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15 Best Men’s Mountaineering Boots

by | Feb 16, 2022 | Boots, Men's — General | 0 comments

Are you thinking of doing some ice climbing? Or do you prefer mixed climbing? It doesn’t matter, as long as you have the right gear. And that a decent pair of mountaineering boots are part of that bundle. 

But it is crucial to think about how you will be using your boots. For instance, high-altitude mountaineering boots are not suitable for mountaineering in the middle of summer. Conversely, a single B1 boot won’t cut it in a freezing environment. 

Don’t worry, though. We’ve come with a comprehensive selection of 15 of the best mountaineering boots you can find. From high-altitude models to single alpine boots, we’ve got them all. In the end, we’ve also added some useful tips so you can make the best decision. So, with no further ado, let’s get started.

ProductWeight (Pounds)

Sizes

Crampon CompatibilityUpper
La Sportiva Mens Nepal Cube GTX Mountaineering Boots
La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX
Starting at 26 to 14.5

AllLeather

La Sportiva Men's Makalu Boot,Natural,46 (US Men's 12.5) D US
La Sportiva Men’s Makalu Mountaineering Boot
Starting at 2

6 to 13.5All

Roughout Leather
Salewa mens MS Condor Evo Gore-TEX High Rise Hiking Shoes, Black...
Salewa Men’s MS Condor EVO GTX Mountaineering Boot
Starting at 1.87 to 11.5

C1 and C2

Suede Leather

La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX Hiking Shoe, Yellow, 38
La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX
Starting at 2

6 to 14.5All

Silicone-impregnated Leather

La Sportiva Mens Trango Tech Leather GTX Mountaineering/Hiking Boots,...
La Sportiva Trango Tech Lather GTX Men’s Mountaineering Boot
Starting at 1.39 to 14C1 and C2

Leather
SCARPA Men's Zodiac Tech GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Boots for Hiking and...
Scarpa Men’s Zodiac Tech GTX Mountaineering Boot
Starting at 1.48 to 12C1 and C2Leather
Salewa Rapace GTX Mountaineering Boot - Men's Night Black/Kamille 12
Salewa Rapace GTX Mountaineering Boot
Starting at 1.57 to 13C1

Leather

Mammut Men Kento Pro High GTX® Mountaineering-Shoe
Mammut Men’s Kento Pro High GTX Mountaineering Shoe
Starting at 1.59 to 13C1Leather
Salomon Men's Quest Winter TS CSWP Snow Boot, Black/Goji Berry/Monument, 8
Salomon Men’s Quest Snow Boot
Starting at 1.56.5 to 15

C1Leather and synthetic
Salewa mens MS Vultur Vertical Gore-TEX High Rise Hiking Shoes, Black...
Salewa Men’s Vultur GTX Climbing Boot
Starting at 210 to 12

AllSynthetic

Asolo Fugitive GTX Men's Waterproof Hiking Boot for Light Hikers and...
Asolo Men’s Fugitive GTX
Starting at 1.57 to 14

C1

Leather
SCARPA Men's Zodiac Plus GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Boots for Backpacking and...
SCARPA Men’s Zodiac Plus GTX Backpacking Boot
Starting at 1.27 to 12.5C1

Suede Leather

Scarpa Men's Phantom Guide Mountaineering,Orange,46 1/2 M EU /12 1/2 M US...
Scarpa Men’s Phantom Guide
Starting at 1.68 to 13.5All

Water-resistant Lining and PU Inner Boot
La Sportiva Mens Spantik Mountaineering Boots, Yellow/Silver, 8
La Sportiva Men’s Spantik Alpine Boot
Starting at 1.47 to 13All

PU Outer Boot and PE Inner Boot
La Sportiva Mens G2 EVO Mountaineering Boots, Black/Yellow, 10
La Sportiva Men’s G2 EVO
Starting at 2.17 to 15AllCordura Gaiter

Single Mountaineering Boots

Best Mountaineering Boot: La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX

La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Hiking Shoe, Yellow, 39

Features:

  • Best for trekking
  • Sizes: 6 to 14.5
  • Weight: Starting at 2 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • Lacing System: Regular laces
  • Leather upper
  • Gore-Tex lining
  • 3D Flex system
  • Vibram rubber sole

The Nepal Cube GTX is another option from La Sportiva that will meet the most demanding requirements. Beware, though. It is pretty expensive. So, it might not be the best option if you are just starting. 

The 3 mm hydrophobic leather upper does a superb job at keeping the water at bay. It is also highly resistant to abrasion. In addition, the reinforced toes allow you to bury the boot in any crack as you climb without worrying about your toes. Plus, the carbon honeycomb keeps the shell from collapsing.

The shell also offers some degree of insulation. It is not as warm as any double boot. But it does a better job than most single versions. 

The Nepal Cube GTX comes with a 3D Flex system, which is common in premium mountaineering boots. It improves support while adding little to no restriction.  

Inside the boot, we have the PU midsole. It is thicker at both ends. This keeps the boot comfortable even with automatic crampons on. 

Likes: 

  • Compatible with any crampon
  • Protects your feet against water, cold and hits 
  • Insane ankle support
  • Durable sole that performs well in any weather
  • Hits the sweet spot between a single and double boot

Dislikes: 

  • Bulky inside
  • It runs narrow

Best for Heavy Backpacking: La Sportiva Men’s Makalu Mountaineering Boot

La Sportiva Men's Makalu Boot,Natural,46 (US Men's 12.5) D US

Features:

  • Best for heavy backpacking 
  • Sizes: 6 to 13.5
  • Weight: Starting 2 pounds
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • Lacing System: regular laces 
  • Rubber sole
  • Roughout leather 
  • Waterproof 

Those who fancy the old-school designs will love the Makalu mountaineering boot. It has a roughout leather upper. On the other hand, the proprietary Dry-best lining keeps your feet dry and enhances breathability. Plus, the rubber toe cover protects your toes in all mountaineering applications. 

The rubber sole is crampon compatible. Plus, the thick, self-cleaning studs enhance grip on slippery surfaces, making the Makalu an ideal winter boot for glacier travel. However, it is not the best choice for high-altitude climbing since it lacks a removable liner. 

The roller laces with metal hooks promise a tight fit, thus, enhancing ankle support. Sadly, all the support and protection come at a price. The Makalu is remarkably heavy to the point that some people might find it unbearable. So, make sure that you are used to that. Therefore, it is wise to think ahead and see whether you can haul all the extra weight. 

Likes: 

  • Sturdy shell
  • Thick non-split rubber sole
  • Waterproof liner

Dislikes: 

  • Heavy
  • Not that suitable for slim feet

Best Affordable: Salewa Men’s MS Condor EVO GTX Mountaineering Boot

Salewa mens MS Condor Evo Gore-TEX High Rise Hiking Shoes, Black...

Features: 

  • Best for non-technical ice climbing 
  • Sizes: 7 to 11.5
  • Weight: Starting at 1.8 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1 and C2
  • Lacing System: Regular lace
  • Suede leather upper
  • Gore-Tex membrane
  • Vibram rubber sole

If you are looking for a reliable mountaineering boot without breaking the bank, then the MS Condor EVO GTX is the pair for you. They offer a lot, for less, when compared with other competitors. Let’s check them. 

The suede leather upper has a rubber rand that protects the lower section of the boot. The exterior is strong enough to handle hits and scratches by rocks and ice. On the other hand, the Gore-Tex lining keeps the water from soaking the leather. It might not be the best waterproof job ever. But it gets the job done. 

The microporous rubber midsole provides the cushioning your feet need for long hikes. Although, we’ve noticed that it tends to become stiffer with time.

The rubber sole offers a superb grip on loose ground and packed snow alike. You can add a set of hybrid crampons to the mixture, thanks to the built-in heel groove. As a result, you can use the Condor EVO GTX for hiking and non-technical ice climbing. 

Likes: 

  • Versatile 
  • Good fit
  • Somewhat light 

Dislikes: 

  • The stiff shell is likely to produce blisters 
  • The midsole gets stiffer with time, absorbing less shock 
  • Weak 3D Flex system

Runner up: La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX

La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX Hiking Shoe, Yellow, 38

Features:

  • Best for glacier travel
  • Sizes: 6 to 14.5
  • Weight: Starting at  2 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • Lacing System: regular laces 
  • Rubber sole
  • Silicone-impregnated leather upper
  • Gore-Tex lining 
  • 3D Flex system

For those looking to step up their game, the Nepal EVO GTX is a superb deal. It has a silicone-impregnated leather upper. The Gore-Tex lining enhances water resistance while offering some degree of insulation for high-altitude climbing. Still, we found some areas of the boot do get wet. 

The Nepal Cube GTX comes with a removable and adjustable tongue. You can move it around to find the perfect fit. Plus, it has a breathable construction for better moisture management. In short, your feet will remain dry and somewhat warm. 

On the outside, the 3D Flex system enhances ankle support, giving you the ability to sort out technical routes. Plus, the built-in Carbon Tech honeycomb protects your toes while using any crampon. 

The shock-absorption EVA midsole is crampon compatible as well. Plus, it gives you the support you need to comfortably hike from miles to end. On the other hand, the Vibram outsole increases grip on rocks, ice, and packed snow thanks to the opposite-oriented lugs. 

Likes:

  • Versatile boot 
  • Durable upper 
  • Compatible with any crampon
  • Breathable
  • Ankle support

Dislikes: 

  • Heavy
  • It absorbs some water
  • Not enough insulation

La Sportiva Trango Tech Lather GTX Men’s Mountaineering Boot

La Sportiva Mens Trango Tech Leather GTX Mountaineering/Hiking Boots,...

Features:

  • Best for mixed mountaineering
  • Sizes: 9 to 14
  • Weight: Starting 1.3 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1 and C2
  • Lacing System: regular laces 
  • Rubber sole
  • Leather upper
  • Gore-Tex lining 

The Trango Tech is an entry-level mountaineering boot that offers a lot at an affordable price. First, it has a sturdy leather upper with a Gore-Tex lining. Your feet will remain dry for the duration of the trip. Since the shell is not that thick, it doesn’t offer enough insulation for high-altitude alpine climbs. 

But the good news is that Trango Tech is an ideal mountaineering boot for hiking and technical approach routes. The PU midsole absorbs shock and protects your heel and toes from impacts. On the other hand, the 3D-Flex system increases ankle support while allowing natural movement. 

The Vibram rubber offers a secure grip. Furthermore, the heel groove means that you can use C1 and C2 crampons with the Trango Tech. But people looking to engage in technical alpine climbs are better off elsewhere. 

Another point of concern is the lacing system. Although the laces themselves look durable, the fabric hooks don’t, especially the one around the ankle. Thus, thread with care.  

Likes: 

  • Good value for your money
  • Comfortable midsoles 
  • Rough rubber sole

Dislikes: 

  • Weak lacing system
  • Runs small

Scarpa Men’s Zodiac Tech GTX Mountaineering Boot

SCARPA Men's Zodiac Tech GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Boots for Hiking and...

Features:

  • Best for winter hiking
  • Sizes: 8 to 12
  • Weight: Starting 1.4 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1 and C2
  • Lacing System: regular laces 
  • Rubber sole
  • Leather upper
  • Gore-Tex lining

Splitting the difference between an approach and a mountaineering boot, we have the Zodiac Tech GTX. It has a 100% suede leather upper with a Gore-Tex membrane. It will keep the water out while allowing your feet to breathe. 

Despite having a leather upper, the Zodiac Tech is pleasantly light. Thus, you can use it for hiking many miles and engage in mild mountaineering as well. The Vibram rubber sole has an aggressive studs layout that increases grip on rocks, snow, and ice. In addition, you can use semi-automatic crampons with it, thanks to the built-in heel groove.

The proprietary Sock-Fit reduces bulk, thus, providing a tighter fit. The Zodiac Tech is available in sizes from 8 to 12. We’ve tried a couple of them, and we felt that the boot fits right in, even with hiking socks. The flipside is that the boot doesn’t offer much protection against cold. 

Likes:

  • Tight fit
  • Outstanding performance in rock, snow, and ice 
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable midsole

Dislikes: 

  • Minor protection against cold
  • The waterproof coating wears off quicker than other boots

Salewa Rapace GTX Mountaineering Boot

Salewa Rapace GTX Mountaineering Boot - Men's Night Black/Kamille 12

Features:

  • Best for hiking and trekking 
  • Sizes: 7 to 13
  • Weight: Starting at 1.5 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1
  • Lacing System: regular laces 
  • Rubber sole
  • Leather upper
  • Gore-Tex lining

Now, it is time for something lighter: The Rapace GTX by Salewa. The pure leather upper has a Gore-Tex coating that keeps the water out and allows your feet to breathe. The shell is not that thick. Therefore, the sizes usually stay true. The flip side is that Rapace doesn’t offer enough insulation to cope with freezing conditions. 

Nevertheless, the Salewa Rapace GTX is ideal for hiking and trekking. Plus, the spike-like lugs increase grip on wet rocks and ice. Plus, you can add a strap-on crampon to enhance traction even further. 

The 3D-Flex system supports the ankle while allowing it to move freely. But it is not sufficient for technical climbs. Besides, the boot is not compatible with step-in or hybrid crampons. Thus, it is not up for the task. 

The interchangeable footbeds allow you to find the best configuration for your feet. Plus, they are insanely comfortable, making this a great boot for those looking for hikes for many miles. 

Likes:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Ideal for warmer climates 
  • Breathable
  • Say stays true

Dislikes:

  • Take a lot of time to break-in
  • Doesn’t offer too much insulation

Mammut Men’s Kento Pro High GTX Mountaineering Shoe

Mammut Men Kento Pro High GTX® Mountaineering-Shoe

Features:

  • Best for mixed terrain
  • Sizes: 9 to 13
  • Weight: Starting at 1.5 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1
  • Lacing System: regular laces 
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Leather upper
  • Gore-Tex lining

Splitting the difference between hiking and mixed mountaineering, we find the Mammut Kento Pro. It has a slim composite shell. The leather increases durability, while the textile fabric favors breathability. They also added a Gore-Tex lining to keep the water out. Nevertheless, insulation is a problem. But you can solve it partially with a thick pair of hiking socks.  

Furthermore, the 360º rubber rand protects the most vulnerable places of the shell. We’ve tested the boots on rocks and ice, and they seem to handle the strain well. In terms of fit, the heel area runs narrow and stretches as we go to the toes, striking a balance between support and comfort. 

The memory foam insole makes you forget that you have a pair of boots on. But beware. It tends to be less durable than other stiffer insoles. Lastly, the Vibram rubber sole has spaced studs, making the boot more suitable for mixed terrain. 

Allegedly, the Kento PRO is compatible with C2 and C1 crampons. But in practice, the heel groove is not that deep to keep some hybrid crampons on. Thus, we recommend only using them with strap-on models.  

Likes: 

  • They look good 
  • Comfortable to walk and climb with 
  • Durable outer shell
  • Mixed terrain sole

Dislikes: 

  • It is not available in small sizes 
  • It is only compatible with strap-on crampons

Salomon Men’s Quest Snow Boot

Salomon Men's Quest Winter TS CSWP Snow Boot, Black/Goji Berry/Monument, 8

Features:

  • Best for Winter hiking
  • Sizes: 6.5 to 13
  • Weight: Starting 1.5 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1
  • Lacing System: regular laces 
  • Rubber sole
  • Leather and synthetic upper
  • Waterproof

Let’s start by saying that the Salomon Quest winter boots look awesome. The black exterior is pleasant to the eyes. But this boot is more than just looks. 

The exterior is different from what we’ve seen thus far. It has a leather and synthetic composite upper. The shell has a protective polyurethane coating that enhances durability. They also added a rubber mudguard that protects the sides of the boot. Plus, the CS proprietary waterproof lining keeps the water from getting inside. 

Beneath the shell, we find a thick insulating layer. It keeps your feet warm no matter how low the temperature is. But that’s not all. To further increase water shielding, Salomon treated this layer with a water-resistant coating. A lot of protection in a single pair of boots.

Salomon opted to use their Contagrip W rubber sole instead of the common Vibram alternative. It delivers exceptional performance in freezing conditions. Sadly, the boot is only compatible with strap-on crampons as it lacks toe and heel welts. 

Likes: 

  • Ideal for cold climates 
  • The gusseted tongue keeps debris out
  • Supportive and flexible 
  • Comfortable midsole

Dislikes: 

  • It is not breathable
  • Not compatible with many traction devices 
  • Runs small due to thick insulation

Salewa Men’s Vultur GTX Climbing Boot

Salewa mens MS Vultur Vertical Gore-TEX High Rise Hiking Shoes, Black...

Features:

  • Best for mixed climbing
  • Sizes: 10 to 12
  • Weight: Starting at 2 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • Lacing System: Regular laces
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Synthetic upper

The Salewa Men’s Vultur climbing boot has a sturdy construction that protects your feet while also providing the traction you need to cope with treacherous terrains. Naturally, this also means that the boot is heavy. Starting at 2 pounds, it is among the heaviest options on this list. 

The exterior is 100% synthetic. The fabric is thick and scratch-resistant. Plus, the 360º rubber rand protects the most vulnerable places of the boot. Salewa also reinforced the toe area, so it doesn’t give in when using hybrid or strap-on crampons. As expected, the Vultur mountaineering boot comes with a Gore-Tex membrane. 

The 3D-Flex system supports your ankle, preventing twists. But beware, the Vultur Vertical is not as flexible as other models with the same feature. It has a more rigid shell that could become a burden on long hikes.

The sewed tongue seals the interior tight, keeping debris, ice, and water out. As a result, your feet will remain warm and dry. Plus, it provides a snuggle fit that you can adjust using the laces and ankle buckle. 

Likes: 

  • Ankle support
  • Compatible with any crampon
  • Sturdy shell
  • Supreme protection

Dislikes:

  • Very heavy 
  • The boot is not available in small sizes

Asolo Men’s Fugitive GTX 

Asolo Fugitive GTX Men's Waterproof Hiking Boot for Light Hikers and...

Features:

  • Best for trekking
  • Sizes: 7 to 14
  • Weight: Starting at 1.5 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1
  • Lacing System: Regular laces
  • Leather upper

The Asolo Fugitive GTX is a suitable option for those who engage in long walks through rocky hills. However, it is not the best option in the dead of winter.

The shell is pure leather paired with a Gore-Tex lining. The construction is sturdy, water-resistant, and durable. Despite that, you can easily break in the boot. In other words, it won’t produce blisters. One thing you should know is that the shell is wide. Therefore, people with narrow feet will find it bigger than expected.

The dual midsole comprises two sections melted together. One is more rigid; thereby, increasing supper. The other is softer and more shock absorbent. In short, it is comfortable enough for prolonged use. But it also provides support. 

The rubber sole is different from the rest. The stud pattern is more suitable for rock and gravel. You can add a strap-on crampon if you want to take these bad boys through the snow and ice. However, the lack of toe and heel welts makes the FUGITIVE GTX incompatible with C2 and C3 crampons. 

Likes: 

  • Available in many different sizes
  • Durable shell
  • Ideal for rocky terrains

Dislikes: 

  • Not compatible with many crampons
  • Not suitable for freezing conditions

SCARPA Men’s Zodiac Plus GTX Backpacking Boot

SCARPA Men's Zodiac Plus GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Boots for Backpacking and...

Features:

  • Best for Winter hiking
  • Sizes: 7 to 12.5
  • Weight: Starting 1.2 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1
  • Lacing System: regular laces 
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Suede leather upper
  • Gore-Tex membrane

The Zodiac Plus is a step up from the Zodiac base version we’ve reviewed before. It offers an all-around option for those looking for versatility over something more technical. Naturally, this means that it doesn’t excel at anything in particular.  

The suede leather upper with a rubber rand seems durable enough to cope with anything you throw at it, including rocks, snow, and ice. As expected, the boot has a Gore-Tex membrane that improves breathability and water resistance. However, we notice that water gets to soak some sections of the boot after some time. You can easily solve this by applying an after-market water repellant. 

The Vibram rubber sole is tailor-made for rocks. But it also performs well at low temperatures when things get trickier. Plus, the sole is very flexible, making it perfect for long strolls. The downside is that it is only compatible with strap-on crampons. Thus, the Zodiac Pro is only suitable for hiking on mixed terrain and mild climbing.

Likes: 

  • Light
  • Flexible, perfect for hiking 
  • Durable sides 
  • Enough ankle support

Dislikes: 

  • The boot runs small
  • It takes some time to break-in

Double Mountaineering Boots

Best Mountaineering Double Boot: Scarpa Men’s Phantom Guide 

Scarpa Men's Phantom Guide Mountaineering,Orange,46 1/2 M EU /12 1/2 M US...

Features:

  • Best for Alpine climbs
  • Sizes: 8 to 13.5
  • Weight: Starting at 1.6 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • Lacing System: regular laces and zipper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Double boot

The Phantom Guide is the perfect choice for seasoned ice climbers. It has a unique build that slips the difference between a single and double boot. 

First, the outer, water-resistant lining is the first layer of defense against the elements. Beneath it, we find the boot itself. The thick PU and fabric construction paired with the proprietary waterproof membrane makes for the second layer. It also does a decent job of keeping your feet warm, even in freezing conditions. 

The Vibram rubber sole has a unique lugs pattern. It yields enough grip for walking on snow and ice. Plus, it is thick enough for you not to feel anything. On the other hand, the cushioned midsole increases comfort and reduces the strain on your feet. 

The sole is also crampon compatible. Its stiffness paired with toe and heel grooves mean that you can use the Phantom Guide with any crampon you want, making it a suitable option for high-altitude climbs where technical footing is a must. 

Likes: 

  • Compatible with all types of crampons
  • Ideal for technical routes
  • Solid laces and eyelets 
  • Superb grip on freezing conditions

Dislikes: 

  • It is very likely to cause blisters 
  • Not suitable for people with wide feet

La Sportiva Men’s Spantik Alpine Boot

La Sportiva Mens Spantik Mountaineering Boots, Yellow/Silver, 8

Features:

  • Best for high-altitude
  • Sizes: 7 to 13
  • Weight: Starting 2.4 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • Lacing System: regular laces 
  • Rubber sole
  • Double boot
  • Waterproof

Are you looking to push your limits? If so, then the Spantik Alpine boot is the one for you. It provides enough insulation for high-altitude climbs thanks to the outer boot body. Moreover, the molded thermoplastic urethane (TPU) ankle backbone increases support and stability. Thus, it is a suitable boot for those technical ice climbing routes.

The inner boot has a micro-perforated exterior with a water-resistant lining. It acts as a second layer of defense against water, for the outer boot is also waterproof. Thus, making the Spantik one of the warmest boots on this list. 

The midsole comprises 5mm of carbon fiber and aluminum insulation. It does not offer much cushioning. But it does support your feet, a desirable feature in an alpine boot. 

Lastly, the sole is what you would expect. It has thick and large studs that increase grip over a wide range of surfaces. On the other hand, the toe and heel grooves mean that you can use step-in crampons with them. 

So, what’s the catch? Well, the outer boot lacing system is weak. The laces look like they will snap at any moment. Plus, all the insulation and support come at a price: Weight.

Likes: 

  • It keeps your feet dry and warm
  • It gives enough support for technical routes 
  • Durable sole 
  • Available in many sizes

Dislikes: 

  • It runs small
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

La Sportiva Men’s G2 EVO Mountaineering Double Boot

La Sportiva Mens G2 EVO Mountaineering Boots, Black/Yellow, 10

Features: 

  • Best for high-altitude climbs 
  • Sizes: 7 to 15
  • Weight: Starting at 2.1 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • Lacing System: BOA laces and zipper
  • Cordura gaiter
  • Vibram rubber sole

There is nothing like a double boot when you are climbing in the dead of winter. And the G2 by La Sportiva is arguably among the best models you can find. 

Designed by Simone Moro and La Sportiva, the G2 packs everything an alpine climber might need. The Cordura gaiter is waterproof and protects your feet from the cold. The zipper easily goes up and down. It also has a cuff strap that helps to seal the interior. 

The inner boot is made out of breathable but water-resistant fabric. It provides enough insulation to keep your feet warm in freezing conditions. Besides, the 3 mm proprietary HoneyComb Tech adds an extra layer of defense against the elements. 

La Sportiva opted for BOA laces instead of regular ones. They are easier to tie with gloves on, making the G2 more suitable for high-altitude climbing. Going down, we get the 2 mm PU midsole. The ends are thicker for better comfort when wearing crampons. Lastly, the Vibram rubber sole is crampon compatible.  

The overall result is a heavy boot that is more suitable for alpine and technical ice climbing.

Likes: 

  • Extreme protection against cold
  • Durable gaiter
  • Non-slip and impact absorbent sole 
  • Ideal for high-altitude climbs

Dislikes:

  • Weight
  • Not breathable enough for 4-season mountaineering

Choosing The Best Men’s Mountaineering Boot: Things to Look Into

Mountaineering boots are an essential piece of gear for those looking to climb, hike, or trek on rock, snow, or even ice. However, not all models are equal. Some are more suitable for high-altitude climbs, while others are for technical ice climbing. Therefore, the best mountaineering boot depends on your needs. 

That’s what this section is for. Here you will find all the features that you should look into. We will also talk about all the things that you need to prioritize depending on your needs. So let’s dive right into it. 

Mountaineering Boot Shell

The boot’s durability largely depends on the shell. It also dictates, to some degree, how stiff the boot is. But let’s first talk about the most common shell materials: Plastic, leather, and synthetics. 

Plastic Mountaineering Boots

Plastic mountaineering boots are lighter and water-resistant right out of the box. They are also cheaper. However, they are not as durable as leather or synthetic boots.

Back in the day, most mountaineering boots were made out of plastic. However, nowadays, only a handful are. 

Synthetic Mountaineering Boots

Synthetic mountaineering boots are more durable than plastic models. But not as much as regular leather. Still, they have their perks.

Synthetic boots are lighter than leather variants and easier to break-in. Plus, they tend to retain shape longer.

Leather Mountaineering Boots

Leather makes the heaviest of boots. But they are also the most durable. Sadly, they also get soaked wet when in contact with water. That’s why you need to get one with a waterproof lining.

Shell Insulation

There is not much difference between plastic, synthetic, and leather mountaineering boots in terms of insulation. Here, thickness is key. 

A thicker shell provides more protection against cold. However, it also makes the boot heavier, making it less suitable for people looking to hike for many miles. 

Shell Waterproofing

Only plastic boots are waterproof right out the box. All others require an extra layer with a water repellent treatment, like a Gore-Tex membrane. 

Shortly known as GTX, it is the most common waterproof membrane you will find. 

You can also apply an aftermarket waterproof coating. Here you can learn how to do it

Single Versus Double Boots

As the name suggests, double boots feature two separate shells instead of one. Therefore, they are more suitable for high-altitude ice climbing. But not so much for summer mountaineering.  

Another problem with double boots is that they are less breathable and stiffer than single models. Weight is a problem too. 

Single boots, on the other hand, offer less insulation. Therefore, they are normally less expensive and lighter than double boots. Most modern boots use this approach. 

Mountaineer Midsole and Insole

Often overlooked, these two are very important, as they have a direct impact on comfort. 

Insoles go inside the boot. Most brands use EVA foam to make them. 

In contrast, midsoles are those between the upper and the sole. It influences how stiff and comfortable the boot is. Sadly, you can’t get both. For example, alpine climbs require a stiffer boot. A rigid mountaineering boot allows you to support your entire weight in the toes or ankles. But they are not that comfortable to walk on. 

In contrast, a flexible mountaineering boot is ideal for hiking and non-technical ice climbing.

Mountaineering Boot Sole

The sole is the last major component of the boot. It impacts stiffness and traction. Ideally, the best mountaineering boot should give you enough grip to walk over rock, snow, and ice without sliding. Pay close attention to the studs’ layout and shape. For example, thick and separated studs are more suitable for mud, ice, and loose ground. In contrast, smaller lugs work better in gravel and snow. 

Most mountaineering boot soles have a rubber construction. Rubber is flexible, durable, absorbs shock, and improves traction. Try your best to get a Vibram rubber sole, as it is tailor-made for mountaineering. 

Crampon Compatibility 

The sole also determines which type of crampons you can use. Those models without toe or heel welts are only compatible with strap-on crampons. These boots are known as B1. If the model has a heel grove (B2 boots), you can use a strap-on or hybrid crampon. If the boot has welts at either end (B3 models), they are compatible with any traction device. 

Another thing to know is that B3 mountaineering boots are stiffer than B2 models and so on. Therefore, B3 boots are more suitable for technical ice climbing, while B1s are better for light mountaineering.

Don’t know which one is the best for you? Choose a B2 mountaineering boot. It slips the difference between the other two. You can use it for mixed climbing, technical ice climbing, and even hiking. 

Lacing System

Having the perfect boot for the job won’t cut it if you can lace up. Most mountaineering boots use regular laces for they are inexpensive, reliable, and easy to use. Nevertheless, they are tricky to tie with numb fingers or with gloves on. 

Here is where BOA laces come to the rescue. These are flexible and easier to tie with gloves on. Sadly, BOA laces are not as durable. Plus, they are more expensive as well. Typically, only high-altitude mountaineering boots use BOA laces.

Mountaineering Boot Sizing

Choosing what mountaineering boot size to get is not as easy as with shoes. Insulation, thick hiking socks, and high altitude determine which size you should pick.

For example, if you are thinking of using thick socks, then you should go for a half size or even a size larger. The same goes if you are using aftermarket midsoles. We highly recommend bringing the midsole with you when trying boots.

High altitude also influences boot size. While you make your way to certain summits, your feet will get swollen because of the altitude. Ideally, they should have some space to grow. That’s why you should go a size large.

Conclusion

Best Men’s Mountaineering Boot: La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX

La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Hiking Shoe, Yellow, 39

When it comes down to choosing the best boot, we’ve no doubt. It is the La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX. 

The shell is durable, waterproof, and does a decent job keeping your feet warm. Plus, it remains breathable enough to be usable during hotter months. On the other hand, the 3D Flex System supports your ankle during hikes and climbs alike. Yea, sure. The inside is a little bulky. But with sizes between 6 to 14.5, you will surely find the right model for you. 

The fact that it is compatible with any crampon gives you the ability to use the Nepal Cube GTX both as an approach shoe and ice climbing boot. In short, it is a year-round option that packs quality. 

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Last update on 2022-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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