Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gear Review: The North Face McMurdo Men's Snow Boot

Warm, Comfortable, and Waterproof over short distances, retains too much moisture on long treks

The Stats:
Price: $29.99 - $119.20
Style: Snow Boot
Construction: Rubber, Leather, Synthetic Fur

Pros: very comfortable, insulated, warm, fully waterproof with gaiters, perfect in the snow, very attractive design

Cons: retains sweat and leaked moisture, not breathable, small toe box, balls mud, strap on only crampons

The Full Story:
The North Face McMurdo Snow Boot is a mixed bag, on the one hand it performs beautifully over short distances offering unparalleled comfort and even style. On the other hand, The McMurdo simply does not hold up on long treks. When it comes to low angle snow though these boots do shine, not only are they bulletproof, they are warm, cozy and comfortable. Just don't get them wet, I crossed the San Lorenzo river with The North Face McMurdo's and several days later they are still soaked inside. So soaked that after setting them by the fire to dry, then changing socks, they soaked the second pair of socks after just a few steps. A slip into a cold snowmelt stream could end a trip, or else cost some toes. When it comes to more aggressive snow sports, like trekking or mountaineering they also lack the kind of ankle support they appear to have, in fact they support more like tennis shoes than hiking boots. In mud they are at their worst, their tread cakes and balls mud in such a fashion that 6-8" of mud will build up before breaking off in a ball under its own weight.

They are very attractive boots, and are so comfortable and warm that socks are not even really needed sometimes. They fail against tough conditions and long treks though.

For More
The North Face:

Tested: Henry Cowell SP, Mt. Whitney Trail, Santa Teresa CP

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