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Topic: Snow boots< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
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Lago Grey
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 28 2012, 7:14 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So I've been hoping for snow.  We don't get much around here, and even less than when I was a kid, but hey, a guy can dream, right?  Every few years we do manage to get a decent storm, however.

I was idly dreaming/looking at some boots and sorta liked the Sorel Avalanche.  Also ran across some Kamiks, which I'd never heard of.  If I'm lucky enough to get snow or be able to sneak away for a snowy weekend I'd match them up with my gaiters.

After poking around some more Kamik seems to be a rather well-respected brand.  Anyone own any?

Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 28 2012, 7:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have two pairs of Kamiks. Very warm (-40 rating), and Monstrously warm (-75). One is like a Sorel but better made in my opinion. The other is a cross between a Sorel-type and a ski boot. Both have removable inners so they can go in the bag at night.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 28 2012, 7:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Canadian checking in. I can tell you that, when it comes to serious outdoor use, Kamiks and Baffins pretty much have the market. You've discovered Kamik, you might also take a look at www.baffin.com for many styles of comfy boots rated as far down as -100 Celsius. We go ice fishin a lot, eh.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 28 2012, 7:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a pair of Neos Navigators that I use whenever I would otherwise wear a boot like a Sorel.  They fit over my light hikers and have a viram sole.  I've sued them snowshoeing as well but I have a pair of Irish Setter king toe boots that I prefer for snowshoeing.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 28 2012, 8:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I saw some of those temp ratings - scary.  The Baffin Polar series, rated down to -100C/-148F, is downright frightening.  It rarely gets down to 0F here (usually teens or 20s), but warm dry feet are a big plus.  Gotta be careful my feet don't sweat to death in 'em.

Thanks for the info.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 28 2012, 8:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For those temps the Salomon beluha are nice and light.
I have a pair of Neos but I sweat more in them when snowshoeing.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 28 2012, 10:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Has anyone backpacked in these things?  I mean miles thru the snow with a pack on your back?  I spent two years backpacking in a pair of Sorels and gotta say they slowed me down with a clunky clumsy gait.  Am I the only backpacker who has problems with these kind of boots?

What's the alternative?  Asolo 520's?  They are heavy too but not as clunky.  But 520's aren't insulated like the Sorels.  But hiker beware---after many months in my Sorels I had a nasty between-the-toe infection because my feet didn't breathe properly.  Ya can't live in them, that's for sure.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 7:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've got some insulated Keen boots that I use for snowshoeing and winter hiking.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 9:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just wear one pair of boots year round. a goretex pair of zamberlan backpacking boots. In summer I wear light socks and in the winter I wear wool socks and it seems to keep my feet happy and warm enough all year round. Mind you it usually only hits around -4 (-20 celcius) around here in the winter
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 11:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Columbia makes (or at least did) some decent insulated boots for temps down to 0. I've used standard all leather boots and just made sure they would bead moisture really well and were loose enough so that they didn't constrict blood flow. They worked quite well.

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 Post Number: 11
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 5:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
Has anyone backpacked in these things?  I mean miles thru the snow with a pack on your back?  I spent two years backpacking in a pair of Sorels and gotta say they slowed me down with a clunky clumsy gait.  Am I the only backpacker who has problems with these kind of boots?


Tipi, it's true, you have to walk like a moose in those. I made one trip in Sorels. My old bearpaw snowshoes didn't like them either. The Baffins I chose are a very soft rubber boot with a wool/reflectix liner, rated (truthfully) to -40C. The rubber isn't thick, bends easy, stays soft at any temp, can't freeze, and (bonus) can be towel dried inside. The liner is a shiny thick felt sock, swaps out easy for a dry spare and dries well in the coat or sleeping bag. A DWR nylon collar on top laces shut, no gaiters required. Gumboots for Labrador trappers. Extreme Wellies. For when you walk out of an eight foot drift and then break through the ice on the bog.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 6:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Islandized---Do you have any Baffin model you'd recommend for long term winter backpacking in 0F conditions with moderate 1-2 feet of snow?  What is the model you have?

I used gumboots often in Lost Valley where I had a camp but it's a rhododendron choked valley---all the rhodo was 5 to 6 feet high and impossible to go thru with a pack---and so the only way up the valley was directly in the frozen creek.  I kept the gumboots just for this long section of trail and had them cached for this purpose.  Afterwards at the headwaters I returned to my boots.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 8:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That foot issue might have been trench foot. Changing socks midday can help with that, so can a small tin of bag balm.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 29 2012, 8:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tipi asked:

QUOTE
Islandized---Do you have any Baffin model you'd recommend for long term winter backpacking in 0F conditions with moderate 1-2 feet of snow?  What is the model you have?


The ones I described are in the 'Huntsman Series' on their website, but the -40C/-40F rating is the lightest one of those (the 'Hunter' model, the others are -50, -60 and yes, -100C). Too warm? The 'Meltwater' in the Marsh Series has a neoprene top, rubber foot instead of all rubber, and is rated -20C/-4F, but I think they only do replaceable liners for the -40 and below kinds. Most of the time I'm in -5C to -25C weather (or +25 to -15F), and don't find the -40 overkill at all. The wool does a good job of managing the sweaties at warmer temps, if the weather takes me by surprise.

Edit to add: the women's version of the 'Hunter' is called the 'Storm', if anybody's curious.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 30 2012, 9:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm considering these boots for my winter activities when pulk pullin for example



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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2012, 10:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm wondering about ankle support with those boots, eggs, especially with snowshoes on.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2012, 2:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Dec. 29 2012, 11:36 am)
QUOTE
Columbia makes (or at least did) some decent insulated boots for temps down to 0. I've used standard all leather boots and just made sure they would bead moisture really well and were loose enough so that they didn't constrict blood flow. They worked quite well.

I have a pair of Columbia Bugatechs. Really light and comfy. Funky design, if you care about that kind of thing:


I also have a pair of Keen Klamath that I like a lot.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 31 2012, 8:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There's a nice writeup at SectionHiker for winter boots used in the NE mountains.

http://sectionhiker.com/the-bes....l-blair

Based on his review, I purchased a pair of Garmont Momentum for use in Va, & WVa.
http://www.rei.com/product....ts-mens
Much lighter than my shoepacs. They were more than adequate this weekend in two days of blowing snow in WV.  I'll see how they do for the entire winter.

In the past, I've used boots with removable liners, so they can be dried (or at least kept warm) in my bag. This year I'm trying a different approach, lightweight socks, VBL liner, then a heavier sock in the momentums. I'd be interested in anyone living in much colder climates that has tried a similar setup and how it worked.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 1:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was looking for snow boots for the ADK Winter Mountaineering School. I have an older pair of Sorels, but they feel a bit too loose. ADK has an absolute requirement of removable liners. None of the local stores carry the plastic boots I was considering, and I was leery of getting them by mail; or driving up North and trying to rent them right before. They are really expensive, and I'm thinking the fit may be a bit tricky. I finally came up with these:
http://www.rei.com/product....ts-mens
The only downside I see right off is that the tongue gussetts do not go up to the cuff. I'll be wearing them with gaiters tho. (My OR Croc gaiters don't fit them)
Good price, removable liner, and my snowshoes and crampons fit. I'll try them out this weekend in VT.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 01 2013, 2:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

X, those look pretty good.  I like the rubber all the way around the bottom, the top two eyelets are hooks, -40F, and 8".
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 6:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I recently picked up a pair of Keen Summit County II boots from REI on sale. They have 400g of insulation, are well built, and have the temp sensitive sole lugs. I got them for $100.
They are waterproof, rated to -40, and not too clunky either.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 11 2013, 12:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have the Keen Summit County boots. Very warm when moving. Almost too much for snowshoeing. But definitely not -40 weather boots unless you are moving a lot. Standing still for prolonged periods, my feet can get pretty chilly in them. Mind you, they get chilly even in the warmest boots (and I have some boots designed for people working in the oil sands of Alberta. Pretty bloody cold there in the winter).
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 11 2013, 9:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cuester @ Dec. 29 2012, 9:27 am)
QUOTE
I just wear one pair of boots year round.

Pretty much the same with me.   In the winter I just make sure my regular all leather hiking boots (LL Bean Crestas) are well oiled and they seem to serve me well to temps of 0 and slightly below.  I think having them large enough to get a pair of wool socks, one of them pretty thick, is the key.  They may not be of expedition quality, but for what I use them in the winter around here, they seem to do the trick.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 13 2013, 7:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Empire Wool and Canvas mukluks are a terrific product, as are Steiger Mukluks. They are a bit soft, but mukluks have been used with snowshoes in the forest for thousands of years. Ankle support is over blown unless you intend to be shoeing in really steep terrain (i.e. the mountain west) where crampon snowshoes are also a necessity (i.e. MSR or the aggressive Atlas style shoes). But, traditionally, the mukluk with a felt liner (or any packboot with a felt liner) are better suited to a different style of backcountry travel than what most backpackers are doing; that is, they are most effective with hot tent travel where you dry the liners out every evening by the wood stove. This is an even greater problem with Sorel style pack boots as the bottom of the boot is rubber, and liners get even more sweat soaked. A boot like the Keen or others (i.e. a Columbia Bugaboo) with the rubber bottom, and no removable liner become a sweat trap that will quickly leave your boots soggy, damp, and without meticulous attention freeze solid after a few days in sub-zero weather. Invariably, I've relied upon VBLs in all my winter footwear when the temps fall into the teens or lower. Nearly any footwear will (over time) remain dryer, warmer, and more pliable with VBLs. Many people hate VBL's, and are forced into other means of drying liners overnight. The idea you need a stiffer shoe for ankle support leads many people to get a boot that reduces the foot and toes to flex; if you can't EASILY flex your toes and feet, you feet will get cold regardless of how "warm" you boots are rated.

Presently I prefer a soft trail runner with overboot setup (I use the Wiggy Redington overboot but Cooke Custom Sewing in MN originated the design and still makes them) with good thick socks over a pair of Integral Designs VBLs. I also have a pair of an older model of the Empire mukluk and love them, but unless I'm using my silnylon hot tent setup I leave them home. What I like about the Wiggy overboots, is once in camp, I take off the trail runners and VBLs, put on super thick fleece socks and camp booties, and then put the overboots back on. I've been comfortably toasty sitting and standing around camp at -40 with that setup. The trail runners are light enough I can string them around my neck under my parka, comfortably sleep with them in my bag, and because they don't absorb moisture due to the VBL's, I can even leave them out in the cold and they don't freeze (only require 30 minutes under the parka to warm up before putting them back on).

In the end, I have about 5 pairs of winter footwear depending on the trip, terrain, travel mode (ski or snowshoe). Each pair has it's compromises and limits and require different types of care and attention.


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