When traversing difficult terrain in a variety of conditions, a great pair of mountaineering boots are imperative.
With the right boots, you will be prepared for what you encounter, keeping you not just warm and comfortable, but safe.
Finding the best mountaineering boots is key for your upcoming adventures.
- Updated 11/10/2019
Top 3 Quick Comparison: Best Mountaineering Boots For Men
**Below, you'll find our detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to quickly check the prices of our top 3 picks for men's mountaineering boots.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Choose Mountaineering Boots
- 2 Types of Mountaineering Boots
- 3 Single Upper Boot
- 4 Double Boots
- 5 Super-Gaiter Boots
- 6 Choosing The Right Fit
- 7 Scarpa Fuego Mountaineering Boot
- 8 Salewa Men's MS Raven Combi GTX M Mountaineering Boot
- 9 Men's La Sportiva Makalu Mountaineering Boot
- 10 La Sportiva Spantik Men's Mountain Climbing Mountaineering Boot
- 11 Scarpa Men's Phantom 6000 Mountaineering Boot
- 12 Salomon Men's SLab X Alp Carbon GTX Boot
- 13 Best Men's Mountaineering Boots WINNER
Why Choose Mountaineering Boots
Mountaineering encompasses a number of activities. When mountaineering, you can be faced with climbing a frozen waterfall, crossing a glacier, or walking up a snowy slope, among many other possible challenges. When participating in mountaineering, even a good winter hiking boot may not be sufficient and you need to strongly consider mountaineering boots instead.
Typically, mountaineering boots will be heavier than hiking boots. This is in part because they are larger and also because they are made of more materials than an average hiking boot. Insulation may also be a factor in the weight of a mountaineering boot; while hiking boots may or may not have a layer of insulation, mountaineering boots are built to keep your feet warm and may even have removable liners.
Offering a significantly stiffer shank and additional ankle support than what is found in a regular hiking boot, the additional stiffness and support offered in a mountaineering boot is key for carrying heavy loads and will allow these insulated boots to perform well in rough, icy terrain. The stiffness is also important as they must be stiff enough to support climbing on ice with crampons attached.
Mountaineering boots are compatible with crampons, which is a big reason why mountaineering boots are the way to go if you plan to spent a lot of time in icy conditions. Crampons will help you to move safely on snow and ice by improving your grip on the surface. While crampons can be used with some hiking boots, all mountaineering boots are crampon compatible.
Types of Mountaineering Boots
There are different types of mountaineering boots and which will work best for you will depend upon how you intend to use them. You will want to consider the temperatures where you plan to be spending time, whether you will be climbing vertical ice and the length of your hikes, among other things.
Single Upper Boot
First, there are mountaineering boots with a single upper boot. The upper may be made of multiple layers, however they do not separate. These boots will be the lightest weight of available mountaineering boots and work well for climbing hard ice and rock and are appropriate for a variety of temperatures.
Single boots are sufficient for adventures in the U.S. (aside from Alaska) as well as many in Canada and Europe. Some single boots have a completely rigid sole that is reinforced by a full length shank. Others have a semi-rigid sole and are reinforced by a ¾ length shank.
The boots with the rigid sole are a good choice for climbing ice along with a variety of conditions that can be seen throughout the year. The boots with the semi-rigid sole are a good three-season option and best for being able to move fast in terrain that is not too difficult.
Double boots have an inner and outer boot that can be separated. These are ideal for very cold areas. Not only are they warmer, but the liner can be removed and dried at the end of the day in your sleeping bag, making them warm as you start your next day on the mountain. As these boots have a second layer, they are heavier than the single boot option.
Super-gaiter boots have an inner boot that cannot be removed that is covered with an outer gaiter. The gaiter helps provide warmth and protection from the weather and often protects the boot’s laces. Should you be planning to be in conditions that are significantly cold or wet, these are a better option than single boots. These will offer more protection than single boots without the extra weight of double boots.
A negative to super-gaiter boots is that it can be challenging for them to dry as the gaiter is attached to the boot. For those who plan to spend several nights in a row in the winter camping in the snow, a double boot may be a better choice.
Choosing The Right Fit
As with a standard pair of hiking boots, part of ensuring that the boot provides the most warmth possible is to choose a pair that fits properly. When selecting a pair of mountaineering boots, it is important that they are not too tight. If the boots are too tight, the ability to move your toes (and your blood flow) will be limited, which will cause your feet to be cold.
When trying on boots, do so with the socks that you intend to wear. When hiking in the mountains your feet will typically swell, therefore it is best to try boots on later in the day as your feet will be slightly larger.
The right size boots for mountaineering will allow you to wiggle all of your toes about a third as much as you can when not wearing shoes. The video below will help you determine whether a pair of boots are the right fit.
Now that you have an idea of what to consider and what options are available when choosing mountaineering boots, let’s review six options of top-rated mountaineering boots for men.
Full Review: The 6 Best Mountaineering Boots For Men
Hiking Boot Brand/Model
Best Men's Mountaineering Boots WINNER
La Sportiva Spantik Men's Mountain Climbing Mountaineering Boot
And the winner is...
Our top choice is the La Sportiva Spantik Men's Mountain Climbing Mountaineering Boot. While the other options reviewed are solid choices, this double mountaineering boot is designed to keep your feet warm and comfortable in the coldest of temperatures. These mountaineering boots by Sportiva are step-in crampon compatible and offer top traction and performance for the steepest of climbs.
Providing the stability you need through special features like heat moldable liners, a fast lace system and molded TPU ankle backstay reinforcement, these mountaineering boots deliver what you need to achieve your mountaineering goals.