Initially conceptualized as the ideal footwear for rock climbers during their excursions through mountainous terrain, the mountaineering boot has found new meaning within the context of the urban jungle, thanks to it’s all weather endurance. The mountaineering boot was designed originally to withstand anything that an adventurer may face in the wilderness. The boots feature a sturdy upper to keep the wearers foot intact and prevent falls. This upper is typically constructed from rigid leather and coupled with a sturdy sole to enable the wearer to navigate with stability on uneven terrain. The body of the shoe is defined by the metal eyelets that nicely complement the leather surface and help keep the boot snug. The heavy duty eyelets that extend out onto the toe of the boot ensure that traction is never lost. Finally, it is the heavy insulation that have kept mountaineering boots a staple with backpackers. Feet are one of the most vulnerable places for the cold to creep in so these quality materials and ample insulation work to prevent frostbite.
Obviously, with all the adventuring based features crammed into one piece, mountaineering boots have not always been the most attractive of footwear. Over the years the mountaineering boot gained a reputation as a terrific option not just for the outdoors, but for colder conditions in general. While many brands, such as Dunham in the ad above, have shifted away from boot production over the years, several companies have adapted the shape and given it a more streamlined look solidifying the mountaineering boot’s place as a great contemporary piece of winter weather footwear.
– Utilizing a defunct army boot factory in the Czech Republic as their headquarters, Zlin offers a no-nonsense take on the mountaineering boot. Constructed from a gorgeous golden hued Italian leather, the Climbing II Boot
is built more for a city street than a hiking path, but it will still do its job against cold, wet and windy conditions. The dark leather back tab and blood red laces add complexity to the boot and draw attention without being abrasive.
– Establishing a boot company in 1932, during the middle of Great Depression, is a bold move, but it spelled great success for Charles Danner. By placing craftsmanship and quality above all else Danner was able to produce products that not only weathered through the Great Depression but also have endured for decades. Danner still manufactures boots to the same standards upon which the company was founded nearly eight decades ago and their Mountain Trail Boots
are a direct reflection of this. About as sleek as boots can be, the Mountain Trail offers a clean profile and dodge the chunky look that plagues a lot of winter footwear. Details such as leather lining and a Vibram Gumlite sole add distinction and practically to the boot.
– Based out of the Montebelluna region of Italy, where over fifty percent of the world’s mountaineering boots are produced, Diemme has drawn from their environment to create an incredible product. Founded in 1992 by brothers Maico and Dennis Signor, both of which grew up working at boot factories learning their craft, Diemme adheres to the same standards that have made their region famous since the late 19th century. Each pair is handmade by craftsman, including the Signor brothers who still work on the factory floor, and utilizes the finest of materials. The Roccia Vet Boot
is fabricated from one hundred percent leather and features a contrasting cream colored Vibram sole that is sewn on by hand. The D-Ring eyelets give off a rugged feel that will help the boot last for years. Finally, the all leather lining and minimal construction kept the weight of the boot down, protecting the wearer’s feet without being encumbering.