I'm wondering if my full leather uppers hiking boots will be sufficient to keep me warm around camp in down to potentially negative 10 degree weather. I have REI full leather boots with Gore Tex, and they are plenty warm for daytime temps.
I'm assuming a light synthetic wicking sock with a heavy or expedition weight wool sock is still the best? Any other techniques?
I have some down booties I would like to incorporate, but I don't think they will fit into my boots, or survive wearing alone around camp.
Absolutely the wrong boots for 10F temps unless you're constantly walking and wearing a good pair of gaiters.
You need insulated boots and a VBL to keep the insulation dry (and your feet warm). I'd never go out in 10 F without insulated boots and I've lived, hunted and winter camped in NW Pennsylvania for decades in nasty weather.
Now that I'm out west I find that even skiing long runs in 0 F. to 10 F. with insulated alpine ski boots sometimes leaves me with cold toes.
Get a good pair of feltpacks and VBL socks to keep the felt pac liner dry. Wet insulation from perspiration means very cold feet. Feltpack liners can be removed from the boots & put in you sleeping bag so you don't have painfully cold feet when making breakfast and breaking camp the next morning.
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."
Thats what I was afraid of. I am not sure I have time to find and break in winter boots though, as I am leaving Jan 6th for a weeklong backpacking trip in Utah. I may have the opportunity to purchase some NEOS overshoes once I get there though. Seems like I could stay warm with those over my boots?
I've worn gortex Asolo 520's with liner and thick wool socks with long gaiters over them in temps around 10-15F. They were fairly comfortable, although sweat made them less comfortable as the night went on. If I was to do it again, I'd use a vapor barrier liner and a layer of closed cell foam for insoles. I still wouldn't want to take it below 0F for too long.
I'm not big on insulated boots. I have military -40F boots, but they weren't all that warm when it was only 20F out. I suspect they'd be much better with better insulated insoles and a vapor barrier liner. Still though, for -10F, I'd still do the VBL and insoles, but I'd get overshoes. The Neos Navigator overshoes have been getting a lot of attention.
Pac boots may be good as well, but I have no idea how well they'd do for hiking. As far as pac boots go, I don't see how the one you linked can be classified as such when the insulated liner doesn't appear to be removable. Now if warmth is what you're looking for, you can't do much better than this:
Full leather boots when they get wet, and they will get wet if your hiking in snow, will never dry in those temps. Putting frozen blocks on in the morning is no fun. If you do, they will eventually, after perhaps an hour or so of use, thaw out. You can get around this problem by taking the boots to bed at night - in a dry bag, of course - but they will still be wet in the morning.
I much prefer a synthetic outer. They seem to dry much more quickly.
I currently use Sorel Conquest boots (4lb 10oz / pair). They do not have a removalable liner, but that's okay because my feet don't sweat. My socks and feet are bone dry, summer or winter, at the end of the day. I am truely blessed, at least with regards to my feet.
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
If you can't spring for some pac boots, get some of those chemical heat packs to put into your boots. Brands vary a little in amount of time they work. Open package, expose to air for a few minutes or more, then stick them to the bottom of your socks. Nice. May even be needed with the pac boots.
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Heat Factory (www.heatfactory.com) makes insoles that take small heat packs that fit in a slot in the sole under the ball of your foot. I've used a pair in ski boots and they stay hot for about 6-8 hours in moderate temps. When you don't need the heat pack, a piece of foam fits into the slot. You'll see how they work on the website. The downside is that when the pack first heats up, it is almost too hot, so your foot might sweat a bit, but then again, I was wearing them in plastic boots, so that probably made a difference.
For sub-freezing temps, mukluks seem popular. Steger makes them (www.stegermukluks.com). Empire Canvas Works (www.empirecanvasworks.com) makes a boot that is somewhat like a mukluk. Neither one is waterproof, so only really good for below freezing. The idea with a mukluk is that they are flexible, so you have good circulation to your feet. The Stegers have removeable felt insoles and the ECW boots also have removeable liners.
You could also get the insulated NEOS overboots, which I think have already been mentioned.
I've snowshoed with Sorels, but mine were a bit big, so don't know what hiking a long way in a good fitting pair would be like.
Edited by TomD (12/29/0902:42 PM)
Don't get me started, you know how I get.
Those heat factory insoles look pretty cool, might have to pick up a pair.
I'm kind of thinking I will be fine hiking in my leather/gortex hikers with some expedition weight socks and gaiters. I think I would be way too hot hiking in insulated boots.
I need to find some boots to carry along for in camp and at night though. REI had a pair on clearance no where near my size that was kinda like a knee high bootie with sturdy soles and a bit tougher than most booties. Material was a very flexible nylon. Very lightweight as well. Am I describing muckluks? Any idea where I could find something like this and would they be warm enough, possibly with down booties inside?
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Originally Posted By fadetoblack6902
Am I describing muckluks? Any idea where I could find something like this and would they be warm enough, possibly with down booties inside?
Sounds kind of like mukluks, but there are variations on them, like most every other piece of gear. For camp, I have a pair of SD down booties, but they really aren't good for walking in much more than a few yards at most. Other booties have better soles than mine and are probably much better for footwear. I just use mine in my tent for the most part.
I bet you could use a down bootie inside something like a NEOS overboot.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.