Going hiking this winter? Make sure you’ve got proper winter hiking boots
Winter hiking boots are a must-have for any British hiker. Summer boots will do during the warmer months, however you will need a warm, waterproof pair for winter.
When looking for a pair of winter hiking boots, they should be waterproof and insulated. You should also aim to buy boots with removable liners. Why? Because if you are hiking and then camping overnight, your boots will inevitable get wet and freeze. There’s nothing worse than trying to tug on frozen boots on a cold winter’s morning.
It’s also worth making sure your boots work with crampons and snowshoes, especially if you are heading somewhere snowy.
As with all shoes, you need to make sure these boots are comfortable and fit properly. Don’t wear brand new boots on your first winter hiking trip without breaking them in first. Pad around the house for a few hours before your first big hike.
Whether you are trekking in the Himalayas or hiking Scotland‘s peaks in winter, Scarpa’s Charmoz OD boots will do the trick perfectly. These winter hiking boots are great for summer scrambling as well as winter hiking through the mountains. Scarpa have been making these boots for over a decade now and they are pretty much the same design, except this year they have a new waterproof lining to keep your feet dry and warm. They are rigid enough to work with B2 crampons and the Vibram sole has good traction on loose ground.
Salomon’s Toundra Pro boots are favoured among winter adventurers. They are Salomon’s warmest boots keeping your feet insulated to -40°C, thanks to the Aerogel inside. Aerogel is an ultralight foam insulation developed by NASA to protect the Mars probes from extreme cold. They are super lightweight, you’ll notice this as soon as you put these boots on. They are well waterproofed with a rubber lower and gusseted tongue to stop water seeping in. You wouldn’t necessarily use these hiking boots for an above-the-treeline trek with crampons as the sole is too soft, but if you are below the treeline, these boots are a fantastic choice.
Keen make some of the most comfortable hiking boots in the world. The Summit County hiking boots are super warm, suitable for temperatures as low as -40°C. They are made with tough nubuck leather which is waterproof and insulated with 400g bamboo fibre, plus they’ve added extra insulation in the toe. They are relatively soft and flexible, but it’s still worth giving them time to wear in. The Summit County boots work great with snowshoes.
La Sportiva is one of the most highly-respected brands for mountaineering and winter hiking boots. Their women’s Trango Guide Evo GTX boots are built for alpine guides as well as winter hikers. They are a great lightweight boot that acts as a crossover between a mountaineering boot and a backpacking boot. They are fully waterproof with a snow gaiter plus a low volume sole, making it lighter than ever before. If you are looking for a winter hiking boot for technical approach routes, this is the one for you. There’s also a men’s version of the Trango Guide boots in case your friend/partner is interested in a pair for themselves.
If you want a pair of winter hiking boots that are mega grippy on ice, you need to try the Merrell Capra Glacial Ice+ boots. They are made with Vibram Arctic Grip technology which is honestly astonishing. Having tried these boots first hand, they are the grippiest boots I’ve ever tested. You stick to the ice like glue – it’s pretty cool. The Capra Glacial Ice+ boots are breathable and waterproof with 200g insulation.
If you want a soft winter hiking boot with a seriously grippy sole, check out the Lowa Renegade Ice GTX boots. The upper is made with nubuck leather and it is lined with waterproof, breathable Gore Tex making them ideal for winter adventures. One of the best parts of these boots is the G3 Lowa sole which has amazing traction on snow and ice. These are great all-round winter boots, whether you are snowshoeing in Quebec or just heading to the shops in a snow storm.
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