If you get cold or wet feet during Canada’s cold months you’ll suffer more than you need to.
The technology that goes in to making ice-climbing-specific footwear is so advanced that updating your boots will go a long way.
Scarpa Phantom Tech: As one of the lightest and toughest ice climbing and mountaineering boots on the market, the Phantom Tech is quickly becoming one of the go-to for Canadians. They are made with the same material as Scarpa’s high-altitude boot, meaning your feet can stay warm in Himalayan-like cold temps.
The flexible gaiter has a spiraling zipper that eliminates points of stress and makes them more comfortable. They’re compatible with automatic and semi-automatic crampons and excel on all-ice lines. (MSRP $835)
La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX: Like all La Sportiva boots, these are great on ice but also perform well on rock without crampons. When you’re toes first into a steep ice pitch, there’s no pressure on the front of your foot. In cold and wet slush they keep your feet dry and warm.
They are stiffer than some leather boots which is great for long ice days. Much lighter than the La Sportiva Evo, which are many ice climbers first choice. All boots are an investment and with the Nepal Cube GTX you get what you paid for. (MSRP $789)
Arc’teryx Acrux: Now that the Acrux has been out for a few seasons, they have officially become one of the go-to winter boots for serious climbers. For fall scrambles they breathe great and are extremely comfortable.
For technical ice and alpine, they are rigid and give the support you need. The interchangeable liners is an added bonus. Be sure to take the liners out after every session to ensure they dry. (MSRP $879)
The North Face Verto Ice GTX: As the most affordable pairs of boots on this list, you get a top product from The North Face that is designed for ice and mixed in Canada. They’re durable, breathable and true to fit.
We found they took less time to break in than other boots on the market and are light enough that long approaches were not an issue. Made with high-altitude climbing in mind, which means lots of insulation for those cold belays. (MSRP $490)
Boreal Stetind: The Spanish-born footwear company named this pair of boots after the well-known peak in Norway. These are lightweight and technical ice and alpine boots wit a built-in gaiter. They feel and wear similar to the La Sportiva Batura 2.0 and the Arc’teryx Acrux.
They are easy to lace with gloves on once you figure out the system, the gaiter is relatively durable and there is a big range of motion for your ankles. They are softer around the heels than most winter boots, so knowing how to stay balanced on a climb comes in hand. Very roomy and great for climbers with wide feet. (MSRP $690)