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Winter Footwear for a newbie
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Locale: South West US
Winter Footwear for a newbie on 11/22/2005 00:26:10 MST Print View

Ok, so I'm scheduled to go on my first snowshoeing/ winter camping trip his January in Yosemite. I'm going with some experienced co-workers, but they ain't too saavy when it comes to going light. I've got a good feel for most the gear I need except for my footwear. What is recommended? Heavy boots? W/P Trail runners and VB Socks? My toes are depending on you...



larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Winter Footwear for a newbie on 11/25/2005 13:14:45 MST Print View

The good news is even in Jan. the Sierras are not bitter cold but it also means vb won't be effective. I use a pair of Salomon winter boots with xcr, about 3#. I noticed they make a snowshoe specific boot, B25 TS GTX, that weigh 2#8oz. a pair. If you want to use a trail runner you'll need an overshoe like the Neos. You'll also want to use a pair of gaiters with your boot choice [except the neos].For work I use Sorel Caribous but they are clunkmo's.

Edited by pyeyo on 11/25/2005 13:18:24 MST.


Locale: South West US
Re: Re: Winter Footwear for a newbie on 12/04/2005 20:46:28 MST Print View

Hey Larry again thanks for the info. I have been eyballing the Salomon B52 TS GTX's for a little bit now. I am a bit concerned that they will be too warm causing my foot to sweat during the day and freeze at night. That being said, I will probably go with them anyways. Seems like the prudent choice to go with.

Kind Regards,


Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Winter Footwear for a newbie on 12/04/2005 22:10:11 MST Print View

I have done a number of things in the sierra winters. As other have pointed out, it doesn't get as cold in the sierras as many places. I have tried a variety of things all of which worked.

Much of the time I have used a thin liner, sealskin waterproof socks, trail runners, and a light gaiter to keep the snow out of the shoes and the bottom of my pants.

When it's been consistantly below 20F (or there abouts) this combo doesn't work and I switch to something else. In colder weather I have used to three things:

liner, vapor barrier socks, moderately thin insulated sock (I think wool & thermalite... got them a long time ago), trail runners, and gaitor.

Light socks and some Baffin boots I picked up last year (don't remember model and they are put away in the garage). The baffin boots are just over 2lbs and are rated to -20C (-4F). My feet have been toasty with light socks down to 0F. Haven't used these boot below that yet.

liner, heavy wool sock, ancient vasque full leather boot (snowsealed), gaitor. These work for a couple of days, but eventually they soak through. Once that has happened I can't get them dry until I am back home. :-)

Edited by verber on 12/04/2005 22:17:38 MST.

Kevin Lane
Winter Footwear on 01/13/2006 18:08:22 MST Print View

I keep looking for the lightest set up to wear here in the NorthEast. I recently picked up a pair of the Steger Old Traditional SHort as well as the lightweight Neos, high modeal. I know that there was discussion on using just the Neos shell with other items in the past, but I cannot recall who said and did what. Once I take the wool liner out of the Steger Mukluk, it does not seem that the Mukluk gives greater support or anything than does the mukluk. What I am asking is that if you are in conditions where a mukluk would work, why not just use the Neos shell as a Mukluk?, especially if you are using a vb sock. It seems lighter and certainly more waterproof.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Winter Footwear on 01/15/2006 21:18:21 MST Print View

Be careful to oversize the Stegers as it is easy to run out of room, of course taking the liner out does tend to open things up a bit. I actually like to snowshoe in mine but I would not like to walk very far sans snowshoe. Decided to try your approach with my neos and decided they are sized for a foot and a shoe combination. Ok, I realize that should be obvious so I think your idea would work if you sized down to exclude the shoe...I would still use an insulated footbed. I also put an insole into my Stegers, a pair of green superfeet. That was kinda interesting and with the right sock combo might just work pretty well
stegers before I got to try it out spousal unit decided we needed to go skiing. I'm taking the whole mess to work tommorrow up in the Cascades and rat it out..

Kevin Lane
Stegers on 01/16/2006 10:13:45 MST Print View

Those new ultralight high neos just seem too good here. Put a pair of the RBH Vapor Therm inside, maybe one of the liner booties from Steger, and I think you have a better footsystem than any other if there is deep snow

Here in the NE we more often deal with small amounts of snow but much icy ground. I tried out my brand new Steger Mukluks and almost wiped out on ice on my driveway. I guess these babies are not build for walking on icy ground

I did have more success with the icebug trail running shoes. REI has some of these models on sale. I used the one with the built in gaiter for an easy 8 mile walk over icy trails with perhaps an inch of snow. Temp in the low teens. Man these things are nice. No trouble as would normally be expected. I might through in a basic pair of instep crampons if dealing with more up and down, but for rolling terraine in the winter, look at the icebugs. I wonder how the spikes would fair inside of Neos

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Stegers on 01/16/2006 20:11:20 MST Print View

I spent the afternoon goofing around with various liners for my Steger mukluks and Neos, the best combination was the orginal steger liner inside the neos for medium cold temps. It just isn't cold enough to try vb or neoprene socks.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
neoprene socks. on 02/08/2006 10:03:17 MST Print View

Quoted "It just isn't cold enough to try vb or neoprene socks."

As i posted on another thread, I am a big fan of
neoprene vapor barriers and use them all the
time in my telemark boots (in the sierra's), and in summer hikers at times too.

I wore only the neoprene socks
on a 9 day summer trips in the Sierra and got no
blisters, or bruised feet, they were a bit hot and
damp, but worked fine. and weren't much different
than the liners and wool socks I usually wear.

One combo that worked good on a snowy May
trip in upper reaches of SEKI was a double
vbl system-- liner sock,
neoprene sock, wool sock, plastic bread sack
(duct taped over the top of the instep so it wouldn't
slide up and punch holes in the toe) and then
a fabric non-waterproof ankle high boot (lHightek brand I think) with gaiters. I had warm
feet when the folks with the heavy leathers (which
got wet after a couple of days) got slight frostbite.
They wouldn't try the breadsacks.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: neoprene socks. on 02/08/2006 20:08:27 MST Print View

I also use neoprene socks but I save them for real cold... so now this old dog is willing to try your new trick, thanks.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Winter Footwear for a newbie on 02/08/2006 21:43:47 MST Print View

I discovered this thread fairly late but here are more ideas: I wear smartwool light hikers inside of trail runners. Over that goes fleece-lined neoprene over-booties made for winter cyclists. Size way up on these. I wear a size 13 overbootie over a size 9.5 trail runner. Yaktrax Pros go over the sole for traction. Add knee-high gaiters. When I get into deeper snow I switch out the Yaktrax for Northern Lites snowshoes. This is a very comfortable, lightweight combination. For colder weather I use NEOS Villagers instead of the neoprene booties. When it's really frigid or I'm going to be spending a lot of time standing around, I use the insulated NEOS Explorers.

Daniel Watkinson
(dw5862) - F
I use something like this on 03/09/2006 23:33:16 MST Print View,74879_Kamik-Aurora-Winter-Boots-Waterproof-For-Women.html
I use something like this, but not quite as high and probably a tad lighter here in the Cascades on overnighters in the winter. They are by far my lightest winter boot I have and easily warm enough for down to the 15-20 it gets down to here. Try a half size larger and where a good wool expedition sock. Don't forget gaiters.
As you know, if your core and your head are not warm, your feet won't be either.

Edited by dw5862 on 03/09/2006 23:35:04 MST.

Jumble Jowls
(JumbleJowls) - F
Re: I use something like this on 04/29/2006 16:40:35 MDT Print View

I've never hiked in the Sierras but when hiking in the snow in the southern Appalachians in winter I've always worn my Vasque Sundowners with Smartwool socks and a liner sock, and my feet have never been cold.