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Thread: Good pair of women's hiking boots?

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    Default Good pair of women's hiking boots?

    I'm moving out of my comfort range (usually 20-30 F winters) and going to Alaska for Feb. and March and am at a bit of a loss as to what to look for in a good boot. I'd like it to be suitable for some hiking, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing and a bit of just standing around.
    Any suggestions?
    Or Advice:
    Should it cover most of my calf?
    Have a certain temperature rating?
    If it only covers my ankle, are gaiter sufficient for warmth and protection from snow?
    Anything else I should look for in a boot (or even hats,gloves, jackets, base layers)? Thanks for your help!

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    Bunny boots and gaiters. Toss in crampons for hiking if/when the snowshoes are not useful. Base layers should be multiple and synthetic and/or wool, same for hats, gloves, socks. A wind barrier is always advisable for each article of outer wear. A face mask, neoprene is a good choice, is a good item to have at hand also.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Pretty much sums it up. I would look at merino wool base layers they demand a healthy amount of coin but are extremely comfortable and handle moisture better than anything else. My wife just got her first set of bunny boots and there is no going back. She shunned them for the longest time as they aren't "cute" but after a cold snow machine trip to a cabin in her north face boots she got over that. Hard to enjoy winter activities with cold toes! I recently stepped in overflow at -20 and got water in my bunny boots. It was cold for a few minutes but once the water warmed up I was fine. Most other boots that would have turned into a real emergency.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I completely disagree with the recommendation of bunny boots if you're planning on hiking. They're great for snowmachining (snowmobiling) or standing around, but due to their weight they are far from ideal for any real hiking. I'd go with an insulated boot similar to the following. I have a pair of Baffin boots and am never cold above -20 as long as I'm reasonably active. If you can afford two pairs of boots, then sure - go with some bunny boots for periods of inactivity. Otherwise I'd go with something like this:

    http://www.rei.com/product/771928/ba...r-boots-womens


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    Ya, appropriate Baffins are great. I've got some as well. The ones I have aren't made for standing around for hours at 40 below but if I'm moving they are very toasty.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I completely disagree with the recommendation of bunny boots if you're planning on hiking. They're great for snowmachining (snowmobiling) or standing around, but due to their weight they are far from ideal for any real hiking. I'd go with an insulated boot similar to the following. I have a pair of Baffin boots and am never cold above -20 as long as I'm reasonably active. If you can afford two pairs of boots, then sure - go with some bunny boots for periods of inactivity. Otherwise I'd go with something like this:

    http://www.rei.com/product/771928/ba...r-boots-womens


    Brian, I thought exactly the same thing about bunny boots as you for 33 years. I always thought they were heavy, clumbsy, bulky and uncomfortable... then I bought a pair. I wore boots such as you show for all those 33years and thought they were the best, I don't feel that way any longer. I also filled boots such as those with water while out snowmachining once, thankfully I was only a few short miles from the cabin and was able to avoid a real emergency. Like LuJon, I also had an experience with water filled bunny boots, 0*F MANY miles from a warm place, the only "suffering" from that incident was "pruning" of my toes.

    Bunny boots IMO opinion and of all others I know who wear them agree they are comfortable, surprisingly light weight and infinitely "safer", than the more common "lined" boot.

    Lined boots certainly have their place and usefulness, however, for any wilderness type adventuring, particularly where water intrusion may be a possibility, I strongly recommend bunny boots.

    Another note: be sure to buy a size large enough to allow for a polypro insole, whichever boot style you choose.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I did a sled trip in Baffins at -20 and my feet FROZE! Also women's feet tend to have less blood flow than men's. Perhaps it is part of the biology for being able to grow children but it has proven true with every woman I have spent any time in cold weather with. I can stay comfortable in most conditions as long as my core is warm. That is not the case with my wife at all! I agree that for fast hiking bunny boots are not the most desirable but I usually start getting hot and sweating before my boots would be a limiting factor. It's hard to narrow down any on boot for Alaska. Much better to have several options to fit the activity planned!

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    338wm, do you have a link to the insoles you use? I have space in my bunny boots but hadn't thought of adding insoles to the mix.

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    For winter sports my wife wears White's Elk Guide boots. Same as my daughter and me. Very warm, very tall, and very waterproof. For hiking my wife wears Lowa or Merrill mid-height gore-tex hiking boots. They'd be fine for some spring activities with a pair of gaitors but it depends on the activity and how long you'll be in the weather. Any well insulated pack boots will compromise your dexterity. Any mid height hiking boots will compromise your comfort and/or safety in deep snow, overflow, and cold temps. Most Alaskans have several pairs of footwear that are targeted at specific activities. If you're just visiting and expect to do some outdoor activities? Get some Sorels or an equivalent and go have fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    338wm, do you have a link to the insoles you use? I have space in my bunny boots but hadn't thought of adding insoles to the mix.
    LuJon, sorry I do not. I can only suggest looking at boot/shoe and/or outdoor gear suppliers.

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    Thanks for the advice. I had never heard of bunny boots before. I'm leaning more towards pac boots but the looming thought of ending up in water is keeping me from making a decision.
    Perhaps the mickey mouse boots could be a compromise? They wouldn't weigh much more than the Baffin boots Brian M. suggested and I could always wear two pairs of socks if needed for the cold.
    Anyone have experience with the mickey boots? Or know a reputable online seller (I found http://www.mickeymouseboots.com/)?

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    Bunny boot (or mickey mouse boots) are standard gear for winter up here, and they keep my girlfriends feet warm so they HAVE to work. I wear them most of the time but if Im hiking where I know I won't encounter water, I switch over to my Steger Arctic Mukluks. They are much lighter and just as warm.

    SamBarefoot, your like is a little messed up but yeah those are the fabled "bunny boots".

    Here is the right link:

    http://www.mickeymouseboots.com
    I'm going to ctrl-alt-delete you so hard your mama's computer is going to reboot.

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    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Baffins suck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtofak View Post
    Baffins suck.

    hmmm, interesting take. It's like anything else, certain models are out of their element. I think bunny boots suck for hiking around in the snow. Anything that requires traction forget it. I can hike up a steep slope in my baffins, bunny boots will send me down the hill quick. Standing around at 40 below, riding a snowmachine, gimme the bunny boots.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    hmmm, interesting take. It's like anything else, certain models are out of their element. I think bunny boots suck for hiking around in the snow. Anything that requires traction forget it. I can hike up a steep slope in my baffins, bunny boots will send me down the hill quick. Standing around at 40 below, riding a snowmachine, gimme the bunny boots.
    I totally agree. My Baffins have left me wanting someting better more than they should. I have felt liners in the bottoms then the liner and then a poly prop liner.... poly thin socks and Merino socks..... and they are tolerable.

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    Probably not the answer you would like to hear but....

    Honestly I believe you need two sets of boots. Bunny boots are extremely tough to beat for cold weather snowmachine, ice fishing, and other outdoor activities in the cold that don't require hiking. Bunny boots are relatively cheap at $80.

    If you want to go hiking in the winter I believe some quality insulated mountaineering boots would be the ticket. So long as you by a size to fit some quality socks underneath you should be fine. Like anything no one boot does everything great. But I wouldn't want to hike in bunny boots or Baffins. Both are pretty heavy and not comfortable to walk long distances in. I have Baffins at work and Bunny's at home and neither are "pleasant" to hike in per say. Though I have logged some miles in bunny boots, most of the time if going hiking in the winter I'll take some insulated mountaineering boots. I find if I am hiking my feet stay much warmer than if standing still.

    Granted this route isn't nearly as cheap as what is described above, but it may be worth looking into.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    Probably not the answer you would like to hear but....

    Honestly I believe you need two sets of boots. Bunny boots are extremely tough to beat for cold weather snowmachine, ice fishing, and other outdoor activities in the cold that don't require hiking. Bunny boots are relatively cheap at $80.

    If you want to go hiking in the winter I believe some quality insulated mountaineering boots would be the ticket. So long as you by a size to fit some quality socks underneath you should be fine. Like anything no one boot does everything great. But I wouldn't want to hike in bunny boots or Baffins. Both are pretty heavy and not comfortable to walk long distances in. I have Baffins at work and Bunny's at home and neither are "pleasant" to hike in per say. Though I have logged some miles in bunny boots, most of the time if going hiking in the winter I'll take some insulated mountaineering boots. I find if I am hiking my feet stay much warmer than if standing still.

    Granted this route isn't nearly as cheap as what is described above, but it may be worth looking into.
    I'm coming to the conclusion that I might want two pairs and just reminding myself that it's an investment since I'll probably end up in many cold places for work/visiting.

    Can you find the white bunny boots online from a good seller for $80? I also read alot of comments that you should make sure they're the BATA brand. Is that a pretty true statement? On mickeymouseboots.com they sell for $99.99. I just found bunnyboots.com for $79 but they don't say which brand they are.

    Anyone know if most mountaineering boots fit in snowshoes?...I would think they would. And most brands I see pop up as being reliable are Sorel, Baffin, Merrell, Lowa, and Scarpa (of course everyone has their differences in likes and dislikes as demonstrated by dirtofak), but any other brands I should consider/not consider?

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    Everyone has an opinion. I've lived here for 45 years and I wouldn't put Bunny Boots on the first page of my favorite boot list. I have lots of years in them but have found more suitable alternatives. And yes, I've had my share of overflow encounters with other than Bunnies and I've done fine. To each their own.

    Most current snowshoes use strap-on bindings that easily accommodate all sorts of boots. Most of my outdoor winter sports are done in my White's pac boots. -40 all day is no problem. Well, in truth it sucks but my feet didn't suffer for it. I also have Klim snowgo boots and they're equally great in super cold temps but aren't versatile for other activities. When I fly I wear my Lowa insulated/gore tex leather hiking boots or Sorels. I wouldn't prefer them for all day in -40 but for activities that require foot feel they're great. If guys want to tout the best of the best for cold weather boots look at Northern Outfitters. My wife dropped her feet into the Talkeetna River one -35 morning and rode snowgos all day. She didn't know there was water in her boots until she took them off that night and the water poured out. True story. You can equip yourself to the extreme but you'll be happier if you equip yourself for your expected conditions. Too much boot is almost as bad as not enough.

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    I run dogs and am of the female persuasion, and by *far* the warmest boots I've had on were Steger mukluks with a couple of extra insoles. The main drawback is that they're dangerous when wet, but the standard way to prevent that is to put a pair of insulated Neos over that. They're light and comfortable and I think probably the best all-around choice for very cold weather and in situations where you're not going to end up in overflow or open water. I like bunny boots a lot, too, and they're usually what I wear on the runners and always when ice fishing.

    Don't know where you are, SamBareFoot, but in Fairbanks Uncle Sam's has excellent prices on women-sized bunny boots. I paid something like $50 a few years ago for a pair of Batas in size 5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlshore View Post
    Don't know where you are, SamBareFoot, but in Fairbanks Uncle Sam's has excellent prices on women-sized bunny boots. I paid something like $50 a few years ago for a pair of Batas in size 5.
    Right now I'm still in NJ. When I get into Fairbanks I'll only be there overnight till I catch an early morning flight to what seems like a pretty isolated area. So I only have a few hours to find bunny boots if I wait until I get to Alaska. That said, know of any stores that sell them close to the international airport? And are open past 4PM?

    I also found boots called FDX boots but there doesn't seem to be much info on them. Anyone else hear of them or know where to buy them (other than in New Zealand - that's the only place I can find that sells them), or if they perform well?

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