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  1. #1
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Default Neos or hiking boots?

    I don't know if you are familiar with Neos, but I have had a few pair of these. They are overshoes basically, highly waterproof and on the heavy side (2 lbs).
    I live in Albuquerque. I have usually just changed where I hike in the winter so that mostly I am hiking on the desert side. It's fun but limited. Also limited as to longer hikes. I'm looking to do more hikes in some higher elevations. So the question is boots or shoes. Not sure I would enjoy having wet feet which I would have with trail runners (I have NB 910s which I am not in love with but oh well). Neos are inexpensive but HEAVY. I would get the non-insultated ones as they are less heavy and the main thing is keeping your feet dry. They also can attach nicely to snowshoes. I have had opportunities in the past to go snowshoeing with a group. Any thoughts on the subject? I know this is not so much a question, but I would still like to hear what folks have to say.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User ggreaves's Avatar
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    I have the non-insulated Neo's and I like them. You're correct that they're good for snowshoeing as well. And they pack up small to pack away when you don't need them. However, their grip on ice isn't that great. I'm not sure if that would be a problem for you. I need to wear yak trax with mine, or, of course, modern snowshoes have ice crampon bottoms. Even though they're pretty light, once you add the hiking boots or shoes you wear inside them and whatever ice cleats you add, it can be heavy enough.

    This year, I've switched to using EVA boots for my winter trekking. They're super lightweight (just over 1 lbs for knee high lined boots). And since they're EVA closed cell foam - they insulate well, and grip ice very well too. Think of giant waterproof crocs and you get the idea. Very light / comfortable and warm. I don't have a full season in them yet so I'll report back when I do, but maybe it's something you should look into.

    https://www.amazon.com/Leon-Boots-Co...eva+farm+boots

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    I do NOT like waterproof gaiters or high boots in the snow as they get to wet from body moisture and, in my experience, I don't find that getting wet from snow is a problem above my ankles. I do sometimes use waterproof trail runners or waterproof light hiking shoes in the winter, but only if I pair them with a sock system that includes a vapor barrier to keep my foot sweat from soaking my insulating sock. But then, I can also use a non-waterproof shoe and just add a waterproof sock to the outside of my sock system, so a soaking wet shoe is a non-issue.

    I much prefer hiking and snowshoeing in the winter with trail runners in preference to heavier and/or bulkier foodwear. When doing snowshoeing day-hikes, I often don't worry about waterproof footwear because my shoes only experience the snow that falls onto the top of the snowshoe as the snowshoe is doing most of the pushing through the snow, so my shoes stay quite dry in most cases.

    I can't imagine lugging around the extra bulk and weight of the Neos unless I needed the extra insulation which would only be the case, for me, in the rare occasions that I was expecting consistent temperatures below -10 degrees F.
    Last edited by nsherry61; 12-11-2017 at 15:00.
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  4. #4
    Registered User ggreaves's Avatar
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    in the winter I'm not going for distance. and I'm not carrying a pack either. Everything is behind me on a pulk. so throwing a few extra pounds in on the sled is no big deal. But yes, if you're just hiking or backpacking/snowshoeing, get the lightest weight footwear that gives you comfort and safety. my boot liners (wiggys sunwalker 2) don't hold moisture so any moisture that accumulates in the boot will be in the mesh Canadian Forces mukluk insole. It can just be shaken out when I take the boots off. In the winter, you definitely have to work to manage moisture. wearing vapor barrier socks is ok, but when you stop moving you need to take them off and put on something dry and then change back into them when you start moving again.

  5. #5
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    To answer some questions: Yes, we have ice, might be more of an issue than snow. So a knee high boot is kind of overkill. Actually was looking for something like 6 inches (but Neo does not make such a thing either). My shoes are GTX, was not my idea, only thing that they had in my size that worked for me.
    Almost as likely to step into mush as snow.

    Not talking re: huge pack either. I'm not backpacking. I'm gathering I might carry a grand base weight of 5 lbs, if that. (down jacket, extra socks, snacks, water, that kind of thing). Hiking time maybe day hike, eat lunch go back that sort of thing.

    Vapor barrier socks, you mean like SCUBA socks? (Not that you would wear those, don't think they fit tight enough.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ505 View Post
    To answer some questions: . . . Vapor barrier socks, you mean like SCUBA socks? (Not that you would wear those, don't think they fit tight enough.)
    You can start with plastic bags. For years, I used bread bags and grocery store vegetable bags, although most of the current grocery vegetable bags are the cloudy looking plastic that tears instead of the clear plastic that stretches. Plastic bags definitely take some fiddling to get working well. Some folks on these forums use "square socks" where they fold a square of plastic around their foot in a particular way that is supposed to work pretty well. You can also Google "vapor barrier socks" and you'll find a bunch of ideas. This fall, I've been experimenting with window film and flexible tape seams, but haven't gotten a pattern and system dialed to my liking yet.

    Here is a WhiteBlaze thread that you might find useful.
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  7. #7

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    Seems awfully pricey for something a decent winter book already does.

  8. #8
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Uninsulated Neos are $50, not sure what you mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    Seems awfully pricey for something a decent winter book already does.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ505 View Post
    Uninsulated Neos are $50, not sure what you mean.
    i saw em around a $100 Bucks

  10. #10
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    You aren't wrong, Rocketsocks. There are different models, $100 is probably a high boot with insulation. And I agree at that price you might as well get a winter hiking boot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ505 View Post
    You aren't wrong, Rocketsocks. There are different models, $100 is probably a high boot with insulation. And I agree at that price you might as well get a winter hiking boot.
    I doubt that a general purpose winter boot alone would be as warm as the same boot with an insulated Neo over it. So, maybe Neos do have some legitimate use?
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ505 View Post
    You aren't wrong, Rocketsocks. There are different models, $100 is probably a high boot with insulation. And I agree at that price you might as well get a winter hiking boot.
    id prolly spring for $50

  13. #13
    Registered User ggreaves's Avatar
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    any idea where you can find 'em for $50? I might spring for another pair.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggreaves View Post
    any idea where you can find 'em for $50? I might spring for another pair.
    amazon...I think they were $58

    https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...SAAEgIPTfD_BwE

  15. #15
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Here: you might get them used. Not in my size at this price anymore. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B5STHQY...G4PADOAMT&th=1

    This gives you how they're sized and what the differences are: https://www.overshoesneos.com

    @nsherry. I looked up Antarctica boots, might be close. A boot within a boot surrounded by another boot.

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    When hiking in winter here in the Alps, we usually have many more problems to face than just the snow.
    There is soft an slippery mud, dead foliage atop to make it treacherous, snow of various conditions, hard packed snow and some ice.
    No way to do more than a 1-2hr walk in trailrunners, you need serious boots to do a serious hike.
    A hard boot is welcome to kick steps into the packed snow, snowshoes to not loose ground in deep snow, and most essential, gaiters to keep the snow out of the shoes and away from your trousers.
    So we have winter boots just for this purpose: Hiking in winter.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    When hiking in winter here in the Alps, we usually have many more problems to face than just the snow. . .No way to do more than a 1-2hr walk in trailrunners, you need serious boots to do a serious hike.
    A hard boot is welcome to kick steps into the packed snow, snowshoes to not loose ground in deep snow, and most essential, gaiters to keep the snow out of the shoes and away from your trousers.
    So we have winter boots just for this purpose: Hiking in winter.
    A lot of the best alpine climbing boots are of European descent. And, there is a big difference between climbing in steep and/or off-trail terrain and hiking or backpacking in terrain where microspikes provide enough traction that kicking steps is not needed. Trail runners work great on snowshoes, and gaiters don't require boots.

    I hike significantly, including multi-day trips, in pretty rugged terrain with trail runners and either snowshoes or microspikes. And, if one needs more stability than trail running shoes, which I often appreciate, even if I don't have it for one particularly rough section or another, a pair of light hiking shoes or light hiking mid-height shoes/boots (like Merrel Moab Mids with or without GTX) works quite well until a technical climbing level of gear is needed.

    I haven't donned my mountaineering boots in years, and regularly walk past folks in mountain boots wearing crampons while I am dancing up the trail with trail runners and microspikes.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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    What I'm referring to is far from mountain climbing, its really hiking, but on steep and rough trail, and off-trail.
    There are times when I try to go up a mountain and have to turn back due to bad conditions: Too deep and soft snow, postholing through a crust of packed snow, danger of avalanche.
    I guess the difference lies in the conditions, sure you are more experienced in what you are doing than I'm.

    (did a lot in high-cut trail runners decades ago, but this were short trips only and I suffered a lot from wet-frozen feet and the shoes didn't hold long)

  19. #19
    Registered User JJ505's Avatar
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    Yep, I'm not experienced at all, except that I've lived a long time. Does this count?
    Where I hike is all trails, but some of the trails are in the mountains (7-10K), New Mexico.
    You all are in a different league.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    What I'm referring to is far from mountain climbing, its really hiking, but on steep and rough trail, and off-trail.
    There are times when I try to go up a mountain and have to turn back due to bad conditions: Too deep and soft snow, postholing through a crust of packed snow, danger of avalanche.
    I guess the difference lies in the conditions, sure you are more experienced in what you are doing than I'm.

    (did a lot in high-cut trail runners decades ago, but this were short trips only and I suffered a lot from wet-frozen feet and the shoes didn't hold long)
    In my experience, one of the keys to success with low-top shoes (or really any shoe for that matter) in the snow is good gaiters.

    My favorite gaiters for most of my winter activities are the OR Bugout gaiters. Sometimes I've even used my dirty-girl gaiters with surprising success on snowshoes - dirty girls don't work so well postholing, but they are just fine on top of snowshoes. The Bugout gaiters have good straps under the bottom of my shoe to hold them down for occasional postholing, and they are low and non-waterproof so they are light and breath well. I find the low gaiters work great unless I'm doing a lot of postholing. I wear the gaiters over the tops of my shoes with my pants over the tops of the gaiters, and since I am wearing nylon hiking pants, they don't get too wet and dry out quite fast if they get a little wet. If I am expecting a lot of deep snow and potential postholing, I will certainly wear full hight breathable gaiters.

    The other key to wearing light shoes is having a sock system that works for you. My system a light liner sock next to my foot covered with a vapor barrier sock (plastic bag?) covered with a thicker insulating sock covered with another waterproof barrier sock covered with my shoe. If I am wearing waterproof shoes, I will often not use the outer waterproof barriers sock. If it is only down in the 20's and it's a day hike, I sometimes don't use the vapor barrier sock next to my foot and just let my insulation get damp.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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