Hiking, hunting, winter, and Outdoor boots are typically grouped together because those are the most common ways that people search for boots to wear outside, but the truth is that there are many types of shoes for wearing in the great outdoors and it all depends on what you plan to be doing in them. In this review we discuss the largest brands for mountaineering; specifically, if you plan to venture off the beaten path.
Lowa – Lowa is a premium outdoor boots brand designed around the more avid outdoorsman. Most of their boots would be catergorized as mountaineering boots rather than hiking boots as most of their designs and features are better adapted for climbing and mountaineering rather than trail hiking though they do carry a smaller selection of trail running shoes. If you are doing more than staying on the trail. Lowa is choice brand, but expect to pay between 100 and 170 for a pair of Lowa shoes, and between 150 and 800 for a pair of Lowa Boots.
Asolo – The Asolo brand is most similar to Lowa brand footwear in that they are the top of the line in outdoor footwear. Expect to pay a premium for this brand but expect to have peak performance. Ideal for the mountaineer rather than the casual hiker, with one exception, Asolo has a large collection of trail runner that I would recommend to anyone planning to stick to the hiking trail. For their trail runners, expect to pay between $110 and $160. For their Hiking (Mountaineering) boots, expect to pay between $180 and $330 a pair.
Garmont – Garmont footwear is premium mountaineering footwear. They have boot and shoe styles, but their tread is really ideal for getting off the beaten path. While many of their styles may look like a casual hiker’s boot, this footwear is much more, and that reflects in the price (pricing between $125 and $370 a pair), but when you are leaving the beaten path you need boots you can trust.
Vasque –Vasque is a premiere hiking boot brand. Like most brands today, they also have a collection of trail runners (priced between $80 and $120 a pair), but their forte is hiking boots which price between $100 and $170 a pair, with the all leather and waterproof designs being the most expensive. What helps them make the list of mountaineering boots is that nearly every pair of footwear they make would be a good choice for the person hiking trails as well as venturing off the beaten path, but if your wandering is extreme in any way, I would recommend one of the other brands on this list.
Hiking and mountaineering are not synonyms. Hiking implies you are staying on trails and easy terrain. Footwear designed for hiking is usually lightweight and breathable, but if you are doing more than that, you need footwear that is designed for traction, for ankle support, and likely with waterproofing and good insulation. The footwear on this list is designed for all terrain movement whether you are rock climbing or crossing a glacier.