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Winter Camping Discussion => Winter Camping Clothing => : White Wolf September 19, 2008, 05:03:55 PM

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: Winter Boots- what do you use
: White Wolf September 19, 2008, 05:03:55 PM
Hey all

Looking at getting a new set of winter boots. And the Sorel Conquest look like the ones I want. Just wonder if anyone has these and what they think of them. Bad part have to drive 2.5 hours to Winnipeg to even look at them and to size them.

Or what are you wearing

Should say I would be using them for snowshoeing and around the winter camp

Jeff
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: tonycc September 21, 2008, 10:42:05 PM
These boots do not have a removable liner.  Unless you have feet which do not perspire, or you wear vapor barrier socks, you will have frozen boots in the morning.  I much prefer removable liners.  This allows you to dry the liners at night, or replace the liners with back up liners should you fall through the ice or deep slush.

My current boots are the Sorel Caribou.  I have added a felt insole for that little extra insulation from the cold ground.  Very warm and comfortable.

Tony
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Scott September 22, 2008, 09:57:39 AM
Jeff,

For daily winter activities (shovelling the driveway, walking the dog, etc) I wear the Sorel Caribou.  I have also used this boot for winter camping and snowshoeing although it's really heavy.  As Tony mentioned, the removable liners are a must. 

For winter camping snowshoe trips I got a pair of Steger Mukluks (Arctic model) last year and they have been great.  I also bring a pair of insulated rubber boots that I wear if the temps get too warm and for quick forays around camp when the Stegers are hanging on the clothesline of the hot tent.

Scott 
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: White Wolf September 22, 2008, 03:23:52 PM
Scott & Tony
Thanks for the responses. DID NOT see the part about non removable liners when I read the boot description. That alone knocks them out of the running. Trying to get frozen boots on is almost impossible!!! (don't ask me how I know this)

I do like the Steger Mukluks  very nice and the price isn't to bad at all. May have to look into them more and even the Sorel Caribous
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Jack Pine Savage September 22, 2008, 09:55:18 PM
You may also want to consider True North Boots made by Empire Canvas Works. I bought a pair of Steger's and a pair of the True North boots near the end of last winter. I didn't get a lot of time in either, but so far I prefer the True North boots from Empire Canvas Works.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Scott September 23, 2008, 09:33:06 AM
Hi Jack Pine, and welcome to the forum. 

Maybe you can post some pics of your Empire boots?  I have a pair of True North mitts and these, along with other Empire items I have seen, are really top notch.  I looked at the boots and thought they looked great but in the end went with the Stegers.   
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Jack Pine Savage September 23, 2008, 02:41:42 PM
I also have an anorak and a field coat from Empire Canvas Works and I agree with you - their stuff is very well designed and made to last.

As far as photos of the True North boots go, I'm getting ready to leave for Europe and don't really have time (or the ability) to take better images than the image on Empire's website. The main reason I prefer them to Stegers so far is that it is possible to adjust the fit much better due to their construction and lace design. They feature (easy compared to my Stegers) removable liners, also.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP September 27, 2008, 12:54:15 AM
If you are going with the Sorel type boot in any brand, please be aware that most of the models do not have a removable insulated “midsole, which is a removable foot bed insulator (what we usually call “insoles”).   Some do have removable cushion type insoles, but these do not insulate well.  The thick, removable insulated insole underneath the removable liner makes all the difference.  I and all my winter camping buddies use these type of boots.   In a rigid rubber lower boot, much of the heat will be lost through the sole.   A moccasin or mukluk is another dynamic altogether, where the flexibility of your toes and feet generate more heat, and you can get away with less insulation underfoot, but I still recommend thick insole insulation in those too.

The Sorel caribou models, last time I checked, do not have the thick removable insole.  Let me know if I have this wrong, but from their website, it’s only the Glacier that has this.  Their old Trapper and Chieftain models also had the insole, but sadly, both are no longer made.  (I think the old Trapper model was THE finest pack boot ever made – I have a pair – should have bought several and stored them).   One of my buddies uses the Glacier, and another buddy bought a similar model with thick insole in the last line of Acton boots ever made – a really fine boot.

You cannot shove a thick insole into the caribou boots.  The toe box is not big enough.   Despite the thick liner, you also need to wear a robust sock system in deep cold, so there just is not room for an insole where the lower boot is not designed for it.  (The liner absorbs the moisture, and your thick sock system keeps your feet dry and warm).  The caribou also has that irritating liner extension above the top of the boot.  It’s just going to get wet.   A liner should be inside the boot, not outside it!

The Glacier is now the only rubber bottomed pack boot on the market that I am aware of, with a thick removable insole and lots of room in the fit for a thick sock system.   The Baffin boots all have a tiny flat toe box and narrow foot, which does not allow even a medium thick sock system.  I tried on the top of the line Baffins 2 sizes too big, and they are still too tight.  Baffin seems to want you to rely totally on their liner system, and that’s just not acceptable to me.   The liner gets soaked.  In fact the outer part of the liner will saturate and freeze to ice inside the boot on cold days.  An inner sock system of several layers to separate your feet from the frozen liner is always needed.

I wish Sorel would bring back the trapper model with its fine leather upper and synthetic snow cuff which kept them very dry.    They were also waterproof (to a point), which permitted full immersion into slush holes without a soaker.   
 

: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Georgi September 28, 2008, 08:34:36 PM
One thing I had a bit of trouble with is buying extra liners.  Marks here in Ontario said to try Canadian Tire and Canadian Tire didn't have much, if at all and said to try Marks.....Do you know Hoop if the Glacier's extra liners are available??

TonyCC? where would you find Vapour Barrier socks? or is just thin Poly socks the same?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Canoedog September 28, 2008, 09:04:23 PM
Poly socks not the same thing -
http://www.prolitegear.com/pl_id_vbsocks.html (http://www.prolitegear.com/pl_id_vbsocks.html)

On the other hand a couple of milk bags would do the job ;) Put 'em between your inner's and outer's
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Georgi September 28, 2008, 11:38:35 PM
like we used to do when we were young....

Thank Chummy!

: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP October 02, 2008, 10:15:58 PM
One thing I had a bit of trouble with is buying extra liners.  Marks here in Ontario said to try Canadian Tire and Canadian Tire didn't have much, if at all and said to try Marks.....Do you know Hoop if the Glacier's extra liners are available??

The stores are brutal for stocking replacement liners.  And they are not really "replacement", since you should take two pairs of liners on long trips anyways - while you are drying one pair, you are wearing the dry pair.   In the old days, trekkers would take 2 to several pairs of moccasins and always be drying them.

The lesson I learned is to buy extra liners when you buy the boots.  If need be, special order them from the manufacturer.  Manufacturers often do not sell direct, but if you call them and say your retailer does not have stock or won't special order, the manufacturers will often deal with you direct.  Don't be shy about calling their customer service.   But I have found retailers to be reasonably good at making special orders - especially when you are already a good customer and they value your business and word of mouth recommendations to other customers.   
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Pawistik October 27, 2008, 05:01:04 PM
What do you guys think of the Sorel Maverick http://www.sorel.com/Product.aspx?top=1&cat=110&prod=55 (http://www.sorel.com/Product.aspx?top=1&cat=110&prod=55) for snowshoeing and general winter camping (as well as biking to work, shovelling the driveway, walking the dog, sledding with the kids, etc.)?
(http://www.wholesalesports.com/images/product/sorel/NM108020.jpg)
My thinking is that this might be a decent boot for active wear, with the advantages of snug lacing and removable liner, though not as warm for standing around as some other boots (Sorel Glacier). A local store has them for $140 (http://www.wholesalesports.com/onlinestore/control/category/~category_id=70511003000007/~pcategory=70511).

For more money (especially with the dropping loonie plus shipping), maybe Cabella's Saskatchewan (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0020834830532a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH_all&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&Ntt=saskatchewan&Ntk=Products&sort=all&Go.y=6&_D%3AhasJS=+&N=0&_D%3Asort=+&Nty=1&hasJS=true&_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jsp.form1&Go.x=8&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1) boot or the Trans-Alaska III (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/pod/horizontal-pod.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/pod-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat20564-cat560046&rid=&indexId=cat560046&navAction=push&masterpathid=&navCount=6&parentType=index&parentId=cat560046&id=0006182) would work. They're not really comparable to the Sorel MNaverick's though. Maybe more like the Glacier.
(http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/content/Pod/00/61/82/p006182hz05.jpg)

cheers,
Bryan
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob October 27, 2008, 07:21:04 PM
Yikes, those cabelas have a rating of minus 135. :o
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Oldand Fat October 27, 2008, 08:24:57 PM
I attended the Winter Camping Symposium in Ely, Minn this past weekend. Mark Carlson made a big case for Neos Navigator http://www.overshoe.com/recreational/products/detail.php?s=N5P
If I understood Carlson correctly He puts a couple of very good insoles and a Felt line in them.  They are not cheap but very well made. If I understood correctly the dog team mushers are wearing them. Very easy to get into. Flexable, warm, water proof.Great for snowshoes,  ETC,ETC.
I'll report the Symposium later.
Stay Safe
OAF
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob October 27, 2008, 09:03:15 PM
I have a Sorel Caribou's but I need to get something for the kids and my wife. Wife wears a ladies 12 and there is nothing made by Sorel, Kamik or Baffin in that size for a ladies. I personally hate seeing her wearing mens footwear. Any suggestions?

Also the kids aged 9 and 10 need new footwear. They wear roughly a size 8 which is mens sizes. So expensive. I fear I have no choice but to spend $100 each on kids boots. I fear buying cheapo boots for the kids and them getting frostbite on their little toes. Any suggestions for them?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP October 27, 2008, 10:02:20 PM
Hi Pawistik,

I like lace up boots and mine are the no longer made Sorel Trapper, with full lace up leather upper and the thickest liner plus the big footbox for the extra midsole.  Its that midsole that totally makes the difference, as in the Glacier too.  The Maverick looks great, but you will get cold feet I think without the midsole.   I wish Sorel would bring back the Trapper, which is like that Maverick, except its got the bigger footbox plus the midsole.

I have not seen the Cebella's boots, so cannot comment,....except for the cold rating.  -135 is ridiculous.  If it got that cold, you and all life  would be dead!

OAF:  I can see the utility of the Neos overshoe on something like a Steger or Empire Canvas mukluk.  The problem with mukluks is their vulnerability to a soaker with slush, so the overboot might be a good option.   Also good for ice fishing with a mukluk, where the water can pour up and soak the area around the hole.  However the breathability advantage of the mukluk would be diminished, unless the moisture piled up on the outside of the mukluk  and inside of the overshoe.   Its OK if a mukluk gets wet on the outside.  The big question is does it fit over a mukluk?    On its own with a Sorel 13mm flelt and thick midsole, it might be the next big thing for us trekkers.   Too bad it has so much nylon on it, which may not fare well around a fire?  I have fire embers popping out on the rubber and leather of my boots all the time, but they don't do damage.  I would be concerened about the durability of the Neo's - ember holes are going to cause trouble on a trip. 

Rob:  the Sorel Caribou's also have the narrow toe box without the midsole, so they have limited warmth for trekking.   (Sorel is mostly now an urban boot fashion company, with the Glacier being the only serious winter camping boot for the north).   I have no suggestions for the kiddies, except to oversize the boots, and have them use big honking wool work socks over their normal sock layers, like the superb Wigwam Ice Sock, which is available at Marks Work Wearhouse, and also Eglis' last time I checked.  Always over-size a winter boot and stuff with big loose fitting wool socks, and a thin midsole if you can squeeze it it, but be careful about compressing toes in the toe box - toes must be free to  wiggle.    For emergency warming of kids feet, you can warm their bare feet on your bare belly covered with your coat and fleece.   This winter I will also be experimenting with the Zippo hand warmer burner as an emergency warmer.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: White Wolf October 28, 2008, 10:23:40 AM
"Sorel is mostly now an urban boot fashion company"

This was a sad/wrong turn for this company in my mind as so many that worked or lived in cold climates depended on their boots. But I guess the "urban boot industry is far larger then the rest of us.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Harlan October 28, 2008, 11:33:18 AM
"Sorel is mostly now an urban boot fashion company"

This was a sad/wrong turn for this company in my mind as so many that worked or lived in cold climates depended on their boots. But I guess the "urban boot industry is far larger then the rest of us.

A product of selling out to Columbia.......A sickening trend in the industry.  Fashion vs.Practical.

Harlan
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: dks October 28, 2008, 03:19:01 PM
I bought the Sorel Glacier boots last year and used them for a snowshoe trip and several ice fishing outings.  If you buy a pair, be warned they are heavy! Since I'm not a long distance walking kind of guy the weight is not an issue for me. I bought them solely on the advertised warmth factor. I can't say they are noticeably warmer than my previous boots (Kamiks), but, I have no regrets about buying them.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Pawistik October 28, 2008, 03:26:38 PM
I bought the Sorel Glacier boots last year and used them for a snowshoe trip and several ice fishing outings.  If you buy a pair, be warned they are heavy! ...
Yeah, that's the trade-off. Are they heavier than other options that offer similar warmth?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Pawistik October 28, 2008, 04:09:26 PM
How well does the Baffin brand of boots stand up to scrutiny? http://www.baffin.com (http://www.baffin.com)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Trailpatrol October 29, 2008, 11:39:04 AM
I have two pair of Empire True North boots (both prototypes, so they are somewhat different than the current version), a pair of Steger Arctics and a pair of Sorel "Adventure Trails". For utilitarian purposes, (trail grooming, snowremoval, etc.) I use the Sorels. For "dress-up" I wear the Stegers, and the Empires are for whenever I feel like it. My wife got the Stegers for me about 10 years ago, and they have seen a lot of use, and are now relegated to a separate catagory of R&R.

I use Berwin Backcountry Bindings on my primary skis, and the Sorels are a bit tall across the arch for the binding straps. I like the Empires because they fit both snowshoe and ski bindings best, and have a tougher sole than the Stegers which is good when dog sledding.

Okay...bring on the snow! My friends on the Adirondack Trails Forum are reveling in as much as a foot of white stuff on the Tug Hill Plateau. I never should have moved out here to MinneSNOWta.  ;D

Be safe,
Hans
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Ted October 29, 2008, 01:31:50 PM
Hi Hans,
Welcome and I have the feeling that your going to be great source of practical info for this forum.

I'm getting really frustrated in finding 'perfect' footwear for my style of tripping. All I really want is a mid-calf pair of nice water/slush and spark proof boots that weight less than 3 pounds, let me stand around at -25C, no heel slip, removable liners and insoles, and fit well in both ski and snowshoe.  Now is that asking too much?? ;)

There seems to be a lot of boots out there that are made for dry snow or large wind-blown lakes but not much for small slush-covered lakes and those sneaky little creeks hiding under soft snow.

I'm almost at the point of sticking my Sorel insoles and liners inside a pair of gum-boots, or whatever you want to call them. At least I'd be dry and everything would come out for hanging at night.

I was looking at those Empire boots and they look great. Are they waterproof and do all the insoles and liners come out for drying?

cheers Ted
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob October 29, 2008, 03:25:50 PM
I just finsihed reading the Conovers chapter on footwear and they make a pretty good arguement for moose hide mucklucks or moccasins. The downsides are they don't get wet well and the soft bottoms are cause of much foot pain after a day of snowhoeing. I figure I could get over the wet part by using some of those over boots by Neos but what about the soft bottoms, anybody use moccasins with a hrd bottom?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob October 29, 2008, 05:17:17 PM
Like these (http://www.eglifarm.com/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=189")
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Trailpatrol October 29, 2008, 09:30:22 PM
I was looking at those Empire boots and they look great. Are they waterproof and do all the insoles and liners come out for drying?
cheers Ted

Yes, they are removable and he (Kevin, the owner) has several different kinds of liners available in addition to the polypro felt, by special order. He can also make them up to size 15 DDD. I've also found that I can wear them to the gas station due to the sole, which you are not supposed to do with the Stegers. Special needs? Kevin will work with you even for just one pair (or parka, shirt, whatever.) Great service, great customer support, and always has the coffee on if you stop by the shop!

Be warm,
Hans
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: White Wolf October 30, 2008, 09:34:38 AM
Rob

I had a pair of these (very similar) an number of years ago. They worked great but one thing is the liner is not removeable. at least in the ones I had and looking at the Egli's site I do not think theirs is removable either.

The gum rubber sole worked great for me. But realise that they are not a "hard" sole like a boot. They still flex a lot but do give support to your foot
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: White Wolf November 03, 2008, 09:08:32 AM
Ok I was watching the idiot box last night and a commercial came on for winter boots.  KAMIK boots. So this morning I headed to their web site at www.kamik.com (http://www.kamik.com)  and they (boots) look pretty good for what we need for winter camping.(Removable liners) They almost look like Sorels.
I did a dealer seach and it ends up Canadian Tire sells them. will have to head their and have a look at them. Will be interesting to see if there is replacement liners available and if the foot support is there.

: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: ffdjm November 06, 2008, 02:14:52 PM
I wear stegers during the winter months. Everything is frozen here in Fairbanks for five months in winter.  I have worn the same pair for maybe five winters. The canvas uppers are wearing out faster than the soles.

A friend likes Arctic Sport Snow Boots from Muck.

Douglas
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: FRANZENRP November 13, 2008, 10:14:56 PM
I'm also in the need for a new winter pack shoe !

I've been using the White Mickey Mouse boots for years, and there starting to cause some foot aches.

I'm thinking of getting Steger Mukluks, Empire Canvas, or Sorels "Glaciers ".

I  need some feed back, for weeklong trips were I'll snowshoe.

I'm leaning to the Sorels, and the main reason is I know that alot of the time I wont have the snow shoes on and want to have some good traction for hiking when snowshoes are not needed. It seems to me that the Stegers and Empire Canvas may be better at snowshoeing, but not as good without snowshoes in general.

Many of my trips I dint use the snowshoes as much as you would think and that is why the traction of the Mickey Mouse Boots was desired.

The MM boots I believe get some bad raps, I've been out for seven night trips at minus 40 degrees and they been plenty warm. I would always lay them inside my sleeping bags at night to limit any perspiration freezing. 

The big reason I plan on switching is there Little to stiff for me to do to much traveling in. There fine if I'm standing around but a little to heavy for me anymore the age thing.

I read Hoops info on the Glaciers and that sure interests me.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob November 13, 2008, 10:47:53 PM
if you were to get Stegers, which model would you get?

: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP November 14, 2008, 07:32:15 AM
Hi Rob and Franzenrp,

I own a pair of the Steger Arctics.   I find they fit small.  I am a normal size 9 shoe size.  I bought the Arctic size 10 double wides, and find they are a little tight in the toes when I want to fit my optimum super cold sock system (1 medium and 2 thick socks) in for the really really cold days (like -30 and colder). 

They do have an optional double felt midsole, which is what you need on the bottom of your foot (most heat is lost through the bottom IMO), but that uses up toe space.  So I may upsize to 11 double wides one day if I have the money.  However my current 10's are just fine with a 2-sock system for snowshoeing as long as I am moving, and for just hanging around in "warmer" temps like minus 20-ish.  Most boots keep you warm while moving.

The Empires look really neat.  I would like to try them.   The website does not mention the midsole underneath.  I hope they designed them for that.  I like their idea of their dot tread rubber sole, that can also be re-soled.   

If I am traveling on lakes, I prefer the rubber bottomed Sorels, because encountering a slush pocket is likely in January-February.   When ice fishing in the early season, or in trips to the water hole, the water sometimes flows up and around the hole and you are standing in liquid water and slush.  For water in early season on ice, you can simply punch your boot into the snow and the slush water wells up, and your boots can get wet.   

If you are not traveling on ice, I think Mukluks are great - they are so light and flexible.   On camping trips, I sometimes carry the mukluks as my camp "slippers" for evenings and mornings, while my Sorels are drying out, and I travel during the day on the ice in my Sorels.

Buy all three!
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob November 14, 2008, 08:15:42 AM
Why Sorels on ice and Mukluks in the woods?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Scott November 14, 2008, 09:01:56 AM
I used my Steger Arctics last year for the first time and wore them snowshoeing and for walking when possible without snowshoes.  This was on flat ice and crusted snow - in both cases I thought the sole worked really well.  I like how light they are and this is perhaps understated when people talk about them - we're all used to big Sorels.  Because the sole is so flexible once you walk a few steps you really feel difference - it actually feels like your feet overheat like you feel with upper layers at times.  It's truly awesome.  What I did find though was that my feet were getting a bit cold at the end of the day at camp, finishing chores and cutting wood, essentially in periods of less mobility.  This could have been based on not enough insulation in them or sweat from being too hot in the day.               

As for sizing, I'm a size 11 shoe but after talking with Steger and explaining what I was doing I went with a size 11 wide.  Reason being is that they suggest going for the double wides when your using them in sustained temps below minus -28C (-20F) to add more insulation (socks).  But they stretch LOTS after you wear them fora a while.  I cut the second felt insole a bit shorter on purpose and after they stretched out I inserted this into the wool liner to keep the toe length I already had.  My logic was that our "normal" conditions around here now are never usually minus 30C for days on end, in the evenings yes, but not as much anymore in the day for long periods.  I wanted to be sure that when I wore them 75% of the time in weather above or close to -20F that they were not going to be a sloppy fit....guess I'll see how that goes as I use them more.   Steger put up the actual measurements of the mukluks on their website now and the difference is really not that much between sizes - the length does not change, only the width in 1/4 inch increments.           
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: FRANZENRP November 14, 2008, 03:59:29 PM
Rob

I would get there Artics

I have to agree a little with what Hoop says most all my trips are on frozen lakes in the BWCA and the slush could be a issue. I should mention that for camp shoes I have a rubber high top rain shoe with a wool liner and there plenty warm. If you use a heated tent things should be nice and warm. The Empires look good  I hope to take a look at them next week at a outdoor expo in Minneapolis.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP November 15, 2008, 11:56:20 AM
Why Sorels on ice and Mukluks in the woods?

Hi Rob,
Its because of slush!     :)   Maybe this photo will show you: 
(http://my.tbaytel.net/ghooper/Slush_Boots-01.JPG)


These are boot holes punched into about 3-4 inches of slush water on the ice.  It is early ice, Dec 31, about 4-6 inches thick.  If you step out of your snowshoes - poosh! you punch right into it.   In a really wet pocket your entire snowshoes will punch through it and you are bogged down in deep water on the ice which seeps around your boots.  This particular patch was already there, but expanded from the water hole I cut in front of my campsite, causing a slowly gushing well.  The ice is relatively thin, the snow is heavy and thick, insulting the thin ice so it is not forming thicker, and the ice is forced down and the water flows up all over whenever the is an expansion crack or trekker cutting a hole.  Sometimes entire lakes are covered in slush water for a month or more - sometimes all winter.  The scourge of the winter trekker - hence you want the biggest float snowshoes in the early season on the ice when trekking.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob November 15, 2008, 12:42:33 PM
Of course it all makes sense now!
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: ontariobackpacker November 15, 2008, 06:07:39 PM
what about boots from Muck?  Are they worth the price?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Kevin November 19, 2008, 07:00:11 PM
This year I'm in the market for new boots, but I think I need 2 pairs (one for snowshoeing and one for walking around camp).  I haven't decided on which snowshoe boots to get yet, but I think I'm gonna try these:

http://wiggys.com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=96

According to the company the liners never get wet, and you can actually wear them around the tent/camp as booties.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Georgi November 19, 2008, 07:14:35 PM
Just for Camp walking about, you might want to try out these Booties

(http://images.mec.ca/media/Images/Products/Footwear/5011597s_v1_m56577569830711436.jpg)

Not sure if they are sold at all outdoor stores , but I'm thinking the trend is they will if they aren't now.

That's just for walking about, no hard working in them just getting to the outhouse or thunderbox, water and those chores that are not heavy footwork related.

They are Excellent!!

PS. Don't let the missuss see em' !  ;). you will never get them back....
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Scott November 19, 2008, 11:42:34 PM
Hey Georgi - I second the down booties  ;)  They are totally the business on a winter trip!

When all the chores are done and we hop in the hot tent for the evening, the first thing we do is shed some layers and change footwear.  We hang up the Mukluks (or the Sorel liners) on the clothesline, and the down booties are used not only in the tent, but for bathroom trips, grabbing another armload of wood, whatever we step outside for really.  Its great after a long day to go barefoot in them...a little free range feet!         
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Pawistik November 20, 2008, 12:38:13 AM
This year I'm in the market for new boots, but I think I need 2 pairs (one for snowshoeing and one for walking around camp). 

I think I`ve come to a similar conclusion. A local shop has the Columbia Bugabootres (http://www.wholesalesports.com/onlinestore/control/category/~category_id=70511001000001/~pcategory=70511) on sale right now, so I think I`ll get those now as my "active" footwear for cycling to work, snowshoeing, etc. I currently have a cheaper pair of boots of the big and warm variety (which are not as warm as they should be because a few years ago I cheaped out and bought economy boots at Wal-Mart), but will eventually (next year, maybe the year after) replace those with better Sorel-type pack boots, like the glacier or bear.

I had been thinking which boot to get that's going to do it all for me, but realise I need 3 pair: the pair for cycling and active use with a moderate amount of insulation and alowing a bit of agility, the big bulky (heavy) piar of really warm boots, and the pair of camp booties. My priority for purchasing them will be in about that order too, though I have a half-finished DIY pair of camp booties to resurrect from the project bin.

Cheers,
Bryan
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob November 20, 2008, 09:02:46 PM
I just ordered my Steger's. Sure hope they are worth it cause the shipping added another $100 to them
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Scott November 21, 2008, 09:36:38 AM
I just ordered my Steger's. Sure hope they are worth it cause the shipping added another $100 to them

 :o I got mine shipped to friend's address in the States... :) 

You'll like them for sure Rob.  Not sure what size you ordered but keep in mind they will stretch lots.  Wear them in the house and gradually switch to bigger/thicker socks.  At some point down the road you'll stretch them enough to trim the second insole they send to fit inside the liner. 

What did you buy the Arctics?  And the all important question - did you splurge the extra ten bucks for the rick rack trim? 
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob November 21, 2008, 02:47:25 PM
I bought the Arctics, two pairs both with extra liners and the snow gurad sealer. One pair with fancy trim one without. His and Hers. Ely MN is not that far from me really. The shipping shocked me. But they should last a good long time.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob November 27, 2008, 02:36:14 PM
They came today. Quick shipping. Final price tag on two pairs, two extra liners and a bottle of waterproofer was just in around $600. They look awesome but I sure hope they were worth it.
: >
: Dale November 27, 2008, 03:31:47 PM
Wow Rob, that's great! I took a look at those boots and started to drool. I bet they will be incredible but man that's a lot to pay for boots.
I wish my wife was that understanding. She was happy when I found a pair of Maple Leaf -40s at the Shoe Factory outlet.

Dale
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob November 27, 2008, 06:49:16 PM
One pair is for her, so she has to be understanding. When I give her the Christmas gift I bought her it will be another year of understanding too ;D ;D
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: wd December 09, 2008, 04:21:53 AM
Just tried the Neos...they are great!  You  can basically use any liner, slipper, etc. that will fit.  And they are lightweight too!  Hard to beat Smartwool socks!
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: yukon December 15, 2008, 07:09:06 PM
Here we get overflow, water on top of the ice, no matter what the temperature. For that reason, on lakes it is the bunny boots. these vapour barrier designed boots are a wonder, but you must change socks every day as they are a v.b. system. they were invented by the US armed forced and first used in Korea. Useless on snowshoes, crampons but great for sedentary stuff.
i have never been cold in these despite being out past -45.
For dry snow I use moosehide smoke tanned mukluks. Light, warm , easy to dry.


For around town, I think i need those sorel caribous. Can I buy them in Canada?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob December 15, 2008, 09:12:03 PM
Marks, Wholesale Sports, Cabelas all sell Sorel's in Canada.

I have Mark's knock off brand Wind River and they are fine for around town. I have snowshoed in them but prefer my Steger's
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: scoutergriz December 15, 2008, 09:13:34 PM
You can get the caribous at LeBaron's for $114.95
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: yukon December 16, 2008, 10:40:16 AM
Thanks guys. .
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: JAK December 18, 2008, 11:51:03 AM
I have some cheap light white mukluks I got years ago with nylon uppers and soft rubber bottoms and removable felt insoles. They are like Candian Forces Mukluks, but I think they are actually a cheaper lighter knockoff. I got them from a guy that was an outfitter for dog sledding. They are good on long trudges, and light enough to bring on ski trips for camp and for backup.

I have some light leather ankle boots with gortex lining. They only weigh 1 pound each and they are very good in wet snow conditions, except they are too slippery. I am going to change the thread, to something like a trail runner. They still get wet, but I can dry them with fire, and when they are wet I can still change to dry socks without it being a complete waste of time. They are no good for long trips though, or standing around in 0F, as there is only enough room for thicker socks and felt insoles, but no felt liners. I might make some sort of overboot out of an XXL felt liner, and maybe leave an insulated sole when I change the tread. But at some point you just gotta start over. I will use trail runners in late fall / early winter and late spring. Some are better than others in wet snow conditions. They are a good choice if snow is only part of your trip, but you need some sort of gortex or neoprene or VBL or bread bags to make them work. I prefer the leather. I am not sure how much the gortex lining makes a difference. The leather itself, with the right treatment, is very good. They are what I use in town also, day-to-day. I have to fix the traction issue, expecially for icy trails. Hard to get traction that works for wet rocks as well as ice and snow.

I agree that most Sorel types are for urban use, or atv use, or just standing or sitting around. The good ones are good for that though, but not much better than my cheap light pair, and my cheap light pair are better for long trudges. I would like to try some real mukluks or winter moccassins, and some snow shoes. I think canvas would be better than the nylon in extreme cold, but not as good in wet snow. I think something traditional in animal hide would be better in both. Hard to find a good source for the real thing. Hard for me to tell what the real thing is. I might do just as well to experiment on my own.

p.s. I've since checked out the Nordic Backcountry pages here, so I deleted my ski comments as they were ill informed and somewhat off topic anyway. This is a great site. Thanks again.
http://wintertrekking.com/index.php?action=article_intro&sub=Backcountry+Skiing
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: yukon December 19, 2008, 10:30:54 AM
I got the caribous and have been "field testing" them, since the next day it dropped to -33 here in the Yukon. As someone said , there is no frost liner between the boot and the insole.
I think that could be rectified , but so far these things are great, relatively inexpensive(>$100 on sale) and have a great grip. I would not have even thought of them if I hand't seen what others thought, so thanks for the suggestions, never too old to learn eh?


Merry christmas
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: FRANZENRP December 20, 2008, 09:39:27 PM
I purchased a pair of Sorel Glaciers and right out of the box they performed great.  I have only walked in them on local trails each night for a week, and they are super warm and comfortable. The high gaiter is great for deep snow, and the boot seems to be plenty flexible for long days of walking and snowshoeing. The boot does have a big toe box and this is a problem when I use my traditional snowshoes and Iverson binding " just not enough room to get the  boot into ". I tried using my modern Atlas snowshoe with the ratchet binding and it performed much better. I'll be in need of new bindings for my traditional snowshoes that will fit this big toe box I'll need some suggestions ?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Fels December 21, 2008, 01:04:33 AM
Another option for some would be Cooke Custom Sewing's Mukluks.  As I understand it, they are designed to be pulled on over, for example, x-country ski boots.  I have not used these, but I have immense respect, based largely on personal experience, with CCS's gear.
                   http://www.cookecustomsewing.com/mukluks.htm

Myself I go back and forth between the Steeger Arctics and a pair of garden variety Sorrels.  I have snowshoed extensively with my Arctics and never experienced discomfort (several of my friends put Superfeet in their Mukluks for support).  I have also gotten them quite wet after encountering lake slush (temps 0-20 F) each day on a 5 day trip.  I found that I stayed plenty warm.  I just swapped out my liners each night and worked to dry the damp pair.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Musher December 21, 2008, 01:53:30 AM
I wear wool Lobben boots as a liner then Neos navigators over those, that is the warmest set-up I've found.
I bought a pair of Kamik -40 boots this year just for kennel chore boots because they were on sale cheap. I've been very pleased with them thus far
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Canoedog December 21, 2008, 08:30:05 AM
FRANZENRP - a pair of Faber A3 work bindings would be just what you're looking for to use with your Glaciers.

http://www.fabersnowshoes.com/pls/prod_prod_bout51/iwae.proc_aigu?P_type_api=BOUTIK&P_lang=2&P_defi_ecra=3&P_cie=000019950000&P_type_acce=PUBLIC (http://www.fabersnowshoes.com/pls/prod_prod_bout51/iwae.proc_aigu?P_type_api=BOUTIK&P_lang=2&P_defi_ecra=3&P_cie=000019950000&P_type_acce=PUBLIC)

Use the pull downs and look for traditional bindings on their website for information.
Cheaper at Lebarons - http://www.lebaron.ca/pdf_files_fall08/outdoor/faber_wfsnowshoes.pdf (http://www.lebaron.ca/pdf_files_fall08/outdoor/faber_wfsnowshoes.pdf)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Georgi December 21, 2008, 10:40:17 AM
Chummy, the first link didn't work , it takes you to Faber but not the product.

Aside from that , I picked up the Rubber type which on LeBarons shows as a Sorel type boot which aslo works for larger boots as I used a Size 12 in one boot and Size 11 in Sorel's. Both of which end up with Large toe boxes.

Anyway, its an option A3 or the Rubber type for larger Sorel style boots . Not sure about the Baffin Boots, those toe boxes are outta control!
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Canoedog December 21, 2008, 10:51:43 AM
Yeah, that's the way that Faber's site works, no matter what page address you use it only takes you to that spot then you have to work your way in :-\ The thing with the work harness is that you can open them wide to get a large toe box in them - the rubber harness is handy but will the toe box cause problems getting them on?
Cheers
Sid
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP December 21, 2008, 11:16:30 AM
I tried to post the Faber Work bining link and got the same one as Canoedog did.  No worries.  Just pull their menu down and go to "Traditional Bindings", and you will get there.

Me and my buddies all have extra midsole boots with huge toe boxes,and we all use the Faber Work Binding.   Its great.   One of my buddies also uses the rubber binding, and I am amazed that it does indeed work colder than -30.   

The Work binding comes with a short piece of cord for the toe lacing.  I take it out and add a longer cord and tie it off - I don't use the slider clamp.   The neoprene fasteners (binding to snowshoe), I find are too difficult to take on and off when I want to varnish the snowshoes.  So instead I use thick leather laces for the fasteners, knot them several times, and tape the tips with electrical tape so they won't un-do.  These are much easier to untie when it comes time to varnish.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Georgi December 21, 2008, 11:46:14 PM
I have basically all three sets of bindings, started with the sport, then the work binding and lastly the Rubber set. It's easier than putting one binding on several shoes, especially if you lend shoes to friends...

I like the Rubber set for ease of slipping on a pair of snowshoes and I'm ready to go so they are on my trail shoes.

The Newfoundland ( Jack Carey) pair also have a similar Rubber binding and so far the only bugger is getting those ones on a big foot box, but once they are on they stay put.

I wouldn't put down the Work binding either, its beefy too and I like your idea HOOP of the thick leather laces, I am not really a fan of the neoprene especially if they loosen up out in the field.


The Sports version, well you can't dig into the snow and pull your sled well enough to use them. I found my foot slipped out of the harness, again big foot box boots, I'm not certain how they would work pulling a load with pegs, I mean smaller feets! ;)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP December 26, 2008, 11:33:12 AM
Many of us mention how we like the Faber Work binding, and how versatile it is for the double insole big toe box boots like Sorel Glaciers, or in my beloved Sorel Trappers (no longer made) shown in the photos below.

The binding�s laces are almost infinitely adjustable to handle any boot size.
(http://my.tbaytel.net/ghooper/Faber_Work_Binding-01.JPG)


(http://my.tbaytel.net/ghooper/Faber_Work_Binding-02.JPG)
The pivot point is at the far front of the binding.   The original work bindings, made in both neoprene and leather, had a metal buckle which was essentially break proof.    The new ones have a plastic fastex buckle which you can see towards the heel of the boot in the above photo.   Plastic hardware can break, so it�s a good idea to carry a spare buckle (although mine have never yet failed, but I have busted a few fastex buckles on other pieces of gear). 
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Rob December 26, 2008, 08:33:02 PM
A shot of my Stegers in action, sort of.

(http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v1642/95/38/794809407/n794809407_1858309_8507.jpg)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: FRANZENRP December 27, 2008, 08:44:41 AM
Hoop,

Have you used the Faber work binding with Your Steger mukluks, if so how did they work ?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP December 27, 2008, 11:22:13 AM
Hi Franzenrp,

Yes I have, a few years ago.  They worked well. 

They have a smooth heel without a nub, so the binding's heel strap will slide off.   This used to happen with my Sorels as well, until I glued a rubber nub on the heels of my Sorels.   Boot makers have forgotton that all heels should have a nub for holding up snowshoe straps and for kicking off boots with the toe of the other boot.

To solve the slipping heel strap problem on the mukluks (and on my Sorels before I discovered the gluing nub solution), I burned a hole for a cord in the heel strap webbing, and insert a long cord which I can tie around my ankle to keep the strap up.   

The down side of this ankle cord solution is that it is an extra step to do, and if you fall through the ice you won't be able to kick off your snowshoes.    There apperas to be enough crepe rubber on the heel of the mukluks to glue a nub.   

Bush moccasins used to be made with a flap of stiff leather pointing up from the heel, for the snowshoe strap to get caught in.  It was flexible enough so the wearer could twist out of it, but provided enough stiffness to hold the strap on.   A great design, and perhaps a new design addition we should suggest to Steger.      :)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: White Wolf December 27, 2008, 12:57:58 PM
Hoop

I picked up a set of the work harness when I was in Winnipeg. Along with a new pair of Huron style traditional snowshoes. (My Christmas gift to me)

Just wondering  two things.
              
                 1) did you use the rubber ties to mount harness to snowshow?
                     Interesting set up but not to sure if I like it yet.
                    

                2) The lace holder/Adjuster (Plastic) what do you think of it?
                      The idea is great makes adjustment for different boots fast.
                       Just concern  as to how well it will hold up.
                     

Jeff
Kenora Ontario
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP December 27, 2008, 01:24:31 PM
Just wondering two things.
              
                 1) did you use the rubber ties to mount harness to snowshow?
                     Interesting set up but not to sure if I like it yet.
                   
                2) The lace holder/Adjuster (Plastic) what do you think of it?
                      The idea is great makes adjustment for different boots fast.
                       Just concerned as to how well it will hold up.  

Hi White Wolf,

1)  I used to use that, but I found them too troublesome.   You have to wet them with soapy water to get the knot to slide.   You need two pairs of pliers.   Sometimes they still unravel in the field.  Then getting them off to varnish and putting them on after varnishing is too much of a pain.   

Now I use thick pliable heavy 1/8 inch Latigo leather laces that I bought from Tandy Leather.   Like this:  http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/products.asp?number=5012-13 (http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/products.asp?number=5012-13)
Wrap several times just like they show for the neoprene lace.  Knot with pliers again, but they slide easier because of the oils in the latigo leather.  Then tape the loose ends with electrical tape so they don't undo.  Easy to undo - just cut the tape.   Easy to re-tie once a year for the varnishing job.   I'll see about getting a photo posted.

2)  I never used it.   I don't trust thin plastic hardware in deep cold, so I added a longer 3mm kernmantle climbing accessory cord lace like in the photo, and knotted it with overhand bows, which are easy to undo even when wet and frozen.   Once tied for one set of boots they don't need adjusting.  If you are switching boots lots, then maybe the slider clamp thing is a better option, but I would suggest carrying backup in case it breaks.   

Speaking of backup, when snowshoeing, I always carry wire, 2mm or 3mm accessory kernmantle cord, electrical tape, and a leatherman, to make field repairs for either a ripped binding or broken shoe.  With the wire you can rig a splint for the shoe.  (Never had to use the kit however, touch wood).

: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: pake December 29, 2008, 03:54:30 PM
A while back somebody mentioned NEOS (New England Over Shoes) If you haven't tried them, you ought to, even if it's just in a store. They have several models. All are light weight, and made of cordura or something similar. They have a snow shoe compatible heel and a Vibram sole. I take them along on every trip because they are so adaptable.

First, they are 100% waterproof -but of course that also means that they don't breathe very well- and have a Velcro closure. Second, because of the way they are made they are very easy to get in and out of.  Third, you can wear them over a favorite boot or tennis shoe, or you can forget the shoe or boot and put in an insole and felt liner like the ones you have in your Sorels, but they'll weigh about one third as much as your Sorels. Fourth, they make an insulated or uninsulated version, and one style that has a built in gaitor which extends the height of the boot by 5 inches.

Ordinarily I wear my mukluks, but have recently tried the NEOS over a comfortable pair of walkers, and used the set up with my Faber S Shoes. It worked very well.

Because of the ease of getting on and off they make excellent camp footwear. There is nothing easier to get on and off for a quick trip out of the tent at midnight. I actually know a musher who uses NEOS with a pair of CROCs inside for around camp. That is the ultimate lightweight high boot. During the day, out on the trail, he pulls the CROCs out and puts felt liners in. Perfect, and adaptable.

They are a piece of equipment worth considering. Did I mention that they are light?

pake
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: yukon December 30, 2008, 11:45:40 AM
On the neos, that is a pretty accurate description. My son got a pair for Xmas to fit over his moosehide mukluks. He loves them both. The neos have a good vibram sole and are sized mens medium. They save some wear and tear on the moosehide soles. As he grows into them I think we'll just use felt liners. At any rate , not too expensive ($130.00) , light, good sole and some of the mushers are using them in this years Yukon Quest, so that is a bit of an endorsement for them. '


I do not know aqbout velcroe in the snow, I've had some issues with it before, it is not the best in extreme temperatures, but we'll see.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: pake December 30, 2008, 02:27:18 PM
yukon,

I have the same concerns about Velcro and snow, but....... so far so good. I've been subjecting mine to all kinds of abuse in construction sites, so far I can't complain. I had them for three years now.

BTW, for anyone who wonders what the heck NEOS are, here is a link. Pretty good prices, free shipping.

www.theshoeworks.com

pake
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Tomd December 30, 2008, 10:30:20 PM
Pake and Yukon, which Neos do you have? I know someone who wears them over running shoes for winter hiking in the Sierra where temps are around 10-20F at night and warm during the day, but I'm not sure which ones he has.

Wearing them over Mukluks seems like a good idea-seems like it would solve the lack of waterproofing problem when it's slushy.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: yukon December 31, 2008, 12:18:09 PM
Thanks for the link. He has the navigator style . It is good to hear they wear well, they looked skookum. I wouldn't use them with the steager type of mukluks folks here talk about, but with the moosehide ones that have no rubber sole, just moosehide bottoms, they work well. They are kind of a neat design, good soles, and good material and look like good construction. Three years of wear removes any doubt I might have about durability. My son loves them, but then he likes to be able to run in snow.

I am just in the place where I have a number of options that all work well, so i don't need anything else ( did I say that? eghads). Sorel caribous? A little cold at -40 guys. Might try that frostliner...... I think they do not breathe well and that is probably the issue. Quite adequate for most outings though.


I had a bit of a scare over the weekend. My son and his buddy and I went for a stroll. I checked the young fellow's clothing out before we left.  We ditched the cotton socks, got him a windbreaking overparka, changed out his acrylic hat for a wool one, and gave him a decent pair of wool mitts. I also asked both of them to tell me as soon as anything started getting cold. Off thorugh the knee high snow we went. At our first break the poor little guy started rocking back and forth. I said whats wrong. He said I always rock when I'm about to cry. I said, why would you cry and freeze tears to your face? Because I'm COLD, I can't feel my right toe.

I asked how long he had been cold. he said, since we left the house. Aha, and you didn't want to tell me because you were afraid you might not be able to come with us? Yup.
I checked his boots, and cursed my stupidity for not checking them before. they were a cross between a sorel and a running shoe and they were full of snow.
Anyway., off they came, dsat the poor little guy on a pack, fed him hot chocolate, and a chocolate bar, gave him my fur hat ( why are you putting things on my head, its my foot that is cold!).
Then warmed the foot up against my stomach. Ouch.He said my toe feels funny, I said thats the blood flowing through it to warm you up.
I have developed a habit of placing things where I might need them, so found a couple of hand warmers and put them in his boot. Then we started back at a quick pace. He complained a bit of needing to keep up, but it got him thinking of something else. In ten minutes he was telling me how much he loved walking in the woods and did my son and i do this every week? Yes we do. He said my family doesn't have time to do this. I said, we think it is important so we make time to do it. Cool.....
His dad came by to pick him up later in the day and i told him about what had happeneded. He said," dad, I survived a potential frozen toe at -40. Thats why i love coming here for a visit."
A couple of funny looks were exchanged and off he went.


Two bucks for the handwarmers, been carrying them for years, never ever thought about using them before. I was pretty grateful for having them along. 
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: pake December 31, 2008, 12:36:14 PM
Tomd, I have the Adventurer, which is 15" tall and uninsulated. I've had them several years andd they have stood up well. When and where I bought them, the Navigator (insulated) was not available. Today that is the one I would get. They also have an extendable cuff which takes them up to 20" tall. That might be good in some instances.

For perspective, I have a size 11 &1/2 shoe. I have a size XL NEOS and there is plenty of room for either wearing them over a running shoe or hiking boot and WITH a felt insole under the shoe, or ditch the shoe and use an insole and felt liner from the Sorel.

pake
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Kevin December 31, 2008, 03:50:02 PM
I was considering getting a pair of the NEOS as well.  I'm torn between the insulated and uninsulated though.  It mentions the insulated would be good to minus 40 or so, and I would be using them with wool boot liners during the day and booties at night. Wondering if my feet would get too hot (IE sweaty)?  Also, getting them uninsulated would allow them to be worn in spring/fall as well.

FYI there's 2 pairs for sale on the MEC gear exchange right now (M and L) I believe $40 each.

Here's the link:

http://www.mec.ca/Apps/outdoorGearSwap/gearswap_detail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302884109&refNo=169170&category_cd=Snowsports&sub_category_cd=Other&bmUID=1230841296701
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: muller_jim December 31, 2008, 05:20:56 PM
I have had NEOS Voyager's (uninsulated, 11" high) for a number of years, but haven't used them for snowshoeing until today.  After reading this thread I tried them on a short day hike with a pair of felt liners inside.  They worked great! Light, warm, comfortable....as the man says "Did I mention they are light?"  In deep snow the 11" height isn't quite enough.  For deep fluffy stuff I would prefer the higher height of their Adventurer model (15") or their Trekker (20").  But I think I will take them on my next overnight camping trip with some booties to stuff inside at night. 
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: FRANZENRP January 04, 2009, 09:28:14 PM
Installed my new Faber work bindings on my magnesium snowshoes this weekend and they performed great ! Took Hoops advice and used a longer boot lace to tie around the boot of my Sorel Glaciers this worked well. Walked a few miles in the local snow with no problem, I did get a little binding slippage with the heel strap, but with both the boots and bindings being new I figure there will have to be a break in period.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Tomd January 05, 2009, 02:34:16 AM
Thanks Pake, I recommended them to someone on another site based on what you all said about them here. He was looking for something to wear instead of boots, so I suggested wearing the NEOS with running shoes.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: mario January 05, 2009, 10:09:01 AM
Or what are you wearing

Should say I would be using them for snowshoeing and around the winter camp

Moosehide, vamped mocassins:

(http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e201/nytrekker/IMG_1924.jpg)

(http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e201/nytrekker/IMG_1925.jpg)

Mario
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: pinecones January 07, 2009, 12:25:20 PM
It does seem difficult to find pac boots with midsole insulation. In cold temperatures, not only is heat lost through the sole but the rubber gets much stiffer. The decreased cushioning can lead to aching feet. It certainly does for me. I was recently online reading about a U.S. pac boot company called White's. They have a model called the Yukon Survivor Pac which may interest someone looking to be very warm. This retailer also appears to have similar options from other bootmakers, Kenetrek (Northern Pac) http://www.kenetrek.com/prodinfo.asp?number=KE-3428-6K and Schnee's (Arctic Pac / Extreme Pac) http://www.schnees.com/product_categories/5/products/2268-schnee-s-13-inch-extreme

scroll down: http://www.drewsboots.com/pac.htm (http://www.drewsboots.com/pac.htm)

(http://www.drewsboots.com/images/Whites/114scfa.jpg)


: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: kingjames_2nd January 10, 2009, 11:55:06 AM
I thought I might share this link.  I dont know if it has already been posted but it had quite a bit of usefull information.

winter boot guide:  http://www.sierratradingpost.com/lp2/winter-boot-guide.html

- James
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: ertyu September 04, 2009, 08:10:08 PM
I've been looking for a replacement for my Kamiks since spring. The good, they were warm. But it was hard to get the straps tight enough to hold foot position. The gaiters didn't do a great job of keeping snow out and the lower waterproofing has now given out.

I'm looking for something for all around use, a couple hours here or there, 'walking' in deep snow, some very occasional snowshoeing. I was considering the Baffins, but this thread has given me second thoughts. The Empire look great for some conditions but wouldn't be good at all in wetter snow or slush I would think. The Cabelas Trans-Alaska looks nice.

Any suggestions?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP September 05, 2009, 04:30:44 PM
Hi ertyu,

I hope to be updating all the main website's sections and subsections through time, including the boots section.    We started wintertrekking.com based on information gained through experience actually using gear, instead of just repeating what we read in gear magazines.  Gear magazines are often just glorified advertisements for manufacturers, and the gear is not necessarily going to perform as you may want it to.

That said, there are many great boots out there for many different types of uses and winter conditions, and I can�t hope to use all of them on trips to report my experience, and then translate that into the boots section update.  Hence the value of wintertrekking.com�s forums, to have real winter trekkers review gear they actually have used, and who are not paid to advertise a product.    :)    There is already lots of great info in this thread.

Boots are one of those topics we could discuss forever.  Unfortunately there is no one model for "all round use".   Living out in the bush for days on end in -30 to -40 C in dry conditions is totally different than a couple hours here or there.   Some boots are better suited to snowshoes than others.  Some snowshoe bindings have a small capacity and limit boot girth and size, and some adjust to accommodate larger boots. 

A lot depends on how active you are.  Moccasins and mukluks (e.g. Empire Canvas True North Boots, or Steger Mukluk) are deliberately designed to be light and flexible for travel, and for allowing the foot to flex to maintain good blood circulation.   In order to keep warm you don�t need as much insulation in muklus.  The flexibility of the foot keep yoour feet warm.   Big pack boots with thick rubber soles are far less flexible, requiring more insulation, especially underneath the foot.    Those Cabella�s  Trans-Alaskan�s look incredibly warm with a a great insole underneath the liner, but they are over 5 pounds, and look quite large, and may not be optimum for snowshoeing.   But I have never seen them or used them, so I am not qualified to comment.  (If Cabella's sends me a pair I would gladly test them out!   :) )

If you are skiing with Berwin bindings, some of the large snow boots may not fit in them, and a mukluk or smaller pac boot might be a better choice.   Wet and slushy conditions, a more waterproof model might be best.  Lake travel VS dry land travel brings up the slush and overflow issue with waterproof VS non-waterproof lower parts of the boot.

Steger has a new waterproof mukluk model out called the "Camuk".  I would love to see a gear review by one of our forum members on this innovative new type of boot.

So my suggestion ertyu is to keep on checking up on this website and forums for sharing information, and take the plunge and buy some boots and just get out there and experiment.    The more you get into winter camping and trekking, the more I can guarantee you will be buying several different types of boots as you encounter more and more variation in terrain, snow, slush and trekking styles.   :)     
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: cousin Pete October 17, 2009, 10:00:25 PM
My long search for winter boots is finally over.  I'll be ordering two pairs of Steger Mukluks early this week.  I'll be getting a pair of the Arctics for cold and dry conditions and around camp.  I'll be getting a pair of the Camuk's Xtreme for rainy days or days when I am likely to get the boots wet.  This will cover all backcountry conditions.  I have done a lot of research and have decided that this will be my best choice.  I think that you really need to go with a pair of breathable boots and a pair of waterproof boots.  The Connovers, Rutstrum and  Craig MacDonald all use/used mukluks and rubber boots depending on the conditions.  By getting two pairs that are the same size I will not have to purchase extra boot liners.  Once I use them I'll do a review in my next trip report. 

Cousin Pete
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: yardsale October 19, 2009, 07:44:16 PM
Ok, What are milk bags????? ??? ???
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Canoedog October 19, 2009, 09:28:38 PM
Milk is sold in Canada in bags - there are three 1.33 litre bags packaged in a bag 8) The larger bag is a fairly heavy duty plastic bag that has many uses ;) Here's a  photo of the 2 bags-
(http://cache.virtualtourist.com/879736-Milk_in_bags_instead_of_bottles-Province_of_Ontario.jpg)

How do we get the milk out of the small bag you ask ???
(http://wapentake.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/milk-bag.jpg) 8)

Cheers
Sid

: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: FlatbowMB October 19, 2009, 11:18:32 PM
Milk is sold in Canada in bags - there are three 1.33 litre bags packaged in a bag 8) The larger bag is a fairly heavy duty plastic bag that has many uses ;)


How do we get the milk out of the small bag you ask ???


Cheers
Sid



That is just an Ontario thing, as far as I know.  Haven't ever seen it west of Kenora.  ;)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: crooked knife October 20, 2009, 07:49:46 AM
Ah sweet!  Someone else uses milk bags too!  We have a local dairy that we buy our milk from and their bags are pretty heavy duty.  It's the bigger bag the two half gallon milk bags come in that I use when it's wet snow.  I just slip them between the boot liner and mukluk.  As a matter of fact, it's even easier to slip in the liner when the bag is on.  Of course, you do notice all the moisture that builds up after a days tromping.  You have to take your mukluks apart and hang the liner, bag and all to dry on the ridge pole every night to dry.  But after a mid winter thaw or towards the end of the season I always pull out the bags.  Which brings up a good point.  Always bring a pair of heavy duty bags to slip in your mukluks, ya never know when you might get that freak thaw. 

I've also noticed that steiger mukluks don't do very well when you wet and dry them alot.  In general I'm not very impressed with steigers, but other than making your own there isn't a whole lot of options.  The split leather they use doesn't do very well when they go through the wetting and drying as frequent as I've put them through.  I've burned through a pair in 2 years easy.  Not very impressive.  Those brain tanned mukluks that were traditionally used certainly weren't split leather.  Also, brain tan is ALOT stronger then chemical tanned leather.  Of course, I'm pretty hard on just about every piece of equipment I've ever had. 

Nice picture of the milk bags!

Joe E
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: spetz October 27, 2009, 10:42:29 AM
Need Advice on choosing boots. I dont want to spend to much on these boots as I will only be using them once or twice this year for winter camping. The only tripped planned is around Christmas in Algonquin to give an idea of conditions they will be used. I went to LeBaron and saw the Sorel Caribou Boots I remeber them being around $100 all thought the website lists them at 124 I also saw a pair in the $50 price range Sorel PacBoots with nylon uppers so not water proof looked like Glacier/Bear?
Link to Catalogue: http://lebaron.ca/pdf_files_fall09/footwear/sorel_boots.pdf

Alternatively a Surplus store i found is selling Brand New canadian issue muklucks which I have used before, when I used them it was very wet out (snow and above 0) and didnt experince much problems. Though it has been mentioned that it can be a problem. I could take the above advice and bring milk bags if it does get wet.

1. Army Mukluks - $50
2. Sorel Caribou - $100-120
3. Other - ???
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Oldand Fat October 27, 2009, 12:58:44 PM
Must be flexible for snowshoeing. Long is better then short, go for the 14inch high. Water proof top not a big deal. Spray them and snow doesn't stick. I have an old pair of what looks like the Bear. You may want to get them big enough to add a insole as well as the felt liners. Mark's Work Warehouse sells a insole that looks like mesh works great in giving your sweat some where to go. 
Mid range in price.
Stay safe
OAF
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: lost_patrol October 28, 2009, 12:10:01 AM
Based on personal experience, I would go for the CF surplus mukluks, especially if you can get new ones for $ 50.  They're worth about five times that price, and they will keep your feet warm no matter how cold it gets.  The only thing they're not good for is slushy lakes, because the rubber sole doesn't come up very high.  Good for breathability (which is one of the reasons they keep your feet warm) but not good in water.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Jimmy the Jet November 18, 2009, 01:06:30 AM
I've been searching for the best winter boots for years and have come to several conclusions.
1. I need Steger mukluks
2. and/or Empire True North Boots (to go with my Big Mitts...)
3. Pack boots don't get any better than the Trans Alaska's from Cabela's, but they are heavy.

I have given up on Glaciers and the like.  I just don't stay warm in them, and they are difficult to walk in.
It's cold in the NWT, and you gotta have the right boots.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Clovishunter November 19, 2009, 08:06:59 PM
I'm gonna jump in here too, I do use Muks from Steger although I would chose a smaller size next time, I also use Cabelas Trans-Alaska boot but i don't find them heavy (Strickley my opinion) and i float around in an old pair of Sorels,  Cheers
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Jimmy the Jet November 20, 2009, 04:33:47 AM
Sorry, my bad.  Heavy only when compared to mukluks, but not any heavier than a Sorel or other pack boot.  They are quite easy to walk about in, actually.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Prodog November 20, 2009, 09:05:40 AM
Im not sure why but I think that I would like the Empire True North boots better than the Stegers. So If I could afford it....I would go with the True North Boots, Cabelas Trans Alaska Boot and then I would go ahead and get the Neos Navigators as well. I dont see what else you would need in cold conditions for footwear but please correct me if Im missing something.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: muller_jim November 20, 2009, 10:09:38 AM
NEOS (New England Over Shoes) have several models of light weight 500 Denier Cordura nylon overshoes with a snow shoe compatible heel and a Vibram sole. They make both insulated or uninsulated versions.  The overshoes add 20F to everyday footwear and the insulated models add 40F.   Their most suitable models are the Voyager (11?), Adventurer (15?) and Trekker (20?).

NEOS are 100% waterproof which means that they don’t breathe very well.  They have a Velcro closure secured by a strap and a quick release buckle.They are very adaptable – you can wear them over a variety of footwear: boots, sneakers, felt liners, down booties or even Crocs.

They are easy to put on as they open up to huge proportions.  Due to the ease of getting on and off they make excellent camp footwear. There is nothing easier to get on and off for a quick trip out of the tent late at night.

I have NEOS Voyager’s (uninsulated, 2lbs, 11? high).  I have used them on day hikes with felt liners inside.  In deep snow the 11? height permitted some snow to leak in.  If I was picking again I think I would go for the taller Adventurer or even the Trekker model.   But they were light, warm and comfortable….as the man says “Did I mention they are light?”
http://tinyurl.com/yzltouh (http://tinyurl.com/yzltouh)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Jimmy the Jet November 20, 2009, 02:10:38 PM
I have heard of a lot of mushers using NEOS with a Scandinavian Lobben.  Supposed to be ridiculously warm and light.  'Specially if you have an insulated NEOS model...

They can be found in the Yukon at http://www.winterboots.net  (I hope we're allowed to post links....)
I have not tried this combo yet, because when I was last buying boots, the Lobbens I wanted were out of stock....  And I'm a tad impatient.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: popsicle November 20, 2009, 02:43:46 PM
I've had a pair of Stegers (Tall Traditional) for eleven years.  They are still my primary winter boot for dog sledding, winter birding and hiking.  The only time I recall my feet getting cold was at the start of the 2002 Yukon Quest--if memory serves me well, it was in the -30s and we were mostly just standing around.

I too like the Lobbens.  My pair are the smaller "apres-ski" style--I haven't worn them dog sledding, but they are my absolute favorite shoes for driving tractors at the orchard in the fall.  On the cooler days, I'm about the only one out there not complaining about cold feet. 

It's pretty hit or miss to find Steger or Lobben on ebay, but right now there are several of both (and several different styles).
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Yukon Bushman November 21, 2009, 04:36:59 AM
Loben -Neo combination I found were only good for -20/ The only time I froze my feet were with this combintion at -30 or so;
I have travelled thousands of mile via dog team in the Yukon- to have warm feet at -40 to -55c you need a boot that is flexible and u have to keep those feet moving
It is the only way
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: lonelake December 11, 2009, 07:53:26 PM
Steger muks in cold dry conditions.  Lightweight NEOS when wet, I also carry extra liners for both.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Jim S December 12, 2009, 12:19:01 AM
These are my old Sorels. When I take out the liner they have another liner, wool I guess under on top of the sole.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2770/4178288410_96a54d25c5.jpg)
Are they the trapper model? Do you think I should snow seal them? Or put some other treatment on them?
I've always worn synthetic polyesther socks in them and I can't remember every having them "freeze up" nor do I remember them ever being cold to put on in the morning. Now I am trying out my first 3 pairs of Merino wool socks and it seems to me that the wool socks are damper when I take them off.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2523/4178306162_72e6130f8f.jpg)
P.S. heres my headlamp
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2583/4178288824_2a4e3f6f36.jpg)
Jim S
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP December 13, 2009, 08:15:45 AM
Are they the trapper model? Do you think I should snow seal them? Or put some other treatment on them?
Jim S

Hi Jim,

No, unfortunately those are not the old "Trapper" model (One of the finest pac boots ever made, especially for hard trekking use.  I wish the new Sorel would bring it back).   Those in your photo don't have the big toe box of the Trapper (which accommodated the thick double insole without compromising the fit);  the leather is not the same, and there is not the integral snow cuff on the leather top edge.   

I think all of us old Sorel fans and users in the old days had a pair of those in your photo (I still have my old ones I used in high school!   :) )     They don't have the big toe box.  Note how slim and tapered the toe is.   Those were not designed for a double insole.  You should still try and squeeze a thin insole, since its the heat loss through the bottom of boots that is the major heat loss zone. 

RE Leather treatment:  Yes you should re-treat.   Leather re-treatment is always a complex issue, because what little I know about leather says that you are supposed to  know whether the original treatment was a silicon base or an oil base, and retreat with same.    However I sometimes ignore that advice, rightly or wrongly. 

I really like SnowSeal with the beeswax base.   However I am betting that they used a silicon treatment at the factory, so whatever works for you, go for it.

Those old Sorels were made very well, in Kitchener Ontario.  They used real rubber.  If the rubber is OK and not cracked, a treatment with 303 is strongly advised, which is standard for all rubber boots. 

Because this model has the slimmer toe box, you are limited with the double insole, so they won't carry you on a multi-day trek in -30 to -40C.   But in milder weather they may still be excellent.

Liners:   Lots of after market liners to choose from.   Choose them slim enough for a robust sock system.  Liners don't replace the need for the sock system.   If you are using these for trekking, get two pairs of liners, since you need to dry one each evening.   

BTW, these are an excellent snowshoeing boot since the bottom sole is not stiff nor heavily lugged, and your feet and toes will flex, generating warmth (if you can size it right with your liner and sock system.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Jimmy the Jet December 21, 2009, 03:24:02 AM
Yukon Bushman, did you use the insulated NEOS or the Gore-tex shells?  The ones available at the Dog House in Dawson City were the uninsulated ones, IIRC, and they are the folks who told me they were good to -40.  I assumed that was an over-estimate, but figured you'd get pretty close if a guy had the insulated type of over-shoe.  I ask because I have only tried the Lobbens on for size, but never used them, and never tried the warmer NEOS at all.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: mattmayhem December 23, 2009, 07:41:32 AM
I bought a pair of these from this ebay seller: http://cgi.ebay.ca/SOREL-Extreme-Cold-Weather-Arctic-Boots-Size-13_W0QQitemZ300379264857QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Men_s_Athletic_Footwear?hash=item45efffd759

I'm still waiting for them to get here but the price is good. Shipping is extremely slow to Canada this time of year. They are size 13 and I wear an 11 so I hope to be able to fit an extra liner from a canadian forces mukluk in there and a good sock system.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Jimmy the Jet December 23, 2009, 12:04:13 PM
Nice.  I've used those before quite a bit, and found them very warm.  My last pair is stained with caribou blood...  Gives 'em the lived in look.
So how do you think some feller in Georgia ended up with them??
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: mattmayhem December 24, 2009, 07:47:13 AM
Nice.  I've used those before quite a bit, and found them very warm.  My last pair is stained with caribou blood...  Gives 'em the lived in look.
So how do you think some feller in Georgia ended up with them??

When I see a deal I don't ask questions!  ;D

Seriously though judging by his other products he must sniff around for firesales from outdoor and surplus stores...
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: pablo January 06, 2010, 05:25:10 PM
I've used a wide variety of different boots in temps ranging from -55 to +50, and I have to say that the pair I keep coming back to for snowshoeing and winter camping is a pair I cobbled together from a pair of calf-high Tingley rubber overshoes.  I love the idea of mukluks, but the fact is that they are a dry (as opposed to "wet", or over 15 degrees F. ) cold boot, unsuited to warmer temperatures.  I like my Stegers, but they are a royal pain in the rear when they get wet on the trail (frozen laces, etc).  In my home state of Colorado, and now in Northern Wisconsin, we seldom have consistently cold enough temperatures to make mukluks completely practical.  I got the idea of creating a two-temp system from Garrett and Alexandra Conover, and after trying the Tingley overshoe, I eventually discarded the mukluks altogether in favor of a vapor barrier system using the overshoe as the shell.  Inside this thin, flexible shell goes an ensolite footbed, a thin liner made from an old blanket, and then a standard felt liner.  My wool sock-clad foot it then placed inside a sturdy plastic bag, and stuffed into the boot.  At the end of a vigorous day of hauling, all I have to deal with is one pair of damp socks.  No wet liners, no soaked moosehide, nothing else!  In fact, the liners never get removed from the boots!  My feet do sweat a lot, but that seems to taper off significantly once a certain humidity level is hit inside the plastic bag.[/i][/i]  After a few days, socks and bags get a bit ripe, but they can be washed or replaced with extra pairs.  I've used this system down to -30 with great results.  

From my days of teaching college I put together a paper on winter footwear-related issues:  http://sites.google.com/site/wildernesssurvivalarts/winter-footwear   So there's my two cents... Hopefully you'll find something of use!

Cheers, and happy warm feet![/i]
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: steambender January 06, 2010, 08:30:19 PM
this has got to be one of the longer threads on this forum i've found so far.....I use steiger mukluks and have used them quite a bit, not so much for long trekking but outdoor activities like building log house and what not, also for ice fishing. many times here in northern wisconsin, like last weekend it was -20f while inbarking on a ice fishing trip. my feet usually stay fairly warm, even sitting around waiting for fish, or on the job, or trekking, the foot and toe movement really does help to keep the feet warm. for the wet conditions part, i made my own boot grease with beeswax,neatsfoot oil, and bear grease, i know this is not recomended but it works, when oiled they tend to not breath as much but a rubber boot does'nt either. when i'm on the ice and 10miles out, it might get slushy so i just slip on my rubber overboots, just like to old school ones. but as for colder than -25f can't say i've seen much of that. i think the flexablity is more important than the breathability for keeping the foot warm. be forwarned i have a theory that any boot grease with solvents in them slowly eat thread, that's why i make my own now after 4 pairs varies boot/mukluks with thread failure. just oil em up
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: tg January 09, 2010, 01:46:14 AM
Just picked up a pair of Sorel Intrepid Explorers.  rated to -100.  Same removable/dryable insulating layers as the glacier (with felted wool bootie, removable eva midsole).  Much lighter weight but still a fully waterproof outer.  Not cheap but found em $50 off last week at the big c store.  Ordered them online since there was no where local to try them on and I am really happy with the fit.  I normally wear a 13 shoe but after trying on Glaciers and some other Sorels I stuck with a 13 and have plenty of room even with my thickest socks.  Wore them snowshoeing this evening (~0 degrees F here in the Twin Cities).  They fit my modern snowshoe bindings but just barely.  Worked great.  I Didnt really need the boost-they make me about 3" taller-but I still fit thru doors and can even walk around the low ceiling basement without suffering any head injuries.  Looking forward to using these even though my girlfriend says she won't be caught dead with me and my "clubbed herman munster feet."  BTW I thought a lot about mukluks but wanted something that could also be used for ice fishing-in potentially slushy/wet conditions.  And as some have mentioned Minnesota is not so consistently cold to always be "dry."

tg
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP January 09, 2010, 10:38:48 AM
Hi TG,

I have not been keeping up on trends.  That Sorel "Intrepid Explorer" looks like a great boot (despite its goofy name  :D).   I need to keep the main content pages up to date, so I look forward to gear reviews from our members who use and abuse the gear.   Please report back on how they performed.   :)

The water-proofness will cause it to be wet inside at the  end of the day, so I would strongly suggest you buy another pair of liners for the boots if you haven't already.   The key to staying dry on multi-day treks is swapping liners every night and drying them in the hot tent on on a stick or rack by the fire.  My experience suggests that one should buy the second liners immediately before they change them in the next model.   You may want to buy an extra midsole too, although I leave mine in wet on treks (in my old Sorel Trappers), and don't bother drying them until I get home.  My theory is that the new dry liner every day will wick up excess moisture from the midsole every day, and so far that has worked in deep cold for me.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: lost_patrol January 09, 2010, 08:37:38 PM
Goofy names can be a problem.  There's a Sorel women's boot called "Joan of Arctic", which I thought was funny.  Showed it to my daughter, who is smarter and better educated than I am.  Her reaction was "so it works fine until a critical moment, then dies."    :D
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: creakofboots January 11, 2010, 02:19:22 PM
I would buy a pair of White's, Schnee's, or Kenetrek pac boots over Sorels.  If anyone is thinking of buying a pair of Sorel boots, check out the brands I just listed.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: tg January 13, 2010, 05:08:11 AM
Thanks for the advice hoop-that was my intention to get another set of liners.  In fact your comments on the glacier and pac boots in general led me to the conclusion that I really needed something with a removeable liner (and to purchase a second for drying in camp) and if at all possible midsole.  These features were essential search criteria and while I didn't get a chance to look at the white's schnees or kenetrek I think I am really going to like this system.  I have been out icefishing in the boots twice and stayed super warm.  I did sweat a bit during a long hoof but stayed completely warm.  The liners dried quickly once removed at home.  The long laces and soft shell allow me to lace them up nice and tight on my relatively skinny albeit long feet.  I use extralace length to go around the calf area like a hockey skate.  Unfortunately I can't drive with these boots on-literally they don't fit between the center console and brake pedal to depress the gas.  Thats alright through-just have to slip out of them or one of them;) if driving between ice fishing spots.  I will continue to keep you updated.

tg
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: mattmayhem January 13, 2010, 02:47:31 PM
Am I the only one who's pac boots fit really big? I got the ones above and they only had sz 13 but I normally take an 11. They fit well but slightly loose with 2 pairs of socks. Are blisters a concern in winter boots like they are in leather hikers? I might get a 2nd pair of smaller liners but like the ability to wear more than 1 pair of socks and have room for my feet to circulate...I always have cold feet. I'm thinking circulation and layering are the most important consideration for winter boots? They aren't falling off when I walk or anything but feel loose when I walk which is abnormal compared to my hiking boots or sneakers. Feels like I'm wearing mini snowshoes!
You can tell I have not had winter boots since I was a boy!
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP January 14, 2010, 08:08:36 PM
Hi Matt,

Yes, blisters are a major issue to avoid.  

Try adding a big honking sock, like the Wigwam Ice Sock, http://www.wigwam.com/Products/The-Ice-Sock_ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=d21d74de-fa96-dd11-9fb3-001d091bb843 (http://www.wigwam.com/Products/The-Ice-Sock_ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=d21d74de-fa96-dd11-9fb3-001d091bb843)

I use this as a size Large when its my outside sock.   My shoe size is 9 for reference.  

I solved blister problems in my ski boots and snow boots by wearing 2 pairs of Wigwam Gobi Liners on the inner 2 layers.  http://www.wigwam.com/Products/Gobi-Liner_ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=6d1d74de-fa96-dd11-9fb3-001d091bb843 (http://www.wigwam.com/Products/Gobi-Liner_ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=6d1d74de-fa96-dd11-9fb3-001d091bb843)
They slide on each other, dispersing the friction of a slipping heel, and they wick extremely well.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: mattmayhem January 15, 2010, 08:13:12 AM
Ok, I am wearing a similar setup sock wise. I have a liner sock, then a smartwool hiking sock with cushion sole and then a huge wigwam tube sock with thick soft wool. When I tighten the boot down with the laces it still feels abit loose, but I think its because I'm still not used to them. I might replace the laces with paracord because the ones that came on them kinda suck.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Kevin January 15, 2010, 08:41:44 AM
How about these bad boys??

http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3652992&cp=3707807.3737327.3696521

Still $500 at 50% off!!  Must be the ostrich leather....
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: kinguq January 15, 2010, 09:02:21 AM
OK, this is going to sound like a travesty, but here it goes...

I did my graduate work on marine biology at Resolute Bay in what is now Nunavut. We would be out on the ice there in mid-winter, travelling all day by snowmobile, drilling holes in the ice (which tends to give you wet feet if you are not careful), taking samples, shovelling, setting up camps and all kinds of other tasks.

Needless to say it was cold, in the minus 30's much of the time.

We had limited funding, and my supervisor, an old Arctic hand, had particular ideas about boots that he had adapted from the locals. We were told to buy cheap snow-pac boots, the kind with rubber bottoms and leather tops that you could pick up from Can Tire for 20 bucks, about 4 sizes too big for our feet. We were then given some patterns, some wool duffel material and some thread, and told to get to work. Typically we would make 2 pairs of duffel socks, one with a high top, and one just a low slipper that fit over the inner one. We would wear heavy wool socks inside these.

So, the boot system would be the outer boot, the felt liner that came with the boot, two duffel socks, plus a couple of pairs of inner socks. The total cost would be less than $50 all up, not including of course the labour of making the duffels. But that was fun to learn although nowadays I make them using a sewing machine.

I can honestly say that in 3 years of work on the sea ice I never once had seriously cold feet.

I later moved to Iqaluit where I lived for 12 years. There I used the Forces Chimo type boots with the double wool duffel liner. But again I got them a couple of sizes too big so I could put at least one pair of duffel socks inside. I am very afraid of cold feet, you see.

What I am trying to get at here is that it is possible to adapt quite inexpensive equipment to other uses, with a little ingenuity. I was inspired by the previous post to point this out, seeing a $500 pair of boots (half price!). It is possible to do things much more economically if you are willing to put in some time to modify, make and adapt. You don't see native hunters wearing $500 boots! I could say the same about mittens, parkas, anoraks and lots of other items but I'll save that for another time.

Stay warm,

Kinguq
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Matti January 15, 2010, 09:26:55 AM
Matt -

You could try adding a felt insole or something like a Superfeet insole if you are looking to take up some of that extra volume in your boot.  From your description above you might be able to put a felt insole in first, then your liner, and another insole inside your liner if you would rather not wear so many socks.

I use a similar set up in my Steger Mukluks and my dad uses a felt liner, two felt insoles and a set of green Superfeet in his Neos.  Combined with a thin poly liner sock and heavy Smartwool sock these combinations worked fine for us at -36F a couple of weeks back.

Matti
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: mattmayhem January 15, 2010, 02:05:39 PM
I think I will try to get a pair of CF boot liners and cut out one set from the doubled pair and try that with my current sock system. That should work.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: James Huffaker March 01, 2010, 10:58:23 AM
Gents, I too have been hunting for a set of pac boots that have the form and functionality of the Sorel Trapper. The search continues. I posted this question on another forum, and responses ranged from White boots to Schnees, to Hoffmans Boots. I have never owned or seen Trappers in person, so I don't know if any of these manufacturers make something grossly equivalent or perhaps better, but reading this thread, I didn't see them mentioned.

I currently own a pair of Cabella's pacs that must be 10 years old, high volume foot area, but purchased too small for thick insole and multi socks, and they no longer seem to carry it.

If we came up with a consensus of what makes the prefect pac, why couldn't we propose to an manufacturer to make it as a new model, as long as Sorel doesn't have pattents on the Trapper.

Thoughts?


Regards, Jim
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: HOOP March 02, 2010, 12:29:12 AM
Hi James,

Good idea.    Sorel is now owned by the megalopolis company Columbia.  I doubt our tiny market share would interest them.   Most people don't go outside for more than a few hours anymore.

I hold out hope though.   Acton Boots, Canadian owned (but made overseas now), is still using real rubber and putting a lot of thought into their designs.  I saw their latest deep cold pac line with nylon uppers in Chaltrek - Ostrom store here (The Nation model:  http://www.actoncanada.ca/products/index.php?/eng/completedata/23/ (http://www.actoncanada.ca/products/index.php?/eng/completedata/23/) ),
and was thinking of writing them a letter to see if they would be interested in making that with a lace up leather upper.  I really like the way a thick full grain, but supple treated  leather, forms to the lower leg and holds the boot on.

Mukluks are really great in the dry cold, but this time of year its quite wet during the day (around here), and a waterproof rubber lower is highly desirable.   We are getting +8C later this week (gasp!   :( ...I wish I lived further north where winter is longer and colder).

(http://www.actoncanada.ca/products/images/bottes/large/5717.jpg)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: ontariobackpacker March 02, 2010, 02:02:14 AM
What about these guys...

http://www.muckbootsupply.com/Artic_Sport_Muck_Boots.html (http://www.muckbootsupply.com/Artic_Sport_Muck_Boots.html)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: James Huffaker March 02, 2010, 08:16:26 AM
Gents,

I'm ignorantly book smart.

I've read; in Conover, Mukluks in dry, (warm secondary to the breathabillity), rubber boots in wet, (no breathabillity, but your going to get soaked without them, anyway)  and in that source, pacs not so much. Others extole the pac.

My feeling is that the pac is more flexable in applications then rubber boots, but again, that's with limited experience in not so frigged conditions, so I listen to the experts.

I spoke with the folks at Hoffman Boots, and they recommend their "felt Pac".  I don't know, but they at least are a smaller, made in USA company, that might be approachable.


Regards, Jim
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: pablo March 02, 2010, 01:02:54 PM
Hey 'all... Here's my take on Pacs, based on years of living with Sorel Caribous, and intensively working with mukluks, rubber boots, and other ideas over the last 10...

1.  Pacs are very durable (if well-made), but VERY heavy.  Try walking a couple miles in your mukluks, then a couple in pac boots and you'll see what I mean.

2.  Pacs share the problem of non-breathability with all waterproof footwear.  This will result in damp (and cold) liners in very short order.  My Sorels never really kept my feet warm, even in relatively mild temps, unless I was very active.  The only way to deal with this is to either change your liners frequently or use a vapor barrier, which will confine your foot's moisture to your socks, thereby keeping the insulation in the boot dry and effective.  Vapor barriers take a bit of getting used to, but you'll find that after a certain point, your feet will stop sweating due to the increased (and stable) humidity created by the barrier. 

3.  Pacs can be very hard to keep attached to snowshoes, owing to their fairly rigid soles and heavy tread designs.  The treads can also be hard on traditional snowshoe webbing.

4.  Many manufacturers go to crazy lengths to try and mitigate the problems brought on by a waterproof boot:  "wicking" layers, radiant barriers, etc, etc..... The problem isn't what's inside the boot... it's the boot itself, and the dynamics of foot moisture within that boot.  Wicking doesn't work if there's no place to wick the moisture to, and the conductive heat loss brought on by wet liners will outweigh any gains made by a radiant barrier.

5.  I'm convinced that with a little thought and ingenuity, we can customize what's out there already (rubber overshoes, pacs, whatever) to work better than anything that's currently offered.  My personal wet cold favorite is a simple rubber overshoe made by Tingley with an ensolite insole, felt liner, and a heavy plastic bag vapor barrier.. simple, cheap, and really lightweight.  I've used a vapor barrier inside my Sorels with good effect too, although due to the fit of the boot, my feet slid around too much for traveling in them).

Good luck!  Keep us posted about what you're finding.  I think manufacturers still are nowhere near designing a truly functional wet cold boot... we can only keep hoping...
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: FRANZENRP March 02, 2010, 03:07:23 PM
Just to let everyone know on my February trip I tore my Sorel glaciers gaiter away from my toe box on one of my boots. I let Sorel now about when I got back. These boots were less than a year old, and had about four weeks of winter use. The store I bought them from has since closed down so I contacted Sorel directly about this issue. After about a week of email I mailed them back and they sent me confirmation they would replace them. I just received my new pair. I emailed them my thanks and told them how happy I was with the boots before they tore. I guess what I'm trying to say is how good there customer service policy was with me.  I love my gaiters and would recommend them to anyone.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: oldboyscout March 03, 2010, 10:36:44 PM
Mickey Mouse boots have been a great solution around here.  fairly smooth sole for my snowshoes, and never a worry about drying them out, but there is NOTHING heavier than Mickeys.
Snow  is much too wet around here for mukluks, but I love the light weight.  Tried Tingleys with wool liners but I can't find a good way t keep them snug while walking.  I'm about to buy a set of 5 buckle rubbers (a la Rustrum).  Why is there so little talk of these?
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: pablo March 04, 2010, 11:04:06 PM
hey there oldscout!  Never tried the 5-buckle overshoes... All the rancher's kids wore them when I was growing up though...  For my Tingley's, I actually use a felt liner inside of a single-thickness blanket liner.  In addition, I have an Ensolite insole I cut out of an old sleeping pad.  Tingleys also have a space for the heel of a shoe, and I fill this by using a cut out heel section of an old felt insole.  For me, all this amounts to an absolutely perfect fit, with no slop at all, so slippage is non-existent.  I also close the button at the top of the boot to keep snow out.

Speaking of Sorels, I still have a pair of 12 year-old (approximately) "Bigfoot" model boots they made.  They look somewhat similar to the Canadian Army mukluk, but with more volume and a much heavier sole.  There's a double felt liner, as well as an Ensolite insole inside.  Above the sole, the boot is made of uncoated cordura nylon.  These are a pretty decent boot, although they're too bulky to fit well in a snowshoe or Berwin binding, and all the insulation makes me feel like I'm walking with marshmallows on my feet.  I've used other, less-bulky liners and the fiberglass mesh insoles used in the Canadian mukluk.  This makes them more easy to walk in, but the sole is still very heavy... Anyway, if anyone is interested, you might be able to find a used pair somewhere?  I don't think Sorel still makes them.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: oldboyscout March 06, 2010, 10:56:51 AM
I wish I could use that rubber button, but it won't close around my layers.  I thought about cementing some kind of strap or lacing flap but not sure if it will hold. (could I use a tire patch kit cement that u have to burn?) Otherwise I think it's a great system.  I'm set up similar to you with the felt insole and double duffle liners. 
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: kinguq March 06, 2010, 12:37:49 PM
One thing I just found out from a trip I got from yesterday: black boots get wet!

The weather was bright and sunny with temps up near 0 during the day. The snow would stick to the upper part of the feltpac boots, which is not waterproof, and melt in the sun. By the end of the day my boots were soaked.

I think boots with white tops would be much less prone to this. Just another thing to consider.

Kinguq.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: lynx August 29, 2010, 11:02:54 PM
I've worn Steger mukluks for 15 years, and they've all but replaced my other winter boots. I'll start wearing them in the Nov deer season here in MN and will stay with them until maple sugaring in March, when I switch to Muck boots. I use mukluks for deer hunting snowshoeing, shovelling snow, winter camping, dogsledding, ice fishing. No they are not H20 proof, but I rarely get that wet. When I do get wet, most of the moisture gets absorbed by the snow and then the liner; my feet are always comfortable. I even had ankle deep slush on one winter camp and my feet never got cold. With such a light weight footwear, you'll feel like you're wearing warm slippers. My wife also has a pair, and she has arch problems, so needs to wear an orthotic inside her liner. Before mukluks, her feet were always cold and she was miserable. Which made me miserable! No more.
The flexibility and breathibility really makes these work. I used to be a dog handler for my cousin during sleddog races like the John Beargrease Marathon, and the Grand Portage Passage. These races last 3-4 days. As a handler you are always moving from checkpoint to checkpoint, getting no sleep, and are outside 24/7. With my mukluks my feet managed just fine.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Pathfinder November 25, 2010, 06:45:39 PM
Hi James,

Good idea.    Sorel is now owned by the megalopolis company Columbia.  I doubt our tiny market share would interest them.   Most people don't go outside for more than a few hours anymore.

I hold out hope though.   Acton Boots, Canadian owned (but made overseas now), is still using real rubber and putting a lot of thought into their designs.  I saw their latest deep cold pac line with nylon uppers in Chaltrek - Ostrom store here (The Nation model:  http://www.actoncanada.ca/products/index.php?/eng/completedata/23/ (http://www.actoncanada.ca/products/index.php?/eng/completedata/23/) ),
and was thinking of writing them a letter to see if they would be interested in making that with a lace up leather upper.  I really like the way a thick full grain, but supple treated  leather, forms to the lower leg and holds the boot on.

Mukluks are really great in the dry cold, but this time of year its quite wet during the day (around here), and a waterproof rubber lower is highly desirable.   We are getting +8C later this week (gasp!   :( ...I wish I lived further north where winter is longer and colder).

The do, but they're pricey...

http://laci.hostcentric.com/i0001089.html (http://laci.hostcentric.com/i0001089.html)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: lare November 25, 2010, 09:05:41 PM
Gotta get my "two-bits" in here:  I would lobby to bring back the felt shoes.  They were all made of half-inch wool felt with a light leather heal piece, toe piece, and lacing strips.  They laced all the way up and were either six or eight inches high.  Over that we wore four or five buckle overshoes (the rich people had the five buckle).  In the overshoe we put another felt insole or two, and if we didn't have those, we used cardboard or something simiar (deerhide with the hair still on it), but mostly cardboard or felt.  I spent a winter in Korea and wore the same kind of footwear while everybody else was using those damn Army "foot-freezers>"  Lotta guys orderred felt shoes from home that winter after watching me.

The overshoes are really flexible and forgiving.  For you guys who can't get your pants in them, leave them outside your boots (I ssume that everyone wears wool pants and the snow won't hurt them a bit), then tie them down around your ankles with a piece of binder twine or rawhide.  You are good to go, and they might help some of you young guys if you try to smoke a "rank" cigar."  Overshoes are better than Tingley's because they can be opened wide and are easy to put on and take off.  If they are too big, stuff some newspaper in the toes, or deerhide or an extra mitt - whatever.  This works, and it will work with NEOS too.

My Dad was a trapper after WW -I, and more or less a contemporary of Calvin Rutstrum.  He trapped Northern WI, MN, worked the sorting gap, etc. at Rainy River and trapped on up into Ontario.  That's the way they went.  Wool long-johns, wool pants, Wool shirt, and he had a knee-length sheepskin coat with a mushrat hat - chopper mitts, overshoes and felt shoes inside.

There ain't no perfect ski, or four-season tent, or winter boot, but I like the fact that you guys keep trying.  Mukluks are great - the older you get, the more insoles you put in them.  Lare
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: lare November 25, 2010, 09:08:28 PM
(Something I left out of the last post)

Oh yeah, those felt shoes had a hard sole and heel on them - with a half-inch of felt between the sole and your foot.  Lare
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Pathfinder November 25, 2010, 09:48:39 PM
(Something I left out of the last post)

Oh yeah, those felt shoes had a hard sole and heel on them - with a half-inch of felt between the sole and your foot.  Lare

(http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e154/Photo65/Overshoes4buckle.jpg)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Whitewinter December 06, 2010, 07:31:23 PM
Check out my 20 year old Sorel/Kaufman Crusaders!  Seriously, I got them when I was 13 years old. They still work well.  Although I could use some new liners for them.  :-[

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_PXWBbTyQ9fI/TP1-kK1rtVI/AAAAAAAAAJg/jqosCFtNJZ0/s400/CIMG0155.jpg)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: canoecountry December 08, 2010, 09:24:29 AM
As most, I use a variety of different boots for winter activities from Danner hunting boots to rubber muck type boots to mukluks. I have yet to find a single boot that will meet all of my needs.

After a good long run I got rid of my first pair of Steger Mukluks, they were based on some of the original designs Patti came up with for the North to the Pole trip, very similar to the Arctic Blues they used to sell. The only two things I really didn't like about them were the calf openings were a tad small for my liking and after awhile the soles got really gummy. Not sure if the new soles still do that but I will probably get a pair of the Arctics soon.

I also use and really like the Empire Canvas True North boots. They are built well, have a great sole on them, are big enough to easily get on and cinch up nicely. I like these so much that I try to keep these as my "trekking" only boots.

When trekking I will also bring a pair of Neos incase the weather dictates the need. They are lightweight and packdown well. My only problem with them is that while they protect from moisture coming into the boot they become a jungle inside the boot as they do not breathe at all.

I also have a pair of standard Sorels and a pair of low profile Trukke boots that are great for snowshoeing.

CC 
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Pathfinder December 08, 2010, 10:26:30 AM
I agree with CC.  I have several boots for different weather conditions.

Sorel Caribou PAC boot for medium cold/wet conditions.

Altimate boots (discontinued) for deep cold dry/wet conditions.  Full leather upper, rubber lower, large toe box, and 20mm thick DuPont thinsulate liner.  I use a polypropylene sock in these with a vapor barrier.  Warmest boots I have ever used.

Empire Canvas True North boots get the nod for deep cold dry weather.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: lonelake December 08, 2010, 11:07:03 AM
I guess I will throw my boot in the ring as well.  Waterproof redwing work boot, Neos Villager overshoe. This system for wet weather. As stated above, the Neos are a tropical haven for your feet. Dry from the outside, wet on the inside. True North Muks from Empire in the cold.
I can't say enough about the ECW muks, love them! I typically use a liner sock with quality wool socks. I prefer smartwool socks, JMO.

LL
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Wild_Dog December 28, 2010, 09:54:44 AM
Great thread everyone!  I find that if my feet and hands are happy, then I'm happy - so here's my two cent's worth - coming from a little different perspective / background.

I have an endurance background (running marathons and ultra-marathons) and several years ago got into doing winter-ultramarathons where I've raced up to 135 miles continuous, pulling a pulk sled with, food, water, extra clothing and mandatory gear (read; ultra-light winter-camping setup / survival gear.)  During these races we have seen temperatures as low as -35 F, and here is what I wear for footwear - Gore-Tex Trail Running Shoes by INOV-8 http://www.inov-8.com/Products-Detail.asp?PG=PG1&L=27&P=5050973167  (http://www.inov-8.com/Products-Detail.asp?PG=PG1&L=27&P=5050973167)with a super-light cycling type sock with a breatheable (non-waterproof) gaiter to keep the snow out.  While moving fast (fast trekking with poles or running) anywhere from 40 to 50 hours - I have ALWAYS stayed warm and dry.  I think the principal is the same as with the Mukluks, your foot flexes and that keeps your foot / toes warm. 

I use the same setup for winter camping / multi-day trips but also on those trips, in my footwear arsenal I bring NEOS Trekker overshoes http://www.overshoe.com/recreational/products/detail.php?s=TRS (http://www.overshoe.com/recreational/products/detail.php?s=TRS)  in case deep overflow is encountered, down booties http://www.sierradesigns.com/p-259-pull-on-down-bootie-mens.aspx (http://www.sierradesigns.com/p-259-pull-on-down-bootie-mens.aspx) for in the tent and sleeping at night  and Outdoor Research Brooks Ranger Overboots http://www.outdoorresearch.com/site/brooks_ranger_overboots.html (http://www.outdoorresearch.com/site/brooks_ranger_overboots.html) for kicking around in camp if it gets really cold - these, like the NEOS, go right over your other footwear.  Last year in Voyageurs NP on a cold camping trip I sat out at the fire for hours in -15F reading a book after the sun went down, with warm feet.  This footwear can be worn in different combinations / configurations as well which is pretty useful.

With all that being said, some Steger Arctic Mukluks and ECW True North Boots are also on my list because I am always looking for the next best thing!

BTW - I am in the process of coming over to the "Warm-Side" - starting a couple of years ago, we started traveling with friends that have warm-tent setups - so we will base camp, then go out and do hard training during the day and return to a warm tent at night.  I have my tent and my stove is on its way.

Thank You,

Wild_Dog
Hastings, Minnesota   
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Kerina December 28, 2010, 05:23:27 PM
I really want to go winter camping but I have a big problem with my feet getting really cold quickly if I stop moving for very long when I'm hiking or snowshoeing in my current boots (http://www.merrell.com/CA/en-CA/Product.mvc.aspx/W-F-F/19634W/0/Women/Footwear/Filters/Womens/Chameleon-Thermo-8-Waterproof-Synthetic (http://www.merrell.com/CA/en-CA/Product.mvc.aspx/W-F-F/19634W/0/Women/Footwear/Filters/Womens/Chameleon-Thermo-8-Waterproof-Synthetic). 

After reading through the e-book and forums here I thought that a really good hearty pac boot was what I needed.  I became interested in the Sorel Glacier or the Intrepid Explorer since they offer the removable mid-sole that has been mentioned frequently here.  I went to Mark's Work Wearhouse to try them on and instantly could feel the extra warmth that the mid-sole offered so I am sold on that idea.

Here's the rub.  Martin asked a salesperson at the store about purchasing the boots and an extra set of liners.  He was informed that Sorel would not sell extra liners to them and that they absolutely could not get them.  That sounded nuts, but upon checking with the store's buyer he was assured that it was true.  So I wrote to Sorel.  I was sure this was just a confusion.  Surely they would WANT to sell extra liners to their pac boots (I mean, I thought that the main point of these boots was exchangeable liners, right?).  Sorel wrote back to me and said that they did not even sell extra liners to either of those boots.  I was told I could buy other replacement liners but they were "smaller and lighter weight than the ones used in the Glacier/Explorer."  Since I can't imagine what would happen to the fit of the boot if I put a smaller, lighter weight liner in it, I lost interest.

I will try to find those Acton's that Hoop mentioned in a previous post.  They look pretty toasty.  If anyone else knows of another very warm boot like this I'd love to hear about it.  In the meantime I will troll through every second hand store I find and hope to find an old pair of Sorel Trapper's in a size 7  ;).  If I have to put in extra liners that don't fit perfectly, I might as well find the perfect boot.

Kerina
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: billybass December 28, 2010, 07:12:59 PM
Kerina,  These are sold here in the states.  looks to me to be the same 13mm liners that come in the Intrepid Explorers.


http://www.altrec.com/sorel-boots/mens-intrepid-explorer-innerboot?sku_id=1005959&cm_mmc=Mercent-_-Froogle-_-Sorel-_-90197-1005959&mr:trackingCode=FC65BBB4-99C1-DF11-A490-002219319097&mr:referralID=NA
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Kerina December 28, 2010, 07:30:24 PM
Hi billybass,

That does look like a fit  ;D.  I wish I'd written to you before Sorel!

Kerina
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Andy December 28, 2010, 08:24:39 PM
Here is what I use when trail runners and wool socks reach their limit:

http://bushcraftscience.blogspot.com/2010/12/footwear-for-really-cold-weather.html


Kerina: I think you might like a mukluk-ish overboot system. It's fairly inexpensive, and the loose fit and sole flexibility adds significantly to the warmth.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Kerina December 28, 2010, 08:54:19 PM
Hi Andy,

A mukluk is definitely something I want to try.  I'm going to look around town and see what I can find.  Although if I go that route I will want to keep it breathable.  I'm pretty sure often my feet are getting cold because of moisture build up.  

Thanks for the ideas :)

Kerina
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Andy December 28, 2010, 09:35:34 PM
Kerina, I went the other direction toward preventing moisture build up: a vapor barrier sock. A turkey-sized oven bag works well, and it's easy to experiment with the comfort using existing footwear. The only thing that could go wrong is accidentally using it later to cook a turkey.  :D
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Stephane December 28, 2010, 09:48:06 PM
Having had sorel glaciers for years, I can tell you you won't really need the extra liners anyway. Even wet, they will still insulate you very well. Still, for snowshoeing, if you're using technical snowshoes instead of the traditionnel raw hide and birch ones, you won't like those boots because of the soft sole. After a while, you will feel the crampon under your foot.
If you have no problem while snowshoeing but feel the cold only when you stop, you might want to think about booties to feel cozy at camp.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: BST December 29, 2010, 07:36:16 AM
For the varied montana winter and snow conditions, I ilke the Whites brand packers.  And carry a spare set of liners, in my sled or pack.  These are rated -100, Ive never been dpwn that far with them.  But i have neverhad a cold feet, anytime in them.   Sleep with the liners and have a warm feet in the morning.  Have about 15 years on the current pair

Just a day trips, The other choice i like is the 1200 gram ROckies.  But no liners so have to watch out and keep them dry.  They took for ever to get broke in.  But now a great boot,  built like a soft bunny boot. 

Over nighted with them a time  or two, I hate cold boots in the morning so before bed I wrap a camp fire rock in a peice of deerskin and drop down in the boot, keeps it good and warm till morning.


 
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Andy December 29, 2010, 09:34:32 AM
BST, good idea on the campfire rock boot warmers!
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Chris the Cat December 29, 2010, 10:51:02 AM
Sorry to jump in folks, happy Xmas from the UK by the way !
I was north of Bardufos in Norway in Feb and finding Pac boots or  Mukluks in the UK is a nightmare! No one makes them or imports them here! ( Any ideas ? )
I was able to pick up a pair of La Crosse pac boots from a member Of Bushcraft Uk ( pop over and say hi some time! )
Now I am not at all familiar with pac boots, these, however, have steel toe caps!
I guess these are what construction or pipe line workers wear in sub -zero conditions but I was wondering if the steel toes cause problems re- cold conduction? They do seem well insulated ( The steel toe from the 'toes' of my feet, if you know what I mean!? ) with plenty of 'wiggle room' in the toe box as a result.
Are La Crosse an OK make of boot?
By the way, they have a 9mm felt boot liner ( leather upper on rubber wrap around foot and sole, steel shank and agressive tread pattern. No idea of the model name ! )
There is no way of buying felt liners on this side of the pond, if any of you folks can point me to someone who will ship to the UK, that would be great!
Take care, thank you and Happy New Year!
My best.
Chris. :)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: snowflake ? December 29, 2010, 11:06:08 AM
 If anyone's interested Cabela's has the men's Sorel Glaciers on sale for 104.99, plus if you spend 150.00 you can get 20.00 off. So I picked up boots, Xtra liners and liner socks all for about 150.00 including shipping   Looks like rain   ISH
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Andy December 29, 2010, 02:04:04 PM
There is no way of buying felt liners on this side of the pond, if any of you folks can point me to someone who will ship to the UK, that would be great!

Hi Chris,

Have you checked with Steger Mukluks?

http://shop.mukluks.com/departments/19/Accessories/Liners---Insoles---Socks.aspx

Andy
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: crustysnow December 29, 2010, 04:01:08 PM
Greetings,

FWIW, my $0.02.

I've worn PAC - type boots (Sorel/Kaufman/LaCrosse/others) for over 3 decades, rubber bottoms are great if it is wet, or 20+ F and sunny as the sun will melt the snow on your footgear.  They are heavy and warm, but will cool down, even be cold, if inner moisture is not managed.  Since my feet perspire greatly, I always have moisture issues.

I've made a pair of mukluks - I feel they are great for snowshoeing/hunting/walking because of the light weight - if you haven't tried mukluks you really should, the lightness of that footgear is really something to experience.  However - MY mistake with the pair of mukluks I made was that I used Oil-tanned leather for the lowers - this does not breath, I would bet that it actually makes things colder.  Thus, I purchased a pair of Steger mukluks and the difference in warmth is really great.  I have friends that say their liners in their mukluks are not damp after a day of deer hunting, and they leave their liners in their mukluks every night all camp, but I have found mine to be somewhat damp after a long day - but nowhere near as damp as the mukluks with oil-tanned lowers that I made.

I also have a pair of the Cabela's Trans Alaskan III's and have used them deer hunting and ice fishing and can only recommend that they be used if you're not going to be moving much, i.e., ice fishing, snowmobile, sitting around camp.  The footbed/sole is very stiff - I would liken it to walking with a board strapped on your foot, and even though they are 'rated to -135 F', I have to believe that that rating must include the the Hot Packet that you can put in the pocket in the bottom of your liner.

I have not gone on any winter treks of great length, but I have worn the mukluks with snowshoes while beaver trapping and putting in a few miles on those days, but can only  imagine what it must be like to where a pack boot snowshoeing any distance.

As has been stated before, one boot type might just not be enough - a time and place for the different types.

So, now that I have my Steger mukluks, I'm a bit concerned about my snowshoe binding and the leather of the mukluk - I use 1/4" cord in the Step in-Step out "Indian" fashion and am windering if that narrow of a cord might be too narrow for those mukluks and wear through.  Do I need a wider binding to spread out that energy and wear?  Anyone have any experience with that?

I have no experience with vapor barrier socks, other than bread bags about 35 years ago.

This has been another great thread.

Crusty
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Chris the Cat December 30, 2010, 05:28:59 AM
Hi Andy, thanks for that sir !
I will drop them an email, I can't find any shipping details on their site and so I will ask if they will ship a couple of pairs!
Take care.
Chris.
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: lonelake December 30, 2010, 06:19:44 AM
C T Cat, Call Kevin at Empire Canvas Works. He may be able to help you out.
http://www.empirecanvasworks.com/truenorthboots.htm (http://www.empirecanvasworks.com/truenorthboots.htm)

LL
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Mateo December 29, 2011, 10:43:56 AM
Herr Klaus put some German engineering under the tree this Christmas. Looking forward to giving them a go in the white stuff if and when it appears. :–p

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7011/6569810797_7b6da3c89e.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtbradley/6569810797/)
 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtbradley/6569810797/)
: Re: Winter Boots- what do you use
: Gennaver January 03, 2012, 02:33:28 PM
Hi,
I see I am replying to a Sep 19th post but, if it makes any difference I have only been here in the Interior of Alaska for 6 days. However, since I like to be outdoors as much as possible my NEW best foot friends are (modifying becasse the link won't work,) Lobben/RMC International Lobben Women's Gray Polar Boot and my new indoor best foot friends are (modifying since the link didn't work,) Aspen Company Inc Aspen Company Igloo Sneaker with Sole
I sure like happy feet! Oh, and some thick wool socks too.

However it is very dry where I am at and I am not snowshoeing or sledding with these, at least not yet! Will update once I do.

Gen/Jen