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sethd513
11-07-2014, 21:21
Hey all. New to the forum and fairly new to the culture. My fiancÚ and I bought some snow shoes for the winter because we didn't want to miss out on all the trails have to offer in the upcoming months. I wanted to ask opinions on the best winter boot to buy to be out and about in for the snow covered months. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

squeezebox
11-07-2014, 22:42
I would think knee high gaiters would be necessary.

Lyle
11-07-2014, 23:11
I use normal hiking boots. Goretex is good for winter and snow. For hiking I use low cut trail runners, for snowshoeing I use six inch or so light weight boots. No need for heavy, all leather. I also use ankle or calf length gaiters. If your snowshoes are properly sized, you should be staying above the snow for the most part.

You will enjoy the freedom snowshoes give you. Make sure to plan some night snowshoe hikes with a full moon - magical!

Slo-go'en
11-07-2014, 23:38
I use a cheap insulated boots from Walmart, but my everyday gortex hiking boots works too. Gaiters are defiantly recommended. Snowshoeing by the full moon really is magical. Conditions weren't good for me to do that last year, hoping this year will be better.

Sarcasm the elf
11-08-2014, 00:23
You don't need anything fancy to get started, just strap whatever boot you usually wear in the winter to those snowshoes and hit some local trails. The experience will tell you what is working and what isn't. Gaiters are great, just remember that they don't need to be expensive, don't get suckered into the $60 Goretex pair at the outfitters, the $15 dollar pair will work just as well.

Once you get comfortable using the snowshoes you'll know whether your existing boots work for you or not. Once you figure that out you'll have a good idea of what sort of improvements you will want in a winter boot and it will be easier to narrow down what kind to buy.

Currently I use these as my light winter boots which are what I use for normal winter conditions on the A.T. (I have not association with the seller in the link, it's just a good example of what I use). When it gets really cold I use Sorel Pac boots or my pair of insulated mountaineering boots.
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/106383-FS-Scarpa-Kailash-GTX-Men-s-11-5-(EUR-45)

garlic08
11-08-2014, 09:46
Choice of footwear may depend on your bindings, too. Some bindings are designed to be worn with trail runners, which snowshoe racers will use. Depending on snow conditions, that may work sometimes in the backcountry. I've done some winter mountaineering ascents on snowshoes wearing trail runners and Sealskinz socks, in the right conditions. But I've tried out some snowshoes with my running shoes and the bindings were sheer torture--they're really meant for heavy leather boots.

Footwear also depends on snow, weather, and trail conditions--how wet it is, how cold it is, how deep the snow is, and if you're traversing steep terrain. And the size and shape of the showshoe may make a difference on how much snow you get around your ankles. In some conditions with large snowshoes, you don't need gaiters. Sometimes gaiters are necessary, sometimes they prevent sweat from evaporating, which is not good. They're a good thing to have, but you might not want to wear them all the time. (But they do make you look like a "real hiker." :))

Welcome to Whiteblaze!

Another Kevin
11-08-2014, 14:37
I agree pretty well with what the Elf said: whatever boots you already wear in the winter will get you started, particularly if you don't have ascent snowshoes.

I do have ascent snowshoes, so my trail runners don't work very well with the bindings (and even less well with the heel lifts). I wear either 6 inch Gore-Tex boots, or Sorel pac boots. The pac boots also work well with my strap-on crampons. And I'm insanely envious that the Elf found plastic mountaineering boots on clearance.

Over-the-calf gaiters are nice in the sloppy stuff and essential for a seated glissade (at least if you don't want to fill your trouser legs with packed snow).

sethd513
11-08-2014, 16:19
We have accent snowshoes. The winter boots we have are only good for shoveling snow or Ice fishing. We are going to have to look into something in the 6 inch flavor it seems.

Any boots particularly bad or uncomfortable when using the heel lifts?

Another Kevin
11-09-2014, 01:36
We have accent snowshoes. The winter boots we have are only good for shoveling snow or Ice fishing. We are going to have to look into something in the 6 inch flavor it seems.

Any boots particularly bad or uncomfortable when using the heel lifts?

Not that I've tried, but I haven't tried a lot of them.

My big problem with the trail runners has been "sole flexes, shoe bounces off the lift, lift flops back down, heel comes down hard, Kevin falls over." Part of the problem is that the sole is just too floppy, and part of the problem is that the heel doesn't have enough of a welt to really engage the lift. None of my boots so far has had either problem.

Also, the trail runners are flexible enough that when the heel strap on the binding is tight enough, the soles of the shoes are trying to fold in the middle. That's not very comfortable or safe.

redseal
11-09-2014, 19:07
Depends a lot on what type of snowshoe you have, type of conditions you will be out in and for how long. I personally use trail runners with Gore-tex but I use lightweight snowshoes, rarely use them in high snow depths and am only out for 4 - 6 hours or so at a time. If I were to stray from this I would consider something other than trail runners.

Another Kevin
11-09-2014, 21:31
Depends a lot on what type of snowshoe you have, type of conditions you will be out in and for how long. I personally use trail runners with Gore-tex but I use lightweight snowshoes, rarely use them in high snow depths and am only out for 4 - 6 hours or so at a time. If I were to stray from this I would consider something other than trail runners.

Yup. Different styles. I use mine mostly for peak-bagging, have ascent snowshoes (which are not known for being the lightest in the world), use them on some pretty nasty steep slopes (which is what ascent snowshoes are for), and sometimes encounter 5-6-foot snowpacks. No trail runners for me. Even on the easier trips, the bindings on the ascent snowshoes just don't work all that well with trail runners.