What’s the best boot for a Himalayan trek?
Your Gearness, what boot do you think I would need for a four-month trek across the Indian Himalaya? I have a pair of Montrail Torre GTXs, but will these suffice? Tony Baltimore, Maryland
Depends on what you’re carrying. If it’s a supported trek, and you’re basically lugging a day pack, then the Torre GTX ($150) will be adequateBbarely, in my estimation. But, if you’re carrying quite a bit yourself, doing some off-trail hiking and scrambling, wearing crampons at any point, that sort of thing, then I’d really recommend something heavier. Not a full mountain boot, but a heavyweight backpacking boot at the very least. In Montrail’s line, the classic boot of this type has long been the Moraine ($235; www.montrail.com). It’s a hefty boot, but not so heavy as to really wear you out. And the money is all in the boot, not in a $25 Gore-Tex bootie as is the case with the Torre (Gore-Tex booties “work,” but it’s not clear to me what problem they’re solving).
Lots of other candidates also come to mind, depending on what fits best. Merrell’s Wilderness ($250; www.merrellboot.com) is a fine boot with classic all-leather looks and construction and a rugged, stitched-down sole. Tecnica’s Bio-Flex GTX ($200; www.tecnicausa.com) will be a little lighter and more comfortable, and includes a Gore-Tex liner. I’m also a big fan of Boreal’s Bulnes ($215; www.borealusa.com), a boot that has the heft for a big trip but feels a lot like a big day-hiker.
Be darn sure you get a pair that fit well, and that you get at least 50 miles on them before you head out. Then, get out there and have fun!