Eight of the best 4-season crampon-compatible winter boots reviewed

A stiff 4-season boot makes every step more secure when walking or climbing mountains covered in snow and ice. Here's our pick of 8 excellent option to choose from

best 4-season crampon compatible boots reviewed

by LFTO |

Zamberlan 1000 Baltoro GTX

Zamberlan 1000 BALTORO GTX
©Zamberlan

Zamberlan 1000 Baltoro GTX

Zamberlan 1000 Baltoro GTX
Amazon

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This may be a slightly lower priced boot, but it still provides a performance that is good for most hillwalkers. It is built around a Perwanger leather upper with minimal stitching, with a synthetic fibre tongue and a Gore-Tex waterproof lining. This is all well stiffened to provide good support for the foot. There is a rubber rand at the toe and heel but you donu2019t get a full rand to enclose the boot, so this may not be the most durable option for harder users. The ankle cuff is supportive, but not quite as comfortable as others when walking. Underfoot the sole provides good stiffness for winter use and scrambles, and the lugs are well spaced to provide grip without clogging, but are perhaps slightly shallower than would be ideal.

Men’s 38-48

Women’s n/a

Crampon compatibility B2

Weight 1842g (size 46)

  • Verdict: For the price these are excellent, and for most hillwalkers provide ample features for their needs, but a few missing features mean they’re not quite perfect.

Sole 4/5

Upper 5/5

Fit & comfort 4/5

Performance 4/5

Value 4/5

Asolo Elbrus GV

Asolo Elbrus GV

Asolo Elbrus GV

Asolo Elbrus GV
Amazon

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The well proven Elbrus has an upper made from suede leather with synthetic fibres around the tongue, soft shell fabrics in the ankle cuff, and a Gore-Tex waterproof lining inside. The outsole is a Vibram unit with very good sole lugs that are deep and widely spaced. You also get a smooth climbing zone under the toe for more secure foot placement on smaller holds. On the foot this boot feels good, with a slightly more narrow toe, which is great for scrambling and climbing steeper slopes. The ankle cuff flexes forward comfortably to allow easier walking. This boot holds the foot higher from the ground than some, which makes it feel slightly less precise and less stable on uneven ground or small footholds.

Men’s 7-12.5

Women’s 4.5-8

Crampon compatibility B2

Weight 1812g (size 11)

  • Verdict: Great boot at this price, with a slightly neater toe fit, but its elevated stance reduces feel and stability when precise foot placement is required on scrambles.

Sole 4/5

Upper 5/5

Fit & comfort 5/5

Performance 4/5

Value 4/5

Overall score 84%

Mammut Magic High GTX

Mammut Magic High

Mammut’s Magic High GTX is a well proven boot that has been upgraded this year with stretch fabric around the tongue for more comfort when walking. The remainder of the upper is made from synthetic microfibre and leather with a Gore-Tex waterproof lining. This complexity of materials and stitching may not be as durable as a heavier one-piece leather upper, but a full rubber rand adds protection. The Vibram Maton outsole has deep, well spaced lugs and a smooth climbing zone under the toe. On the foot this boot has a spacious forefoot, with enough precision to allow easy climbing on smaller footholds. The toe flex is a little softer than some others though, which is great for walking but not so ideal on snow slopes.

Men’s 6.5-12

Women’s 4.5-8.5

Crampon compatibility B2

Weight 1804g (size 46)

Verdict: A good compromise of walking comfort and stiffness, but its flexibility and construction mean that durability may be an issue over multiple winters.****

Sole 5/5

Upper 4/5

Fit & comfort 5/5

Performance 4/5

Value 4/5

Overall score 92%

AKU Tengu GTX

Aku Tengu GTX
©AKU

The price, weight and design all set these boots apart from others. The upper is made from a mix of nylon and suede, with some stretch in the tongue for more comfort. Inside you get a Gore-Tex waterproof lining, while the outside is enclosed in a full rubber rand. Underfoot there is good Vibram sole unit with deep, widely spaced lugs. The sole stiffness is ideal for walking on snow, but also rolls very smoothly when walking below the snowline. Scrambling is ok with this boot, but it doesn’t provide the most precise feel on smaller holds. A slight drawback is that ankle cuff is not quite the most comfortable, and that synthetic upper may not be the most durable option either. Pity there is no women’s specific option too.

Men’s 4.5-12

Women’s n/a

Crampon compatibility B2

Weight 1794g (size 11)

Verdict: There’s no female-specific fit for this boot and they’re not the most comfy, but offer a nice rolling action for walking and good stiffness in the snow.

Sole 5/5

Upper 4/5

Fit & comfort 4/5

Performance 4/5

Value 4/5

Overall score 88%

Hanwag Ferrata II GTX

Hanwag Ferrata II GTX

The Ferrata II is 10% lighter than previous designs and also lighter than many other 4-season boots. It features Hanwag’s TubeTec outsole with widely spaced, deep lugs that are ideal for snow use. The upper is made from synthetic microfibre to keep the weight down, with more flexible materials on the tongue for comfort. Compared with many synthetic boots there is very little stitching, to increase durability, and in addition there is a full rubber rand. A Gore-Tex waterproof lining keeps the feet dry. On the foot these feel narrow and precise at the toe, which is great for scrambling and negotiating snow slopes. On more level ground the walking action is not quite as comfortable around the toes as those with more spacious toe boxes.

Men’s 6-13

Women’s 3.5-9

Crampon compatibility B2

Weight 1752g (size 11)

Verdict: A synthetic boot that keeps the weight down, the Ferrata II is great for scrambling precision and superb in the snow, but is not the most comfy on the flat.****

Sole 5/5

Upper 5/5

Fit & comfort 4/5

Performance 5/5

Value 3/5

Overall score 84%

La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX

La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX

La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX

La Sportiva Trango Tower GTX

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This boot is noticeably lighter than other 4-season options. It is built around the La Sportiva Cube sole unit, which has deep, widely spaced lugs and a climbing zone under the toe for more precise footwork when scrambling or climbing on smaller holds. The upper comprises of a Gore-Tex waterproof lining with nylon and honeycomb synthetic materials, as well as a full rubber rand. On the foot it feels very close fitting, neat and precise, with the toe in particular providing a better climbing performance. When walking the ankle cuff and sole do not flex and roll quite as smoothly as others, and the forefoot does not provide the space of some others, so what performance you gain on the slopes you lose on the flat.

Men’s 41-48

Women’s 36-43

Crampon compatibility B2

Weight 1730g (size 46)

Verdict: A lightweight winter boot with a clear mountaineering bias that is ideal on rock and snow slopes, but less suited to walking on easier slopes.

Sole 5/5

Upper 5/5

Fit & comfort 4/5

Performance 5/5

Value 3/5

Overall score 88%

Meindl Jorasse GTX

Meindl Jorasse GTX

The Jorasse GTX is a lighter weight 4-season boot. It has a slightly higher ankle cuff for more support which includes a useful elasticated gaiter to keep out debris. This ankle cuff also flexes forward easily, so you get a nice walking action. A double tongue allows a neater fit, increased breathability, and more comfort. The upper is made from leather with synthetic materials around the tongue, Gore-Tex waterproof lining inside and a rubber rand for durability. The Vibram outsole has good, well spaced deep lugs with a slight curvature to allow easier walking. This is a more spacious boot than some others, but does feel slightly less precise in the toe area when scrambling over rocks on smaller footholds.

Men’s 6-12

Women’s 3.5-8

Crampon compatibility B2

Weight 1792g (size 46)

Verdict: An excellent lighter weight winter walking boot, but one that begins to struggle, all be it only slightly, when more precise footing is needed.

Sole 5/5

Upper 5/5

Fit & comfort 5/5

Performance 4/5

Value 3/5

Overall score 88%

Scarpa Mantra Pro GTX

Scarpa Mantra Pro GTX

Scarpa Mantra Pro GTX

Scarpa Mantra Pro GTX

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This iconic boot is built around a leather upper with synthetic overlays and a Gore-Tex waterproof lining. The upper is nice and stiff to support the foot, but it also has the benefit that the ankle cuff flexes forward with the foot to allow a more natural walking action. The outsole is a Vibram unit with deep, well spaced lugs and a good heel breast. When walking the sole rolls nicely with the foot for a 4-season boot. The forefoot and toe area are also a little more spacious than some others, which is ideal for those heading to the hills in winter to primarily walk, but it also manages to provide enough precision to allow easy, secure footing on scrambles and snow slopes.

Men’s 40-50

Women’s 36-42

Crampon compatibility B2

Weight 2076g (size 46)

Verdict: The Scarpa Manta Pro is a winter favourite that defines the standard for British hill and mountain walkers wanting a robust and reliable 4-season boot.

Sole 5/5

Upper 5/5

Fit & comfort 5/5

Performance 5/5

Value 3/5

Overall score 92%

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