For years I’ve been walking by the Neos overshoes display at trade shows, thinking to myself, “now those could be useful, but let’s get over to the ski boots.” Yet in the end necessity breeds motivation. We’ll be on Denali with clunky ski boots that don’t exactly make the best camp shoes. Down or synthetic booties are nice for quick exits from the tent, but what about sitting around cooking, or digging a snowcave in a storm, or waiting around for several days at Kahiltna base for a flight out, or just hanging out watching the sun creep along in that weird arctic arc while you’re standing on a slushy glacier? Yeah, some camp boots are needed, and NEOS overshoes seem to fit the bill.
NEOS makes a bunch of models so evaluation for Denali is a process. I narrowed down my choice by picking four uninsulated models for evaluation, reasoning that mixing and matching insulation would be better than having it permanent inside the boot. For example, we’ll have booties for sleeping and tent life, so those will work inside the NEOS, as will our ski boot liners, or just a few pair of socks and a footbed when temperatures are Alaskan tropical. And if we want to travel light, we can always leave the overshoes in a cache and just take our booties.
The uninsulated NEOS divide into two classes: Those with more of a conventional sole and beefed rand, and those with only a minimalist sole. Trekker and Villager models have the lighter sole. Trekker is 20 inches high, making it a bit much for use with pants that will gaiter over it. Villager is 10 inches high, making it slightly low cut but perhaps functional. That’s the model I’ll test this winter and possibly use on the mountain. I’m also using them as my day-to-day overshoes kept in my truck (they’re perfect for that.) The pair weighs 24.2 ounces.
For the rest of our crew, who are younger and no doubt more agro than I, our thinking is the NEOS models with more of a conventional sole will hold up better. The Voyager model is a bit on the short side at 11 inches high, while the Adventurer at 15 inches provides enough height to easily handle snow with pants pulled down over or tucked into the drawstring top. Weight for a pair is 33 ounces. Thus, the Adventurer it probably is. No wonder they named it that.
We’ll be testing NEOS this winter to be certain they’ll work. But I’m pretty sure they’re the ticket. We’ll report on this again as our get-ready progresses.
Beyond Denali, let me testify that these things are a great product. You like wearing sandals or athletic shoes all winter? Just keep some NEOS handy and don’t look back. No more wet feet after digging your car out at the trailhead. Christmas gift idea? You bet. And since Overshoes Online is helping us out with this, I have no problem plugging them, so, click here for overshoes!