Why we like it The most supportive boot we tested, these stiff, crampon-compatible boots take the sting out of 70-pound loads and steep, rocky slopes.
Support A thick PU midsole, the substantial, full-length, 5-mm nylon shank, and a stiff heel cup deliver the extra support alpine climbers need for cramponing and step-kicking. The heel welt works with all types of crampons, which helped one Alaska tester on climbs including the Thunder Mountain Traverse near Juneau and Mt. McGinnis in Tongass National Forest. “We bushwhacked through rainforest to snow-covered slopes, gaining 3,200 feet. The route required me to carry three types of traction control—mini-crampons, snowshoes, and step-in crampons,” he says. “These boots worked perfectly with all of them.
Comfort The wide toebox and narrow heel, plus a lacing system that goes all the way down to the toe, cinch the fit in the toebox and forefoot. This translates to good dexterity for scrambling and climbing, but enough volume for thick socks and toe wiggle room in cold conditions.
Fave feature A locking cam lace hook at the base of the ankle allowed testers to customize the tightness around the foot, separate from the ankle.
$375; 3 lbs. 5 oz.; m’s 7-14, w’s 5.5-10.5; lowaboots.com