendations to help you find a solid boot that’ll perform well during the coldest and most adventurous days of winter.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our badass team of female mountaineers is led by Lyra Pierotti. As a certified AMGA and rock guide, she spends most of her time summiting mountains and traveling around the world. Taking on peaks rising high from Patagonia to Alaska, she’s been adventuring for over a decade, going up tall rock walls and steep snow slopes. With a passion and commitment for venturing into the mountains, she’s a perfect lead to test and provide feedback on women’s mountaineering boots.
Traveling all around the world, we’ve looked at a variety of mountaineer boot options. We’ve taken them through the “stuff” adventuring on ice, rock, and snow. We wore boots side-by-side on the same day with a team of women. We went through a variety of terrain features, smearing and trying each out with a pair of crampons. With an unbiased approach, we look at each pair of boots objectively and give our best recommendations for your next winter adventure.
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La Sportiva Mountaineering Boots
Some of the most long-lasting, high-quality and comfortable mountaineering boots are produced by La Sportiva, and luckily for you they’re available right here!
With their signature yellow colour scheme and, let’s face it, pretty darn cool designs, it’s hard to ignore La Sportiva in the mountaineering boot world. They produce some of the most durable, lightweight and comfortable mountaineering boots available. Check out our great selection here!
Stiffness: Upper And Sole
In some ways, mountaineering boots need to do their best impersonation of a quiver of one type of footwear. In addition to the warmth and protection they provide, they need to be part rock climbing shoe, part hiking boot, and even maybe an occasional ski boot. Having the ability to tighten the boot down when ice climbing or skiing and then loosening it when hiking is essential. Mountaineering boots dont have lock-down modes like backcountry ski boots, but many now feature an upper and lower lacing system to isolate tightness to specific parts of the boot .
Sole stiffness, or stiffness underfoot, also is an important factor to considerdifferent types of climbing require varying sole stiffness. For low-altitude mountaineering where you wont be technical ice climbing, you may want a boot with a ¾ shank sole . These boots will feel like a stiff hiking boot and are better suited for long approaches, technical scrambling, or lower fifth-class rock climbing . On the other size of the spectrum, full shank soles are optimal for technical ice climbing and advanced mountaineering with a step-in/automatic crampon.
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La Sportiva Nepal Cube Gtx
The La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX easily pulled ahead in our tests. Though it is the heaviest boot in the review, it has the highest climbing performance of any of the boots. It is a beefy, durable boot that is insulated and fully waterproof with a full leather upper and metal lace grommets. It has the most sophisticated lacing system of the boots we evaluated, allowing the wearer to customize tightness and fit, while providing excellent heel-lock for steep ice climbing and front-pointing. This boot performs for ice climbing, mixed climbing, and mountaineering.
La Sportiva’s Trango Alp is a very durable summer mountaineering boot. It is made of mostly leather, which improves its durability, and also adds a little bit of warmth to an otherwise un-insulated summer mountaineering boot. This may be a pro or a con depending on your uses, but we loved it for the ability to stretch the summer season and use a lighter pair of boots for more of the year. The leather also provides a supple, natural feel when hiking and climbing, flexing smoothly with every move, and a comfortable toe box ensures more comfort on the trail. The partial shank guarantees excellent smearing and edging on alpine rock routes, by allowing the toe to flex, which increases dexterity and improves confidence in your footwork.
Analysis And Test Results
Finding the perfect mountaineering boot can be tricky. Depending on your objectives, the shape of your foot, and your budget, the search for the ideal boot can take some digging. In this review, we have compared the top women’s models on the market and included some common unisex boots, tested from a female perspective.
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Oboz Bangtail Mid Insulated B
Size: Men’s 8-12, 13, 14 / Women’s 5-11, 12Weight: Men’s 1.3 lbs / Women’s 1.1 lbs
When you’re walking through powder, you want a tall boot. That’s why the waterproof Bangtail, with its above-the-ankle cuff, was our choice for deep snow. It’s more tailored, and thus far less bulky than a typical snow boot. But it’s almost as warm thanks to 200 grams of Primaloft Bio insulation. Translation: the Bangtails were great for longer miles in the snow, either with or without a snowshoe . Our tester Rob Douangpanya took them on a slogfest up to a 11,000-foot lake outside Taos, New Mexico and said they were easy to hike in and still kept his feet warm, even when he spent hours with his shoes completely submerged in the snow. When he had to break trail in deep drifts, he said the high cuff kept all the snow out. Just as important: Vibram Arctic Grip sole, which uses a special rubber compound for wet ice, plus siped lugs that latch on to the snow for more bite.
The bottom line: Made for deep snow.
Editors Choice: The North Face Vectiv Fastpack Insulated Futurelight
Size: Men’s 7-14 / Women’s 5-11Weight: Men’s 16.7 oz / Women’s 13.9 oz
Ive always been a big fan of the Steve Jobs approach: find one piece of apparel that you can wear every day, no matter the situation. For winter hiking, that’s the Vectiv Fastpack Insulated Futurelight. A rockered, high-rebound EVA midsole that doesn’t stiffen in the cold yields a propulsive, poppy ride that had us feeling fast on the trail and fresh at the end of a long hike. This boot came with a rockered sole that tested well on dirt trails here in New Mexico, a high-rebound EVA midsole that added forward momentum on gravel or snow, and a TPU plate under the forefoot that kept the boots stable over any terrain.
Packed with 200 grams of eco-friendly insulation across the entire upper of the boot, and lined with a waterproof, breathable membrane, the boots stood up to old man winter without blinking. Tester Zoe Gates wore them in deep, wet snow in Greenland and said her feet were totally dry, even after hours of postholing. . Meanwhile, in mild Santa Fe, I found that the waterproof membrane breathed well enough to keep my feet from getting sweaty . Thoughtful features were icing on the cake, like a knob on the heel that helped keep a rear snowshoe strap in place for long walks. Overall, our testers were impressed with how much effort TNF put into building a boot that’s not just designed for warmth, or deep snow, or wet trails, but for anything you’ll face from October all the way to March.
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