Yes, what you need is an all-around light mountaineering boot. The La Sportiva Makalu ($255, www.lasportiva.com) is a classic—an all-leather boot with hefty three-millimeter leather (most boots run between 2.4 to 2.6 millimeters) that's silicon impregnated for water-resistance; a steel shank for support; and a tough proprietary outsole with full rubber rand around the boot. The Glaciers ($225) are slightly lighter but otherwise have very similar specs. If these boots fit you well they'd be fine choices (but do allow for adequate break-in).
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
Lead Photo: courtesy, REI
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