Can You Snowboard in Mountaineering Boots? Mountaineer With Snowboard Boots?

Are you interested in snowboarding or planning a trip? You’ll need to prepare some equipment for the activity; one of which is a snowboarding boot.

But what happens when you don’t have a snowboard boot, can’t afford to get one, or want to make do with some other boot you have?

Mountaineering boots for instance have been compared to snowboarding boots because of their similarities. However, they also have some notable differences.

So, the big question is ‘can you snowboard in mountaineering boots?’ The answer is Yes! You can. But not without some measures in place. 

To find out more, please read through.

Mountaineering Boots Vs Snowboard Boots (Key Differences)

Just as the nature of activities differ, the boots used for snowboarding and mountaineering are also different.

While there are some similarities between these boots, the difference between them is the reason you might find it hard to use them interchangeably; at least without some tweaks.

Let’s dive in to know more about the differences between snowboard boots and mountaineering boots.

1. Weight 

Weight - Mountaineering boots Vs Snowboard boots

Snowboarding boots are generally heavier than mountaineering boots.

But this doesn’t mean that mountaineering boots are light as a feather.

Mountaineering boots come in different ranges of weight, depending on the type you purchase.

On the other hand, all snowboarding boots are designed to be on the heavier side.

2. Ankle support 

Ankle support  - Snowboard boots Vs Mountaineering boots

Snowboarding boots have more ankle support than mountaineering boots, especially because they reach as high as your calf and are designed to support you as you navigate the area when winter gets tricky.

Mountaineering boots come in different heights, and it’s left to you to choose the height you need. 

3. Traction 

Traction - Snowboard boots Vs Mountaineering boots

Snowboarding boots are designed to deliver more traction because you’ll be walking in the snow and must avoid slipping and falling.

As for mountaineering boots, the traction you get varies depending on the quality of the boot as well as its purpose.

For instance, mountaineering boots designed for winter will likely have more traction than those designed for other reasons.

4. Waterproof 

Waterproof - Mountaineering boots Vs Snowboard boots

Finding a snowboarding boot that isn’t waterproof is a rarity because they are designed to protect your legs and ankles from getting wet from the snow during your hike.

Snowboarding boots also extend higher and have a protective cuff to keep the snow out and protect your legs from falling snow or rain.

On the other hand, not all mountaineering boots are waterproof, so you’ll need to confirm before you make a purchase.

Also, they don’t reach as high up on your calf as snow boots, and they lack a tight cuff for further protection.

5. Versatility 

Which boots are more versatile - Mountaineering boots or Snowboard boots

Mountaineering boots are more versatile than snowboarding boots.

Even though snowboarding boots can be explored for other activities, mountaineering boots can be used across more terrains and activities provided you know how to get them adopted. 

6. Insulation 

Which boots are better Insulated between Mountaineering boots and Snowboard boots

Although both mountaineering and snowboarding boots are both insulated to keep your feet warm when necessary, snowboarding boots have better insulation because keeping your feet warm in a snowstorm is the focus.

However, you can also get several well-insulated mountaineering boots that can best some snowboarding boots.

Can You Mountaineer with Snowboard Boots?

Unlike what many people think it is actually possible to mountaineer with snowboard boots. However, it isn’t the most comfortable activity, and it could take quite some time as well.

To make your snowboarding boots adaptable for mountaineering, you might need to get crampons that you can strap on your boots.

Most people use strap-on crampons with their snowboard boots without issues. You can buy some if you’ll be using snowboard boots for mountaineering often. Otherwise, you can look for a place to hire crampons whenever you need them. 

Apart from crampons, you can also explore with a split board to help you walk uphill better as it has a better grip and control.

You can use your average snowboard boots for split boarding, or you can get a snowboard boot that’s split board-specific and use it for better traction, especially when there’s snow.

Can You Snowboard in Mountaineering Boots?

Now, when roles are reversed, you might wonder whether mountaineering boots can stand their ground with snowboarding. The answer is YES!

While the toe area will be comfortable when snowboarding with mountaineering boots, you’ll need to be careful when you snowboard with mountaineering boots because of the lack of ankle support that can cause injuries when you snowboard.

You might also experience some pain because mountaineering boots are not as high in the back compared to snowboarding boots.

However, the pinching you might feel is bearable. If you can lay your hands on a higher boot than the high back, you will be more comfortable.

If you own leather mountaineering boots, you’ll need to stick to simply getting down the mountain a snowboard. However, you’ll be unable to make hard turns or do much carving with them.

You can make your mountaineering boots comfortable for snowboarding is to pad them up by filling your ankle area with a sleeping pad and probably reinforcing it with webbing straps to prevent them from falling off.

If you don’t have a difficult climb but technical or complex snowboarding down, then maybe you want to hike in your snowboard boots and also ride down in them for a more enjoyable experience.

In the end, consider how long you’ll spend going up and the amount of time you’ll spend going down.

If it’s a long hike up and you don’t want to be burdened with the weight of two boots and also the stress of changing from one boot to the next whether you’re up or down, then, a mountaineering boot with some support is better for you.

Simply ensure that the bindings are a perfect fit for the boot.

As far as products are concerned, you can get a great experience when you either use the Sportiva Spantiks or the Vasque ICE 9000s. However, the Spantik delivers a smoother and more enjoyable experience.

If you own mountain plate bindings, you can go snowboarding with Alpine touring boots. These lightweight boots work well for a range of activities, including snow ascents to traverse and descents.

You can also keep your eyes open for the mountaineering snowboarding boots made by Koflach that help you do both comfortably. Although the boots are no longer being produced, you might find someone interested in selling a used pair.

Final Words:

Snowboarding and mountaineering are both exciting activities, and it is great to know that you don’t have to get two separate boots for them if you cannot afford to.

However, if you have the money to spend, and if you engage in these activities often, it is always great to get both boots and enjoy them without needing attachments or tweaks.

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