Updated on

The sounds of ice climbing: kick, kick, step…repeat. It’s all in the feet. When you put so much focus and trust in your feet, you need a solid pair of boots so you can perform well and be precise. So we here at The Adventure Junkies have made a list of the ten best ice climbing boots to make sure you are solid on your feet, and well, warm too!

From single boots to double boots and leather boots to plastic boots, there is something for everyone. Whether you are just getting into ice climbing or you are a seasoned veteran on the steep water ice; or you are climbing in the drier, warmer air out west or battling the more humid and colder climate of the east, we have a boot for you. So sharpen those tools and get ready for ice climbing season!

For more of our top ice climbing gear recommendations, check out the Best Ice Climbing Backpacks.

 

Climbing Gift Guide
Climber gift guide mobile

 

Quick Answer - The Best Ice Climbing Boots

  1. Scarpa Phantom Tech
  2. Asolo Eiger GV
  3. La Sportiva Spantik
  4. La Sportiva Olympus Mons Evo
  5. La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX
  6. Boreal Stetind
  7. Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX
  8. Arc’teryx Acrux AR
  9. La Sportiva Baruntse
  10. Scarpa Inverno

 

 

Comparison Table - Best Ice Climbing Boots

PictureNameBoot StyleClosurePriceRating
Scarpa Phantom TechSingleQuick Lace Inner and Zip-up Outer$$$4.8
Asolo Eiger GVSingleZipper and Laces$$$4.2
La Sportiva SpantikDoubleOne Speed Lace$$$4.8
La Sportiva Olympus Mons EvoDoubleZipper Gaiter$$$4.8
La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTXSingleLaces$$4.7
Boreal StetindDoubleLaces and Zipper$$$4.2
Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTXSingleLaces$4.1
Arc’teryx Acrux ARDoubleZipper$$$4.6
La Sportiva BaruntseDoubleLaces$$$4.2
Scarpa InvernoDoubleLaces$$4.1
PictureNameBoot StyleClosurePriceRating

 

 

Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Boots for Ice Climbing

Scarpa Phantom Tech

Specs
  • Closure: Quick Lace Inner and Zip-up Outer
  • Weight: 1 lb 15 oz
  • Sole: Vibram Zero Gravity
  • Waterproof Lining: Outdry Membrane
  • Boot Style: Single
Features
  • Built-In Gaiter To Keep Ice And Snow Out Of Your Boots
  • Single Speed Lace On Inner Liner Makes Tightening Your Boots Super Easy
  • Easy Zip And Snap Closure Simplifies The On/Off Process

BEST FOR: OVERALL PERFORMANCE

The Scarpa Phantom Tech is becoming one of the more dominating ice climbing boots out there, performing solidly on any ice conditions under 6,000 meters. The Phantom 6000 is a similar boot designed to go above 6,000 meters, but is geared more for mountaineering. 

While only a single boot, the Scarpa Phantom Tech has an external built-in gaiter that zips around the outer portion of the boot and is secured with a single snap, making it super easy to close with gloves on. And with a tight fit of the gaiter, no water or snow will ever get in. This feature allows this boot to resemble a double boot, but without all the extra weight. 

The quick, single speed lace on the inside is easy to work with and also ensures that you get a snug fit to prevent any slipping that will cause calf burn while you are climbing. Furthermore, the sole is rigid, not rockered, so these boots are comfortable to hike in during the approach, eliminating the need for another boot.

Asolo Eiger GV

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper and Laces
  • Weight: 1 lb 13.8 oz
  • Sole: Vibram 1225 Mulaz
  • Waterproof Lining: Gore-tex
  • Boot Style: Single
Features
  • Built-in Gaiter To Prevent Snow Or Ice From Getting Into Your Boots
  • Tongue Cover For Added Waterproof Protection
  • Padded Tongue For Comfort And Support

BEST FOR: ICE AND MIXED CLIMBING

Best known for hiking boots, Asolo has produced a solid ice climbing boot with the Eiger GV. Good ankle flexion and a rigid sole make this boot good for approaches and able to be used without crampons if you want to get some dry tooling in. Designed as a single boot, they are not bulky and work well for precise toe or front point placement in ice or mixed conditions.

Equipped with a built-in gaiter that closes with a simple zipper, your laces and feet will stay warm and dry. To further help you stay dry, the tongue cover of the boot is waterproof as well.  While not the warmest boot out there, if you are in mixed conditions or dry tooling, temperatures are mild enough for this boot to excel.

La Sportiva Spantik

Specs
  • Closure: One Speed Lace
  • Weight: 2 lb 7.8 oz
  • Sole: Vibram Montagna
  • Waterproof Lining: Water Repellent External Coating
  • Boot Style: Double
Features
  • Generous Foot Rocker That Fits Natural Arch Of Foot For Maximum Comfort
  • Single Speed Lace On Inner And Outer Boot For Easy On/Off
  • Velcro Tab On External Speed Lace For Attachment To Boot

BEST FOR: FRIGID ICE CLIMBING ADVENTURES

Who says a double boot has to be bulky? Not the La Sportiva Spantik. This double boot will keep your feet warm, but also allow you to be precise with your movements on any climb at the 6000-7000 meter range. While still not as light as a single boot, the added warmth makes this boot increasingly popular, especially among women. And with a single speed lace on both the inner liner and outer boot, you get a snug fit so no rubbing or slipping on steep terrain. 

The water repellent coating on the outside keeps the boot nice and dry, but is still not waterproof, so watch for puddles and water dams. But if you add a neoprene cover, these boots will happily take you to higher elevations, still toasty and dry.

La Sportiva Olympus Mons Evo

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper Gaiter
  • Weight: 3.11 lbs
  • Sole: Insulating Vibram PE
  • Waterproof Lining: Breathable Cordura/Kevlar Gaiter
  • Boot Style: Double
Features
  • Heavy Duty Velcro Closure Covering Gaiter Zipper To Protect Your Feet And Ankles From Moisture
  • Easy Speed Laces With Pull Tab And Velcro Patch Attachment For Easy On/Off
  • Removable Inner Boot Can Be Dried Separately And Warmed In Your Sleeping Bag At Night To Prevent Cold Feet In The Morning

BEST FOR: HIGH ALTITUDE ICE

If you want to be adventurous and explore some high altitude ice like some of the peaks out west, the La Sportiva Olympus Mons Evo is up for the challenge. A serious built-in gaiter keeps you warm and dry, but keeps a low profile so there is not a lot of bulk. And an easy zipper and Velcro closure that runs all the way to the toes makes this boot super easy to close. The inner boot can be removed and stuffed into a sleeping bag to keep it warm on the cold nights so no cold feet first thing in the morning.

The lacing on both the inner and outer boot are single speed laces that end in a tab attached to a velcro pad, so you don’t need to remove your gloves to get them on and secured. The elastic gaiter at the top of the boot is one size fits all, so if you are wearing a lot of layers or have a big calf, it may be a bit tight. 

La Sportiva Nepal Evo GTX

Specs
  • Closure: Laces
  • Weight: 4 lbs 19 oz
  • Sole: Vibram Rubber
  • Waterproof Lining: Gore-tex Duratherm Synthetic
  • Boot Style: Single
Features
  • Roller Lacing System, Locking D-rings, And Lace Loops For Effortless On/Off Even While Wearing Gloves
  • EZ Out Pull Loops Makes It Easier For You To Take The Boots Off
  • Stiffer Design For Better Edging

BEST FOR: LONG-TERM DURABILITY

The La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX has a well established place in the climbing community, proving itself time and time again. Very popular with guides, this boot is designed with burly leather and reinforced with Gore-tex waterproofing. Along with the standard double lace closure, these boots also includes rollers and locking D-rings that allow the laces to run smoothly, so you are not tugging or having to remove your gloves to adjust them. And when you do go to remove them, the EZ out pull loops easily release the lace locks, once again eliminating the struggle. 

While not the lightest single boot out there, this boot will definitely last you several seasons, which is something you’ll want when you spend all the money and time breaking them in. But this boot will always remain a bit stiff, which is great for edging on tiny features, especially in mixed conditions. And while it is warm, it may not be a top choice for the frigid days on the east coast mountains.

Boreal Stetind

Specs
  • Closure: Laces and Zipper
  • Weight: 3 lbs 8.2 oz
  • Sole: Vibram Teton
  • Waterproof Lining: Dry-line
  • Boot Style: Double
Features
  • Built-in Gaiter Prevents Snow And Water From Entering The Boots
  • Unique Pull And Cinch Laces Make These Boots Super Easy To Put On
  • Three Layers Of Proprietary Thinsulation Insulating Material Inside For Added Warmth

BEST FOR: TECHNICAL ICE

A lesser known brand, the Boreal Stetind is a boot that is not only lightweight, but excels on very technical ice. They are softer in the heels than most boots, so knowing how to stand and place your feet in these is crucial for performance. A unique system of speed laces with a pull tab that cinches down makes the inner boot snug and secure while the outer boot is also easily closed with a single zipper.

Warmth is something this boot ensures. Not only is there a built-in gaiter to keep the snow and water out, but the inner portion is also designed with three layers of Thinsulate insulation. And the boot is designed with a heel fit system, so you don’t have to worry about your heel slipping out on climbs or approaches.

Scarpa Mont Blanc Pro GTX

Specs
  • Closure: Laces
  • Weight: 2 lbs 1.5 oz
  • Sole: Total Traction
  • Waterproof Lining: Gore-tex
  • Boot Style: Single
Features
  • Integrated Gaiter That Snaps At Top Keeps Snow And Ice Out Of Your Boots
  • Extended Rand Wraps On Side Of Boot For Increased Durability
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex Coating Keeps The Boots Super Dry Even In Wet Conditions

BEST FOR: WARMER CLIMBING DAYS

A single leather boot with a simple lace-up design, the Scarpa Mont Black Pro is more about getting the job done rather than looking fancy. Reinforced with a waterproof Gore-Tex coating, you feet will still stay dry even if the ice and snow is a bit slushy and wet. And this feature is certainly appreciated at the end of the day when you are drying everything out. 

The boot is also designed with a gaiter that snaps at the top, giving you a sock-like fit to further ensure you stay warm and dry. The very basic design also means you can still hike in them, which is ideal for longer approaches. And all the bumps and bangs will not phase these boots, with the rubber rand extending to the sides of the boots to absorb the impact, keeping these boots durable so they’ll last you for years to come.

Arc’teryx Acrux AR

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Weight: 2 lbs 2 oz
  • Sole: Vibram AR
  • Waterproof Lining: Gore-tex
  • Boot Style: Double
Features
  • Sock-like Removable Interchangeable Inner Liner
  • Waterproof Gore-Tex Lining Keeps Your Feet Dry And Warm
  • Built-in Gaiter Prevents Water Or Ice From Entering Your Boots

BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT PERFORMANCE

Where would we be without Arc’teryx designing a stellar ice climbing boot? The Arcux AR is one of the lightest ice climbing boots you can find out there. And it is a double boot! Designed to keep you dry and going fast, the outer boot is reinforced with waterproof Gore-Tex. The inner boot fits just like a sock and can be removed for easy drying. Furthermore, the inner liners are interchangeable so you can replace them after each season.

Designed with a built-in gaiter, you feet will always be dry and the boot breathes really well, so no sweaty feet. The closures are simple too. The inner boot is a simple lace up system while the outer boot provides a tight zipper that is easy to do up with gloves. And a rigid design helps you edge on small features of steep climbs.

La Sportiva Baruntse

Specs
  • Closure: Laces
  • Weight: 5 lbs 3 oz
  • Sole: Vibram Montagna
  • Waterproof Lining: Cordura Nylon
  • Boot Style: Double
Features
  • Removable Liners for Faster Drying
  • Waterproof Tongue to Keep Water Out
  • Lightweight Double Boot

BEST FOR: MULTI-PITCH ICE CLIMBING

The Baruntse can be deceiving because it looks like a single boot, but is really a double boot. Resembling a solid hiking boot, it can easily be used for winter hiking, but may be a bit heavy. The liner is removable, so your foot gets a snug fit and stays warm. But even better, removing the liner at the end of the day helps it to dry it faster so you don’t have to stick your foot into a cold, damp boot the next day. 

A waterproof tongue helps keep the snow out of the boot and repels water, all the makings for happy feet! And this boot has become very popular among women who tend to get cold feet on those long days on the ice. If you’re prone to getting cold feet before or during your route, then definitely check these boots out!

Scarpa Inverno

Specs
  • Closure: Laces
  • Weight: 5 lbs 10 oz
  • Sole: Vibram Stabeler
  • Waterproof Lining: Thermoplastic Shell
  • Boot Style: Double
Features
  • Removable Liners So You Can Warm Them Up In Your Sleeping Bag Or Wash Them Separately
  • Plastic Outer Shell Is Durable And Inexpensive
  • Waterproof Plastic Shell Keeps Your Feet Dry On The Ice

BEST FOR: BEGINNERS

If this is your first season on ice, the Scarpa Inverno is a good choice. This boot is very affordable as far as ice boots are concerned, but still is a stellar performer. Made with a Thermoplastic shell that was the go-to for many years, it still works well on this boot, especially when it comes to staying warm. Because you don’t want your first experience of ice climbing to be a bad one with painfully cold feet!

The insulated liners further add warmth and can be removed for ease of drying at the end of the day. Having a plastic shell makes these boots stiffer, thus more durable, but you still need to ensure a tight lacing to prevent shin bang. And again, this is a solid starter boot, but will probably need to be replaced if you decide to get into ice climbing more seriously next season.

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING ICE CLIMBING BOOTS

COST

A well known fact is that a good ice climbing boot is not going to be cheap, but of course there is a reason for that. The more technical the boot and whether or not it is plastic or leather or a single or a double, all factor into the cost. So it is best to know your needs when buying a boot. But choosing the right ice climbing boot is everything when it comes to performing, and more importantly, protecting your feet from frostbite, so it is best not to be too frugal here. 

 

WEIGHT

A double boot is going to weigh more than a single boot, but the use of synthetic materials has helped cut weight in these types of boots. Plastic boots will tend to weigh a bit more, but still perform well and keep your feet warm and dry. If you have a long, steep approach to your climb, you may want to consider the weight of your boots to avoid a bulkier boot that will give you calf burn, but you also need to make sure there is enough there to keep your feet warm and dry. 

FIT

Having a boot that fits your foot is important for obvious reasons, but in the mountaineering world, there are other factors that need to be considered with fit. For one, you will probably need to go up a size from your normal street size because you will be wearing a bulkier sock (maybe more than one). You do not want to have your feet crammed into a boot because not only will it give you sores, but you also want some room to wiggle your toes to help with circulation and blood flow, especially if you are standing at a belay trying to stay warm. 

 

CLOSURE

While laces and zippers are popular in ice climbing boots, even more so are speed laces.  They enable you to get a boot on quickly, and more importantly, while wearing gloves. And many boots nowadays are designed with a single speed lace, which does not require tying at the end, but instead, wraps around a fixed feature on the side to keep it in place. Zippers are also a fast and easy choice, and are commonly seen on the outer portion of a boot with a built-in gaiter. 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

DOUBLE VS SINGLE BOOT

As the American Alpine Institute will tell you, there is not one boot for everything, so know your needs. A single boot is just as it is — one boot your foot goes into. A double boot is not necessarily two individual boots, but is a harder outer shell boot with a thicker, flexible inner boot that also has laces. Some single boots are designed with liners or external, built-in gaiters that can perform like a double boot, but they’re not as bulky and often times not as warm as a double boot, either. 

FOOT ROCKER

If a boot has rocker, it means the bottom of the shoe is more curved, allowing it to fit the natural arc of the foot, thus adding more support to your feet as it holds the foot in a more comfortable and proper position.

 

GAITER

An external cover that goes over the boot and calf to help with waterproofing a boot or keeping the elements out. There are built-in gaiters that are incorporated into the external portion of a boot that eliminate the need for an extra piece of gear.

READ MORE

For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

About The Author

Born in Maryland, Lindsay Rohrbaugh is an avid rock-alpine climber and mountaineer. An urban wildlife biologist by trade, she is also a travel writer and student of Integrative Medicine. When not in school or conducting field work on bats and turtles in Washington, DC, she is out climbing rocks and peaks or scaling high points across the globe. She’s hiked the Lares Trek in Peru and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and climbed various routes in Morocco, Peru, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. She has even tried her skills at deep water soloing! Her weekends are often spent with her husband in their newly self-built cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Related Posts

0 Shares
Tweet
Pin
Share
Email
Flip