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Looking for mountaineering boots recommendations.


Original Post
Martin Bril · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Thank you!

lukeweiss · · St. Johnsbury, VT · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 30

I think you need to give a more specific outline of what you want to do. Are you casually hiking? Are you moving on glacier terrain? Altitude?

Hard to make a recommendation without more information.

Emmett Lyman · · Somerville, MA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 480
Martin Bril wrote:

Thank you!

Where in Alaska are you planning to visit and during which seasons? You mention getting on ice - do you already own crampons and if so what style binding (straps vs. step-in)? No sense buying an incompatible boot. Do your feet run narrow/wide or have other outstanding characteristics?

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 16,233

Like the posts before this, there needs to be more info. on exactly what you plan to do, and most importantly what temperatures you plan to do it in.  From this, decide the features you want; then try boots on at a good mountaineering store with people who have "walked the walk". 

Whatever boot you decide upon, go to a good mountaineering store and try them on with the sox combo you plan to use...wear 'em in the store (which should have an inclined ramp of some sort) and do "downhill moves" on the ramp for 15-20 min. The #1 thing about mountaineering boots is fit. When you find what you want, buy 'em then-and-there. Models change faster than automobile models did in the 1960's ! 

Personally, I like the Lowa and Technica brands...but that's just me.  Many other brands (La Sportiva, Trango, to name just two...in think Asolo too) make good mountaineering boots.

As for the advice about maybe making sure you existing crampons fit the boot you buy...I'd say "maybe, maybe not".  Unless you're buying the highest-end crampons the cost of new crampons to fit the boot you buy is probably less  (maybe much less) than  the boot.  Boot fit, fit and fit is the key.  If you need to spend another $100- $150 for crampons that fit to the boot you buy, I'd say "So be it".  Crampon-technology has moved pretty fast the last few years, so there probably quite a few available on the "used" market, that were pretty state-of-the-art just 3 or 5 yrs ago. If you're just tramping on a glacier, the stuff from even 10-20 yrs ago is fine. (assuming it's in good condition, of course)   

Martin Bril · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks Robert!

Yes it looks like I need to be more specific, and since I am new to this it is harder to figure out what to look for in a boot.

I understand that I would not be able to (easily) hike up a mountain with ice climbing boots or do ice climbing in flexible boots for example. 

I am hoping to get into different types of alpine activities in the long term but it seems that it will require a combination of different kinds of footwear.

Right now I need a boot that is lightweight and flexible enough for approach, steep hiking (snow/rock), 3rd class scrambling; insulated to keep my feet warm even in 20 degree weather; can be used with crampons on ice (low angle and glacier traverse).

I'm hoping to spend $250 max as my budget is limited, which is why i was considering used boots as well.

I was looking at the Aku SL GTX and Aku Spider Kevlar GTX and they seem to be what I'm looking for but discontinued. Not easy to find used. 

Jordan W · · NC · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 30

Just buy a pair of used Nepal Evo's or a pair of Scarpa Mont Blancs if the lowest temp you're gonna get into is 20F, they show up for pretty good prices every once in a while. I can climb ice or slog for days with Evos. They're going to be stiff if they'll take crampons. Sportiva makes a few cheaper 3/4 shank boots like the Makalu I think, but I would definitely just get some Evos or something and get used to them. They walk pretty damn good overall. 

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 16,233

Martin - 

   If you're looking at not being out much below 20F, or even 10F, (but not "artic", i.e high-altudute or dead-of-winter in Alaska or the Northeast/ Northwest)  then I think your budget is reasonable, maybe $25 or $50 "short" if buying new, but certainly ball-park.  Sounds like you want a semi-flexable, 3/4 shank boot.  Older models use a steel 3/4 shank ("bad", conducts cold), newer ones use kevlar or similar materials that are warmer.  Do your research via websites (both manufacturer's (e.g. Lowa) and retailer's (eg REI, MtnGear, etc) on the new stuff. Decide on a "best-for-me" and also 2 or 3 that are "satisfactory". 

 Then maybe contact stores that handle "used". Ask if they have semi-equivalent in your size, maybe you get lucky.  (I know IME [ International Mtn Equipment in No. Conway NH, and Salt Lake City, UT] carry used, as well as the "annex" of Rock and Snow in New Paltz NY; plus an internet search probably turns up a dozen others...Amazon??!)  

  Something to consider: Buying new gives you the option to return/exchange the boot; buying used is usually "no returns" (or maybe you can negotiate a possible return ahead of time, at the time of purchase)  

Skibo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 5

If you're in Anchorage, go to AMH.  Since most of Alaska, outside Southeast, is colder than 20 in the winter, I'm not sure what you plan to do. Short day trips, where you're not standing at belays, and for sure are getting home that night, single boots might work. Double boots are pretty much the norm outside Southeast--Spantiks, Baruntses, Scarpa 6000s, etc.. Second Hand Sports might have some used boots to try.

Martin Bril · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Ok so about the temperature range, I come from Celsius ratings and so my guesstimate was pretty bad in Fahrenheit. I actually meant somewhere closer to 0-5 degrees. 

I've heard that insulation is better than extra socks for the dry factor. But maybe I can get away with a heavy sock and lighter insulation. I'm not planning on sitting around very much. 


Anyways I really appreciate your inputs

Tony K · · Pa · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

My suggestion is that if you go with a single boot is to combine them with Super gaiters or go with a double boots Which boot depends on your feet as I am a fan of La Sportiva and currently have the Nepal I have worn the Trango but find that they are a bit narrow for me the Nepal is a better fit for a double boot currently have Koflack and have had Scrapa and Asolo  again suggest you try differently manufacturers and see what fits best 

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 16,233
Martin Bril · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

So after a little bit of research and some tests, Scarpa would be the way to go for me in terms of fit. I was looking at the Charmoz, but it only has a slight amount of insulation.
I'm thinking of giving it a shot with some thick merino socks or maybe a thermal insole. 

...or would it be better to get an insulated boot?

Tony K · · Pa · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0
Martin Bril wrote:

So after a little bit of research and some tests, Scarpa would be the way to go for me in terms of fit. I was looking at the Charmoz, but it only has a slight amount of insulation.
I'm thinking of giving it a shot with some thick merino socks or maybe a thermal insole. 

...or would it be better to get an insulated boot?

That depends on how your body handles the cold for myself I am good with a sock liner , smart wool mountaineering socks with a single boot to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit with continuous temps below 0 I go with my double boots 

Vaughn Fetzer · · Durango, CO · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 70
Skibo wrote:

If you're in Anchorage, go to AMH.  Since most of Alaska, outside Southeast, is colder than 20 in the winter, I'm not sure what you plan to do. Short day trips, where you're not standing at belays, and for sure are getting home that night, single boots might work. Double boots are pretty much the norm outside Southeast--Spantiks, Baruntses, Scarpa 6000s, etc.. Second Hand Sports might have some used boots to try.

Your best advice yet.

Martin Bril · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

For those interested: I went with the Lowa Mountain Expert GTX Evo. 

They are a little heavy but well worth it in terms of insulation. 

lukeweiss · · St. Johnsbury, VT · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 30

870g/boot ain't bad.

Brandonian · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 35

You should just ask Seb


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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