Mountaineering boots recommendations

7:17 p.m. on October 5, 2010 (EDT)
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6 forum posts

Using this website, I found page after page of information on mountaineering boots. There are 200+ boots listed. I need a shorter list.

I am looking to buy boots for mountaineering/snow ascents and winter camping in the CA sierras, 8k to 14k elevation, 10 - 25 mile round trip distance, overnight trips.

I have used plastic rental boots for mt. shasta and whitney and the boots were ok. Hoping the non-plastics will be easier to hike and also warm. Warm feet and comfort are a priority. Looking to buy only once.

At the $200-300 retail price range:
1. what should I consider in a boot or avoid?
2. I think strap binding system for crampons is fine. Should I care that much for these hikes?

the reviews hint a Garmont tower gtx would be a boot type that fits my needs.

thanks for your thoughts.

7:40 p.m. on October 5, 2010 (EDT)
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603 forum posts

leather is a terrible idea. The only place leather mountaineering boots are good are places that won't get that cold, places that are so cold that moisture is less of a worry, and when you get an overboot/gaiter combination to go over it.


Leather boots in the environment you mention will suck up moisture from snow and ice, causing them to freeze overtime. If you are out for long days or multiple days, this is a bad idea. You'd have to sleep with the boots in your sleeping bag, otherwise they'd be frozen solid when you go to put them on the next morning.


If you simply don't take them off, they can still freeze, increasing your risks of frostbite and losing toes.


Simply put - GO WITH DOUBLE PLASTIC!! In the 200-300 range, you can buy the Scarpa Inverno's, which now come standard with a high altitude inner liner for warmth. They will never absorb moisture, they are plastic. The fit all crampons, both step in and strap on. They are INCREDIBLY warm.


While they weigh more, making them more cumbersome, it's worth it. Others will complain about shin bang - when the plastic tongue of the outer boot hits against your shin, especially while descending. This is easily avoidable by tightly lacing the bottom few laces, and leaving the top near the tongue slightly loose.


The Inverno's are used everywhere from the Himalayas to the White Mountains of NH (where i've used them). They're good for sub-freezing temps and in my experience have been comfortable during ice climbing with crampons, and during moderately steep (40-60 degrees) hiking.


hope that helps!

6:54 p.m. on October 7, 2010 (EDT)
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6 forum posts

very helpful. thanks for the recommendation and comments.

I did a little spreadsheet of the various models and realized most of these lightweight boots had leather/thin uppers and conclude plastic was the way too. Then I was still facing multiple brands and models.

Your recommendation makes the the next step in researching boots eaiser.

7:46 p.m. on October 7, 2010 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
603 forum posts

You're welcome. If $200-$300 is your price range, I'd seriously look into the Scarpa Inverno. I'm not just biased to it because I have it. For the price, it's a serious mountaineering boot. You will never need another one, no matter what you choose to do. It can be used for winter hiking, mountaineering, or ice climbing.


Good luck!!

November 27, 2014
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