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Thoughts on Vasque St Elias GTX boots for winter hiking?
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Author:  jeconiah [ Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:50 am ]
Post subject:  Thoughts on Vasque St Elias GTX boots for winter hiking?

Hello,

I'm trying to see if I can get away with one boot for all seasons, and I'm eyeing Vasque's St Elias GTX boots. Paired with thick Darn Tough socks and good gaiters, would these be adequate for the Whites? Or should I get an insulated boot, such as Vasque's Snowblimes or Snow Junkie?

If I could, I'd get a specific boot for each season, but like many of you, have to be a bit on the frugal end. Not sure if the St Elias is going to be too cold in the winter and too warm in the summer, although I know some of you do hike in the summer with some fairly burly boots (note: I don't bushwhack though).

Thanks for any thoughts!

Author:  madmattd [ Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on Vasque St Elias GTX boots for winter hiking?

I guess to an extent it depends on what kind of winter hiking you want to to. If you are sticking to the low elevations and only on the warmer days you likely could get away with it. But if you are going for 4Ks (or even 3Ks) in the heart of winter when summit temps are frequently in the single digits or lower (I did a hike of the Carter Range last winter where the temps on the ridge never topped -10F), you will want insulated boots. I've found that especially if I am doing any kind of trail-breaking (say more than 4" new snow) that my feet run a little bit colder likely owing to being stuffed under snow all day, even with the insulated boot.

Keep your eye out for sales, around this time last year I picked up a new pair of the boots I've always used in winter (Garmont Snow Momentum GTX - 400g insulation which is fairly typical for insulated leather boots) for $60 shipped, which is a pretty darn good price for a boot. With all the sales going on in the coming week you might find some good stuff.

Author:  bikehikeskifish [ Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on Vasque St Elias GTX boots for winter hiking?

Here's the thing -- when you are moving and generating heat you can get away with a 200g/-5 boot. When you stop, you will probably want a 400g/-25. If you got benighted, you will wish you had a 600g/-45. I have the 600g and am looking for new ones since the inside of these are worn and with snowshoes, they cause major irritation due to cracked or broken plastic inside the insulation.

Tim

Author:  Granite Guy [ Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on Vasque St Elias GTX boots for winter hiking?

Those little ventilation holes in the lower side look like they could let in a serious draft! :D

I hike in winter with uninsulated 3 season boots until temps get down to single digits or below (forecasted highs). As Tim said if you keep moving you can get away with that. If you take a lot of breaks or go overnight your boots and feet get cold fast and I wouldn't trust my toes to these.

Author:  jeconiah [ Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on Vasque St Elias GTX boots for winter hiking?

Thank you for the thoughts! I think what I'm struggling with is the amount of money involved without really knowing what's best for me... makes it hard to predict. Since I'm new to winter hiking, I'm not really planning on overnights. That said, I'd still like to tackle 4Ks, or at least work my way up there. Sounds like 200g, maybe 400g, insulation might be a decent target for me if I am fastidious about weather. I think I'm returning the Vasques regardless based on price/value.

Author:  Kevin Rooney [ Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Thoughts on Vasque St Elias GTX boots for winter hiking?

I know several who've had good luck with the Avalanche boot from Cabela's - here's a link -

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas- ... nche+boots

I order mine 1/2 size larger to allow for a sock liner (I use Smartwool liners in winters) and a thick sock. I hike, on average, about twice a week, and these boots last me about 3 years before they get a bit packed out (and lose insulating value) and the leather/Goretex outers wet thru in spring conditions. Great boots, great value.

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