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Winter Boots

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:05 pm
by maverick
Those of you who continue to enjoy the Sierra into the winter months I would be
interested in what type of footwear/boots do you use? Make and brand? Your
recommendation from experience?
How many of you use traditional leather boots or do you prefer plastic boots?
What type of insulation do they have, if Thinsulate, how many grams do you prefer?
Any problems with overheating or sweating in the plastic boots? Any leaking issues
with the leather/goretex boots?

Re: Winter Boots

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:37 pm
by Fly Guy Dave
When I go out for some winter camping, I wear a pair of these:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Footwear ... t103959180

My feet are stay totally warm, don't get wet (I also wear wicking sock liners) and they fit into my snowshoes really well. The high top and draw string close acts like a gaiter, so no need for those. I would certainly recommend them. I also have boots for my cross country skis, but I only wear those when skiing. They're not thick enough to just wear around camp, but they do require gaiters.

Re: Winter Boots

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:55 pm
by maverick
Hi Dave,

Are they comfortable enough to climbing steep sections? How is the traction?
What about walking off snow for a few miles?

Re: Winter Boots

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:44 am
by bluefish
I've always been a fan of double boots for cold backpacks. They are a little clunky if using say, Koflachs or some other plastic boot/liner boot for more technical use with crampons and bindings , or my favorite for trails- good ol' Sorel caribou pack boots. The advantage to me is the liners can be removed and dried and easily kept warm in your bag overnite. Boots with built-in insulation can absorb sweat and freeze solid, unless you go through the hassle of bagging them and putting them at the bottom of your bag. Not very comftorable. I also use just the outer boot to get outside the tent at night. Sorels are like bedroom slippers to me and last many years. I work in them nearly every day in the winter and am leaving for a 2 day trip to a peak in Vermont after I type this. No crampon use, some snowshoe, so the Sorels for this trip. I usually don't do lots of miles in the winter, I would probably use insulated single boots and spare socks with liner socks if I was planning on long distance. For 5-10 mile days the Sorels work fine. The soles are made for decent traction, though a little care is needed as any winter boot is a little sloppy.

Re: Winter Boots

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:31 am
by Fly Guy Dave
maverick wrote:Are they comfortable enough to climbing steep sections? How is the traction?
What about walking off snow for a few miles?


Hi Mav-

I'd have to echo Bluefish's sentiments about his Sorels.These are Cabela's version of Sorels, without the Sorels-like price. They operate in much the same way, with liners that you can remove (although I never have), and provide plenty of traction on crusty morning snow, as well as ice (as much traction as you can have on ice, anyhow). My brother in law has a pair of Sorels, which I wore a few times and it inspired me to look around for something similar and I found these at Cabela's.

From my experience, they work just fine on steep slopes, case in point: I hiked up the Elephant's Back, near Carson Pass with them, and if you are familiar with that, it's pretty steep. I've also worn them for three days straight when I've been snow camping; hiking in, hiking out and exploring while I was there, and I've had zero issues with blisters or even hot spots, just warm, dry feet. I don't know about using them with crampons, I never have, but I suppose it could be done.

Re: Winter Boots

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:08 am
by maverick
Thanks Fly Guy Dave and Bluefish or the feedback.

Re: Winter Boots

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:22 pm
by kingofthemountains
I have been looking at the Zamberlan alpine boots for my new winter boots. Does anyone have any experience with these? Are they worth the heft price tag??

Re: Winter Boots

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:08 pm
by Robb
I'm a fan of the kind of boots Dave mentioned, for much the same reasons. Your feet stay warm and dry, you have a built in gaiter, and they work well with snowshoes. The price doesn't hurt either. You might not want to put in a ton of miles in them, but in my experience winter hiking isn't about putting in big mileage days.