I'm in the market for a pair of boots for fast springtime ascents of Mount Whitney and Shasta in summertime. I'm thinking Makalus or Glaciers from La Sportiva, but as I'm also planning a trip to Everest Base Cp next summer, I'd like something that's versatile. Justin Marina, California
There are other boots that will work well. One intriguing choice is Asolo's new Titan ($265, www.asolo.com), which replaces much of the leather with a high-tech polyamide fiber that's tough, durable, and naturally water-resistant. Also light—even though the Titans are built like miniature feet forts, they're actually a bit lighter than the Glaciers at just under two pounds per boot, versus more than two for the Glaciers (in a medium size nine). And they're full-on trekking boots that are crampon-compatible with excellent support and traction.
A third choice is Scarpa's Freney Pro ($325). Like the Titans, they're a leather/synthetic hybrid, a combination that peels ounces off the boot. They're leather-lined—a rarity these days but a feature that ensures better long-term fit—and built for use with crampons or for comfortable hiking with heavy loads. A great boot for Shasta or the trek to Everest Base Camp—and beyond.
As always, don't walk into a store determined to buy boot X or Y. Try on several makes, in several sizes, and let the fit be your guide.
More of the best hiking boots field-tested by the experts in Outside's 2004 Buyer's Guide .