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Garmont Momentum Snow GTX Hiking Boot

Garmont Momentum GTX Snow Hiking Boot
Garmont Momentum GTX Snow Hiking Boot

I have been looking long and hard at lightweight alternatives to heavy mountaineering boots this winter, for lower elevation day hikes. It’s not that I dislike my plastic Scarpa Omega boots, but after hiking in trail runners all year, I’ve found that I can hike at a much faster pace when I’m not wearing a heavy boot.

My initial experiments with lighter weight winter footware centered around insulating trail runners for winter use, but that proved challenging.  While people have devised elaborate systems to use them in winter using overboots, gaiters, and insulating socks, it’s a complicated thermoregulation problem and may not be suitable for all terrain and climates. Being safety conscious, I decided to back-off and find a lightweight insulated hiking boot instead.

While there are a lot of insulated and waterproof hiking boots available to choose from, I was immediately attracted to the Garmont Snow Momentum GTX.

Garmont Snow Momentum GTX Boots with Ultralight Crampons
Garmont Snow Momentum GTX Boots with Ultralight Crampons

What attracted me to the lighter weight Momentums is that they are rated down to -35 degrees (F). I hate having cold feet, so when REI put them on sale at $99/pair, marked down from $139, I snagged three pairs so I could dial in the perfect fit and return the other two pairs. They fit true to size, and I ended up keeping the Men’s 10.5 (US), which I wear with a liner and a medium weight wool sock.

Since then, I’ve used them often for winter hikes near my house and up in the mountains. In addition to being very warm, they are also quite lightweight, weighing only 23.5 oz each or 47 oz for the pair, almost half the weight of my Scarpas. That said, they’re really intended for very different terrain and purposes: they don’t have a removable liner for overnights or a rigid sole for serious crampon work.

Fitwise, they run a little higher than most leather hiking boots coming up to the low calf, but not high enough to remove the need for gaiters in deep snow. The fit takes a while to get used to, but it’s not uncomfortable because they’re not stiff like a leather boot and they have a very soft padded tongue.

Garmont Momentum Snow Boot Tread
Garmont Momentum Snow Boot Tread

Despite being comfortable, these boots are outfitted for tough maneuvers. They have very aggressive lugs reminiscent of truck snow tires, a waterproof gore-tex liner, and a rubber outsole for extra protection and stiffness. While the boot sole is fairly rigid for a lightweight boot, I wouldn’t recommend using a strap-on steel crampon with them because I feel the boots are still a bit too soft. Instead, I pair the Momentums with an ultralight Hillsound Trail Crampon Pro which has anti-balling plates and is compatible with a less rigid sole. The combination is bomber.

The one caveat I have with these boots is that they are too warm to wear in more moderate weather, above freezing. They’re great for very cold weather, but their Gore-tex liner and 400g thinsulate insulation make then too hot to wear in warmer weather. Otherwise, these are keepers.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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13 comments

  1. I just bought a pair of these at REI but I'm worried they won't really be warm. The toe box feels like it has no insulation, the material is so thin there, and all the insulation seems to be around the ankle (it's my toes that get cold winter hiking, not my ankles).

    So, I know you said they are warm but really? With such thin material around the toes are they going to keep my toes warm?

    I've read reviews that said they were warm in the 20's but I need warm in the low teens or single digits as well.

    Thank so much if you can reply.

  2. The toebox on these boot is designed to be a bit larger than normal on purpose. It will actually keep your toes warmer. As for warmth, these boots are often too warm for me if it's warmer than 30 degrees outside. Just wear a wool sock with them and you'll be good to go. Doesn't matter the thickness.

    They are really warm! – far warmer than my insulated mountaineering boots, for instance. I stood ankle deep in ice water for an hour yesterday getting a stuck car off the ice and I was dry and warm the entire time. Really.

    Tell me how you like them in 2 weeks.

  3. Thanks so much for your reply! I'll try them this afternoon – tons of snow outside.

  4. I stand by my recommendations – couldn't resist!

  5. I just picked up a pair of these for $64 with free shipping. Great deal!

  6. I think I got them from Backcountry.com but would have to check. I bought a lot of gear last winter from different places.

  7. Actually it was campsaver.com

  8. Thank you for the info. I plan on doing some winter hiking in the Whites. Do you think these boots would be adequate? And would they be compatible for MSR snowshoes?
    Thanks
    George

  9. I’m debating between two sizes(one is a little snug) and was wondering if they packed out at all after a couple hikes?

  10. I bought a pair for snowshoeing and they were warm with wool socks 20 degrees and warmer, wore them last winter for work on a concrete poured floor in single digits and never experienced frostbitten toes like that in my life, when I lived in Alaska and when I’m not at work{Safety Reasons} I wear my Steger Mukluks, the most comfortable boot you will ever experience, they are great for playing in the snow and I was toasty warm at 29 below camping at the base of Denali on the frozen Talkeetna River, they are not cheap, but you never have cold feet ever again, can not snow shoe with them :-)

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