10 Best Mountaineering Boots for Men in 2019

If the mountaineering boots were not there, many peaks would still remain unexplored.

Scaling mountains is not an easy task. You have to walk for days in the rocky and varying terrains in the snow. To win over such challenges a good pair of mountaineering boots is a must.

Top mountaineering boots provide warmth and comfort to your feet and remain intact even in the extreme cold. They are sturdier, heavier, and usually pricier than the ordinary boots.

Do you have one for you?

If no, I will guide you through 10 best mountaineering boots along with their special features. My guidelines will help you consider on various features of the boots before you buy one.

1. La Sportiva Spantik

Category: Cold, high altitude mountaineering

Weight: 5 lb 1 oz

Automatic crampon compatibility: Yes

When La Sportiva Spantik came in the market a few years ago, it was a huge hit. And the boot continues attracting mountaineers today. The manufacturer combined style and functionality to give mountaineers one of the best mountaineering boots ever made. The black, yellow, and silver color combine to give the sturdy boot a beautiful design.

It is an insulated double boot which is the most popular one in this class. As the boot is compatible with step-in crampons, the boot is great for technical climbing and mountaineering on steep peaks. The boot has the molded TPU ankle backstay which provides mountaineers with more stability in rough terrains.

La Sportiva Spantik is water-insulated. The outer of the boot consists of water-repellant Lorica® and coated with Antiacqua™. This promises the dryness of your foot regardless of how cold the place is.

Likewise, the boot uses a fast lace system that makes it easy for you to keep the boots tight. Also, Vibram rubber rand on the outer boot gives you additional traction. Well-insulated, comfortable, well-stabilizing, and beautifully-designed – there are just so many reasons why mountaineers love La Sportiva Spantik.

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2. La Sportiva Makalu

La Sportiva Makalu

Category: Lightweight mountaineering

Weight: 4 lbs. 5.1 oz.

Automatic crampon compatibility: Yes

La Sportiva Makalu is an inexpensive mountaineering boot yet, with extreme durability. Built for lightweight mountaineering, the boot has an athletic body and has no unnecessary decoration. The boot has a durable Idro-Perwanger leather upper that gives it a classic design.

The boot is breathable and repels water. Since the boot is for basic mountaineering, this is among many mountaineer’s choices. Heavy backpackers also prefer this boot as it has the quality to withstand years of abuse. However, the boot is inappropriate in extremely cold weather mountaineering.

La Sportiva Makalu has a Vibram rubber band toe cap that protects the boot while you accidentally stab your boot onto a stone. Likewise, the boot has toe and heel welts which makes the boot compatible with crampons.

Also, Makalu has a full steel shank which makes it fully supportive even with a heavy load. It features Mtn Flex insoles which makes it further supportive and durable. The boot is easy to lace up as well with its locking D-rings.

The boot has also a lining which helps to keep the moisture away from your skin. And to give you more comfort, La Sportiva Makalu uses SBR Air Cushion midsole with flexible honeycomb-structured heel grid.

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3. Arc’teryx Acrux AR

Category: All season technical alpine

Weight: 4 lbs. 5.1 oz.

Automatic crampon compatibility: Yes

Body design: Double synthetic

Arc’teryx Acrux AR is one of the most durable double boots I have ever used. This is a waterproof boot which offers breathability as well. It uses Gore-tex membrane and perforated foam that maintains the moisture inside the boot.

The boot has a bold design with small red highlights in its full black surface. One of its significant features is its removable liner which lets you dry the boot during the night. It uses waterproof zipper and long-lasting gaiter fabric that keeps your feet warm and dry in the extreme cold climates.

Arc’teryx Acrux AR is lightweight and well-insulated. The boot uses Ortholite footbed that provides maximum comfort. Mid-sole has EVA foam and there is a lateral Velcro strap above the ankle. Besides, the boot uses anti-slip groves and offers sharp heel break that let you remain stable. All in all, the boot offers maximum traction and comfort.

The boot is an ideal option for mountaineering and ice-climbing in extremely cold regions. If you are planning to cross wide glaciers and climb onto snow-covered summits with Arc’teryx Acrux AR, it will not disappoint you.

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4. Scarpa Phantom 8000

Category: Extreme cold/high altitude

Weight: 2 lb 14.2 oz per piece

Automatic crampon compatibility: Yes

Body design: Double synthetic

Scarpa Phantom 8000 is one of the warmest high altitude climbing boots. Scarpa made this boot for high altitudes and freezing cold regions like Himalayas and Alps. With the integration of black and orange colors, the boot has a nice design.

The warm gaiters are flexible and protective. It has Cordura with Outdry® membrane as the upper fabric material. This protects your feet from rain and snow. The boot uses custom moldable thermo-liners to keep your feet warm. Not just that, it uses heat reflective aluminum and insulating foam in the footbed to give you maximum warmth. The boot uses Flexseal waterproof zipper which helps you keep your feet dry throughout the journey.

The boot also has a good moisture management for no-stink performance. Besides, the manufacturers have tried their best to make the boot as comfortable as possible. They have used Carbon fiber and EVA for insole which gives the boot rigidity whereas the midsole has shock-absorbing microporous EVA. Likewise, the boot has Vibram Zero Gravity Lite sole.

Although I have included Scarpa Phantom 8000 in the list of mountaineering boots, this is a unisex boot. So, this is popular among female mountaineers as well.

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5. Scarpa Men’s Mont Blanc Goretex

Category: All-around mountaineering and alpine boot

Weight: 4 lbs 6 oz

Crampon compatibility: Step-in

Scarpa Men’s Mont Blanc GTX is an Italian-made mountaineering boot built for classic mountaineering and ice climbing. It uses Gore-Tex insulation to provide mountaineers with comfort even in extreme climates. So, the boot is great for high-mountains ascents.

Its upper has 3 mm Suede Perwanger HS12 and Gore-Tex insulation lining which makes it waterproof and breathable as well. The rubber rands protect the upper of the boot.

The boot design offers a dynamic flex and natural movement. The boot has no-break in time; so comfort is another major advantage of this boot. It has a floating tongue that allows your ankle to move freely which makes it easy for you to walk over uneven terrain.

The PU and TPU absorb the shock in the rough terrains and provide more comfort underfoot. Also, the boot is lightest in its class. So, mountaineers find it easy to wear even in the long and enduring journey.

So, if you are planning to meander through the mountains and climb onto high peaks, Scarpa Men’s Mont Blanc Goretex can be an ideal option for you.

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6. Mammut Men’s Nordwand 2.1 High GTX

Category: High alpine tours up to 6,000 meters

Weight: 1580 g per pair

Crampon compatibility: Strap-on/step in

If you are heading to the Alps or venturing up a peak in the Himalayas, Mammut Men’s Nordwand 2.1 High Gore-Tex can be a great option. And here, you will know why. Mammut pays attention to even the smallest of details to build this newest alpine boot.

The boot’s gaiter is tough and water-resistant which is able to withstand harsh climates. The full-wrap rubber rand further helps to protect your feet from the extremely cold temperature. The waterproof Gore-Tex membrane of the boot makes sure your feet remain dry and warm even if the temperature goes down to -30 degree Fahrenheit.

Mammut has added Chimney ventilation which makes sure there is good breathability inside the shoes. The manufacturer has also used the easy-entry feature which makes Nordwand 2.1 High GTX easy to put on or take off the boot with gloves on. The inner of the boot uses synthetic leather. Also, there is a wide hook-and-loop power strap with Boa closure system for effective lacing.

Mammut Men’s Nordwand 2.1 High GTX is a durable mountaineering boot that provides comfort and warmth even in the roughest of terrains and harshest of climates. And, this has got every single reason for why this should be your next mountaineering boot.

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7. La Sportiva Olympus Mons Evo

Category: Extremely cold climate/high altitudes

Weight: 6 lbs. 3.7 oz per pair

Automatic crampon compatibility: Yes

Body design: Double synthetic

Built for navigating in extremely cold regions, La Sportiva Olympus Mons is a double synthetic mountaineering boot. You can use this boot to walk through extremely cold regions and high altitude places like the Denali and Himalayas. This is one of the most popular double boots in the market with its premium quality.

La Sportiva Olympus Mons uses polyurethane thermal-insulated inner. It has the Velcro closure which lets you tighten your boot with gloves and mittens on. You can also tighten up the outer boot to seal of your feet from the cold climate. It uses water repellent breathable upper in the inner side. And, the gaiter consists of breathable Cordura and anti-perforation fabric.

It has 5mm Carbon Fiber and 2.5mm PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam as the insole. For greater warmth, the boot has a thermo-reflective aluminum layer too. Besides, mountaineers admire its reliable connection with the crampon.

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8. Salewa MS Raven 2 Combi

Category: Extremely cold climate/High altitudes

Weight: 6 lbs. 3.7 oz per pair

Crampon compatibility: Semi-crampon

Salewa MS Raven 2 Combi GTX Mountaineering boot is a durable and comfortable boot. It has a polyurethane coat over the Vibram outsole and the leather. So, it has the ability to withstand harsh climates. And, its full rubber rand and Fore-Tex lining give comfort and warmth. The boot uses three locking points which makes the lacing system more effective.

Also, the boot has interchangeable footbeds to let the boot adjust perfectly with the shape of your foot. Furthermore, its overlap tongue offers perfect wrapping to increase the comfort in the arch area. The cushioning is ergonomic and lasting which offers superior shock absorption on rough and steep terrains. Likewise, the Flex Collar helps to make the boot more comfortable with ankle’s rear range of motion.

Salewa MS Raven 2 Combi GTX Mountaineering boots can stand up to vigorous wear and tear.  So, this mountaineering boot is sure to carry you through rough terrains in a variety of environments.

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9. Salomon Men’s X Alp Pro GTX Waterproof Hiking Boot

Category: Alpine climbing

Weight: 2 lb 14 oz

Crampon compatibility: Yes

Salomon Men’s X Alp Pro GTX is a durable hybrid boot of Salomon brand built for expert mountain enthusiasts. With this boot, you can walk over technical alpine terrain and cold regions. Light, grippy sole, and stretch gaiter for better warmth, the boot has what it takes to be a top-class mountaineering boot.

It has a built-in extended gaiter that protects your feet from the cold and moisture. The outer has 1.8 mm waterproof Nubuck leather and Cordura. Also, the boot has protective 1.5 mm rubber toe cap that protects the front of your feet. It also has 1.8 mm protective mudguard.

The boot uses EVA technology with shock-absorbing ability. The midsole consists of comfortable and cushioning double layers of compressed EVA. It has 3D Edging Chassis that provides good stability and support. Also, its self-locking eyelets make sure the boots fit you perfectly without causing you any discomfort.

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10. Salewa Men’s Pro Guide Performance Fit Hiking Boot

Category: 4-season alpine and ice climbing

Weight: 4 lbs 11.5 oz

Crampon compatibility: Step-in

Mountaineers and professionals guides relentlessly use quality boots of Salewa. Salewa Men’s Pro Guide Performance Fit Hiking Boot is one of those top mountaineering boots that mountaineers prefer a lot. Manufacturers use Gore-tex membrane to build this boot which makes the boot waterproof and breathable.

The upper of this boot consists of 3 mm Perwanger leather and polyamide fabric panels. So the boot is abrasion-resistant and flexible. The boot also has rubber rand for better protection of your feet. Likewise, Salewa 3F System Evo fit supports your ankles without hampering the ankle’s movement. Its top-to-toe lacing is another exciting feature.

Its EVA cushioning insoles are removable. And, the nylon/fiberglass shanks offer the support and rigidity needed during mountaineering. It has a Flex System and uses durable Vibram outsole, so you do not have to worry about the flexibility and performance of the boot.

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10 Best Mountaineering Boots for Men in 2019 Comparison Table

Mountaineering Boots  MaterialsWeightCrampon CompatibilityPrice
La Sportiva SpantikLeather5 lb 1 ozStep-in
La Sportiva MakaluLeather4 lb 5.1 oz.Step-in
Arc’teryx Acrux ARNylon4 lb 4.2 oz.Step-in
Scarpa Phantom 8000Synthetic5 lb 12.07 ozStep-in
Scarpa Men’s Mont Blanc GoretexPerwanger leather4 lb 6 ozStep-in
Mammut Men’s Nordwand 2.1 High GTXSynthetic leather, textile5 lb 1.8 ozStrap-on/step in
La Sportiva Olympus Mons EvoPolypropylene6 lb 3.7 ozStep-in
Salewa MS Raven 2 CombiRubber Rand/Leather6 lb 3.7 ozStrap-on
Salomon Men’s X Alp Pro GTX Waterproof Hiking BootLeather5 lb 12 ozStrap-on
Salewa Men’s Pro Guide Performance Fit Hiking BootVibram4 lb 11.5 ozStep-in

Buyer’s Guide for Buying the Best Mountaineering Boot

You may have confusion on what factors to consider while buying a mountaineering boot. There are so many options when it comes to weight, warmth, support, and function of boots. The boot has to withstand harsh environment and still provide you with comfort and warmth. So, there are certain things you should consider above others while buying mountaineering boot. Below are the major factors to look after while buying the mountaineering boot.

Fit

This is really simple. A boot may have tons of features that may keep you warm and insulated even in the extremely cold regions. But, if the boot does not rightly fit you, then the boot is not the right boot for you.

Make sure the boot has enough room for your toes and heel lift. As you will wear wool socks, make sure there is enough room for your thick socks. Wearing too tight boots can turn your adventure into a nightmare with blisters and foot injuries.

Likewise, wearing too big boot makes your movement quite uncomfortable. So, it’s about finding the right size or right boot for your feet.

Comfort

You cannot afford to compromise comfort of your boot while you are in the mountains. Boots that do not fit properly or do not feel comfortable could create safety problems and even compel you to quit your journey. You may get blisters or injuries which can make you incapable of scaling a mountainside that you dreamt of climbing for years. So, if you feel discomfort while trying a boot, then it’s a red flag.

Insulation/warmth

The boot you wear must be capable of fighting off the cold climate while you are in the mountains. Therefore, while choosing a mountaineering boot, insulation and waterproofness is another major factor to consider. Choose a boot that is well-insulated and has the capacity to offer warmth even if the temperature goes down minus several degree Fahrenheit.

Warmer boot usually have an inner and outer layer. This lets you dry the inners when you are not wearing the boot. You should also consider the materials used to build the sole and midsole of your boots while looking for a warm boot.

But, while boot manufacturers focus on warmth, boots become bulky as well. This makes boots heavy and more expensive too. But, you cannot compromise the warmth and quality while mountaineering at an extreme climate.

Category

While differentiating boots according to the category, you have most commonly four types of mountaineering boots(above the snowline). Below is the comparison.

Boots Types Used at Boots example Example Mountains
Triple Boots 8000 meter/very cold peaks La Sportiva Olympus, Scarpa Phantom 8000 Everest, Denali
Plastics Over 6000 m peaks Scarpa Inverno Alaskan mountains
Hybrids 6000 m -7000 m peaks La Sportiva Spantik Island Peak, Denali
4-season  Winter conditions Scarpa Charmoz Atlas Peak

Construction

The boot will take you through rough terrains, icy paths and steep mountains in a harsh climate. Therefore, the boot should be strong enough to withstand anything that the harsh climate and the rocky paths present. You can choose whether to buy double boots or single boots or boots with leather materials or plastic materials; that’s personal preference. What really important is, your boots should be strong enough to give comfort and protect your feet throughout your journey.

Crampon Compatibility

Crampon compatibility is another factor you should consider while buying a mountaineering boot. Crampons usually require stiff-shanked boots for a tight grip. You will find boot’s grading ranging from B1, B2, to B3. Likewise, you will find crampons type ranging from C1, C2, to C3.

If your mountaineering climb is too technical, then you should go for B3 boots. B3 boots are rigid, heavy, and usually have leather or plastic as their construction materials. Those boots have stiffer soles and have required features to support front pointing. They support C3 crampons and mountaineers use these boots for ice climbing and technical mountaineering.

Likewise, B2 boots are fine for general mountaineering or walking in winter. They usually have leather, fabric, or plastic as their built-in material. B2 boots support C1 and C2 crampons; so you can use this boot in glacier traverses, winter climbing, alpine climbing, and winter scrambling.

B1 boots use strap-on i.e. C1 crampons. These boots have semi-stiffened midsole with a supportive upper. You use this kind of boot on moderate snow and ice conditions. But, you will not find them comfortable to walk in off the snow as they lack enough stiffness.

Boots Type Crampons Type
B1 C1(strap-on)
B2 C1 or C2 (back clip lever )
B3 C1, C2, or C3(technical crampons)

Final Words

The boots that I reviewed here vary from each other in weight, price, and function. So, it may be difficult for you to pick the one that best fits your needs.

Before you make a choice, you probably need to answer these:

Will you be navigating through snow or only rocky terrains?

Will you have to pass through vertical ice routes on the mountains?

How cold the terrain will be?

Although all the boots I mentioned here are mountaineering boots, their objective still varies a bit. Some boots are good for mountaineering at low altitude snowy region whereas some boots are sturdy enough to reach the Everest.

So, it’s upon you to decide the one that best fits your need and your budget. If you need help on picking the right pair, you can comment down below.

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