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Buy Mountaineering Boots online at Sport Conrad

The mountaineering boot - now that's a smart shoe. With these boots you can go to the highest peaks, over the most inaccessible and difficult paths and on the toughest expeditions. With this footwear you are well prepared for everything that might await you on the mountain. Mountain boots are different from regular hiking and trekking boots and are also great for ice and snow. Sport Conrad gives you a few tips on how to find your perfect mountaineering boot before you buy.

What is the difference between mountaineering boots and hiking boots?

In principle, hiking or trekking boots and mountaineering boots are very similar to a certain extent. Both are used to go up the mountain, on hikes and tours. Both have a rough, good profile, both can be waterproof and breathable. And both support your feet when you're out and about. But a sturdy mountaineering boot is just that little bit more robust and provides perfect support.

For one thing, a mountain boot is more solid than a hiking boot. Both the outer material of mountain boots is usually stiffer, as well as the outer sole. The outer sole of the trekking boot can usually be easily bent with two hands, accordingly, the wearing comfort of hiking boots is correspondingly high. In mountain boots, the sole is much firmer and the stiffness often makes them a bit more uncomfortable, as the rolling movement of the foot is impeded. The advantage: they are more suitable for particularly difficult tours and expeditions with climbing and ice passages. In addition, the shaft of a mountain boot is usually higher than that of hiking boots. Since you will probably be less on comfortable hiking trails and more in rough terrain, this is important: The ankle is thus supported more and the foot is generally more stable in the shoe. On the other hand, the shoe naturally weighs more as a result. The weight can be 500 grams more than a conventional hiking and trekking shoe.

On a mountaineering boot, the stem is usually higher

What are the types of mountain boots?

Mountain boots are divided into different categories. Depending on the category, the shoes have certain characteristics and are suitable for certain areas of use and types of terrain in the mountains. A distinction is made according to the following categories:

• Category A, AB and B: Non crampon compatible shoes
• Category BC and C: Partly crampon compatible shoes

• Category D: Absolutely crampon compatible shoes

But which category do you need for which use?

Areas of use and characteristics of non-crampon compatible shoes

The category of non-crampon shoes includes all models of hiking and trekking boots onto which cannot be mounted crampons. They can still have a stiffer sole, so that you are sure-footed even on challenging hikes. Speed hiking shoes or approach shoes may also fall into this category. Non-crampon shoes cover activities ranging from long walks to hikes in low mountain ranges or in the foothills of the Alps, or even trekking tours.

Areas of use and characteristics of partly crampon compatible shoes

Partly crampon compatible shoes are stiffer than a standard hiking boot and have a higher shaft. Strap crampons can be strapped to these shoes, or crampons that have a toggle in the back and baskets in the front (semi-automatic crampons). Partly crampon compatible boots are your choice for mountaineering if you are not going extreme. They are compatible with most crampons and give you super grip. You could say these shoes are true all-rounders: you can use them for challenging trekking and hiking, for trudging through scree to glacier tours or tours where you have to climb from time to time.

Mountaineering Boots are usually waterproof

Areas of use and characteristics of absolutely crampon compatible shoes

Absolutely crampon compatible mountaineering boots are designed for absolutely demanding terrain. They are suitable for ice climbing, for high altitude tours with ice passages or for expeditions. To these shoes also fit automatic crampons, with rocker arm in the back and wire stirrup in the front. They then provide the necessary grip, for example, when ice climbing. However, this also means that these shoes are the stiffest and hardest among the mountain boots. That's why we advise you - only buy mountaineering boots in this category if you're planning really demanding high-altitude tours, otherwise you're accepting comfort sacrifices without need.

Upper material and sole of mountaineering boots

The upper material of the mountain boot is either leather or synthetic material. Leather has the advantage that it is very robust and easy to clean. It keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer. Synthetic material dries faster when you sweat. However, it does not cool as well as real leather. Mountaineering boots are at least water repellent, but mostly waterproof. It would be unfortunate if you get wet feet the first time you come into contact with snow. Mountain boots are often equipped with a Gore-Tex membrane, which means that they are not only waterproof, but also breathable. Just about all mountain boots have very special soles, because they ultimately need proper grip. It must be a sole to which no dirt sticks - a so-called self-cleaning sole - and which offers a non-slip tread rubber. Often it is the well-known Vibram soles: You can easily recognize this by the yellow, angular logo. These soles are durable and abrasion resistant.

Important details: fit and lacing

Sounds totally logical, but can't be said often enough: Your mountain boot has to fit really well. It mustn't be too tight - remember that your feet swell a bit on long tours and need more space. Also, if the shoe is too tight, it will cause pain. Too loose is not good either, of course, then you lack the support and you will get blisters. Once you find a good shoe, you can do a lot with the help of the lacing: You can adjust them at any time, depending on whether you're going uphill or downhill. What are the most important tips?

1. Most of the time you have to buy your mountain shoe one or even two sizes bigger than your street shoes. This is not only because of the swelling of your feet, but also because otherwise you will constantly bump into the front of the shoe when going downhill, which can lead to sore toes.

2. Before you lace up the shoe, the heel must be properly seated in the shoe. To do this, place the shoe on edge on the ground, perhaps tapping the heel on the ground again.

3. Make sure that the tongue fits well, is centered and does not press anywhere.

4. You can use the lacing to tighten the instep independently of the shaft - for example, it is quite comfortable to pull the instep tighter uphill and lace the shaft a little looser. Downhill, you can then tighten the upper as well.

5. When you have been walking with your mountain boot for a while, you will notice that the boot warms up and perhaps widens a little. The lacing, which was comfortable before, may feel different. Take your time and then lace up again.

And now? Let's go! When you have found your mountain boot, you are ready for great adventures. For your tour, of course, you still need a functional and suitable outdoor clothing, a backpack and maybe hiking poles. You can find all this in our online store!

Read more about mountain boots

Choosing the right hiking boot: All you need to know

Forget blisters with the right pait of hiking socks

Hike with the Right: Hiking and trekking essentials

Packing list for your next hut tour