Top 8 Best Mountaineering Boots of 2023
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Mountaineering is a challenging activity that will require special gear that ensures performance and safety.
Choosing the right mountaineering boots will make a huge difference and often can be the most important piece of equipment while climbing.
You need to consider factors like durability, insulation, traction and comfort.
In this article, we will go over the important factors and pick out the best mountaineering boots.
Best Overall Mountaineering Boots
La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Mountaineering
Best Budget Mountaineering Boot
Rocky Men’s 4754
Price: $81.15 – $95.50
Best Mountaineering Boots for Ice Climbs
Mont Blanc Pro
What To Consider Before Buying Mountaineering Boots
The mountaineering boots you choose will directly affect your performance on your next expedition.
Knowing what your climbing objective is will help you with choosing your next mountaineering boot.
For more technical mountaineering that requires accurate footwork, you’ll want a mountaineering boot with less insulation and a stiffer sole.
If you’re trekking through wet or snowy terrain, then you’ll need a mountaineering boot with waterproof protection.
If you’re climbing in icy and mixed terrain, you might want to consider mountaineering boots with crampon attachments that will secure your feet and provide good traction on slippery or steep terrain.
The level of the insulation depends on the weather on your hikes – more insulation means warmer boots, less insulation means more breathability.
If you frequently hike icy terrains or in colder weathers, consider getting a mountaineering boot with more insulation.
While on normal hikes in sunny weather, take mountaineering boots with less insulation.
Hiking boots go through a lot, and can tear and wear out rapidly. Choosing the right material based on the complexity of your climbs will ensure your hiking boots will be durable to the max.
Traction is critical, it will help you maintain your balance on the harshest of climbs.
Mostly 2 primary things contribute to the traction of the mountaineering boot, firstly, the material of the sole – Vibram is an excellent choice for great durability and traction.
Secondly, the tread pattern – a deep pattern will provide better terrain on uneven surfaces, while a flat pattern is better for an even and smooth surface.
Also. the height of the mountaineering boot can have an impact on the traction, if you’re going steep ice climbing, then you should choose a boot with higher ankle support.
While if you’re going on mixed mountain terrain or mixed climbing then a lower ankle support is recommended for a looser feel.
Mountaineering boots can have a few lacing systems, let’s take a closer look at them:
Traditional: The normal lacing system, a bit time consuming but easy enough.
Quick Lacing: Many boots have a single cord to quickly adjust the looseness even when you’re with mittens on.
Boa Lacing: Used by some hiking boots, can make very precise adjustments with this system.
Hybrid: Some modern boots may have more than 1 system.
Best Overall Mountaineering Boots
La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX ($562.00)
- Waterproof protection
- Gore Tex Breathability
- B3 Crampon Compatibility
The La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX is a great gtx mountaineering boot that works for trekking and climbing in technical terrain or steep surfaces.
La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX has a Gore Tex lining making them waterproof and breathable, keeping your feet dry and warm.
They are a bit high on the ankle making them great for climbing steep ice and hard and slippery terrain, adding a lot of stability to your climbs.
The La Sportiva Nepal are comfortable to wear and even after using these for dozens of climbs, their quality hasn’t repressed at all.
Toe and heel welts for all types of crampons, C1, C2, C3.
Overall I’m very happy with these, can’t go wrong with these, although a bit expensive, these are the best mountaineering boots money can buy.
These are excellent for serious climbers, but even if these are your first shoes – they’ll be your last due to their excellent performance and durability.
Best Budget Mountaineering Boot
Rocky Men’s 4754 ($81.15 – $95.50)
- Warmest boots
- Not Durable
This mountaineering boot is designed to withstand the coldest weathers and provide great comfort at an affordable price.
The 400 grams of 3M insulation will keep your feet warm and dry even in extreme cold conditions.
They are lightweight and are very comfortable to walk in for long periods of time.
Although made of 100% leather, the stitching is not good, and they can get ruined quickly depending on your preferred activity.
These are great for trekking but not so much for ice climbing as they don’t have welts for crampons, although you can use a strap on crampons if you really want to.
Best Mountaineering Boots for Ice Climbing
SCARPA Men’s Mont Blanc Pro GTX ($628.95)
- Automatic & Semi Automatic Crampon Compatibility
- Perfect for Ice Climb
- Heel & Toe Welt
- Gore Tex Fabric
If you’re looking for the highest quality of boots, then these Mont Blanc Pro mountaineering boots are the way to go.
No more cold feet – Made with gore tex, these will keep your feet warm and dry, plus there’s a built-in insulation.
The Mont Blanc pro mountaineering boots provide support, flexibility and most importantly comfort.
Mont Blanc Pro are made for high performing climbers and are great for ice climbing due to the welts on both toe and heel, making them compatible with any type of crampon.
The lacing system on the Mont Blanc Pro goes to the toe and can be adjusted to fit as you’d like, release pressure or tie them harder while rock climbing.
Best Value Mountaineering Boots
La Sportiva Karakorum ($318.95 – $338.95)
- Best Value
- No Gore-Tex lining
Mountaineering boots can be expensive, but most of us are willing to spend a few extra dollars to get the best mountaineering boots possible.
With La Sportiva Karakorum, you don’t have to break the bank to get a good all around mountain boots.
They are very durable, and can last for a long time.
The lacing system feels nice and the fit is all around a very comfortable one.
These La Sportiva don’t have a gore tex lining, meaning you should stay away from cold weather and rain, these are more fit for rock climbing and rocky terrain.
Best Mountaineering Boots for Women
SCARPA Charmoz ($332.06 – $398.95)
- Waterproof protection
- Only Heel Welt
The Charmoz is a great mountaineering boot that looks impressive and feels even better.
A rubber sole makes walking easy, and the gore tex fabric makes your feet dry and warm.
They are well-made and last for a long time, the stitching feels premium and the whole shoe just feels high quality.
Best Double Boot Mountaineering Boots
La Sportiva Men’s Spantik Boot ($569.66 – $750.00)
- Inner Boot
The La Sportiva Spantik are designed for extreme conditions, mostly for ice and mixed climbing.
Provides waterproof protection with its gore tex lining.
The unique design really stands out with a lightweight abrasion resistant fabric upper and an inner boot with foam and high loft materials.
Customizable lacing system that can be adjusted with one hand, just pull to ease or harden the tension.
Heel and toe welts making them compatible with automatic crampons, semi-automatic crampons and strap on crampons.
These are the best double boot mountaineering boots on the market!
Best Lightweight Mountaineering Boots
Salomon Men’s Quest Element ($217.59)
- Not Suited For Extreme Conditions
If you’re a hiker that likes to stay light on their feet, then the Salomon Quest Element Gore-Tex are the way to go.
These lightweight mountaineering boots will help you with any challenge.
These are designed for comfort of everyday activities, you can go trailing, running, hiking, camping and mountaineering with them in moderate conditions.
They are designed to be waterproof and allow a lot of mobility and flexibility.
Not suitable for extreme conditions like steep ice climbing.
Scarpa Ribelle Tech ($449.94)
- Lightest boot
- Good Value
- Limited Ankle Support
The Scarpa Ribelle Tech are a part of their unique Ribelle line that emphasizes lightweight, flexible mountaineering boots.
These high-performance boots are designed for mixed climbing and alpine climbs.
They incorporate the gore tex fabric technology, which gives you a lot of breathability and warmth.
These are designed for the best climbers that need a flexible and comfortable mountaineering boot that will help them navigate hard terrain.
There’s a heel welt that can be used for fully & semi-automatic crampons.
This is a great boot all around and gives you everything you need when it comes to performance and durability.
These are not recommended for use in extreme cold conditions, due to the flexibility and limited grip of the boot. If you’re looking for a boot similar to this that is good for ice climbing, then the Scarpa phantom tech would be the best choice.
Single vs Double Boots
Single and double boots are different types of mountaineering boots that are made for different levels of climbing.
If you need mountaineering boots for rock climbing, for ice climbing and lower attitude climbs, then single boots will be more ideal for you.
Due to their single layer of insulation (hence the name single boots), they are lightweight and flexible.
On the other hand, the double boots are heavier, having 2 layers of insulation to protect you from extreme cold and keep your feet warm.
Double boots are ideal for cold weather, for climbs that involve getting your feet wet, and for tougher terrain that has a lot of ice and rocks.
So, before buying mountaineering boots, make sure to know in which conditions you frequent the most while climbing, if you frequently go climbing at high altitudes, then the double boot is recommended.
If you go climbing in milder weather and lower altitudes, then the single boots would be the better choice.
Caring for Your Mountaineering Boots
Just like any other outdoor gear, you want to keep your mountaineering boots in good condition, we’ve got you!
Some tips to keep your new mountaineering boots good as new:
1) Dry your boots: If you’re going on hikes where the terrain consists of water & ice, your boots will most likely get wet, not drying them properly may lead to fungi and damaging the material, so don’t forget to clean them and place them near a heat source, or get a boot dryer.
2) Clean Regularly: not cleaning your mountaineering boots after hikes will result in debris and dirt accumulating on them and damaging the material of the shoe, resulting eventually in them tearing.
We recommend not using any chemicals on the hiking boots and rather using some basic cleaning tools that include a brush and a cloth, use some water and clean them good.
3) Proper storage: The best place to keep your mountaineering boots is in a dry and cool place away from the sun.
4) Leather boots: If your hiking boots are made of leather, then you should consider using leather conditioner to keep them shining to prevent cracking.
Can I use mountaineering boots as ski boots?
Mountaineering boots are only for climbs and hikes, do not use them as ski boots.
Do I need a mountaineering boots to use crampons?
Generally speaking, yes. Some crampons can be used on normal hiking boots, but it’s better to use on mountaineering boots because of the welts they usually have.
Choosing mountaineering boots can be hard and confusing, you have to understand the factors at play and understand the differences between the boots.
We went over some of our favorite mountaineering boots and hiking boots and explained the important factors of finding a good boot.
Hopefully, we helped you find mountaineering boots that you will be happy with and that will last for a long time.