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#125363 - 12/16/09 05:05 PM Cold Weather Boots
ZeroSix_Actual Offline
member

Registered: 02/13/06
Posts: 22
Loc: MT
I am looking to do some mountaineering with my wife this winter and we are having a hard time finding her good cold weather boots that will both keep her feet warm and be comfortable enough to hike in.

My wife is small, size 4 womans or childrens 2 1/2.

We will be in temps from -30 deg below, to 40 deg. I was hoping for something versatile between a pacboot and cold weather hiker. I would love to find quality footgear for her, I have an excellent range of boots from pac boots to cold weather hiking for myself but cannot find anything of good quality in her size.

brand recommendations anyone?

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#125432 - 12/17/09 12:38 PM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: ZeroSix_Actual]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1143
Loc: Washington State, King County
I have zero experience at temps anywhere close to -30F, but with such a wide range of temps to deal with , I wonder if an overboot could be part of the solution? In particular you might look at (and find reviews on) relevant products by Neos.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#125439 - 12/17/09 01:13 PM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: BrianLe]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
My feet can get cold in -40 boots, standing around in temps in the 20's even, on snow. Single digits and lower, even moving around camp my feet get cold. I try to bring chemical packs on o/n winter trips the last couple years. I just ordered some Baffin boots, -70 I believe, will be there when I get home Friday. I hope I didn't get too large of a size. Used Sorel for years but they are about done in at 25+ years of use. Man, I hate ordering online after you do your research. Either a online retailer doesn't have your size or style or when you follow a link to their site, they don't carry that style. Argh! Then you have to start all over researching a brand and style. Many brands are now made in China. I found a few boots I liked from one famous Canada company, only to find the country of origin was China now, not Canada.

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#125465 - 12/17/09 10:01 PM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: ZeroSix_Actual]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
TRUE winter mountaineering boots are plastic shells W/ removable closed cell foam inner liners (to take into yer sleeping bag overnight)

They are very pricey but the best, like Scarpa, are very warm. There has been a revolution in the warmth of true mountaineering boots in the past 10 years. It all depends upon what kind of mountaineering you'll do, technical or just walking a trail.

Eric

If'n ya don't want to spend that much money look at Cabela's catalog for the largest selection of winter boots on the planet. BUT be sure to wear vapor barrier liners (VBLs) over thin polypro liner sox to keep your sweat from wetting out the boots'insulation layer and causing very cold feet.

For a VBL I use thin neoprene diver's sox that I've seam sealed. One pair has lasted 5 years for hunting and winter camping and snowshoeing.
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"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#125472 - 12/17/09 11:22 PM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: 300winmag]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Your post is somewhat confusing. You said "mountaineering" - i.e. if you're doing techincal winter climbing, then you're probably talking a plastic shell climbing boot. I.E as is made by Scarpa, Koflach, etc. I no experience with those.

If you are looking for a *winter* boot suitable for hiking in in very cold weather. Most people (including myself) who do this use some kind of mukluk or pac boot type. My personal favorite, because they work, and are cheap, and easy to get where I live is the Canadian Army issue mukluk -but you can
do pretty will with clones made by Sorel or kamik, etc.

At least with mine, I have two sets of the felt liners (so I can alternate and ensure I have a dry set), and I use a plastic waffle weave footbed, topped with a thermal
footbed underneath the liner (between the liner and the bottom of theboot). With this I don't have any problem with my feet standing around in -40..

Let's see. what I have are:
Canadian Forces Mukluks
(shop around to get a deal, because they aren't that hard to find)

I know lots of people who swear by stegers:
http://shop.mukluks.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AR-R&title=Arctic with Ribbon Mukluks

And these look good:
http://www.empirecanvasworks.com/truenorthboots.htm

However these are *NOT* for mountaineering - i.e climbing.

_________________________
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Winter list.
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#125480 - 12/18/09 01:07 AM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: phat]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
If you go to www.wintertrekking.com and look in the boot section, you can see what people up North, like Phat and Rick wear. In the forums are a number of threads on boots for extreme cold. but as Phat said, they are not talking about climbing.

Millett Everest boots are about the ultimate cold weather climbing boot, but they cost about $650 and may not be made small enough. I don't know how they would be for hiking. Plastic boots are fine for climbing, but I wound up with really bad shin bang from a pair of Koflachs that didn't fit quite right and after a couple of miles, could barely walk because of the bruise on the front of my shin.


Edited by TomD (12/18/09 01:16 AM)
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#125481 - 12/18/09 01:15 AM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: phat]
Howie Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 481
Loc: Canora, SK, Canada
A big 10-4 on the mukluks. Remembering my army days, they work just fine. However, I do remember them being too warm unless the weather was extremely cold. I didn't do a lot of foot soldier work, but I know those who did would carry combat boots in additon to mukluks so they could change over to meet changing conditions.

Howie

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#125486 - 12/18/09 08:53 AM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: phat]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Good price on those Phat.

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#125487 - 12/18/09 09:01 AM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: Howie]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Howie
A big 10-4 on the mukluks. Remembering my army days, they work just fine. However, I do remember them being too warm unless the weather was extremely cold. I didn't do a lot of foot soldier work, but I know those who did would carry combat boots in additon to mukluks so they could change over to meet changing conditions.
Howie


Absolutely! if I'm only out in 5 or 10 below, forget it, I wear my hanwags with gaiters and good wool socks. The muks are for serious cold...

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Any fool can be uncomfortable...
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Winter list.
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#125496 - 12/18/09 12:24 PM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: ZeroSix_Actual]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I haven't done any -30f hiking but I have done quite a bit of below zero hiking. The best cold weather hiking boots I ever had was a pair of "Snowmobile Boots" that a friend gave me.

I put a lot of miles on them and I was very impressed with how well they were suited for winter hiking. Much lighter and more comfortable than the Sorel's I had.

I tromped around the State Parks in No. Illinois and Wisconsin so I can't say if they'd suit your needs for mountaineering but you might look into them. There were several brands with models for women on the link above.


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#125507 - 12/18/09 04:24 PM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: billstephenson]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
I've found that snowmobile boots (of old) slipped up & down on my foot too much when walking.

My REALLY cold weather boots are Sorrel felt pacs W/ a supporting insole/footbed inside the felt liner. (& I always use thin neoprene, seam sealed dive sox as a VBL with the feltpacs) These boots are good to -40 F/C.

For emergencies I carry a pair of Neos W/ feltpac liners & thick sox in the trunk of my SUV.
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#125509 - 12/18/09 05:05 PM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: 300winmag]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Another choice is a leather or plastic boot with an overboot, such as the Forty Below K2. Some overboots, like the K2, must be worn with crampon. See the AMH website below for details.

These people seem to have a great selection and know about boots. MNS might know them since they are in her neighborhood, sort of. I think she has the Montrail ICE 9.
http://www.alaskamountaineering.com/browse.cfm?d=3

I've read that the Scarpa Inverno is a good hiking and climbing boot, but no personal experience. I do know that Scarpa tele boots are pretty narrow, so might not be the boot for you. I had Sorels, but never used them in super cold weather-just down to about +20F.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#125512 - 12/18/09 07:33 PM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: 300winmag]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri

The pair I had were similar in design to these :



I wore mine out about 20 years ago. They were branded by "Arctic Cat" I think, but they quit that model. The padding in the front of the boot was great for protecting my shins from the thorns on bramble growing off trail and they were warm and dry. Mine had 4-5 velcro straps that you could adjust to tighten on the foot and leg. I really miss those boots frown


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#125558 - 12/19/09 05:46 PM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: ZeroSix_Actual]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
ought six
You mentioned having cold feet with zubzero boots even when its not below zero.

If the blood arriving at your feet is already cooled by lack of proper insulation on your legs, it doesn't stand a chance of keeping your feet warm. eek I was camped in the snow with a buddy with "-50" boots and his feet were cold. mad I asked him what he had on his legs and he had long underwear and fleece pants. I told him that I had a spare pair of down pants that I brought for him just for this reason (I was wearing down goretex bibs) so he put them on. Ten minutes later I said "Hows yer feet?" He was incredulous, he said "Wow they're so warm I forgot about them." thanks


These are my mukluks made from xlarge campmore booties. I have never had cold feet while wearing them. The gaiter tops allow me to walk in deep snow around camp, but the bottoms can be slippery in packed or icy snow. The cost me about $30 to make. When another friend had cold feet in his winter boots I took them off and handed them to him. In ten minutes his feet were warm, mine were in my sleeping bag so I was fine. Nice thing about goretex sleeping bags, you can sit in the snow in them.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#125560 - 12/19/09 05:54 PM Re: Cold Weather Boots [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Neat mod to the campmor booties jim.

I wear something similar (primaloft, from MEC) for camp and cold nights:

MEC booties

They've got a new taller version that looks a lot like what you made:

MEC Expedition booties
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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