Footwear is extremely important for summiting high peaks in cold conditions. It only takes a matter of minutes for your toes to go from cold to numb to frostbitten.
A mountaineering boot must offer support, grip rock and snow, provide warmth, and attach to skis.
Single boots lack a removable liner and are less warm than double boots. Double boots incorporate more insulation by utilizing a removable inner liner.
You have the ability to remove the liner and dry it out at night, which is great for multi-day trips. Nothing is worse than putting your feet into frozen boots at the start of a new day. We took a look at some of the industry’s top double mountaineering boots and here are our 5 Top Picks for best.
Our 5 Best Double Mountaineering Boots
|La Sportiva Spantik Mountaineering Boot|
|La Sportiva Olympus Mons Mountaineering Boot|
|Scarpa Phantom 6000 Mountaineering Boot|
|Arc'teryx Acrux AR Mountaineering Boot|
|Scarpa Inverno Mountaineering Boot|
1. La Sportiva Spantik Double Mountaineering Boots – Leather Sole
The Spantik is an insulated double boot designed for cold weather mountaineering above 6000 meters. It is an extremely common brand and is used by many around the world. The midsole is made from carbon-fiber, making this light for a double boot.
These are pretty bulky boots, so climbing on dry rock may be a challenging. However, it can be done with some careful maneuvering. The Spantik is designed to be used with fully automatic step-in crampons.
The sole is rigid and very supportive. There are two sets of laces that can be tightened for extra support. Also there is virtually no heel lift with the Spantik, even on front-points.
A hinge can be found at the front ankle cuff that allows for some forward motion, all while incorporating a solid sole rocker. The Spantik is a great option for skiing on a lightweight touring set up. However, if the terrain steepens, this boot is not a replacement for a real ski boot.
Additional features of the La Sportiva Spantik Double Mountaineering Boots
With a heavy pack, you might have to work a bit harder to stay out of the backseat due to lack of fore/aft support. Also, after extended glacier skinning, the upper portion of the outer cuff may begin to dig into the top of the foot.
Both the inner and outer boots are insulated, making this a very warm boot. Its a great option for very cold climates. Just be sure to account for wiggle room.
Climbing in colder environments always exposes you to internal moisture due to overheating. The outside of this boot is waterproof for extra measure. The inner boot may be removed and dried over night in your sleeping bag.
The Spantiks are a great option for multi-day trips in cold climates. Also, anywhere you need to ski in your mountaineering boots, or hard technical climbing in ice and snow.
2. La Sportiva Olympus Mons EVO Double Mountaineering Boots – Thermo-reflective
The Mons Evo is a super light double boot with inner boot insulation and a thermo-reflective lined outer boot. It has a durable Cordura gaiter with anti-perforated Kevlar reinforcements. There is also a thermo-reflective lining on the inner boot’s footbed to reflect heat up to your foot.
The Mons Evo includes a carbon-fiber insole for support, and micro-cellular foam helps with even extra warmth.
The midsole is very comfortable and provides plenty of cushion. The sole is made of durable rubber that offers tough traction, as well as protecting from wear-and-tear.
The insulated liner and insulated outer boot insole are both removable. These boots are comptable with step-in crampons. This is a very popular model for mountaineer’s looking to stay warm in extreme places such as Mount Everest.
Further review of the La Sportiva Olympus Mons EVO Double Mountaineering Boots
The polyurethane, thermal-insulated inner boot accommodates a wide range of foot sizes. It also comes equipped with a one-handed lacing system incorporating a Velcro closure. There is no tying involved which is great for when wearing rock climbing gloves.
The outerboot utilizes a similar tightening system with a durable zipper and velcro strap. This seals off your feet from the icy elements.The Mons Evo achieves a significant amount of underfoot warmth from the insulating Vibram PE sole.
A possible down side is that the rubber of the sole is very soft, as this boot is designed to be worn mainly with crampons. If you do a lot of walking on sharp rocks without crampons, you will notice quicker wear on the boot. For most snow and ice mountains, this will not be an issue due to the full-strength rubber toe.
We would recommend going up a size as they run a bit snug. You want your toes to have some wiggle room so that you don’t cut off your circulation. This will prevent you from producing heat and sending it to your body.
3. Scarpa Phantom 6000 Double Mountaineering Boot – Extra Durable
The Scarpa Phantom is an extremely durable double mountaineering boot great for big peaks. This boot caters to the fast and light mountaineer due to its lightweight nature. However, it still maintains durability and utilizes sturdy materials.
The outer fabric is made up of Kevlar and Cordura, allowing this boot to repel shrapnel from rock, ice, and snow. The outer membrane is made of waterproof OutDry, which keeps moisture from seaping inside. There is also a flexseal zipper that creates a waterproof closure to the outer gaiter.
The inner boot is secured by a quick-lace system that utilizes a durable Dyneema cord for a snug and progressive fit. You can also remove the inner boot for drying purposes. Primaloft Micropile insulation, aluminum, and EVA insulate all fight against cold temperatures.
The stiff carbon-fiber insole has extra EVA cushioning for enhanced comfort. The Phantom is compatible with step-in crampons and will climb everything from steep ice to exposed sections of rock. This a great boot choice for large ice routes and technical ascents.
The Phantom has a molded foam rand, rather than rubber. This allows for it to be a lighter boot than other double-boots on the market, but may compromise durability after use. The wrap-around zipper is protected against scuffing by the passing point of a crampon.
The heel pocket is a bit broad, but wearing a pair of thick socks helps to fine tune the fit. Overall, this is a wide boot so you may want to look into buying smaller than usual. It’s a better fit for those with wide heels rather than narrow feet.
4. Arcteryx Acrux AR Double Mountaineering Boot – Lightest Weight
The foot liner is removable and adaptive. It is designed with full waterproof and breathable construction. The removable full height liner provides comprehensive climate management, dry management, and can be worn as a simple camp boot.
The 3D molded Ortholite foot bed offers comfort, breathability, and arch support. There is a sharp heel break and heel tread for stability, traction, and breaking. The toe is also semi-blocked with anti-slip grooves.
More on the Arcteryx Acrux AR Double Mountaineering Boots
The Acrux comes with a highly durable EVA foam midsole that absorbs shock while providing extra precision and stability. A hardwearing, laminated Gore-Tex gaiter delivers strong abrasion and puncture resistance.
There is a fast and efficient lacing system with an independent velcro strap adjustment for the collar.
The front closure zipper is also sealed with a T-ZIP WaterTight system. This boot is made to keep you warm and safe from the elements.
The Acrux has very few seams, which fortify this boot at usual points of weakness. These boots will excel at ice climbing as well as high alpine-style ascents. The only downside is the Acrux has a narrow fit, so you may want to size up.
5. Scarpa Inverno Double Mountaineering Boot – Lowest Price
The Inverno is a plastic double boot that has an insulated High Altitude liner to keep your toes heated in cold climates. The stiff sole features rocker for comfort while walking and also remains supportive when equipping crampons.
These boots are very durable and can handle many terrains. You will get a lot of use out of them before you start to see any wear-and-tear. The plastic shell also aids in preventing moisture to seep in.
For extreme cold weather conditions, this boot may lack a bit of warmth compared to other models. You might want to separately purchase a warmer liner, as well as a heavier overboot. This is a more affordable boot, which is why you see a little less warmth here.
This is also a rather clunky boot and may not offer as much in the way of technical performance as other brands on this list. If you don’t plan on spending much time at a freezing altitude or are on a tight budget, the Inverno is a great boot choice.
Choosing the Right Double Mountaineering Boots
There are a few important factors to consider when choosing the right pair of mountaineering boots. Here are a few of the key metrics:
The weight of your gear is an extremely important factor when mountaineering. You must consider everything from your pack down to your boots.
The lighter you can travel, without sacrificing technical performance, the better.
You don’t want boots that are going to weight you down. Obviously, the more durable the boot is the more it could potentially weigh. So you have to factor in the conditions you’ll be in, how long you will be traveling, and if you can sustain the weight of the boot over miles.
Rock Climbing Ability
Most double boots tend to be designed toward crampon climbing, you also want to consider how well a boot will climb rock without the crampons. The major factor in rock climbing is the amount of ankle flexibility that the boot allows.
Other factors are sole rocker, toe profile, and thickness of the sole. The best rock climbing boots have a moderate amount of sole rocker, a narrow toe profile, and a thin sole. Less ankle support is also ideal for rock climbs.
Mountaineering boots typically edge very well due to the stiff platform of rigid, or semi-rigid sole. You want a combination of a flexible top and a flexible sole, which creates sensitivity underfoot. This can be challenging to find with most double boots.
Ice Climbing Ability
A boot’s ability to climb ice is dependent upon ankle support, sole rigidness, and crampon pairing capabilities. Boots with a fully rigid sole, as opposed to a more flexible sole, seem to fair better in ice because they create a solid platform.
You want to be supported when front-pointing on vertical ice. Front and rear welts work great with step -in crampons, which adds even more stability. If you don’t have a toe welt, you will have to fit the boot with a toe strap crampon.
This can be less secure or precise than wire toe bail. You also want to make sure the boot can handle the approach just as well as the actual climb. For approaches, a less rigid sole and flexible upper support tend to do best.
Fit plays a major roll in overall warmth. You want to keep a healthy amount of wiggle room for your toes in the boot. Don’t upsize too much as that can sacrifice performance.
However, if your feet are too cramped, your blood flow will be restricted and your feet will get cold. This will prevent you from being able to send heat to your body.
Keeping your feet dry and free of moisture is essential to staying warm. Gore-Tex lining is an a great industry standard that does a good job of keeping feet flawlessly dry. The OutDry membrane also provides great waterproofing and is highly breathable.
Additional features such as waterproof zippers, storm flaps, and high cuffs also aid in keeping you dry. Make sure seals are limited and fortified to keep them from becoming weak points.
Make sure you are going with a boot that can withstand the elements. You don’t want it fall apart mid-climb. You will be getting a lot of use in harsh environments, so it is key that they perform well.
True leather and metal lace hardware tend to be the most durable options, and can last you for years. Just be sure you are getting your value’s worth. Even if you don’t climb often, you want to be well protected while out on your trip.
Our Final Review for Best Double Mountaineering Boots
Consider where you will be climbing, how high the elevation is, and how long you will be on your feet. Is it rock or ice? Will you use crampons?
All of these factors will impact your decision on which boot to purchase. Warmth and functionality are key to safety out in the big peaks. Being able to move freely and accurately, without wasting too much energy, are all things to consider as well.
The more versatile your double boot is the better. You want it to be able to rise up to any situation and get you through. You’ll be relying on your boots a lot, possibly more than any other piece of gear.