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Shoes, Boots & Footwear

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The products from Shoes, Boots & Footwear have an average rating of 4.6 / 5.0 from 1,229 reviews.

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Lexi Dowdall

The Outdoor Retailer trade show is one of the most important events in our business, where our buyers meet with manufacturers and decide what we will be offering on Backcountry.com in the coming year. For the dedicated gear freak who can’t wait to see the latest and greatest outdoor gear, it’s four days of heaven. Our Community Manger, Lexi Dowdall, took a few laps of the massive show floor of Winter OR 2015, and reported back on some of the highlights of what she saw. Photos by Re Wikstrom Arc’teryx Lithic Glove A close-up look at the 333D moto-grade fabric [...]

Griffin Post

Jackson Hole was one of the first resorts in the United States to have an “open gates” policy, and the terrain around it serves up some of the best lift-serviced backcountry in the country. From puckering steeps to playful pillows, there’s just about every sort of adventure a rider could ask for, just a short traverse and bootpack from the tram. When the conditions are right, all that’s standing between riders and heli-quality terrain is an access gate. Easy access notwithstanding, though, Jackson Hole’s backcountry is the real deal, and skiers and riders venturing out should be equipped as if [...]

Pace

“Factory” might be a bit of an overstatement. Located a few blocks from Park City’s historic Main Street, the Soul Poles shop is more like a glorified garage that shares a wall with the local Mexican bakery. But toiling in a garage is where most great American innovators got their start, so they’re in good company. Photos by Re Wikstrom At Backcountry we have a soft spot for the little guys who are working to bring sustainability and homegrown craftsmanship back to the industry. So when Lexi Dowdall, our community manager, needed to score a new pair of poles to [...]

Stephanie Nitsch

We’ve all perfected the art of bailing in daily life. It’s as easy as pulling out your smart phone and punching out a vague text message to the friend you’ve had longstanding plans with. “Hey, sorry, but I gotta take a rain check on tomorrow. Got some last-minute stuff.” Maybe work is a legitimate scapegoat. Maybe it’s a result of the contagious FOMO syndrome (Fear Of Missing Out), where Plan A is put on hold because a better Plan B came along. But maybe “better” is really just a code word for sitting at home and avoiding your friends because [...]

Forrest Shearer

Backcountry.com athlete and pro snowboarder Forrest Shearer spends a lot of time in the backcountry on his splitboard. We asked him to give us the rundown on what you need to get into splitboarding: Each year, it seems like more and more people are skipping the lift lines and tracked-out runs to ride in the backcountry. There’s endless terrain out there–you just have to use you own two feet to get there. The scenery is amazing, the snow is usually great, and the freedom to roam the mountains on splitboard can make for a truly wild adventure. Here’s is a [...]

Andrew McLean

Standing at the top of a perfect Wasatch powder run, Bruce Tremper of the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center and I only lacked one thing: visibility. We had the perfect slope, perfect snow, good stability and the place all to ourselves … if only we could see it. After I grumbled about it for a few minutes while Bruce was fine-tuning the buckles on his boots, he said “Why don’t you take this first and I’ll tell you the secret for flat light at the bottom.”  Pushing off, I channeled my inner mantra to “Use the Force” and fumbled my way [...]

Adam Daniels

For runners, spring is race season; for the majority of those living in the northern hemisphere, that means that the heart of the training takes place in the middle of winter. While it may be tempting to run outdoors on a beautiful day after fresh snow has fallen, it’s not always a great idea to get in your speed or strength work on the icy roads. I usually find a nice warm and safe treadmill to complete the key workouts that’ll help me get closer to my goals. Following is some advice about getting the most out of running on [...]

Jeff Catalano

Ski touring, or ‘earning your turns,’ as it’s affectionately called, has never been more popular. Removing the restriction of only being able to ski lift-served runs opens up new terrain, provides access to untracked powder, enables you to skip lift lines and resort crowds, and of course, has you feeling the burn of tired legs like never before. While in theory any ski can be used for alpine touring, the recent increase in the sport’s popularity has led to the development of touring-specific ski models that typically feature lighter-weight constructions than their pure downhill counterparts. You’ll also find touring-specific shapes [...]

Paul Diegel

Skiing and riding in the backcountry is a bit like driving on the freeway: when you know the rules and have some skills and experience, it has some risk, but it tends to work out OK. When you lack those ingredients, it’s confusing, embarrassing, and dangerous at best, and nobody wants to ride with you. When you understand how to match your decisions to the current conditions, you can get out and safely have a great time on any day, regardless of the conditions. So how do you learn to make good decisions in the backcountry? In Utah, along with [...]

Lexi Dowdall

At Backcountry we’re serious about down jackets. Most of us live in them for six months of the year, and at peak season we have over 400 styles to choose from on our site. To make sure we’re pointing you towards the down jacket that’s best suited to your needs, we talk to designers and manufacturers, pore over catalogs and technical specifications, and we put them to the test every time we head to the mountains or commute to the office on a chilly day. Point being, we work hard to make sure we’re getting it right. But despite our [...]

Backcountry

Backcountry.com athletes are getting a lot of love on the awards circuit, most recently at the Powder  Magazine’s 15th annual awards on December 5 in Salt Lake City. As you can see in the clips below, the Backcountry Goat is traveling in some pretty high-flying circles. Teton Gravity Research’s Almost Ablaze pulled down top honors as “Movie of the Year.” This film, “a global odyssey combining state-of-the-art cinematography and the most progressive riding on the planet,” features a number of Backcountry athletes who also received individual recognition nod from the jury. The most attention, though, (and a grip of awards) [...]

TJ Parsons

The right pair of boots often make the difference between an awesome day on the mountain and an afternoon spent whimpering in the lodge. With the huge amount of available options, knowing what features you want and how your boots should fit can be a big help in narrowing down your choices. Lacing Options The various lacing systems are the most visually obvious way in which snowboard boots differ, and each has their pros and cons. Gear nerds on snowboard forums will argue at length about which one is best, but the truth is there are excellent options available no [...]

John Tribbia

Uncertain footing in snow and ice can discourage the dedicated endurance athlete, even a member of the Salomon-Backcountry running team like myself, from running during the winter. When it gets ugly underfoot, it’s all too easy to just give and go to the gym and get on the treadmill. But if you’re looking to get your fix of fresh air and sunshine, along with a great workout, snowshoe running might be the ticket. Snowshoe running is a fast-growing sport in the US, offering a safe, low-impact alternative to running on trails, giving you a new way to build strength and [...]

Andy Anderson

Ski touring, AT skiing, ski mountaineering, randonee … whatever you call it, getting into the backcountry on skis is becoming more and more popular. The idea of escaping into nature and away from the crowds—and enjoying untouched snow—may sound really good, but where do you start? There are two essential components, education and gear. We’ll tackle the equipment question in this article; you can learn how to get an education in backcountry safety here. But before you consider what equipment you’ll want to acquire, think about where you’ll be skiing, how you plan on skiing, and the type of terrain [...]

Catherine Greenwald

You were never going to be that parent—the one with the kid pitching a fit on the bunny hill, sniveling about the cold and whining to be taken home. Yours may be one of those who take to the snow like a baby polar bear, but even the hardiest kid can have a rough day. Whether you’re headed to after-school lessons, a weekend getaway, or a family vacation, here are some tips for maximizing the fun and minimizing the pain of a day on the slopes with very young skiers. Tip #1: Keep ‘em warm … but don’t immobilize them. [...]

Rob de Luca

In the early ’90s, when dinosaurs had only recently been supplanted by mammals and plaid shirts were worn layered on top of each other, terrain parks were in their infancy. They were an attempt to welcome snowboarding to the resorts and to corral (unsuccessfully) the skate-inspired tricks that boarders favored and that upset the status quo. Initially, skiers were not allowed in the parks, but with youth being youth, that restriction became more of a temptation than any marketing ploy could ever hope to achieve. Skiers began “poaching” the parks, and not long after, the first production twintip ski (the [...]

Sean Zimmerman-Wall

The sound is unmistakable. A loud rumble accompanied by the sensation of having the rug pulled out from under you. In seconds you’re rushing downslope, tumbling, caught in a washing machine of snow, rock, and wood. The sky fades in and out and you gasp for air as you’re force-fed thick, suffocating snow. Moving at 60 miles an hour, you’re helpless to stop the cascade. You reach for the small handle located on your shoulder, and a sudden “whoosh” fills your ears. Large sacs of air deploy around you and you start to rise to the surface. After a minute, [...]

jason sager

So you say you’re going on a road trip to a chilly destination. Maybe it’s to your parents’ or the in-laws’ for the holidays, and maybe you’re going to squeeze in an event like the Iceman Cometh. Late fall and early winter can be a volatile time weatherwise. Unless you’re headed to somewhere like southern Florida or Los Angeles, you can’t be too certain of what weather to expect. Heck, when traveling with the family or to see family, you can’t even be too certain of what time of day you’ll be able to go for a ride. Sneaking out [...]

Wally Phillips

Spring, summer, and fall tend to blend into each other here in the mountainous desert that is Utah.  But that’s starting to change. Winter is just around the corner and people are pulling out the gear and trying to shore up injured joints. The first drips of wax are falling off the hot iron, so it’s time to go over what kind of weather we’ll be seeing for the majority of the winter. Long-term forecasts like this are based on historical data and certain wind anomalies. We look at current conditions and then at what happened in other years when [...]

Austin H.

Avalanche airbag packs are unlike any other safety tool in a backcountry skier’s arsenal. Pull a handle and, in the blink of an eye, you increase your chances of ending up on top of a slide instead of underneath it. The very same technology that enables this survival advantage makes this safety tool unique in the eyes of airlines and regulatory institutions. We distilled the information from airbag manufacturers and airline regulations into a short guide for traveling with an avalanche airbag pack on planes. If you read nothing else in this article, keep one thing in mind: The safest [...]

Rob de Luca

You’ve read product catalogs, seen magazine gear guides, and heard lift-line conversations referring to “big mountain” or “freeride” skis, but all you can tell is that they look a little longer and sometimes a bit fatter than your own. So what makes a big mountain freeride ski different from a powder ski or an all mountain ski, and why would you want a pair? Here’s the breakdown. While the term “big mountain” may sound a little ridiculous taken out of context (aren’t we all skiing on the same mountain?), it comes from the competitive freeride (or “extreme,” if you’re over [...]

Adam Riser

Staying warm is the key to having fun in freezing temps. Here’s a breakdown of the two basic types of insulation and the kinds of jackets they insulate. Down vs. Synthetic The overriding principle at work in insulated jackets (and sleeping bags, mittens, or any other insulated apparel) is the same: air is trapped in the small spaces between the filaments of down or strands of polyester, providing warmth in cold conditions. Loftier (or puffier, if you will) materials consist of more air, and offer a greater warmth-to-weight ratio. Overall, down is lighter, more compressible, and longer-lasting than synthetic insulation. [...]

Rob de Luca

While there’s no equation that looks like (height x weight)/(skill level)√magical number = perfect length in the skiing world, there are a few tips that can point you in the right direction when you’re trying to figure out which length of ski is right for you. Likewise, there’s no formula regarding width; the prevailing sentiment post-fat-ski-revolution seems to be, “Ski the widest ski you can without sacrificing performance,” and as a generalization, we tend to agree. But should you ski on wider skis? And if so, how wide do you go? Photo: Backcountry Athlete Greg Hill in Rogers Pass, BC. [...]

Stephanie Nitsch

Combine all your gear for backcountry skiing or splitboarding with the basic essentials of rock climbing, and you’ll have a fairly comprehensive equipment list for tackling ski mountaineering expeditions. Aside from the mandatory outdoor essentials like avalanche safety gear, extra layers, water, food, and sun protection, here are the bare bones of what to bring on an alpine ski climb. And though it goes without saying, don’t just acquire all the gear—know how to use it. Equipment alone won’t do you or your partners any good, but sound experience and skill will. Photos by Abby Stanford Harness Lightweight, mountaineering-specific harnesses [...]