Hiking Boots and Gaitors
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With so many choices and so many different kinds of foot sizes, one would be best to try them out in a store first before buying them online. In a dream world, you would want a dozen boots for different seasons and terrain. I lived in that world after an REI employee sale of returned boots. All boots and shoes, $10. For some reason, I was the only one to show up early that day getting over an hour by myself to shuffle through hundreds of boots. I walked away with 17 pairs of boots including ski boots, telemark boots, mountaineering boots, rock shoes, mountain biking shoes, etc. It’s been years since then and my supply is running low (probably not much sympathy for me). I don’t have any suggestions for what hiking boot I use, there’s been so many. One that is comfortable and meets your requirements is all I can suggest.
A friend tapes up his foot around his sock? Then continues another 5 miles with no boot!
Quality footwear a must when glacier climbing
Scarpa Inverno Mountaineering Boot
I couldn’t begin to describe how much I have loved this boot. I’ve had the same pair for over 12 years now and they are just barely hanging on…but still going nonetheless. I try to reserve them for winter and snow climbing but usually I justify wearing them if there is any snow on the mountain. On Denali, one out of three seemed to be wearing them.
Any gaiter is better than no gaiters so just get some. Anytime you are out on the snow, you should put on your gaiters to avoid the snow getting down in your boot. Lately, now that I’m doing a lot less snow climbs, I’ve found gaiters handy avoiding desert stickers and poky things getting down my shoes.
Outdoor Research Gore-Tex Crocodile Gaiters
If you do a lot of hiking and climbing on snow, these are the way to go. They are easy on/off with heaver material for bushwhacking or a light swipe of a crampon point. Unfortunately, a nice sharp crampon can still poke a hole through. I’ve heard the curses of climbing companions many times do this as well as my own. If you are the occasional snow hiker, a more basic model will be fine.
Outdoor Research Brooks Rangers
This is what I used on Denali and sold shortly after as I would never need such extreme gaiters again. They go completely over your mountaineering boot. I did cut the foam to get my clamp-on crampons to work.