Ice Climbing Boots
These are special Ice Climbing boots designed for ice and high mountain climbing. Crampons are easily attached to this type of boot for a better grip on ice fields and packed snow and steep or vertical ice climbing. Ice climbing boots also have stiff soles to provide support when ice climbing or very steep icy grades. They are built taller, stiffer, and are insulated to withstand extreme cold. There are several types of material ice climbing boots can be made from. Leather, plastic, or synthetic material has given excellent performance. The height and stiffness is attained by use use of a full steel shank. Additionally, carbon fiber has been used by some manufacturers to get the additional stiffness in the sold. While they are fairly stiff, they are not completely rigid like ski boots. A certain amount of flexibility is needed for hiking and snowshoeing.
Using with crampons
These boots are designed to be used with ice climbing crampons. Manufacturers add a feature called welts to assist compatibility in wearing crampons. Welts are built into both the toe and heel of the boot like a small platform. This gives the crampon a firm fixture to attach to. These boots are designed to be used in extreme cold and must be insulated sufficiently to protect the climber from frostbite. To achieve this, ice climbing boots have a synthetic insulation integrated into the boot.
There are two types of ice climbing boot insulation.
- Single insulated. Light weight and insulated as a single unit. The insulation is permanently attached to the boot. Since the insulation cannot be removed from single boots, they are not ideally suited for multi-day cold weather excursions.
- Double insulated. This is made with a non-insulated shell and removable insulated liner. Usually there is a removable outer shell and removable liner. The double insulation is for protection during long term exposure.
The versatility of ice climbing boots also makes them useful for other high altitude Ice Climbing and climbing. They are also used by people who routinely work in cold weather. Ski lift operators, mountain rescue teams, cold weather equipment operators and many more use this type of boot in their profession.