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Steger Mukluks
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Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Steger Mukluks on 12/01/2013 09:36:11 MST Print View

Anyone use them, especially for snowshoeing? All comments welcome that pertain to the Mukluks. Not interested in other options. Really.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Steger Mukluks on 12/01/2013 10:52:02 MST Print View

No, but have you heard of... oh never mind ;)

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Steger Mukluks on 12/01/2013 10:55:50 MST Print View

"No, but have you heard of"

Yes, I have, which is why I'm not interested in them......

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Steger Mukluks on 12/01/2013 11:18:14 MST Print View

I use Steger liners/insoles as mukluks inside Tingley rubber overboots (no shoes) when temps are too cold for trail runners. Same system, different shell. Works ok, except I'd rather have actual mukluks due to the slightly sloppy fit of the overboots. The overboots are great because of being completely waterproof, and I usually have mixed snow/wet cold conditions which would likely wet out mukluks.

While hiking with or without snowshoes at around 15F, my feet are campfire warm. They were comfortable just sitting around at 0F.

Hoot Filsinger
(filsinger) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Steger Mukluks on 12/01/2013 14:16:23 MST Print View


Custom made mukluks circa 1979 (weight = 10.5 oz. each). Ensolite bottoms with bomber taffeta , uppers with open cell one inch foam. Used in backcountry huts after a day of Nordic skiing. Very warm and nice for deep dry snow in camp but would wet out in spring snow. Worth the weight for warm dry feet after a day of skiing in wet boots.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Mukluks? on 12/01/2013 15:53:14 MST Print View

I snowshoe in trail runners and then wear these in camp:


I think these are mukluks, and technically they're part of my snowshoe system.

The combination is about the same weight as snowboots, but I get to wear a lighter mesh shoe in my snowshoes all day and then I have these really, really warm things for sitting in camp and sleeping.

I am not 100% sure this is relevant because I don't know for sure what you guys are talking about...

But remember; thread drift benefits the overmind! All hail the BPL overmind!

Edited by mdilthey on 12/01/2013 15:56:45 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Mukluks? on 12/01/2013 17:44:42 MST Print View

"I am not 100% sure this is relevant because I don't know for sure what you guys are talking about..."

That's why you should read the first post...

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Steger Mukluks on 12/01/2013 18:27:35 MST Print View

Crap. Lost my post at 38,000 feet. I'll retype. But, if you have mukluks, you want this, too:

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Steger Mukluks on 12/01/2013 18:34:05 MST Print View

I have these: $180. I've had them for 14 years now and use them often throughout Alaska.

Good points: warm to -20F easy, -30, -40F with exercise. Comfy. Felt inserts remove for drying (or see last post), inserts are sturdy enough for snowshoe straps, uppers are breathable, they make great camp shoes, soles grip well if you do not need lugs.

Cautions: near freezing, the uppers can get soaked. If used only as camp shoes, there are much lighter and cheaper options.

Edit to add: they take a awhile to don and remove, so I use other snow boots for errands round town.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 12/01/2013 18:36:37 MST.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Re: Re: Mukluks? on 12/01/2013 18:46:48 MST Print View

>"That's why you should read the first post..."

Oh, gee, thanks. I must have just posted mukluks in a random thread and then asked for directions ;)

What I mean is, googling Steger Mukluks produces hundreds of different designs. This thread alone has custom ones from a few decades ago. What determines if it's a Steger Mukluk or not? What exactly is the purpose of these over a traditional boot? What's the UL significance? What the heck are we talking about?

Or is this too off-topic to be bothered with by the enlightened? ;D

wiiawiwb wiiawiwb
(wiiawiwb) - F
Agree on 12/02/2013 08:43:10 MST Print View

I'm with Max on this one. I'd love to find a reason to buy a pair of Steger mukluks to use hiking/snowshoeing. I've watched every Youtube video and read every comment I can find. Most people rave about how warm they are and how quiet you walk in them.

Maybe it is purely sentimental. Maybe it is wanting to return to a more natural approach choosing to shun the stiff boot approach of today.

They won't take crampons but I would never consider them for mountaineering. They probably would take microspikes easily though.

The circa 1979 mukluks above look fantastic.

I'd love to hear more from those who have successfully use them in the backcountry.

Edited by wiiawiwb on 12/02/2013 08:45:00 MST.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
More Alaskan thoughts on 12/02/2013 11:19:18 MST Print View

Doug PM'ed me with a follow-up Q. I PM'ed back, but wanted to add it to the thread in case others are following the discussion.

The Queticos (that Doug is considering) are not as warm as the Arctic model I use. And, if anything, my feet run warm. So the Quetico, for cold feet in the teens and 20's sounds good. There's a lot of leather on those Queticos (hence the higher price?) which looks great (good footwear for a RenFair or SCA event). They suggest, and we did, the spray waterproofing (some variant of ScotchGuard) and while the water does bead up for a long time on the leather, it eventually gets wet. The Tyvek overshoes would avoid that (and add some warmth). Honestly, although I've worn them a lot in some pretty extreme conditions (to -40) and for some long and active days, I haven't done a week of snow camping in them. So I can't speak to moisture build-up over time without using a boot dryer or getting them into a heated house or cabin with its very low humidity. But any boot other than a "mickey-mouse" double vapor barrier arctic boot will struggle with that.

It takes a little getting used to the softer feel of the boots, but I've come to find it an advantage. No break-in period (except letting the insole pack down before trimming anything), and compared to my other -20 to -40 boots, these feel like bunny slippers - big, tall, very warm bunny slippers - but soft and flexible in that way.

A thought on snowshoeing in them: probably better to have wider straps or a newer style heel cup with the wide ski-style buckle around the ankles to spread the load. Shoelace-thickness straps would bite into the mukluks more than most winter boots.

I've got my great-uncle's gold watch and neck ties from the 1930's. A 55-year-old friend is still wearing his father's belt. My Stegers could be one item of clothing I pass down through the generations.


In response to wiiawiwb: What the Stegers do, they do well. But they aren't as versatile as a more rigid boot if you might use crampons, need to kick steps into a snow slope, or need the bite of a hard, lug sole on an wind-blown, sloped icy crust. If you only have one pair of boots for extreme cold and/or if you are on a budget, I'd look on Sierra Trading Post for Kamik, Khombu, Columbia or the classic Sorel models for $90-$150 (after discount).

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: More Alaskan thoughts on 12/02/2013 11:45:16 MST Print View

"The Tyvek overshoes would avoid that (and add some warmth)."

David mentions this because I told him I was considering getting some to help keep the mukluks drier. The idea isn't mine, of course, Will Reitveld mentions it in one of his classic cold weather footwear articles.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Re: Re: Mukluks? on 12/02/2013 13:10:33 MST Print View

Max asked: What determines if it's a Steger Mukluk or not?

Mukluks are a type of footwear. Steger is a brand of mukluks from a company started and AFAIK still run by Patti Steger, former spouse of polar adventurer Will Steger. Steger has worn them to both poles and last I heard still uses them.

I've resisted strong temptation to get some and am still hanging on to the trail runner system described in the Willi Wabbit articled Doug mentioned. That might change.

VB doesn't seem to be for everyone but I would used VB socks with them as I do with trail runners.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
steger on 12/03/2013 02:33:32 MST Print View

Those steger mukluks look interesting. I'd never heard of the brand until you mentioned them in the thread. When I lived in Canada for a couple years, outdoors for much of the time, I simply couldn't get a pair of winter boots like Sorels that would keep my feet from freezing. Finally I tried a cheap pair of USAF mukluks (like these):

And no more cold feet. I added aftermarket liners to them, but I found that the looser and less constricting fit of mukluks kept my feet way warmer. They worked like a champ, and I never had issues of them wetting out. Even when they did get a little soaked, the liners I had were primarily wool, and my feet never got cold.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: steger on 12/03/2013 07:45:10 MST Print View

Ordered a pair of the Steger Quantico Tall mukluks. Plan to use them on a snowshoeing trip in Michigan in early March. Will give some feedback if I remember to.

wiiawiwb wiiawiwb
(wiiawiwb) - F
David and others on 12/03/2013 17:04:37 MST Print View

How are mukluks on hard ground that has little snow? It's not unheard of to have frozen ground with little snow in the lower Adirondacks. I'm curious how they would be walking on the crusty snow and ice with temperatures 0-20F.

My hikes would be on flat terrain through pine forests for 6-10 miles per day.

Would they accommodate microspikes?

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: David and others on 12/03/2013 18:08:12 MST Print View

I walk in them on flat, frozen ground (and parking lots, frozen lakes, etc) a lot. Crusty snow is fine, too, as long as it is shallow-angled or you break through. What they aren't as good at as more rigid-soled winter boots is if you need to kick steps or work an edge of the sole into a steepy-sloped, icy surface.

I don't have microspikes. We use what we call "ice creepers" that slip over most any boots. From web images of Kahtoola microspikes, they'd work fine, but maybe go up one size, as these boots are well-insulated and therefore large on the outside.

Gerard Nervig
(acanthus) - M

Locale: The center of it all
Steger Mukluks on 12/03/2013 20:55:21 MST Print View

I have a pair of Steger Mukluks that I bought back in the 70's. I think it was the first year she was making them. They are great and still holding up although I don't wear them as much any more now that I live in a more moderate climate.
When living in northern Minnesota they were my go to boots in the winter and have many many miles of snowshoeing on them. At temps of sub minus 40's I never had cold feet. They are like mittens for your feet. Mine are made of moose hide with canvas uppers. Wouldn't trade them for any kind of "new" cold weather boots. Very comfortable.
Only down side that I have ever noticed is that they don't do well at above freezing temperature where they can get wet. I never liked to put a waterproofing stuff on them for fear of loosing their breathability.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
RE: Mukluks on 12/04/2013 14:19:25 MST Print View

Mukluks are supposed to be very warm, best suited to dry very cold temperatures. In wet snow and warm temps they soak through because they are not waterproof.

For overnight use, you should carry an extra liner. Carry rubber boots or NEOS if there is any possibility of warm temps, wet snow, or slush (lakes might have slush in extremely cold temps). I've been using NEOS overshoes for snowshoeing/winter walking with a felt liner inside, waterproof but not at all breathable. I'm really tempted by the Steger Mukluks.

For more than you want to know about mukluks and hot tent camping at -40F, read the forums and articles at