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Walking Boots

Mountaineering Boots | 6 of the Best For 2016/17

We take a look at six of the best mountaineering boots out there ready for winter 2016.

The kings of all outdoors footwear, mountaineering boots are designed to withstand any onslaught from the elements, whether evading minus temperatures or keeping feet dry in the snow.

There are a few different types of mountain boot – you have single boots, double boots and full-on gaiter boots. Each with differing key features and used for various mountain-specific activities, like ice climbing, mountain walking and via ferrata.

And although mountain boots aren’t quite the same as standard walking boots, there are similar features you look for in both, which our walking boots buyer’s guide has more about.

But for a little more help on mountaineering boots specifically, here’s a quick look at six of the most talked about on the market from lightweight models to full-on three-layer pairs.

Arc’teryx Acrux AR Mountaineering Boot

In the Acrux AR, Arc’teryx has engineered a mountain walking boot that defines ‘revolutionary’ – it is a double boot that is not clunky, heavy, non-breathable or horribly bulky.

It really is unique in the mountaineering gear world and, like the first smartphone or leather football, it is genuinely a game changer.

We won’t go into too much detail – you’ll find more about the boot in our Acrux AR review – but we will say that the three-layer construction made up of a Gore-Tex laminated gaiter, a PE foam insulated shell boot and a stretchy inner boot is pretty special.

What does this mean? Essentially, Arc’teryx has made a boot with all the traditional double boot features, but has the same weight and rigor as a single mountaineering boot.

It really is about as good as you get if you’re a serious mountaineer looking for a neat, warm companion for your feet.

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Scarpa Charmoz OD

Scarpa has resurrected its classic lightweight Charmoz alpine boot for autumn 2016, with a few alterations that have made it just that little bit better.

The Charmoz OD is a lightweight winter and alpine all-rounder, which now features a waterproof OutDry liner and an upgraded lacing system.

Dubbed as an alpine boot, the Charmoz can as easily be considered for full-on winter excursions to Scotland, with the OutDry waterproof lining which means there’s no liquid build up in between layers.

Of course fit is vital when owning a pair of boots, but if you managed to get the correct size then the NAG technical last gives you better sensitivity and feel, while the Autofit collar keeps your foot firmly in place. Great price for a light, single layer boot.

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La Sportiva Nepal Extreme

Here we have a proper mountain boot built by La Sportiva designed for high altitude outings and technical use on varied terrain – hence the name.

Up in the mountains it gets quite cold, as you’d expect, so keeping your plates of meat warm and dry is imperative, this is where the technical features of the Nepal Extreme come in.

It’s been designed with an innovative triple laminate lining Synergy, which, in real speak, is combination of waterproof, breathable and next-to-skin comfortable materials.

So if you’re after a classic mountain boot that has all the features and capabilities of a modern boot then this may well be the one for you. And we know it’s subjective, but the colour combos are pretty darn cool too.

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Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX

Set out to be the the perfect boot for alpine use and via ferrata-specific activities, the Hanwag Ferrata Combi GTX is actually a lot more versatile than first thought.

Yes, it does a very decent job as a full alpine boot, but can also work well as a light and very comfortable mountain boot that takes semi-automatic crampons for use on snow and ice.

The Gore-Tex membrane is of course waterproof and has excellent breathability qualities, while the vibram sole, which is very stiff, gives you grip and support on varied terrain.

It is labelled as an alpine / via ferrata boot, and it does this job well, but if you’re looking to tackle a few of Scotland’s finest snowy ridges then this could well be the boot for you.

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AKU Serai GTX

An Italian brand with a great story, Aku has been producing eco-friendly, locally-sourced footwear for over 100 years and the Serai GTX is one of its most technical models yet.

Robust, comfortable and crampon compatible, this boot is made for ice climbing and that’s exactly what it’ll do, oh and also general mountaineering too.

The combination of PrimaLoft’s insulation and Gore-Tex’s breathable, waterproof membrane mean feet will stay dry and warm, while not sweating out on strenuous climbs.

There are also additional features like a neat velcro-fastened strap for keeping that dreaded snow out, but it’s the fact that 90% of its materials are locally sourced which really makes you enjoy the Italian boot and the brand to boot (excuse the pun).

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Zamberlan 4000 Eiger GTX RR

It’s been around a couple of years now, but the Zamblerlan 4000 Eiger is still doing the job it set out to do – to be a high tech lightweight alpine boot.

With features like the stretch Cordura / Schoeller integrated gaiter with a YKK waterproof zip and the Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort liner, the boot is well thought out for people trying to keep warm and dry in the mountains.

And when a boot like this is under a kilo you’d expect the price tag to be high, and it is, but considering how bulletproof (water / windproof) the construction is, it’s understandable.

It’s also got a Vibram sole, which is renowned for good grip on varied terrain, and it’s all been designed by a family-orientated company with great Italian values. So, if you’re a keen mountaineer then this boot pretty much covers all areas.

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