If you’re interested in mountaineering or hiking in any way, you’re going to want to make sure you’re properly equipped for safety and performance; one of the most important parts of any climber or hiker’s arsenal is always the best mountaineering boots you can get your hands on. Whether you’re looking for heavy-duty mountaineering boots or snake proof shoes for hiking, there’s something out there for every type of hiker.
We’re here to help you understand what type of mountaineering boots you need for your personal hiking and mountaineering preferences. Below, you can find out best mountaineering boots reviews, in which we break down 10 of the best mountain boot models available in 2020 to help you understand the most important features of each one.
Related Review; Waterproof Shoes.
View the Best Mountaineering Boots, Below.
- Forsake Patch Waterproof Hiking Boot
- La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX
- GM GOLAIMAN Military Tactical Combat Boots
- WHITIN Men’s Insulated All-Weather Boots
- La Sportiva Men’s Makalu
- Caitin Men’s Insulated Cold-Weather Boots
- FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Boots
- Scarpa Women’s Mont Blanc GTX
- Salewa Women’s Raven 2 GTX
- Salomon Women’s X ALP SPRY
1. Forsake Patch Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Forsake Patch Waterproof Hiking Boot is made from a lightweight, breathable selection of materials, allowing your feet to stay cool and sweat free during casual hikes. The foot beds are treated with an antimicrobial treatment, further increasing the comfort of these mountaineering boots and reducing odors and the risk of foot infections.
These are casual, comfortable mountaineering boots suitable for lower level, more relaxed hiking. They offer a high level of comfort, as well as handy water resistance and a strong grip on rough surfaces, but the design is focused more on hill hiking than on high-intensity climbing and mountaineering.
A lightweight and casual sneaker boot design of mountaineering boots, the Forsake Patch Waterproof Hiking Boot is a great entry level boot for high levels of comfort when walking on easier hillsides and mountain terrains.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX
La Sportiva Mountaineering Boots are market leaders in the field of mountaineering boots for a reason, and the La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX is an excellent example of their premium design and construction. The lightweight, waterproof construction of this mountaineering boot belies just how sturdy and supportive it is, offering excellent protection and support for more serious mountaineers.
The gore-tex insulated comfort membrane inside the mountaineering boot provides a high level of insulation for climbing in cold conditions, as well as breathability to keep your feet cool and fresh during intense exercise and an added level of waterproofing to help keep the inside of your boots dry in any weather conditions. These are excellent boots for alpine conditions, providing insulation and waterproofing on all sides for protection from snow and other elemental conditions.
One of the best la Sportiva mountaineering boot models available, the La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX offers high performance and a high level of comfort for serious climbers and mountaineers.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. GM GOLAIMAN Military Tactical Combat Boots
The GM GOLAIMAN Men's Military Tactical Combat Boots are strong, sturdy winter boots that are suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities such as tactical uses, riding, motorcycle riding, hiking, and many others. They offer a high level of comfort and warmth as well as a high grip outsole with skidproof TPR materials to protect you from slipping on icy ground.
These boots are not ideal for more serious mountaineering, but they offer suficient ankle support for more casual mountaineering and hiking, making them a great choice for more casual users who prefer a wide range of outdoor activities.
Great for anything from motorcycle riding to hiking, the GM Golaiman Men’s Motorcycle Boots offer water resistance and a high level of ankle support for a protective, comfortable boot with a large number of potential uses.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. WHITIN Men’s Insulated All-Weather Boots
The Whitin Men's Insulated All-Weather Boots are comfortable and protective mountaineering boots for intermediate levels of hiking intensity. The leather upper of these best mountaineering boots is tough and durable, offering a high level of protection, and water resistant enough to keep your feet dry in most weather conditions, albeit not waterproof enough for wading through standing water!
The included sock liner provides added comfort when hiking and can be removed if needed, allowing sufficient space for a medical orthotic insole for users who require this.
Durable and well insulated, the WHITIN Men’s Insulated All-Weather Boots are an excellent choice for hiking and mountaineering at a moderate level of intensity in any weather conditions, offering excellent warmth and protection as well as reasonable support.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. La Sportiva Men’s Makalu
A high-performance option for intermediate mountaineering hikers, the La Sportiva Men's Makalu Mountaineering Boots are more affordable and less advanced in their design than many other La Sportiva mountaineering boots. This less premium and complex design makes these mountaineering boots less of a high-performance option but increases accessibility and affordability substantially.
Although lower end than some other models of La Sportiva mountaineering boot, these are high-quality intermediate mountaineering boots with thick, well-textured outsoles for strong grip on rough terrain and tough, durable leather uppers for protection and ankle support.
Designed for protection and crampon support in a lightweight and comfortable package, the La Sportiva Men’s Makalu mountaineering boots are one of the best la Sportiva mountaineering boot models for entry-level to intermediate users.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Caitin Men’s Insulated Cold-Weather Boots
Designed for mountaineering at moderate levels of intensity in cold weather, or more heavy duty hiking, the Caitin Men's Insulated Cold Weather Boots are strong, well-insulated mountaineering boots for intermediate users. Their durable rubber soles feature multi-directional outsole lugs, providing excellent grip and traction on any surface, no matter the weather conditions, elevation, or incline, while the upper is made from a durable and water-resistant synthetic leather material for protection and strong high top ankle support.
These best mountaineering boots also feature a comfortable padded insole that can be removed to allow the use of a medical orthotic if needed, or simply removed for machine washing.
The Caitin Mens Insulated Cold Weather Boots are excellent winter boots for hiking and intermediate mountaineering. Their high level of insulation promises to keep your feet warm in cold weather, while the water resistance of the synthetic leather upper protects you from light rain.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Boots
Lightweight but durable, the FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Boots are comfortable and protective mountain climbing boots for mountaineering and hiking at most levels of intensity in better weather conditions. They do not offer sufficient insulation or waterproofing for high performance in intense snow or heavy rain, focusing instead on breathability and comfort in warmer weather, letting your feet breath comfortably even during more intense hikes.
Offering extra high ankle support, the FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Boots are great for hiking on unstable, rough surfaces, as well as providing enough ankle protection to function as some of the best snake proof boots on this list.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Scarpa Women’s Mont Blanc GTX
The Scarpa Women's Mont Blanc GTX mountaineering boots are exceptionally lightweight, marketed as the lightest boots in their class. This makes them a comfortable and unobtrusive choice for longer hikes and mountaineering trips, and in addition to this high level of comfort, they feature a number of high-performance points of design.
The mid sole is designed for shock absorption, keeping your strides comfortable no matter the surface on which you’re walking, while the heel locks firmly for high climbing performance on steep surfaces. Despite this high level of support, though, they allow for a naturalistic level of foot flexibility, with the Ergo Fit design system allowing the boots to shape themselves to your feet effectively and comfortably for a more natural walking experience.
Exceptionally lightweight for such a durable and supportive mountaineering boot, the Scarpa Women’s Mont Blanc GTX mountaineering boots are more unobtrusive and comfortable than most other models of high-performance mountaineering boots.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Salewa Women’s Raven 2 GTX
With a thick, well-padded sole made from Vibram rubber for added shock absorption, the Salewa Women’s Raven 2 GTX mountaineering boots offer a high level of support and comfort for mountaineering and hiking on rough, difficult surfaces. These are sturdy mountaineering boots with strong, durable ankle support and protection, making them among the best snake boots available in 2020.
The gore-tex performance comfort liner built into the boots gives a high level of breathability and comfort, allowing your feet to stay cool and dry in any conditions and boosting the waterproof nature of the mountaineering boots further.
A great high-performance option for those who want a high level of sole support and comfort, the Salewa Women’s Raven 2 GTX mountaineering boots offer a thick, supportive sole to reduce impact and strain on the soles of your feet and ankles.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Salomon Women’s X ALP SPRY
The Salomon Women's X ALP SPRY mountaineering boots are sneaker boots rather than robust and durable mountaineering boots with strong support, making them a poor choice for more intense mountaineering expeditions. That's not to say they're a poor choice overall, however; the lightweight construction and easy packability of these trail shoes make them a great choice for more casual use or for hiking on less challenging terrain.
These are comfortable and breathable shoes for casual hiking, promising strong grip on trails and minimal obstruction to fluid, natural movement.
Great for casual users who want to prioritize comfort over support and performance, the Salomon Women’s X ALP SPRY sneaker boots are lightweight and comfortable, ideal for shorter and simpler hikes.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Mountaineering Boots Buyer’s Guide
Mountaineering boots and crampons come in three different grades, which indicate the terrain they’re suitable for. The grades of mountaineering boots available are B1, B2, and B3, while crampons are available in C1, C2, and C3 grades. B1 boots are compatible with C1 crampons, B2 boots can take C1 and C2 crampons, and B3 boots are compatible with any crampons of C1, C2 or C3 grades.
These grades also affect stiffness; B1 boots are only semi-stiff, while B2 mountaineering boots are relatively stiff and B3 ice climbing boots are extremely rigid and offer hardly any flexibility at all, making them the best mountaineering boots for extreme conditions.
B1 mountaineering boots (and C1 crampons) are for hikes on hills and mountains, while B2 mountaineering boots (and B2 crampons) are suited for alpine routes with steeper, more unstable areas and patches of ice, and heavy-duty B3 boots (and C3 crampons) are designed for more extreme mountaineering at higher altitudes and ice climbing.
How to Size Mountaineering Boots?
It’s important to get the correct size of mountaineering boots in order to have a safe and comfortable climbing experience when you go mountaineering. There are a couple of tips that are worth paying attention to if you’re looking to buy a new pair of mountaineering boots; these can help you to make sure that your new boots fit your feet perfectly with no discomfort or looseness.
Firstly, make sure you wear the correct socks when trying on boots. Wear the same socks that you’d wear for mountaineering in order to make sure your shoe fits the same. Make sure your sock has a tight-knit and good, stretchy, supportive construction, and if possible is made from a moisture-wicking fabric. If you find that your boots are actually a little too loose, try adding a sock liner to improve the fit slightly!
You can use socks to adjust the fit of a boot that’s a little too large, but nothing can help with a mountaineering boot that’s too small for your feet. When you climb a mountain, your boots end up angled upwards as you ascend and downwards as you descend afterward.
This gives a slightly different set of pressures and strains from walking on a flat surface, so when trying on a pair of mountaineering boots you should test them on an inclined surface to make sure they’re comfortable. When properly laced up, your mountaineering boots should fit such that when walking downhill your toes should not push against the front of the boots, and there should be less than a finger width of space at the back of the boot.
It is also important to ensure that your boots are properly laced in order to achieve the correct fit and sizing. Lace from the toe, and gradually increase the tension as you work up your foot. You may find that after a little walking you may need to adjust the tension and relace the boots, especially with newer mountaineering boots that you’re still breaking in.
How to Break in Mountaineering Boots?
It is important to break in mountaineering boots thoroughly before any intense use, as they can take a little while to adjust and relax around your feet fully. As a general rule, the more heavy duty and high performance your boots are, the more breaking in they will require in order to fit comfortably and protect your feet effectively.
Lightweight sneaker style boots will require only a little breaking in, while larger, sturdier mountaineering boots for high performance, heavy duty climbing will require much more breaking in before they can be used properly. Breaking in should always be done over a long period of time, wearing the boots for short periods of time and steadily increasing.
Do not ever attempt a long trip or a hike with new boots that have not been broken in yet, as this can cause major problems with rubbing and blistering. All breaking in of mountaineering boots should be done while wearing the socks and, if necessary, insoles that you would normally wear while hiking or mountaineering.
Start by lacing your new mountaineering boots a little less tightly than you would when hiking, and wear them around the house a little. Wear them for longer periods each time, and after a couple of sessions, you should be ready to move on. After this, tighten your laces properly, and begin to walk around town in your boots, slowly increasing the distance each time you leave the house.
Eventually, you’ll be ready for off-road hiking. This is the point where the majority of the breaking in will happen, so don’t worry if your boots still feel a little tight. Don’t try any particularly steep terrain or long hikes just yet, but stick to short hikes on easier terrain.
As with previous stages, you can steadily increase both the length of your hikes and the amount of weight you can carry until everything is completely comfortable. At this point, your boots should be pretty much completely broken in, and you’re ready to go!
How Much Heel Slip is Normal in Mountaineering Boots?
Heel slip is the term for when the heel of your boot moves around slightly during walking or hiking. The heel of your foot lifts slightly from the sole of the boot, giving a little more flexibility and potentially boosting circulation a little. On the other hand, though, excessive heel slip can lead to blisters and injury.
A little heel slip is inevitable, as the sole of a pair of mountaineering boots is stiffer than that of your feet, so the two will inevitably move slightly differently when you walk. If there’s enough heel slip in your mountaineering boots that you’re getting blisters when you walk as you attempt to break your boots in, though, then that’s too much heel slip, and something is wrong with your boots.
There’s no precise measurement for heel slip, but it can effectively be boiled down to a matter of comfort: if your mountaineering boots are comfortable, then there’s an appropriate amount of heel slip. If the boots are uncomfortable, then the heel slip is a problem!
If you’re looking to climb snowy mountains or to hike in other cold conditions, well-insulated snow boots are vital. Feet get cold easily, and it’s essential to keep them as warm as possible when you climb to reduce the risk to your health and life.
Did you know?
If you’re interested in vertical climbing, scrambling up steep rockfaces to reach the top of a mountain, you might want to prioritize weight over warmth. Lightweight mountaineering boots aren’t as well insulated as heavier boots, but they offer more mobility and flexibility in the right situation!