Best Women’s Mountaineering Boots

No other piece of equipment is as important as a decent pair of mountaineering boots. It protects your feet against cold, water, and abrasion.

Here you will find 15 of the best women’s mountaineering boots. From single boots to double models, we’ve got them all here.

But above all, they grant the support you need to cope with the most treacherous terrains. Besides, mountaineering boots are the only boots compatible with crampons. That’s why everyone planning to engage in ice or alpine climbing should get a pair.

After our guide, we included some buying bits of advice. This way, you are more likely to find the pair of boots that best suits your needs. So let’s get down to it.

ProductWeight (Pounds)SizesCrampon CompatibilityUpper
La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Women's Hiking Shoe, Ice, 39.5

La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX
1.6

5 to 11

AllRoughout Leather
Scarpa Women's Mont Blanc GTX Mountaineering,Kiwi,38 M EU /7 M US Women

Scarpa Mont Blanc GTX
1.76 to 11C2 and C3Suede Perwanger Leather
Salewa Women's MTN Trainer MID GTX-W High Rise Hiking Shoes, Magnet/Viridian Green, 7

Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX
1.3

5 to 11

C1Suede Leather

La Sportiva Aequilibrium LT GTX Mountaineering Boot - Women's Black/Hibiscus, 42.0

La Sportiva Aequilibrium LT GTX
1.4

6 to 9

AllNubuck Leather
La Sportiva Trango TECH GTX Hiking Shoe, Black/Yellow, 41.5

La Sportiva Trango TECH GTX
1.3

8 to 11

C1 and C2Waterproof Fabric
Asolo Women's Elbrus GV Climbing Boot Lime/Mimosa 9.5 & Knit Cap Bundle

Asolo Elbrus GV
1.5

6.5 to 10C1 and C2Leather
SCARPA Wrangell GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Hiking Boots for Mountaineering and Backpacking - Bronze -...

Scarpa Wrangell GTX
2.4

6 to 11AllGrain Leather
Salewa Men's Vultur EVO GTX Mountaineering Boots Black/Cactus 10

Salewa Vultur EVO GTX
2.19 to 11C1 and C2Perwanger Suede Leather
Salewa Men's WS Condor Evo Gore-TEX High Rise Hiking Shoes, Cactus/Teal, 4.5 Big Kid

Salewa Trekking Boots
1.3

5.5 to 9C1 and C2Leather
Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite Mid GTX - Women's Premium Navy/Blue Fog 9

Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite Mid GTX
1.26 to 11C1Suede Leather
Asolo Alta Via GV Mountaineering Boot - Women's - 7.5 - Black/Green

Asolo Alta Via
2.27 to 9.5AllGrain Leather
La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX Hiking Shoe, Yellow, 40

La Sportiva Nepal
2.2

7 to 11AllLeather
SCARPA Inverno Waterproof Boots for Climbing and Mountaineering - Black - 11

SCARPA Inverno
2.8

8.5 to 11C2 and C3Plastic
Arc'teryx Acrux AR Mountaineering Boot | All Round, Insulated Mountaineering Double Boot with...

Arc’teryx Acrux AR
2.19 to 11

AllGore-Tex
LA SPORTIVA Men's G2 EVO Mountaineering Boot, Black/Yellow, 43 (10 US)

La Sportiva G2 EVA
2.37.5 to 11AllCordura Lining

Women’s Mountaineering Single Boots

Best Overall: La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Women’s Mountaineering Boots

La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Women's Hiking Shoe, Ice, 39

Features:

  • Price: $599.00
  • Best for ice climbing and packed snow
  • Sizes: 5 to 11
  • Weight: Starting at 1.6 pounds
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • Silicone-Impregnated leather upper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Heel and toe grooves 
  • Lacing system: Regular laces 
  • Waterproof

Are you looking for something technical? Then, La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX is a suitable option for you. Both the high-profile cut gives more insulation and support for ice climbing. As well as the toe and heel grooves make the Nepal Cube GTX compatible with automatic crampons. 

Construction-wise, we have a 3-mm silicone-impregnated waterproof leather outer shell. The Gore-Tex layer keeps the water out, while the breathable tongue reduces internal moisture.

On the inside, we have a low-profile carbon tech honeycomb that wraps your feet and protects them. Also, the cage also increases stiffness. Altogether, these features make the boot suitable for ice climbing.  Its outer shell also has built-in mini steel parts that protect your feet and increase durability. 

The 3D Flex System provides ankle support, which is crucial for descending hills. Particularly, the Vibram sole has thick lugs that increase traction. Plus, it is fully crampon-compatible.

So far, so good, right? Well, the Nepal Cube GTX has two problems. The first is that the removable tongue and carbon tech cage, both which takes up a lot of space. Plus, the sturdy construction means that it will take a while to break in the boots.

Likes:

  • Great for ice climbing 
  • Offers exceptional heel support
  • The thick sole absorbs most impacts
  • Although it looks bulky, it is somewhat light

Dislikes:

  • The bulky insides take too much space 
  • Hard to break-in

Best for Ice Trekking: La Sportiva Aequilibrium LT GTX Women’s Mountaineering Boots

La Sportiva Aequilibrium LT GTX Mountaineering Boot - Women's Black/Hibiscus, 42.0

Features:

  • Price: $299.00
  • Best for hiking and ice climbing
  • Sizes: 6 to 9
  • Weight: Starting at 1.4 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • Nubuck leather and PU-Tech mudguard upper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Heel grooves
  • Lacing system: Regular laces 
  • Waterproof

The Aequilibrium LT GTX is another affordable option for those looking to enter the mountaineering world. It has the proprietary double heel design, which increases performance while strolling downhill. Not to mention, the heel groove makes the boot compatible with semi-automatic crampons.

Internally, you get a carbon-nylon weave insole that offers enough cushioning and support. Plus, the directional ankle support gives enough freedom to move the feet as you need. The durable nubuck leather upper has a breathable GTX coating, that is to say, your feet will be at the right temperature not to sweat, and water can’t find its way inside. 

The Vibram rubber sole is remarkably thick. So, durability is not a problem. It also provides exceptional grip also, especially for hiking and mild steep heels. 

Despite looking heavier, the boot only weighs around 18.5 ounces. Naturally, this depends on the size albeit, won’t change the weight much.

Likes:

  • Sturdy construction
  • Waterproof
  • Fairly light
  • Great grip even when wet

Dislikes: 

  • It does not offer as much insulation as other boots 
  • The laces get damaged by abrasion easily 
  • It runs wider in the toe area

Best for Mixed Climbing: Scarpa Wrangell GTX Mountaineering Boot

SCARPA Wrangell GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Hiking Boots for Mountaineering and Backpacking - Bronze -...

Features:

  • Price: $398.95
  • Best for mixed climbing
  • Sizes: 6 to 11 
  • Weight: Starting at 2.4 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • 100% Leather upper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Heel and toe grooves
  • Lacing system: Regular laces 
  • Waterproof

With a tough 100% leather shell, the Wrangell GTX makes its way to this women’s mountaineering boot review. The high-profile grants enough support for you to walk on both uneven terrain and engage in classic mountaineering. In the similar fashion, the thick shell keeps things comfortable and gives some degree of insulation. 

Certainly, having a sturdy shell comes at a price. The Wrangell GTX is remarkably heavy. Thus, it is not the best option for long hikes.

Despite the heavier alpine boot, it is a superb for rocky terrains. Basically, it all comes down to what you value the most: Lightweight or support. If you favor the second, then it is a great deal. 

The Vibram rubber sole has an aggressive lugs layout. As a result, it performs well under a wide variety of scenarios ranging from muddy trails to rocky heels. In addition, since it has toe and heel grooves, the Wrangell GTX is compatible with all kinds of crampons.

The dual tongue design improves fit and comfort. However, it also means that things can get a little cramped, especially if you tie the laces too tight.

The toe cage is another thing to worry about. It can cause blisters in the long run.

Likes:

  • It wraps tightly around the feet
  • Superb traction
  • Highly resistant to abrasion 
  • Good for cold climates

Dislikes:

  • Heavy 
  • The toe cage is narrow and could cause blisters 
  • It takes a lot to break them down

Best Affordable: Salewa Women’s Mountain Trainer Mid GTX Alpine Boots

Salewa Women's MTN Trainer MID GTX-W High Rise Hiking Shoes, Magnet/Viridian Green, 7

Features: 

  • Price: $249.95
  • Best for alpine trekking 
  • Sizes: 5 to 11
  • Weight: Starting at 1.3 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1
  • Leather upper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Heel grooves
  • Lacing system: Regular laces 
  • Waterproof

If you are looking for something affordable, then the Mountain Trainer Mid GTX mountaineering boot is the one for you. It has a thick rubber Vibram sole. Unquestionnably, it is sensible, flexible, and has enough grip. 

Given that it doesn’t have toe grooves, it is not compatible with C3 crampons. Regardless, they are suitable with C1 and C2 models.

If you have higher arches, then you’ll like how the TPU midsole gives support to your feet while keeping them comfortable throughout the entire day. However, they also take some space. Therefore, choose a size larger to accommodate your feet comfortably. 

The fabric around the ankle is not stiff. In effect, the low-cut profile gives you the freedom you need for hiking. Thus, you can move your feet as you please.

Accordingly, the Gore-Tex upper keeps the water out and your feet dry. In short, this is a solid multi-day mountaineering boot.

Sadly, the Trainer Mid GTX women’s mountaineering boot doesn’t offer too much insulation. Plus, flexibility becomes a problem in technical ice climbing.

The laces are another point of concern. They don’t look as durable as the ones from other boots. But hey! They have to cut expenses somewhere.

Likes:

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Multi-purpose

Dislikes:

  • The lances are not that durable
  • The boots run small
Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid Gore-TEX Women's Walking Boots - SS21-7 - Blue
Atlantic Deep/Ombre Blue
$225.30
Salewa Women's MTN Trainer MID GTX-W High Rise Hiking Shoes, Magnet/Viridian Green, 7
 
Magnet/Viridian Green

$249.95

Scarpa Women’s Mont Blanc GTX Mountaineering Boots

Scarpa Women's Mont Blanc GTX Mountaineering Boot

Features:

  • Price:
  • Best for hiking through snow and ice
  • Sizes: 6 to 11
  • Weight: Starting at 1.7 pounds  
  • Leather upper
  • Crampon Compatibility: C2 and C3
  • Vibram rubber
  • Toe and heel welts 
  • Lacing system: Regular laces 
  • Waterproof

Vibram rubber soles, leather upper, and Gore-Tex layer combined in the Mont Blanc GTX women’s mountaineering boots make it a favorite suitable for a wide range of activities, including ice climbing.Bbeware, as it doesn’t offer too much insulation. 

Of course, the toe and heel grooves mean the Mont Blanc GTX is compatible with C3 crampons. Thus, you can use this pair of boots for technical climbing too.  What’s more, the leather boot upper is sturdy and abrasion-resistant.

You’ll like the Gore-Tex layer because it repels water and keeps your feet dry. Sadly, only the body has it.

Surprisingly, the top of the boot isn’t waterproof. It doesn’t have a removable liner either. With this in mind, they are not ideal for freezing environments. 

Scarpa picked regular laces to keep the boot in place. Nevertheless, it gets the job done. Plus, the metallic hardware allows you to set how tight the boot is.

And, thanks to the ErgoFit system, the Mont Blanc GTX moves with your feet. In other words, it allows your feet to move naturally, making them suitable for hiking as well. 

Likes:

  • Sensible and flexible rubber sole
  • Versatile 
  • Waterproof 
  • Compatible with many crampons

Dislikes:

  • Not enough insulation 
  • The laces are not that durable
Scarpa - Mont Blanc Pro GTX Mountaineering Boot - Women's - Green BlueScarpa Women's Mont Blanc GTX Mountaineering,Kiwi,41 M EU /9 M US Women
Price not available

La Sportiva Trango TECH GTX Mountaineering Boot

La Sportiva Trango TECH GTX Women's Hiking Shoe, Aqua/Opal, 36.5

Features:

  • Price: $269.00
  • Best for winter hiking
  • Sizes: 5.5-10.5
  • Weight: Starting at 1.3 pounds
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1 and C2
  • Abrasion-resistant upper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Heel groove
  • Lacing system: Regular laces 
  • Waterproof

Again, another La Sportiva mountaineering boot. Now, it’s TECH GTX women’s mountain gear boot. The low-profile cut is ideal for using it as approach footwear coupled with the upper fabric with Thermo Tech Injection, grants some degree of insulation.

However, it isn’t enough for freezing conditions. In addition, it doesn’t repel water as it should. 

The lack of insulation has one advantage, though. It is light. Additionally, the thin upper takes almost no space. Moreover, the integrated tongue is soft and fits nicely above your feet.

That’s why it is an ideal option for those looking for a hiking boot. The up-to-the-toes laces keep the boot in place, while the metal hooks enhance weight distribution. Still, only the top ones are metallic. Thus, don’t expect the rest to be equally durable. 

Next on the checklist, it has a shock-absorption, low-density polyurethane insole and together with 3D Flex system, these reduce both impact and keeps the boot comfortable for long strolls.

Lastly, the escalated rubber lugs grant traction on many different surfaces, including snow and ice. And the heel groove makes the TECH GTX compatible with C2 and C1 crampons too.

Likes:

  • Comfortable interior
  • Size stays true
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable 
  • Flexible

Dislikes:

  • You might need to apply a water-repellent coating sooner than expected 
  • The fabric hooks are not durable 
  • There are not small sizes available

Asolo Women’s Elbrus GV Climbing Boot

Asolo Women's Elbrus GV Climbing Boot Lime/Mimosa 9.5 & Knit Cap Bundle

Features:

  • Price: $385.00
  • Best for hiking and mild-mountaineering 
  • Sizes: 6.5 to 10 
  • Weight: Starting at 1.5 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1 and C2
  • Leather upper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Heel groove
  • Lacing system: Regular laces 
  • Waterproof

The Elbrus GV comprises a water-resistant suede leather upper with a soft Schoeller shell. Its exterior is somewhat waterproof. But you will have a problem with pouring rain or if there is too much snow.

Plus, it doesn’t offer as much insulation as other mountaineering boots. Therefore, they are not suitable for freezing environments. 

Inside, you get a dual-density midsole. It adapts well to both your feet’ shape and absorbs shock. Thus, granting enough support to keep the boot comfortable for long routes.

On the other hand, the Vibram sole yields outstanding performance on rocky terrains and moderate slopes. It is also compatible with C2 and C1 crampons, thanks to the heel groove. But it is not suitable for technical climbing as it lacks stiffness. 

The overall construction has one goal: Keeping the weight down. It is also very comfortable, making it an ideal option for those engaging in hikes and mild climbing. 

The lacing system is something to worry about. Only a set of thin fabric threads keep the laces fixed at the toes. As a result, they look like they could break at any moment, especially if you are constantly using the boots. 

Likes:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable interior
  • It is available in small sizes

Dislikes:

  • The lacing systems need some improvements 
  • The shell is not as durable as other models

Salewa Vultur EVO GTX Mountaineering Boot

Salewa Unisex Vultur GTX Mountaineering Boot, Cactus/Arancio, 6.5

Features:

  • Price: $288.45
  • Best for alpine mountaineering 
  • Sizes: 9 to 11 
  • Weight: Starting at 2.1 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1 and C2
  • Leather upper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Heel groove
  • Lacing system: Regular laces 
  • Waterproof

The Salewa Vultur EVO GTX is another suitable option for hiking and mild mountaineering. It has rugged suede leather upper coupled with a TPU toe cage for better protection. Not to mention, the Gore-Tex allows air to get out and keeps the water out. 

The 3F system allows you to move your feet freely. That’s why the Vultur EVO GTX is more suitable for hiking, mixed routes, and glacier crossing.

But it doesn’t work that well for anything more technical. To clarify, you can only use C1 and C2 crampons to increase traction in snow and ice. 

On the inside, the stiff nylon, carbon insole, and TPU midsole increase comfort for long routes. Another key point, the multi-fit footbed allows you to adjust the fit to your liking. The mixture also absorbs shock, easing the strain on your joints. 

Going to the outsole, you have a flexible Vibram rubber sole. While flexibility is desirable, it means that you can’t use the Vultur EVO GTX for technical ice climbing. Significantly, it simply can’t withstand your whole weight in just the toes.

Likes:

  • Waterproof
  • Adjustable inside fit 
  • Ankle support

Dislikes:

  • The laces are not durable
  • The sole doesn’t give enough grip on wet rocks  
  • Not small sizes are available

Salewa Women’s High Rise Trekking Boots

Salewa Men's WS Condor Evo Gore-TEX High Rise Hiking Shoes, Cactus/Teal, 4.5 Big Kid

Features:

  • Price: $286.01
  • Best for snow and ice hiking
  • Sizes: 5.5 to 9
  • Weight: Starting at 1.3 pounds
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1 and C2
  • Leather upper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Heel groove 
  • Lacing system: Regular laces
  • Waterproof

Let’s take a peek at this colorful option from Salewa. It is available in sizes 5.5 to 9.

So, these boots for women will fit most feet due to the interior is not that bulky. Thus, it won’t take as much space as other boots. But without a liner, this also means that it won’t offer too much protection against cold.

If next adventure is mild mountaineering and hiking, then the Salewa women’s trekking boot is a superb option. The leather upper and Gore-Tex lining give some degree of protection against water and wind. Nevertheless, it is not enough for high-altitude climbs and freezing conditions. 

Both the regular laces and metal hooks allow you to choose how tight you want the boot. On the other hand, the tongue grants enough cushioning to avoid blisters on the top of the feet. 

Now, the sole is nothing impressive at all. Even though it is Vibram, it doesn’t look as sturdy as other models. However, the flexibility and shock absorption of the polyurethane midsole makes this boot ideal for hiking through snow and ice. 

Likes:

  • Light and comfortable
  • Easy to break-in 
  • Perfect boot fit

Dislikes:

  • Not enough insulation for freezing environments 
  • The sole is not that durable

Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite Mid GTX

Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite Mid GTX - Women's Premium Navy/Blue Fog 9

Features:

  • Price: $199.95
  • Best for alpine trekking 
  • Sizes: 6 to 11
  • Weight: Starting at 1.2 pounds
  • Crampon Compatibility: C1 
  • Leather upper
  • Lacing system: Regular laces
  • Waterproof

The women’s mountain trainer lite is the ideal option if you like the Mountain Trainer Mid GTX if you don’t want to splurge on mountaineering boots. In that case, you have to settle for a lesser boot in terms of quality. 

First thing to go is the durable Vibram rubber sole. While this may be true, this lite version uses the Pomoco rubber with deep studs. Even so, you’ll get enough traction to sort treacherous terrains like wet rocks, mud, snow, and ice.

However, the lack of toe and heel groves means that the Trainer Lite Mid is incompatible with C2 and C3 crampons. Therefore, this is not the best option for technical ice climbing. 

You can still use strap-on crampons, thanks to the rubber toe cap. It will keep your toe safe and prevent blisters. At the same time, the EVA foam midsole protects your heel during long strolls. 

The suede leather upper, water-resistant lining will increase breathability while keep your feet dry. It also offers mild protection against cold. So, you can use it during summer, fall, autumn, and early winter. 

Likes:

  • Good value for your money
  • Highly resistant waterproof lining 
  • Excellent performance on snow, rocks, and mud

Dislikes:

  • Weak lacing system
  • The boots are only compatible with C1 crampons

Asolo Women’s Alta Via Climbing Boot

Asolo Alta Via GV Mountaineering Boot - Women's - 7.5 - Black/Green

Features: 

  • Price: $416.46
  • Best for mild ice climbing
  • Sizes: 7 to 9.5
  • Weight: Starting at 2.2 pounds 
  • Crampon Compatibility: All 
  • Grain leather upper
  • Lacing system: Regular laces
  • Waterproof

The Alta Via is another slightly more expensive option for Asolo. Let’s start talking about the Perwanger grain leather upper. It is highly scratch-resistant while also protecting the boot against water. The Gore-Tex lining further enhances waterproofing while keeping the boot breathable. 

Next, is the the Vibram sole. The vulcanized rubber improves grip while the Pebax frame increases rigidity. For instance, the PU anti-shock insert reduces the strain on your limbs. Plus, the heel locking system protects both your ankles and reduces the likelihood of twists. 

You can confidently use this boot for hiking, trekking, and ice climbing. One thing, though. The Asolo Women’s Alta Via mountaineering boot is not suitable for alpine climbs or freezing conditions. It basically lacks the necessary insulation and rigidity needed for technical ascent.

The lacing system is an improvement compared with the previous Asolo boot. In reality, the laces are thicker, and the metallic hardware keeps the boot in place no matter what.

Likes:

  • The heel locker reduces ankle twists
  • Durable leather upper
  • Suitable for all crampons
  • Good grip on rocks and ice

Dislikes: 

  • Not enough insulation for alpine routes 
  • It takes a lot of time to break the boots 
  • Quite heavy for its size

La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX Mountaineering Boot

La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX Hiking Shoe, Yellow, 40

Features: 

  • Price: $525.00
  • Best for winter and classic mountaineering 
  • Sizes: 7 to 11
  • Weight: Starting at 2.2 pounds
  • Crampon Compatibility: All 
  • Silicone-impregnated leather upper
  • Lacing system: Regular laces
  • Waterproof

The Nepal EVO GTX has a 3.2 mm silicone-impregnated leather upper. It is both abrasion and water-resistant while also offering some degree of insulation. In addition, the Gore-Tex lining further enhances water protection. Still, we found that some sections of the boot get wet quicker than others. 

In addition, the TPU midsole with polyethylene inserts increases cushioning and absorbs shock. Therefore, despite the weight, the Nepal EVO GTX is suitable for hiking and ice climbing. 

The Vibram sole has aggressive studs that perform well on a wide variety of surfaces. Furthermore, the toe and heel grooves make the Nepal EVO GTX compatible with all crampons. What’s more, the 3D Flex system gives enough support to your ankles to cope with technical routes. 

The Nepal EVO GTX comes with a removable and adjustable tongue for better fit and comfort. However, the Nepal EVO GTX is not available in small sizes. Thus, even if you tighten or crank the laces, the boot might still feel a little loose.  

Likes:

  • Waterproof
  • Superb support 
  • It is compatible with all crampons 
  • Durable outer shell

Dislikes: 

  • It is not available in small sizes 
  • It runs wide at the toe area 

Women’s Mountaineering Double Boots

Best for Alpine Climbs: Arc’teryx Acrux AR Double Mountaineering Boot

Arc'teryx Acrux AR Mountaineering Boot | All Round, Insulated Mountaineering Double Boot with...

Features: 

  • Price: Price not available
  • Best for alpine climbs
  • Sizes: 9 to 13
  • Weight: Starting at 2.1 pounds
  • Crampon Compatibility: All
  • Gore-Tex upper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Heel and toe grooves
  • Lacing system: Regular laces, Zip, and velcro strap
  • Removable liner
  • Waterproof
  • High-profile

AR stands for all-around. And this is what the Arc’teryx Acrux is. It combines both the convenience of a single boot with the waterproof and insulation capabilities of a double boot. At the same time, the rugged exterior ensures durability and performance in the most demanding circumstances.

The laminated Gore-Tex gaiter is water-resistant and together with the T-Zip WaterTight closure and bungee laces, it will be easy for you to seal the boot tightly.

One thing, though. The liner is not that durable, so try your best not to rub it against the rocks. Beneath the gaiter, you find the fabric boot’s body. 

Not to mention, the laces are almost useless since the boot fits tight without them. Whereas, the velcro strap on the top adds an extra layer of security. 

The Vibram rubber soles are stiff enough for technical ice climbing. In particular, the aggressive lugs, toe, and heel grooves give you the possibility to add any crampons you want. 

Likes: 

  • Exceptional insulation
  • Easy to tie and zip-up
  • It provides enough grip to walk through snow and ice
  • Light for a double boot
  • Waterproof and warm 

Dislikes:

  • The external liner is not removable 
  • It runs narrow 

Best For High-Altitude Ice Climbing: La Sportiva G2 EVO Mountaineering Boot

LA SPORTIVA Men's G2 EVO Mountaineering Boot, Black/Yellow, 43 (10 US)

Features: 

  • Price: $950.00
  • Best for high-altitude ice climbing 
  • Sizes: 7.5 to 11
  • Weight: Starting at 2.3 pounds
  • Crampon Compatibility: All 
  • Cordura and thermo-reflective aluminum lining 
  • EVA foam and fabric inner boot
  • Lacing system: BOA laces, velcro straps, and zipper
  • Waterproof
  • High-profile

Alpine climbs and technical ice climbing requires the very best equipment. Without reservation, the G2 EVO is among the best double boots you can get. But beware, it is expensive. 

Let’s start with the body. It has a Cordura outer shell. You can seal it using the zipper and top cord. Once closed, the gaiter insulates the boot, keeping your feet warm and dry at all times.

The boot itself has an EVA foam and fabric construction. While it might not be as durable as leather, it is undoubtedly better for keeping your feet warm. The area around the ankle undeniably reduces twists thanks to the stiff Cordura shell. 

The BOA laces and two Velcro straps make for the inner boot lacing system. Use them to adjust the boot before zipping the gaiter. However, doing your lacing mid-trip is quite a challenge. That’s why La Sportiva added a BOA dial at the exterior for on-the-go adjustments. 

The Vibram sole studs increase traction while the Impact Brake System reduces shock, easing the strain on your joints. Unfortunately, all of these perks come at a price: Weight. La Sportiva G2 EVO is the heaviest mountaineering boot we’ve reviewed thus far. 

Likes: 

  • Compatible with all crampons 
  • Durable outer boot
  • Easy on-the-go adjustments

Dislikes:

  • Expensive 
  • Heavy
  • Hard to find

SCARPA Inverno Alpine Boot

SCARPA Inverno Waterproof Boots for Climbing and Mountaineering - Black - 11

Features: 

  • Price: Price not available
  • Best for high-altitude climbs 
  • Sizes: 8.5 to 11
  • Weight: Starting at 2.8 pounds
  • Crampon Compatibility: C2 and C3
  • Plastic upper
  • Vibram rubber sole
  • Removable liner
  • Heel and toe grooves
  • Lacing system: Regular laces 
  • Waterproof

Nothing beats a double boot when it comes down to high-altitude climbs. The Inverno, by Scarpa, has a proprietary plastic upper. It gives more insulation and water protection than regular leather. Rather, the plastic is not as durable, and it is more likely to get scratched. 

The Inverno alpine boot also comes with a removable high-altitude liner. It increases warmth and protection against the cold while also improving water resistance. The tongue is also made out of plastic and seals the interior. Thus, keeping your feet warm and dry.

Additionally, the laces and metal hooks ensure that everything stays in place. As expected, the removable liner has its own laces to secure it to the exterior. 

The Vibram soles are stiffer than the other boots we’ve seen. The thick lugs increase traction in bone-chilling temperatures, coupled with the built-in grooves, make the boot compatible with automatic and semi-automatic crampons. Furthermore, the ankle section grants more support for abrupt ascents.  

Likes:

  • Superb insulation
  • Thick sole 
  • Compatible with C3 and C2 crampons 
  • Easily removable liner 

Dislikes: 

  • The heel section runs narrow 
  • The plastic exterior gets scratched easily 
  • Very heavy 

How To Choose The Best Women’s Winter Boots

Most mountaineering boots go well beyond the $150 bucks benchmark. The price depends on the insulation, water protection, lacing system, boot profile, sole, and brand.

Obviously, boots for alpine climbs grant ultimate protection against cold and water. Still, not everyone needs to pay $300+ dollars for such a boot.

It is crucial to figure out how you will use the mountain gear boots. Or at least how you are most likely to use it, as it will determine which one suits your needs.

Here, we will try to guide by showing how all these features impact performance. This way, you will be able to identify what you need on a mountaineering boot. Let’s begin. 

How to choose mountaineering boots

Mountaineering Boot Profile 

Also known as cut, it refers to the height of the shin. There are three known cuts: High, medium, and low;  Other specs are: insulation, weight, support, and rigidity increase as we move from first to last. 

But, how do I know which boot has a high or low cut? If the boot shin goes well beyond the ankle, then we are talking about a high-profile boot. In contrast, if the shin is below the ankle, then we have a low-cut model.

You might think that a high-profile boot is always desirable for ice climbing. But it is not always true. A point often overlooked, high-cut boots increase support, insulation, and water protection. But not flexibility.

Nevertheless, these features are only useful if you mostly ice climb in high-altitude environments. By the same token, they also restrict movement.

Now, if you want something that you can walk and climb in, then a medium-profile boot is the best bet. These models split the difference between low and high profiles, giving you the best of both worlds. 


Mountaineering Boots Shell

The boot shell is, arguably, the most relevant part of any boot. Most mountaineering boots’ stiffness comes from it. The majority of modern mountaineering boots have either a synthetic or leather shell. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of each material. 

Leather upper mountaineering boots are sturdier, heavier, and typically last longer than their synthetic counterparts. However, natural leather is not waterproof right out of the box.

Therefore, they will get soaked in water without a waterproof lining or coating. The problem here is that wet leather will weigh you down. Of course, it takes ages to dry them completely. 

We recommend waterproofing them before your trek and long approaches.

Synthetic fabrics are lighter, more water-resistant, and don’t stretch as much as leather. As a result, synthetic mountaineering boots are the top choice when technical footing is required. They are more comfortable as well. 

Although not so common, you can also find some plastic mountaineering boots. They are cheaper and lighter than synthetic or leather versions. However, they are not as precise and take more space. Thus, they are only suitable for beginners. 


Mountaineering Boots Sole

All mountaineering boots have rubber soles. Thickness, studs, and stiffness are the only thing that changes from boot to boot. Generally, the thicker the sole, the stiffer the boot gets. 

Stiff boots are more suitable for technical ice climbing, whereas flexible boots are better for hiking and mild climbing. 

The traction of the boot largely depends on the soles studs. Most mountaineering boots have somewhat the same sole layout.

Still, it pays to know that thick studs perform better on muddy terrain and ice. But not that well on ice. Nevertheless, you are likely to use crampons in this situation. So this won’t be a big concern. 

With this purpose in mind, look for Vibram soles, as those are the best in terms of performance in snow and ice. 

Mountaineering Boot Comfort

The insole, and midsole, and shell determine how comfortable the boot is. Let’s talk about the first two, for we already talked about the shell before. 

How comfortable are mountaineering boots

Insole

Insoles are those removable pieces that come in contact with your feet. Most mountaineering boots come with EVA foam insoles. These are the most comfortable of all. However, they also take some space inside the boot. 

Insoles absorb shock while also increasing cushioning. If you have low or high arches, you can replace the insoles with aftermarket models, especially if they have a foot condition.

Now, if you plan on doing this, you better bring your insole when trying boots. It is the only way to ensure that you pick the right size.

Midsole

The midsole is that part between the outsole and the upper. It absorbs shock while also enhancing support. Depending on the mountaineering boot, the midsole could be either softer or stiffer. 

Alpine boots require a stiff midsole. In contrast, you want something softer that reduces the impact on your feet if you plan on hiking the most. 

Lacing System

Ensuring a tight fit is crucial for ice climbing. Most mountaineering boots use regular laces for the lacing system. These are reliable, long-lasting, and cheap. However, they are cumbersome to tie with cold hands. 

Boa laces are the workaround that some alpine boots use. You can easily adjust them on the go without taking your gloves off. Unforunately, they are not as durable as regular lace. Plus, Boa laces are typically more expensive than regular ones. 


Single or Double Boots

Most mountaineering boots are single boots. Hence, they lack a removable gaiter that covers the boot. Thus, offering less protection against cold and water. 

On the other hand, double boots have a removable gaiter or inner thermal liner that grants an extra layer of protection against cold. That’s why they are more suitable for high-altitude climbs.  However, they double mountaineering boots do make them heavier and bulkier.

Here you can learn more about the differences between both types of boots. 

La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Women's Hiking Shoe, Ice, 39
Single Boot- La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX
LA SPORTIVA Men's G2 EVO Mountaineering Boot, Black/Yellow, 43 (10 US)
Double Boot- La Sportiva G2

Crampon Compatibility

When the ice takes all trails, it is time to strap a pair of crampons. These traction devices increase grip, giving you the ability to sort out icy routes. However, not all crampons are suitable with any boot. 

Crampon compatibility

Crampon compatibility goes as follows: 

  • C1 Crampons work with any type of boots 
  • C2 Crampons work with B2 and B3 mountaineering boots
  • C3 Crampon only work with B3 boots

Here you can learn more about what crampons are and how to choose them.

Mountaineering Boot Size 

Mountaineering boots are bulkier than most other footwear. Specifically, it’s because the tongue, insole, socks, and shell take their space. That’s why it is crucial to take the insoles and socks with you after making any purchase. This way, you can tell which size you should use. 

However, some people can’t physically try the boot. If you are in this situation, then you should go for a half size or even a size larger. This will give you enough space to accommodate your feet, socks, and insole.  

Sadly, not all brands offer women-specific mountaineering boots. Most have unisex models at best. Therefore, you have to settle with those models available in small sizes. 


Best Mountaineering Boot: La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX

Are you still in doubt? Then we suggest La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX. Yes, it might sit on the expensive side. But the high-profile cut gives you the support you need to cope with almost any route.

Certainly, it remains flexible enough, so it doesn’t become a burden when hiking. 

The built-in honeycomb cage wraps your feet tightly and protects them against hits. Moreover, the steel shards on the shell keep it from flexing, reducing the chances of producing blisters in the long run. And best of all, it is available in small sizes! 

Apart from that, you get all the typical goodies: Waterproof lining, Vibram sole, regular laces, adjustable tongue, and 3D Flex system. All backed up by a reputable brand: La Sportiva.

Don’t wait any longer and get yours here!

Last update on 2021-10-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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