Top 10 Best Mountaineering Boots of 2020 – Reviews

1. La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX ($599)

La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX are versatile, lightwieht and comfortable boots, built for mixed terrain, glacier travel and vertical ice. Their GORE-TEX® Comfort waterproof membranes deliver great weather protection and have an integrated layer of breathable insulation. Further, the 3D Flex™ ankles offer lateral flexibility.

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2. Scarpa Charmoz HD ($325)

These excellent waterproof and breathable mountaineering boots by Scarpa are built for tackling long, fast-paced days over rock, snow and ice. With price at $325, the boots come in both men’s and women’s models. Further, full rubber rands offer climbing performance and foot protection.

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3. Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX ($549)

The Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX are affordable, comfortable and supportive mountaineering boots that have supertough leather uppers with integrated cuff gaiters to protect and perform over snow, ice and mixed alpine terrain. Their Sock-Fit™ XT construction creates streamlined fit by making the tongue and Flex-Point of the boot out of a single piece of elastic fabric that wraps around your foot.

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4. La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX ($269)

These amazing boots are super lightweight yet protective and waterproof. They are hybrid crampon-compatible and are worn by mountain guides, SAR teams and backpackers alike. Created with weather-repelling protection and grippy traction, they help you confidently tackle a wide variety of terrain.

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5. La Sportiva Baruntse ($625)

La Sportiva Baruntse are super comfortable and robust mountaineering boots that include an inner boot with lacing for a secure fit, and an insulated outer boot for warmth. If you are looking for boots suitable for harsh winter conditions on high-altitude peaks, these boots are just for you. Their waterproof nubuck leather uppers offer the right combination of breathability and protection to keep your feet dry on long treks.

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6. Lowa Cevedale EVO GTX

Lowa Cevedale EVO GTX are affordable, durable and supportive mountaineering boots that have a thinner sole profile for precise terrain feel and excellent ankle flex for hiking comfort. Touching everything from the leather, sole & eyes you can tell its quality. The boots are perfect for moderate spring mountaineering routes or long approaches with a heavy load.

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7. La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX

These awesome mountaineering boots by La Sportiva offer a classic fit and insulated performance for your next adventure. They are made of constructed of leather and are lined with waterproof Gore-Tex waterproof membranes. The Vibram® rubber rands add protection and the 3D Flex™ ankles provide lateral flexibility.

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8. Scarpa Ribelle HD

Scarpa Ribelle HD are wonderful boots, compatible with semiautomatic crampons. Inspired by both running footwear and mountain boots, the Ribelle HD come imbued with a thermoregulation technology called 37.5. This piece of tech can keep the foot at the ideal temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius, no matter if the condition is cold or hot.

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9. Lowa Alpine Expert GTX

These lightweight and comfortable boots provide flexibility and durability, excelling in both hiking comfort and climbing performance. The Fit Wing features enable for easy ankle articulation, making it perfect for heavy backpacking trips as well as for mixed climbing. Made in Italy, the boots combine weather protection and warmth every clibmer needs.

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10. Salewa Vultur EVO GTX

Featuring suede uppers and waterproof GORE-TEX® protection, the Salewa Vultur EVO GTX are the perfect mountaineering for technical climbing and mixed alpine terrain. Their innovative Multi Fit Footbed (MFF+) uses 2 interchangeable layers to accommodate a wide range of foot shapes and sizes. The 3D Climbing lacing enables you to fine-tune the fit by dividing the lacing into 3 individually adjustable sections in the forefoot and midfoot for better comfort and performance.

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Choosing your mountaineering boots for the first time should be done carefully. We have to consider some factors in choosing the best boots not only because it can be quite pricey but also because we need to make sure of our comfort and safety. Here is a guide in choosing mountaineering boots.

Know Your Boots

Before you decide to buy mountaineering boots, you should know their types. There are three basic types of mountaineering boots: three-season boots, insulated boots, and plastic boots.

Three-season Boots

Mountaineering boots can be very expensive, and it is understandable if you want to use them not only for one activity. Maybe you want to use your boots for hiking too, so three-season boots are good enough. These boots are lightweight and flexible, and they allow you to comfortably trail long hiking paths, yet they will also provide you with a safe and comfortable first time summiting experience. They are highly comfortable and fitting, and also waterproof, which is what you need in snowy mountain tracks. Moreover, three-season boots are relatively cheaper than insulated mountaineering boots.

Insulated Boots

Insulated boots have multilayered construction instead of having inner and outer boots. These mountaineering boots are designed specifically for summiting snowy peaks, so they are more comfortable and safer for mountaineering. However, they are quite expensive. If you want a lower price and prefer a lighter boot, a three-season boot is for you. But if you want the boots for a broad range of temperatures, an insulated boot is what you need. Even though these boots are so warm and multilayered, they are lighter than plastic boots and better for long approach hikes.

Plastic Boots

Plastic boots have hard-shell plastic on the outside with a soft inner boot. They are tough and warm, and the soft inner boot does not require a break-in period to be fairly comfortable. The shell tolerates ice and abrasion well, and it is waterproof and will remove melted snow when the temperature warms up. Plastic boots are not quite expensive, but they are not widely sold. Nevertheless, plastic boots are heavy and not comfortable for long approach hikes, making them used exclusively for mountaineering. However, if you are just going on a one-time trip either with a guide or with friends, it will be cheaper to rent plastic boots. You can always find them easily in rental shops because they are durable and fit well for one-time users.

Fit Them Well

It is crucial to get the right size for your mountaineering boots. Boots that are too small will not allow your blood to circulate well to your toes causing movement of your toes hard and causing you to get cold. Moreover, if you kick into ice, crags and anything else, it will cause discomfort. It is recommended that your toe should be able to move around in your boot about a third as much as it would barefooted.

As your feet swell while hiking, try to fit the boots in the evening when your feet are a bit swollen after you move around in a day. You can also use the socks that you plan to use in the mountains. Once you have laced them up,you should try to kick into something solid like when you kick crampons points into ice. If your toe bumps into the front end of the boot you have to try a bigger size.

Think of the Crampons

After you get your mountaineering boots, it is time to get crampons that fit your boots. You should always check if your crampons fit your boots before you buy them because they are not universal. Ideally, you want your crampons to be compatible with your boots, so they will not pop off under the pressure of frontpointing. Some crampons have hybrid bindings – a mixture of straps and bails, but these are not meant for difficult routes. It is because crampons with the hybrid bindings will not fit as safely as the common ones, making you wobble at some points. You will notice that technical boots have a deep toe and heel grove as this will allow for securing step-in crampons.