The 10 best mountaineering boots for 2022

The 10 best mountaineering boots for 2022

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Hiking in the mountains is an exciting experience. And hiking in winter, on a snowy and icy surface is more challenging than during the other seasons. But even more difficult is climbing the mountain in extreme conditions. For this, you need special equipment. And an important part of this equipment is your footwear. The footwear you need is called mountaineering boots. So, let’s take a look at the 10 best mountaineering boots for 2022.

What kind of boots are these

The main purpose of the mountaineering boots is to allow you to hike and climb the highest mountains on the Earth, as well as all kinds of winter (snow-covered) mountains, in all kinds of terrain. But unlike the winter hiking boots, the mountaineering boots are more focused on the terrain, rather than the snowy conditions. They are better for climbing than just hiking.

In other words- if you want to join an expedition to Mt Everest, K2, or even a lower mountain, you need mountaineering boots, as a part of your mountaineering equipment. They are specially designed for crampons, so you can attach everything you need for climbing or walking in slippery places. Even if you don’t plan winter rock climbing, if your hiking route includes more extreme and difficult terrain, mountaineering boots would be better than winter hiking boots.

The 10 best mountaineering boots

The main features of the mountaineering boots

The first main feature of every mountaineering boot is its hard sole. You can’t bend it, and this is with purpose- to allow proper crampon attachment. Yes, some hiking boots also partially allow crampon attachment, but it is not what they are designed for. On contrary- the mountaineering boots are specially made for crampons- automatic or semi-automatic.

Apart from this, mountaineering boots can be divided into different categories, depending on the other important features.

Single vs double mountaineering boots

The single mountaineering boots are just one indivisible whole like the winter or three-season hiking boots.

On the other side, the double mountaineering boots consist of inner linen and outer shell. You can take the inner linen out and dry it if it is wet.

And in general, usually, the double boots are a bit heavier than the single ones, but from the other side, they are more functional.

Waterproof, gaiters

Waterproof is not the most important feature for mountaineering boots, at least not for all of them. Some of these boots are designed for extremely cold conditions where everything is frozen, so wetting is almost impossible. So, weak boots are those used in warmer conditions without waterproofness.

But there is another problem- deep snow. It can enter the boot from above, so some of the mountaineering boots are supplied with gaiters. For those that aren’t you should use independent gaiters and attach them to the boots.

Warmth

This is a very important function since the environment that you are going to climb would be mainly cold, sometimes- extremely cold. And your feet must remain warm, otherwise, you would be in serious trouble.

Different mountaineering boots have a different level of warmth, and usually, the double boots are warmer. Conditionally, the mountaineering boots are classified for various altitudes- 4000, 5000, 6000 m or higher (although, of course, the conditions in these altitudes are not the same in different geographical zones on the Earth). And in general, the higher altitude they are ranked, the warmer they are.

Technical performance

Mountaineering boots can perform differently in different terrains. Some of them are better in steep ice climbing, others- in rugged rock terrain. Also, some are more proper for beginners in mountaineering, while others- for extremely difficult mountain expeditions.

Mountaineering boots are not designed for hiking- yes, you can still hike with them, but hiking boots are much more comfortable. However, mountaineering is not only climbing, it always includes some hiking. So, good mountaineering boots should also provide at least some comfort for the hiking sections.

Other features

Among the other things that you have to consider and make a boot good are also the following:

  • Lacing system. It should be simple and easy to use.
  • Weight. Of course- the lighter, the better.
  • Break-in period. The shorter, the better.
  • Durability. The longer, the better.

And finally- price. Mountaineering boots are more expensive than the other boots, don’t be surprised about that. But as for every product, usually, the more expensive, the better quality it is, so you have to choose between the quality and your budget. Anyway, there are some really good boots with a better price vs quality ratio.

The 10 best mountaineering boots

Many mountaineering boots come in male and female versions, but some of them are unisex.

So, let’s take a look at the 10 best mountaineering boots for 2022.

The 10 best mountaineering boots for 2022

These boots are not arranged in a chart from No. 1 to No. 10, but they are just the 10 best boots by the professional testers and user’s experience. And before getting into detail, take a look at the table below:

ImageModelMain featuresWeightPrice
Scarpa Phantom TechBest for technical ice climbing3 lb 3.2 oz (1450 g)$$$
La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTXBest overall mountaineering boot3 lb 15 oz (1786 g)$$
Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTXMore performance oriented for moderate terrain3 lb 15.5 oz (1800 g)$$
La Sportiva SpantikWarm boot for high altitude snowy conditions5 lb 9 oz (2523 g)$$$
Scarpa InvernoBest durable mountaineering boot5 lb 8 oz (2494 g)$
Scarpa CharmozBest three-season mountaineering boot3 lb 6.4 oz (1542 g)$
Arc'teryx Acrux ARBest waterproof boot for 4000-5000 m altitude4 lb 2 oz (1871 g)$$$
La Sportiva MakaluBest classical mountaineering boot for beginners4 lb 5.1 oz (1958 g)$
Salewa Rapace GTXMost comfortable boot with almost no break-in period3 lb 4 oz (1480 g)$
La Sportiva Olympus Mons CubeBest boot for highest altitude and harshest conditions4 lb 10 oz (2097 g)$$$$

Scarpa Phantom Tech

This is the best boot for technical climbing. It is designed for 4 seasons, so you can climb lower and higher mountains without a problem. It has perfect waterproof features by its Scarpa HDry membrane, supplied with Primaloft insulation, and a durable Vibram sole. The boot has integrated gaiters, so you basically don’t need to bring additional gaiters.

Scarpa Phantom Tech is a single boot, with one inner layer only, but it is still enough warm, although warmth is not its best side. Again, its design is focused on climbing on highly technical and difficult terrain (for example, it is great if you want to climb K2), as well as on icy walls and other extreme places. And you can walk on slippery and technical sections of your route even without crampons.

This boot is quite lightweight, and this is another good side of it. The only weak sides are the warmth (not proper for extremely cold weather), its lace-lock system, and the price- they are a bit expensive.

Pros: Excellent climbing abilities, perfectly waterproof, lightweight.
Cons: Not enough warm for extreme cold, weak lace-lock system, a bit expensive.

See it on Scarpa!

La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX

This is one of the “balanced best-in-everything” boots, although, of course, not 100% perfect. La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX is a single-leather boot, outstandingly comfortable. Like the other best mountaineering boots, this one is one of the best choices for steep and technical terrains, as well as vertical ice surfaces.

According to various users’ reviews, one of the best sides of this boot is its lacing system. It is simple and convenient. Its tongue is removable, or it can be adjusted up and down.

Concerning the other features, Nepal Cube is good too, although not the best. It is waterproof, but since it is a leather boot, it absorbs water. It also provides good ankle support, but not for all kinds of climbing or hiking- again, it is best mainly for steep ice climbing.

Concerning warmth- La Sportiva is not the Number 1, but it is still in the middle of the best boots. Finally, it is a bit heavy. But this makes it more durable, so some good features come with a cost.

Pros: Great for steep ice climbing, excellent lacing system.
Cons: A bit heavy, leather absorbs water.

For men:

See it on Amazon!  See it on REI!

For women:

See it on Amazon!  See it on REI!

Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX

This is the Scarpa’s version of La Sportiva’s Nepal Cube. Many features are the same for both boots, but there are some differences. Like its La Sportiva counterpart, it is best for moderate to steep ice climbing. It is a single leather boot, quite performance-oriented.

One of the main differences between these two boots (Scarpa Mont Blanc and La Sportiva Nepal Cube) is the fit. La Sportiva tends to be narrower, while Scarpa is wider.

Concerning the other features, both boots are in competition. According to some users, Scarpa’s boot is not enough warm, but at the same time provides better ankle support and stability. Its lacing system is a bit behind La Sportiva’s. About its waterproof ability- it is excellent although the water line is a bit low.

Finally, Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX is a bit cheaper, so maybe the price can make it a winner, at least for some climbers.

Pros: Great for moderate and steep ice climbing, good lacing system, a bit lightweight. Cheaper.
Cons: Some users find it too wide. Not enough warm.

For men:

See it on Amazon!  See it on REI!

For women:

See it on Amazon!  See it on REI!

La Sportiva Spantik

This is an excellent boot for climbing on snowy mountains at an altitude around 5000-6000 m. It is double synthetic, four-seasonal, with great technical performance. Although it is a bit expensive, its quality is worth the price.

La Sportiva Spantik is lightweight (at least for its class), and surprisingly warm for its weight. Although it is not a hiking boot and can’t compare with hiking boots, you can still feel relatively comfortable when you hike short sections on dry trails. It is also excellent for steep ice climbing, although La Sportiva Nepal Cube is better.

Since this boot is specialized in snowy high-altitude terrains, its waterproof side is not well-developed. It can get wet if you walk on slushy melting snow or mud. But on high altitudes, it is usually dry, so it is not a big problem.

Finally, durability is its weak side, so don’t use it on too rugged dry terrains.

Pros: Very warm for its weight, excellent for high altitude snowy conditions.
Cons: No waterproof, less durable.

See it on Amazon!

Scarpa Inverno

This is another double boot, with a plastic sole, excellent for harsh winter conditions. And it comes with its unique pros and cons.

The best side of Scarpa Inverno is its durability- it is so durable that you can wear it for many years without any sign of damage or wearing out. And plastic has the main role for it. At the same time, it is quite warm for extreme cold weather. Also, it is waterproof and comfortable. The boot has great performance in snow.

However, it is not so technical, it can’t compete with boots like La Sportiva Nepal Cube or Scarpa Phantom Tech. Instead, it is a bit bulky and heavy. But at the same time, its price is almost half of these boots’ prices. That’s why it can be a perfect choice for users who look for something more budget.

Pros: Excellent durability, cheap.
Cons: A bit bulky and heavy, not so technical.

See it on Amazon!

Scarpa Charmoz

This is a lightweight three-season mountaineering boot. It is single synthetic, best proper for semi-automatic crampons. So, in general, it is most proper for more snowy and rocky terrain, not the best in steep ice and not in extreme cold, but excellent in more moderate conditions.

Scarpa Charmoz has a great waterproof feature, and it is very important when you hike and climb in not-so-cold weather, on melting snow or mud. At the same time, it is durable and comfortable. Its construction provides good ankle support and shock absorption.

One of its weak sides is the break-in period. Many users complain that it is too long. Others also add that it is not the most lightweight mountaineering boot in this category. Anyway, for its relatively budget price, this boot is quite worth buying.

Pros: Excellent for not too extreme conditions, waterproof.
Cons: Long break-in period, not the lightest boot in its category.

For men:

See it on Amazon!  See it on REI!

For women:

See it on Amazon!  See it on REI!

Arc’teryx Acrux AR

This is another mountaineering boot for more extreme conditions. It is double synthetic, four-seasonal, and it is most proper for around 4000-5000 m altitudes in the mountains. The boot is technical alpine and performs quite well in harsh terrain.

One of the best sides of Arc’teryx Acrux AR is its waterproofness. With its gaiter, you can walk on various kinds and depths of snow and your feet will remain dry. Another great feature of this boot is its warmth. As a double synthetic boot, it not only provides comfortable warmth, but it remains relatively lightweight.

Arc’teryx Acrux AR is also good in the other important features- durability, lacing system, and stability. However, its design can be not so comfortable for people with wide feet. Also, some users find it not so flexible.

Pros: Great warmth and waterproofness.
Cons: Not so comfortable for people with wide feet, not so flexible, expensive.

See it on Amazon!

La Sportiva Makalu

This is one of the best classical old-school mountaineering boots. It is single leather, lightweight, without gaiters, designed for automatic crampons. In general, La Sportiva Makalu is best for light and classical mountaineering, the most proper boot for beginners.

La Sportiva Makalu is not made for extremely cold, harsh terrains and weather, but this can’t be considered as a weak side, because this boot has a different purpose. For this purpose, it is enough warm, flexible, and with great technical performance.

However, it has two cons. First- it is not waterproof. It wouldn’t be a problem if you hike and climb only in a frozen environment, but if you are a beginner, you would most likely sometimes walk on а wetting surface. And second, its break-in period is too long.

Pros: Great for classical mountaineering, the best for beginners, lightweight, cheap.
Cons: No waterproof, too long break-in period.

See it on Amazon! See it on REI!

Salewa Rapace GTX

This is one of the most comfortable mountaineering boots. It is single leather, and a significant contribution to its comfort is its lightweight. Also, it has almost no break-in period. This is what makes Salewa Rapace GTX one of the most favorite boots for mountaineers at a moderate level.

Salewa Rapace GTX is a waterproof boot, however, some users experience wetting during a longer trek or climb on a wet surface. It is warm, but not designed for extreme cold weather.

Concerning the other features, it is durable and quite technical, with an excellent crampon connection. The lacing system is also good and convenient, offering a lot of flexibility. Finally, it is relatively cheap, so it is one of the best choices for budget users.

Pros: Extremely comfortable, with almost no break-in period, lightweight.
Cons: Weak waterproof, not so warm in too low temperatures.

See it on Amazon!

La Sportiva Olympus Mons Cube

This is a completely different type of mountaineering boot. Its main purpose is to hike and climb the highest, the harshest, and the coldest mountains on the Earth, in the most severe weather. Olympus Mons is the highest mountain in the Solar System, located on Mars, and it clearly symbolizes this boot’s goal- to climb the highest altitudes on our planet.

La Sportiva Olympus Mons Cube is a double synthetic boot supplied with a high gaiter for full prevention of snow penetrating. It doesn’t have a lacing system but only dual Boa closures that can be much easily adjusted without the need to wear off gloves or mittens.

Another very important feature is warmth- needless to say, it is crucial for surviving the harsh environment in places like K2, Everest, Annapurna, or Antarctica. But all of this comes with a price- this is one of the most expensive mountaineering boots.

Pros: Extremely protective for the harshest environments on Earth.
Cons: Too expensive.

See it on Amazon!

These are the best mountaineering boots for 2022. There are many other boots, mainly by these two best brands La Sportiva and Scarpa, but some other brands are also well-presented. I would mention Lowa Alpine Expert, La Sportiva G2 and G5 Evo, and La Sportiva Trango Tech (which is also great for hiking).

As you can see, in general, mountaineering boots are more expensive than hiking boots, but it is mainly because the terrain they are designed for is much more difficult. So, if you want to be a mountaineer, you should be ready to invest in this very important part of your equipment.

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A guide about the 10 best mountaineering boots for 2022- what are the mountaineering boots, their main features, how to make the best choice. A guide about the 10 best mountaineering boots for 2022- what are the mountaineering boots, their main features, how to make the best choice. A guide about the 10 best mountaineering boots for 2022- what are the mountaineering boots, their main features, how to make the best choice.

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