I just recently picked up my very first pair of hiking boots that fit properly (Asolo Fugitive GTX), and have fallen in love with the way my feet feel in them. This got me thinking about the Sorel Conquests I've snowshoed in since 2005 - they're definitely up to the task, but a pair of leather mountaineering boots that fit my feet the way my Asolos do seems like it'd be so much more comfortable, not to mention safer with the superior support. The ones I've been looking at are the Scarpa Mont Blanc, Lowa Mountain Expert GTX EVO, and La Sportiva Trango Prime. This is just internet research right now, my local sporting goods store (Eastern Mountain Sports) doesn't have its winter boots in stock yet and I figure there's no sense in talking to them if I can't try them on.
I do go out in all temperatures, and haven't been able to find "comfort ratings" for any of the above boots. Me feet have never been cold in my Sorels, and that includes a winter working as a skilift mechanic and my current job as a mechanic at an airport which has me out getting diesels running and replacing starters & batteries in wind chills of -30 to -40F. One of my fellow lift mechanics wore a pair of Koflach plastic boots, but more for the durability than anything else...though my Sorels didn't wear out every season like his did.
Anyway, has anyone done this, and if so, do you think it was a good idea? If not, what do you recommend? Keeping the Sorels is no problem, I may just have to find a more secure way of lacing them. Maybe my paracord laces stretch a little too much, too, and allow them to loosen up. I do plan on snowshoeing at least one mountain this winter - Mt Monadnock, Mt Kearsarge, or Mt Chocorua (all in NH) - plus whatever I get into when snowshoeing with a friend in Jackman ME, so it's not just a matter of my thinking some brightly colored boots would be so cool. Thanks in advance.
I like to snowshoe with lighter, more comfortable boots, and then have a warmer set for lounging around camp. Pack boots definitely are too clumsy for snow shoeing. I think as long as the boot is warm enough (which is doesn't have to be THAT warm, you are walking). You can always try Steger Mukluks if the mountaineering boots don't work.
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Thanks for the reply. My Sorels are actually very comfortable for snowshoeing and don't really fit like typical pac boots, I can dial them in pretty well using the laces and Achilles strap and get almost no heel lift. The heel cup is a little bit wider than my heel and there's a little bit of slop in the ankle, but I may try some Super Feet insoles because they worked great in my Asolos. The ankle is what I'm most concerned with for the mountain(s) - I'll just be snowshoeing and maybe using spikes in places with more ice than snow, no technical climbing. My only concern is the possibility of a rolled ankle, I've hiked and snowshoed in these for years but not on mountains, not even the itty-bitty ones like in my list.
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I would stick with the Sorels or go for the Stegers. Not sure how Stegers would work with modern bindings. One place to ask is Wintertrekking The members there know more about winter camping than anyone else on the Internet that I have come across. They will be happy to share their knowledge with you.
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