Ah, yes...my favorite topic of discussion. (disgust-ion)
I need a heavy dose of reality here.
Since last winter I have been searching for the perfect pack boot.
The primary requirement for me is to have a removable boot liner that I can stick in my bag and sleep with to keep it toasty warm for those sub-zero mornings. Unfortunately I have had the displeasure of sticking my toasty warm sleep-bag, fleece-socked toes into a cold or freezing boot. OUCH ! I have tried sleeping with my bugabootoos in my bag with me let's just say it's do-able but I am not a big fan of that.
My secondary concern is stable footing for Snowshoeing and Crampon use.
So, I have tried, Baffin Tegami's, My foot rode up in the back so much that my socks ended up bunched up in the toe box and well below my ankles, no matter how tight I kept the straps (which always seemed to work loose).
The I tried the Baffin Couliors, never wore them on the trail, they are way big and clunky and even though they had a snug fit, they were way too uncomfortable (they are 17 inches tall) and I could see my self arguing with them all day if I wore them snow-shoeing.
Wait, it gets better. I then looked at the Sorel Caribou, it fit better than the others but the sole was so flexible and soft, I could feel a dime through them. If there were to be long stretches at lower altitudes on trails with little or no snow where snowshoeing is not desirable, I would feel every pebble through these soles. My feet would be trashed in an hour or two. So, they went back too.
I even tried WIGGY"S Pack Boots. They are by far the lightest weight of them all and very very comfortable and probably the warmest, but way too roomy. I usually wear a size 10, Wiggy's size 8 was still too roomy and lacked the snugness to make them practicle for snowshoeing or crampon use.
I have considered plastic boots and have tried Koflach (not a Pack Boot. They felt great. They feel the best for and are made for crampons and snowshoe use. They are perfect for that but also extremely heavy. (I think I'll keep them around for deep-winter use).
Keep in mind, the sizing of these boots vary wildly, I can not assume because I am a size 10, that the size 10 I am trying out will come anywhere near close to fitting. i.e When I tried the Wiggys Pack Boot size 10, I could have stuck my cat in there with my foot and she would have been very happy and comfortable indeed!!!
I also live in Brooklyn. When I go into stores here and say PACK BOOT, I get jaw dropping blank stares back. So all of the boots I have been trying have been through mail order. Everyone at the post-office knows the name of my goldfish!
SO, on and on I go , trying to find the elusive perfect pack boot.
As it appears to me, I think a Pack Boot by definition is supposed to be somewhat floppy and unstable for snowshoeing and crampon use.
I am about to give up.
But first, I think I'll check out the BaffinThunder and/or Cambrian.
By the way, The Sorel Caribou laces up through these metal d-rings...don't pull too hard, the will deform and fall out.
I welcome all comments and suggestions, especially those that assess the state of my sanity (or lack there-of).
Regards to All.