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12/20/2013 8:27 AM
 

 I have a pair of Forty Below Light Energy Shorty Overboots and while I haven't used them much they work really well.

http://40below.com/products_detail.php?ProductID=6

I field tested a prototype version when Joel was developing the Light Energy and then purchased a prodution version.

 

Good products for sure.

 
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12/20/2013 2:08 PM
 

That looks interesting Ed.  With trail runners or a minimal boot like the Mini-Mil, combined with either Goretex, Sealskin, or VB socks, with the 40 Below insulation should be all anyone needs in the Lower 48 in most cases.

 
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10/15/2015 4:30 PM
 
Rather than start a new thread,

I am looking for a cold weather/snow for family outings/hiking. I like the original idea of the NEOS and High Loft "mukluk", but I was wondering if now, two years later there is a better option.

I also keep coming back to the 13", Kenetrek/Schnees style leather upper/rubber lower boots as well, but I don't know if they are too heavy.
 
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10/15/2015 7:44 PM
 
The Conovers book "winter trekking" recommends a pair of Tingley rubber overboots size to fit over you pac liners. These are very light weight and can be used as camp shoes and wet snow boots with your extra liners. I made an insole and heel filler out of sleeping pad material. I think they would wear through pretty fast if you tried to go to far but for planned travel in slush I like to have bog boots and heat packs as a second boot system.
 
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10/18/2015 12:06 PM
 
I was thinking about this the other day. I have really been thinking of trying a pair of the old USAF or Canadian mukluks. They are both sort of a canvas/leather shell and liner scenario. The Canadian variant looks to be a bit better, as it seems to make use of laces as opposed to a metal zipper. Both can be had for under 50 bucks on ebay/internet.

The NEOS work great, but you've got to keep on top of moisture management. If someone made a version in lightweight eVent or gore-tex (HPG?!), it might make the perfect solution for damp conditions.


Last year at the winter rondy, I used my NEOS/Wild Things booties for a couple days straight. I always had warm feet, however the booties got fairly damp. Not a huge deal, since we were running a wood stove, but nevertheless it could be an issue.

I really like the ability to don the NEOS over my booties straight out of the sleeping bag, and walk around with knee-high protection. In this role, you can post-hold a bit and not worry about getting snow down your booties. I enjoyed this advantage when getting up in the middle of the night to find a tree etc. The NEOS are large enough that they fit over my patagonia puffy pants as well. I was also able to put my snowshoes on them and walk around fairly comfortably thanks to the rubber sole. I also have closed-cell foam soles in them for added insulation- mandatory in my opinion.

If I had it to do over again, I'd think about going a size larger (I wear 10.5 shoes), as I found that they were a bit to small to fit larger footwear.
 
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10/18/2015 6:39 PM
 

I'm new to the whole "winter" thing but I plan to continue the experimentation I started last year. I tried the mukluk thing for the first time with a pair of home-made ones made out of 420d pack cloth and hypalon. I used cheapy felt liners (mostly polypro I think, very little wool if any) and some decent felt insoles. Temps where too high for a non-waterproof fabric, snow tended to stick and eventually melt in. the packcloth dried reasonable quickly but I had to spend more time drying them out then I would like. They where definitely warm and comfy but they did have a disadvantage with snowshoes; hard to get the straps tight enough without pinching your foot through the soft upper. Felt liners made decent tent shoes and where sure nice to wear in my sleeping bag. I didn't get around to putting soles on them so they where very slick and needed some more ground protection. As superbadger mentioned it is really nice to have tall, loose footwear you can just shove your feet into.

Next pair will probably have goretex or eVent shells, vibram outsoles, and higher quality liners (can't for the life of me find a good source for industrial felt to make my own). Might try adding a sole to the felt liners too, just a layer of hypalon or cordura for slipper use. For curiosity's sake I'll probably try a lofted liner (Wiggy's sells scraps) and some thick pile liners (i've got some 20+oz polartec that feels like faux sheepskin). For less extreme uses I've started tinkering around with overshoes (styled after OR Huron Gaiters) out of non-breathable fabric, worn outside of a shoe I'm curious to see what moisture build up will be like. I'm also refining my WPB sock pattern, so it will be a busy winter.

 
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10/18/2015 8:33 PM
 
Fowler wrote:

I'm new to the whole "winter" thing but I plan to continue the experimentation I started last year. I tried the mukluk thing for the first time with a pair of home-made ones made out of 420d pack cloth and hypalon. I used cheapy felt liners (mostly polypro I think, very little wool if any) and some decent felt insoles. Temps where too high for a non-waterproof fabric, snow tended to stick and eventually melt in. the packcloth dried reasonable quickly but I had to spend more time drying them out then I would like. They where definitely warm and comfy but they did have a disadvantage with snowshoes; hard to get the straps tight enough without pinching your foot through the soft upper.

 When I was in the infantry in AK, it was a UCMJ offense to wear USAF mukluks on an FTX for that very reason.  You'll get frostbite where the snowshoe binding scross over your feet.  In sub-zero cold, their are military (BATA) vapor barrier boots and then there is everything else, and everything else pales in comparison.  Yes, your feet will sweat, but they won't freeze, I promise.

 McKinley is the coldest mountain on earth.  There is a reason that SMC still makes a crampon to fit the GI bunny boot.

 
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10/21/2015 2:29 PM
 
 
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10/23/2015 7:34 PM
 

I searched on the internet and found these eskimo boots. I guess you guys were talking about this type extreme winter footwear. Here I have several questions:

1. Are they heavy?  Do you feel tired to wear them?

2. Are they waterproof and durable?

3. Are they made from real animal fur or manmade fur?

 Thank you for your answer.

 

 

 
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10/26/2015 9:31 PM
 

Here are a few of my thoughts on extreme cold weather boots. Yes, the standard issue mukluks are great for warmth if you don't need any ankle support. Flexible to wear with some models of camp booties. For moving with skis (I'm a telemark guy) I still own some leather Scarpa double tele boots, comfortable and in the past would  wear a full gaiter (meaning insulated covering the entire boot to the sole of the boot). You can pull your liners out and wear them inside your camp booties to maintain warmth and get the boots off around camp. Also own Scarp Terminator tele boots that are plastic. Excellent boots. Have used three models of Koflach plastic mountaineering boots on Denali Expeditions and general climbing and randonee sking with Silveretta 404 bindings Good boots in all temps and vary with type of liners, but extreme cold such as at altitude i.e. low oxygen and Denali cold (have seen my zipper thermometer showing nothing but a red ball, no line of red) there are tricks to making them ideal. Favorite boot for mountaineering is the One Sport (now made by LaSportiva) in a word, OH MY MY!! Warm, never wore more than a thin liner sock in the aveolite liners, no matter how cold on Denali. They are leather boots so they are much more comfortable than plastic! They also work on randonee bindings such as Silveretta 404's, but it's like downhill skiing with 60 lbs on your back, pulling a sled (brake on) in Chuck Taylor high tops! But thank God they were issued!!!!! The price takes my breath away! Thank you Uncle Sam!!!


As for some other boots i.e. The infamous bunny boot. Great boot and has it's use. No ankle support but do take tips or skill. They can adapt also. Vern Tejas, first man to solo Denali in the winter, and robust guide for Denali and Everest loved his bunny boots. He had Vibram soles put on his, kinda his trademark ,also to include yodeling. He would warm his bunny boots in the mornings on Denali by pouring boiling water into them, let them steep and then poor it out, llittle evaporation and put them on.

Now, my favorite all time boot for extreme cold if you don't need a climbing boot, boot for crampons or skiing is the LaCrosse Ice Kings. These are the ticket, sitting in the back of a Black Hawk in the winters in Alaska for hours, winter camp sites, working in the medical camp on Denali at 14K (we would fly them on with medical/camp gear)., freefalls from 13K feet with ambient temps below 0F. NOTHING has touched these boots for ease of use, care and warmth. Period! They are rated as good to -70F. http://www.lacrossefootwear.com/men/outdoor/winter/ice-king-400g-pac-boots.html


My final suggestion- NO matter what, if you are going out in the cold and will sleep in the cold. DO NOT leave home without foot powder. The only nights I was cold foot wise in Alaska  (18 years) and on Denali were the nights I didn't powder my feet before bed. That is to include being in a -40F bag with a 2 liter bottle of boiling water near my body and one at the foot of my XL bag-I'm 6'2". Dry socks and powder can make the most incredible difference.

 
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10/27/2015 7:28 AM
 

dmaples....great info!  Some other decent options for cold weather footwear that we used with good results on the Mountain ODA I was on include Kamik pack boots (like Sorels), which were great for slogging around a patrol basecamp....we would ski in our Lowa Denali boots (with the Red Hot liners) and carry our Kamiks in our team akios (pulk).  Some guys on our team used the VB boots or VB socks...but be careful to always change socks and dry/powder your feet!  Had a young weapons guy and a brand new ODA TL that screwed up and slept in their VBs after moving in them all day and generating sweat.  As the team medic at the time....guess who was swearing up a storm with two pair of frozen feet on his bare chest and stomach?  Yep...yours truly!

Recently, I've also had good luck with the Neos Overboots (overtop of Primaloft camp booties or pack boot liners).  I have Superbadger to thank for that idea.  They are lighter weight and more packable than other options, and are also compatible with crampon and snowshoe bindings.

I've also been running Intuition liners in my Koflach plastic mountaineering boots, and also in my Garmont Telemark boots.  I believe Scot bought a pair of Intuitions, as well.  They are really good.  You can thermo-mold them to your feet for a perfect fit, and they are very warm in sub-zero temps.

One other trick my old team and I have used with good results while alpine climbing and during winter warfare exercises is cayenne pepper in your socks.  Believe it or not, the pepper works into the thin tissues of your feet and stimulates superficial capillary blood flow....it really works!  The important part with using this trick is to ensure that you don't get any of the pepper on your fingers and you must also immediately wash off, powder your feet, and put on new dry socks after going back into a warm environment.  Otherwise, your feet will feel "too hot" and tingly (not in a comfy way) because the cayenne pepper will begin stinging.  If you are prone to cold feet and it's very cold (single digits to sub zero) and you have to wear boots that allow good agility for your activities (like ice climbing or skiing), this technique could work.  We used this technique in temps down to -35F.  I used it again just a few winters ago at the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest during a single digits ice climb of Pinnacle Gully.  I wore Scarpa Phantom boots that, while insulated, just weren't quite warm enough for all day in the wet-cold winter New Hampshire temps.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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10/27/2015 8:13 AM
 
alpendrms wrote:

  Some guys on our team used the VB boots or VB socks...but be careful to always change socks and dry/powder your feet!  Had a young weapons guy and a brand new ODA TL that screwed up and slept in their VBs

I hope your Team SGT sent both of those stupid SOB's out for security on the next commo shot.

 
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10/27/2015 8:56 AM
 
Take-a-knee wrote:
alpendrms wrote:

  Some guys on our team used the VB boots or VB socks...but be careful to always change socks and dry/powder your feet!  Had a young weapons guy and a brand new ODA TL that screwed up and slept in their VBs

I hope your Team SGT sent both of those stupid SOB's out for security on the next commo shot.

Haha!  Yep...the Team Daddy was not too happy with either of them....nor was I.  I ended up chilling my body down pretty bad from re-warming their feet.  Shivered for a couple hours after that.  Plus...the new TL also neglected to put his baskets on his ski poles and would punch them down a couple feet with every pole plant...bone-headed move.  Luckily me and another guy had spare baskets in our repair kits and hooked him up.  Sometimes lessons are learned best when there is some pain and discomfort involved!

 


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10/27/2015 9:56 AM
 
outstanding information guys, thanks.

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10/27/2015 9:56 AM
 
Yes, cayenne pepper works. We used baby aspirin for increased blood flow. Doesn't dilate but impedes platelet clumping for circulation. Can also use NSAIDs. I don't want to make cayenne sock soup!! :) Lot's of good gear out there and there are always tips and techniques to improve a already good piece of equipment. Just tools for the tool box. The arctic was my primary AO and the rest of the world was secondary. I love cold, I can always add a layer and usually get water. Hot you can only strip so far without offending not always easy to find water! Fortunately as a PJ we always had great gear and then made it better. Ice climbing is always a good test of your foot gear. Usually in a shaded cold sump on belay for a period of time. For some ungodly reason we almost always scheduled trips in Jan and Feb for ice climbing on glaciers. You and go anytime because the ice will be there, why not summer! Water falls you climb when it's frozen!

 

The beauty of this thread is a world of experience and sharing of the many ways there are to achieve the same goal. All valid and may be the exact way or in combo to achieve the goal of warm feet for someone one day.  

 
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12/7/2016 7:52 AM
 

If anyone has been thinking about getting a pair of NEOS for the coming winter, they are having a sale on pretty much all of their models.

https://www.overshoesneos.com/


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12/12/2016 7:33 PM
 

Trying a product I haven't seen any real reviews of so I thought I'd post some info.

It is a New Balance brand overshoe, there used to be quite a few around for $60 but they seem to be drying up. I bought them thinking they might be a NEOS alternative but they are quite a bit different:



The bottom section is by feel a heavily coated and taped waterproof cordura with a pretty nice vibram outsole, but the uppers are Epic nylon (like the level 7 garments and the USMC Wild Things Booties) with a thin lining of primaloft (feels like 60g to me)


Basic cut it similar to a NEOS with a large shaft and a velcro flap that wraps around


and has a redundant calf strap and drawstring top


They are a bit on the hefty side, with the size large weighing around 26oz a shoe, or 52oz for the pair. If I remember the NEOS specs correctly some models are a good bit lighter. 

So far these work fine for dry snow but don't have anywhere near the versatility of NEOS and other then the waterproof bottom would suffer many of the same limitations as mukluks. Most folks are probably better off with NEOS or just a tall gaiter.

Sizing runs a hair big, I was worried about being at the upper end of the size Large (which says it only fits up to an 11) but my size 11 Alicos and size 12 la sportiva trailrunners fit very well. If someone wanted to use these with just a felt liner as a modern mukluk I'd almost consider sizing down if you are in the bottom half of the size range.

 
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12/30/2016 9:14 PM
 
I wonder how these perform:
http://www.vasque.com/USD/product/mens-footwear/winter-hiking/lost-40-jet-black-07838
 
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12/31/2016 5:50 AM
 
Those look nice.

I also like the look of these: http://hanwagoutdoor.com/collections/mens-winter/products/fjall-extreme-gtx
 
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