However, the Scarpa Rios ($240) are boots that harken back to the days when boots were expected to handle the trail, tough out the ice, find purchase on rock, piggyback a pair of crampons, and fix breakfast. They're a beefy pair of all-leather boots, with a steel shank and Norwegian welt construction. I'd say they're close to ideal for Northwest mountaineering; perhaps short of winter climbs on Rainier, although with a pair of good overboots they'd probably work well for that, too. They truly are go-anywhere, do-anything boots.
The only disadvantage I can think of is that the Rios are an all-leather boot. Therefore, they will require a little more care and maintenance when on glacier-intensive climbs, when your feet will be stuck in the snow for several days. Good boot treatments will ensure the leather doesn't leak, while a change of socks in the pack and assiduous use of gaiters to keep snow out of the top will ensure greater comfort. Sure, on a freezing morning the boots might be a little stiff at first, but they'll quickly warm up. These boots will do fine with any strap-on crampon; they can't take "automatics," but so what?
Check out the Scarpa website for the Rios.
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