After searching high and low at my local outdoor retail shops for a pair of women’s mountaineering boots, I ended up buying a pair online. Apparently Southern California retailers don’t think that women like to hike in cold, snowy conditions, or snowshoe. Since I love doing both, I did a bunch of research and ended up getting these La Sportiva Womens Glacier Evo Boots.
When I bought these mountaineering boots, I didn’t have my own mountaineering boots shopping tips, but I did have an idea of what I was looking for. When they arrived in the mail I wore them around (inside) for several days, practicing walking up and down stairs to make sure my heel didn’t sleep and my toes didn’t slide forward on the downhill.
Luckily for me, they fit great, and they satisfied all the criteria I was looking for in a mountaineering boot: stiff shank, crampon compatible, constructed of very durable materials, relatively light-weight, insulated but not bulky, made from a women’s specific last (so the heel is narrow and my feet don’t swim around inside the shoe), and most importantly fit very well.
I’ve used them many times, mainly for snowshoeing, but also for some winter hiking in a mix of rock and snow. They keep my feet very warm, but more importantly they provide tremendous support with their rigid shank, and are extremely lightweight (for a mountaineering boot!). Plus, the fit is somewhat adjustable because the tongue can be removed and placed lower in the boot for people with lower volume feet, or higher up for people with higher volume feet.
To ensure that absolutely no moisture gets anywhere near my feet, I put Tectron Sno-Seal on these boots a day or two in advance of every snowshoe trip and winter hiking expedition. Water just beads up on the outside of my boots, so it doesn’t even have a chance of getting close to the Gore-Tex liner inside the boot!
Note: These boots are a few years old, so they’re hard to find in stores. A good alternative (but more expensive) are the La Sportiva Trangos.