As the Starks of Winterfell say, “Winter is coming,” and today I am going to discuss the kinds of boots you can face the cold with and still be in possession of all ten toes by the end of the day. The La Sportiva Nepal Evo mountaineering boots are one of the nicest all-around, technical mountaineering, mixed and ice-climbing boots on the market.
These boots can do it all, from front-pointing up steep water ice to technical mixed climbs. The La Sportiva Nepal Evos are high performance boots that accomplish any winter task you put them to. With front and rear toe welts, they fit most kinds of crampons, and are stiff while supportive enough to kick into the hardest ice. They are also well insulated and very waterproof against any snow, ice, and melting frozen waterfalls that you may be ascending this winter.
With a tall and very supportive ankle that comes to a durable elastic built-in gaiter, the Nepals also protect from rocks, snow, ice, and other debris worming their way into your boots. In addition, there is also a removable tongue insert that allows you to customize and tailor the boots to your feet. The unique lacing system enables you to tighten and adjust the bottom half of the shoe, lock it off, then adjust and lace the top portion. This allows for a very precise fit no matter the conditions.
They are warm and very waterproof, with a full Gore-Tex insulated lining. They are also very durable, but this durability makes them on the heavier side. In addition, the Nepals have a very sticky Vibram sole that climbs rock well. It hikes relatively well; however, snow tends to collect at the bottom of the shoe and ball up annoyingly to the treads.
The rocker, coupled with the flexible ankle cuff, is very comfortable for walking, which is a hard thing to say about most mountaineering boots. In addition, its sole has La Sportiva’s special “Impact Break System” which provides traction and breaking ability when moving downhill on slippery snow.
Although these shoes are expensive at around $500 full retail (what else is new?), they are durable and are great for a wide variety of conditions. From mixed climbing on Pike’s Peak to slogging through hip-deep snow on Mt. Washington, these boots will serve you well and will last for many years.