One of the most important pieces of gear for any winter hikes are winter boots. While I stick with low rise, breathable trail runners during the warmer months, my footwear changes quite a bit when snow hits the trails. This is a long term review of my Salomon Toundra Winter Hiking Boots.
A typical dayhike for me in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest typically involves being on trail for 6-10 hours with temperatures often plummeting below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Trails are typically covered with a snow and ice. Because of these conditions, I needed a pair of waterproof boots that can keep my feet warm in very low temperatures.
I got these boots December 2011 and wore them the following day on a 10 mile dayhike in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. I did not experience any discomfort wearing them even without breaking them in. The boot’s lacing design helps to make this boot very comfortable. It is easy to lace up and does not cause any pressure points. The toebox is very roomy which is great for accommodating a heavier winter sock. While Salomon’s trail runners are a little narrow for me, these boots seem to run a little big. I recommend ordering down a half size.
They are constructed of leather with Contagrip soles and rubber caps at both the heel and toe for extra protection. They are stiff enough to use with light traction, snowshoes, and crampons, but do not feel overly heavy or clunky.
The boots are rated -40 Fahrenheit. While I haven’t worn them to this temperature, I have been in negative temperatures that has been down to about -30 with windchill. I have Raynaud’s (poor circulation) and my feet have never been cold in the years of hiking the NH 4Ks with these boots! I wear only one pair of wool socks (typically Smartwool) and that’s it! No toe warmers or anything.
The only negative I’ve found is I notice a large gap between the tongue of my boots and my shin. I wear tall gaiters during the winter so this isn’t a concern for me, but I would keep this in mind if you don’t as snow or other debris can make its way into your boots.
These boots are tough and have shown minimal wear after three winters of water crossings, elevation, and glissading. I recommend Salomon Toundra Boots for anyone who runs cold and does not want to worry about their feet on a long day of winter hiking.
Disclosure: Allison purchased these boots with her own funds.
Last modified: October 13, 2017