When the going gets vertical, a normal pair of hiking midcuts just won’t cut it. Instead, spring for one of these burly, crampon-compatible boots that slay hard snow.
La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX
Thanks to minimal snagging points and a high, wraparound rand on its ripstop synthetic upper, the Trango Tech shook off two months of scrambling through scree and boulders across the Northern Rockies.
Asolo Freney Mid GV
The Freney Mid’s cushy lining and footbed mean its break-in time—almost instant— was the fastest in the test. “No rubbing, no hot spots, no slippage, and a snug heel fit,” one tester said.
Salewa Raven 3
The Raven 3 makes easy work of long hauls. A TPU-injected midsole is forgiving on feet but can still handle multiday loads, and a foam-padded cuff adds cushion, allowing one tester to tackle a 7-mile approach to New Zealand’s 12,218-foot Aoraki via a dry riverbed.
Mammut Taiss Light Mid GTX
The Taiss’s tongue is attached to the upper on one side, creating a lateral entry that keeps debris out while limiting bunching. It’s made of Schoeller softshell (like the cuff), which also adds flex around the ankle.
SCARPA Ribelle Tech OD
The Ribelle Tech OD is a unique-looking boot, with a high mesh gaiter that provides more debris protection than support. The lack of a true cuff results in lots of ankle flex and, combined with the most pronounced toe rocker in the test, creates a natural stride.
LOWA Alpine SL GTX
Sheet EVA (less dense than molded EVA or PU) in the midsole increases ground feel, but isn’t so thin that we bruised. “The midsole flexed enough for me to stay comfy during a 6-mile approach,” said one tester after a climb in Alaska’s Talkeetna Mountains.
Garmont Ascent GTX
The Ascent’s exemplary stability—the result of a nylon lasting board combined with a Vibram Nepal outsole, by far the stiffest in the test—means it excels on steep snow and rock. Our tester frontpointed up a 40-degree snow slope in the Pioneers with confidence.