3 Best Mountaineering Boots

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Hey there mountaineers and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best mountaineering boots for some stable footing this year. No item of equipment is more critical for summiting high peaks than boots and an excellent mountaineering boot provides support while carrying big loads, boldly grips rough rock and snow, it keeps your feet warm when the temperature drops and it lets you connect crampons and skis.

Having said that, there are some things to consider here so for those of you in the market for a good pair of mountaineering boots, I have had a good look around and come up with three decent options below.  

Let’s check them out…

My three recommended mountaineering boots

I will review these in more detail below. Still, if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience: 

02/18/2024 03:00 pm GMT Lasso Brag

What are mountaineering boots?

Mountaineering boots are a type of footwear designed for use in mountaineering and other outdoor activities that involve climbing or walking on rugged and uneven terrain. These boots are designed to provide the wearer with a high level of support, protection and traction in order to navigate challenging and potentially hazardous terrain.

They are typically made from durable, weather-resistant materials such as leather or synthetic fabrics and feature stiff soles and high ankles for added support and stability. The soles of these boots often have aggressive treads or lugs that provide excellent traction on uneven surfaces, while the high ankles help to protect the wearer’s feet and ankles from rocks, debris, and other hazards.

Check out these: Mountaineering Tents

Best Mountaineering boots - Mountaineering boots

What should you be looking for?

The following factors should be considered as you hunt around for a good pair of boots for your mountaineering needs.

  1. Types of Boots
  2. Double vs. Single Boots
  3. Shell Materials
  4. Weight and Size
  5. Lacing Systems
  6. Crampon Compatibility

Types of Boots

When it comes to mountaineering boots, there are a few options to choose from as follows”

  1. 3-season bootsThese boots are made to deal with a variety of terrain including mud, rock and snow. You might be able to do some severe snow and ice climbing with them, but you won’t be wearing crampons. 3-season boots are often designed with “softer” soles emphasizing breathability, durability and lightweight construction.
  2. 4-season bootsThe next class of climbing boots must withstand the severe cold for lengthy periods. As a result, makers ratchet up the heat and waterproofing to 11. 4-season boots are also made with ice climbing in mind and are exceptionally rigid for kicking steps in snow and ice, so they won’t be the most comfortable when you hike during the summer months. Hence, most of them include toe and heel welts for automatic crampons.
  3. High elevation bootsWhen I say “high elevation,” I really mean incredibly high elevation, like Aconcagua or Mount Everest. They are 4-season boots with extra high gaiters for warmth, thick and durable waterproofing and detachable lining. They have no flex since you will never be trekking on dirt wearing these.

Double vs. Single Boots

How do we differentiate single boots from double boots? 

Single boots are the lightest and least warm climbing footwear because they don’t have a removable liner. Conversely, double boots are warmer and more appropriate for multi-day treks since they feature additional insulation and a removable liner.

There is nothing worse than stuffing your feet into wet or icy boots so having the ability to remove the liner and dry it out at night is essential for huge mountains. On the other hand, single boots should be adequate for warmth during spring and summer ascents in lower altitude ranges.

Most modern boot liners are made of hydrophobic materials like closed-cell foam because heavy, thick liners made of water-absorbing materials will not completely dry throughout an alpine evening.

Shell Materials

Modern synthetic-shelled mountaineering boots are the most popular as they are lighter, offer greater precision with less mass and do not deform like leather. The disadvantage of durability, though, is that leather boots will often last longer.

To prevent moisture from seeping through and making you feel heavier, I advise installing an aftermarket snow and water seal on any leather boots you intend to purchase.

Weight and Size

Size and weight are decisive factors in your boot purchase if your goal is technical climbing, which entails climbing near vertical pitches after pitches.  Some of the versions for extreme cold and high altitude weigh however more than 5 pounds each and occupy a sizable portion of your duffle bag. Conversely, you can get a single boot that weighs only 2 pounds 7 ounces overall for lighter runs. 

With more weight, moving quickly is undoubtedly more difficult, but professional mountaineering rarely necessitates prolonged periods of highly technical climbing and because of the fundamental ice/rock movements and the steeper terrain, weight is usually less critical than warming capabilities.

mountaineering boots - men climbing snow slope

Lacing Systems

Mountaineering boots today contain a variety of lacing methods including traditional tie laces, pull-down cinch laces and the high-tech Boa lacing system.

Lacing methods should be straightforward but effective however some manufacturers have abandoned traditional laces as they are difficult to tie and untie in wet or icy weather. Furthermore, being able to comfortably fasten or loosen your boots (perhaps with only one hand) while wearing thick gloves or mittens is essential as well. 

The Boa system is undoubtedly the most user-friendly but may be the most prone to breaking in an alpine setting.

Crampon Compatibility

Crampons are required for safe travel on snow and ice. You may use them to cross glaciers, climb snow slopes, climb frozen waterfalls and scale ice-smeared rock and as a result, your mountaineering boots should be crampon-compatible. Some options are as follows:

  1. Automatic crampons: A boot with toe and heel welts and a reasonably robust design with a sturdy structure must be suitable for this crampon.
  2. Semi-automatic crampons: This style combines a strap-on crampon’s front plastic loop and a step-in crampon’s heel clip. Semi-automatic crampons, while less secure than step-in crampons, are considerably better for lightweight or flexible boots since they can move with the boot.
  3. Strap-on crampons: The last form of crampon is exceptionally adjustable and may even be worn with approach shoes or trail runners. Strap-on crampons may be affixed to any type of boot. However, their effectiveness would be severely reduced when combined with rigid construction, and they are unsuitable for ice climbing or technical mountaineering.


What makes a good pair of mountaineering boots?

A good pair of mountaineering boots should have several key features to ensure they are up to the task of providing support, warmth, and traction in a variety of mountainous environments. They should be stiff to provide support and stability on steep and uneven terrain and be insulated to keep your feet warm in cold conditions. And while you want a boot that is sturdy and supportive, you don’t want one that is so heavy that it weighs you down and makes it difficult to move quickly and efficiently.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. Salewa Men’s MS Condor EVO GTX M Mountaineering Boot

This first option is known for its comfortable fit, made from durable materials and designed to help you conquer your chosen trail. See their specifications below:

  • Brand: Salewa
  • Material: 100% Full Rubber Rand, Perwanger Suede
  • Crampon compatibility: Hybrid and strap-on
  • Lacing system: 3D lacing system
  • Weight: 1.85 pounds
  • Sizing: From 7.5 to 13 UK

Other inclusions:

  • Synthetic sole
  • Comfortable fit
  • Available in black/cactus colors 

Why have I chosen them?

These are an excellent alpine boot that is lightweight, warm and firm where it matters. The footwear is compatible with hybrid crampons since the toe and heel welts fit well with most crampon brands on the market.

Besides using crampons, they sport a low profile toe and Vibram soles that let the wearer fully feel the rock and maneuver across alpine terrain with tiny foot grips.

2. La Sportiva Mens Aequilibrium LT GTX Mountaineering Boot

My second recommendation is a heavy-load alpine hiking footwear that hits the ideal blend of comfort and functionality making them ideal for backpacking and multi-day altitude treks. See their specifications below:

  • Brand: La Sportiva
  • Material: Nubuk + abrasion-resistant, fabric inserts
  • Crampon compatibility: Semi-automatic
  • Lacing system: 3D lacing system
  • Weight: 3.94 pounds
  • Sizing: From 9 to 12.5 UK

Other inclusions:

  • GORE-TEX waterproofing
  • Ergonomic design

Why have I chosen them?

The Double HeelTM heel’s unique structure delivers great walkability and the noticeable double-block rear design aids downhill braking and allows for a more fluid roll, reducing muscle fatigue and allowing you to travel longer.

Durability and lightweight coexist harmoniously thanks to the revolutionary outsole/midsole package with exterior Rubber GuardTM shell structure and interior foam material for enhanced cushioning. They are also lightweight due to fewer rubber layers as well.

3. SCARPA Grand Dru GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Hiking Boots for Mountaineering

These mountaineering boots are a great all-round option as they are lightweight enough to use as your daily driver for hunting or peak bagging, yet rugged enough to handle variable mountain conditions as well. See their specifications below:

  • Brand: SCARPA
  • Material: 3mm Perwanger suede
  • Crampon compatibility: Semi-automatic
  • Lacing system: 3D lacing system
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Sizing: From 9.5 to 14 US

Other inclusions:

  • GORE-TEX waterproofing
  • Single boot type
  • High cuff with flex cuff

Why have I chosen them?

This rugged mountain boot has a waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX Performance Comfort lining, ensuring that your feet stay dry when it matters most. 

The Perwanger suede upper is 3mm thick and can handle difficult situations, while the full perimeter rand gives further protection from jagged pebbles and endless scree fields. The boots have a high cuff with a flex cuff to give important ankle support as well.

02/18/2024 03:00 pm GMT Lasso Brag


There you have it my three best mountaineering boots. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.