Buffalo Hiking Club Message Board › Winter overshoes for your favorite hiking shoes
On today's hike we were discussing hiking shoes and winter boots. Although I have a pair of boots I use just for winter hiking, I also like to hike and snow shoe in my favorite spring-summer-fall hiking boots now and then, which is possible with the Neos overshoe.
A few years ago I bought several versions of the Neos overshoe. Here is my review of them - but note, the price varies greatly - sometimes Campmor.com has the lowest price, other times they are cheaper at outdoorphotogear.com, and my latest purchase was from naturescapes.com. Just do a little searching before you buy to get the lowest price.
The NEOS overshoes fit over your regular shoes or boots. They range from the super durable and insulated Navigator 5, which are good enough to use for climbing in the worst blizzard in the ADK's or getting through a Blizzard like that of 1977. However, they are overkill for most hiking and snow shoeing activities in WNY.
At the other end are the Neos Villagers - a light weight that is great for work or walking the dog around town, but not durable enough to last through a season of snowshoeing.
In the middle are the Adventurer, the Voyager, and the Explorer. the Adventurer and Voyager are uninsulated (which I prefer). the Explorer is a heavier insulated overshoe.
The big difference between the Adventurer and the Voyager is the height of the boot. The Adventurer is taller and is the model for the Neos boot created for the Postal Service.
I always wear gaiters when snow shoeing so the difference in height between the adventurer and voyager isn't all that important for me. But I own a pair of each and don't have a favorite between the two.
I would not buy any of the versions with STABILicers built into the sole. You can always wear microspikes or a less aggressive ice spike (including a pair of STABILicers themselves.)
You can use the Neos to hike in your favorite regular shoes - everything from running shoes to hiking boots can be used. Just pay attention to the sizing. My size 13 boots and size 14 sneakers fit into the XXL Neos, but I had to buy an XXXL for my size 14 boots (so far I've only been able to find the Voyager in the XXXL size.)
The Navigator, Explorer, Adventurer, and Voyager are all designed to work with snowshoes. The Villager is not.
The Navigator and Explorer are insulated. The Adventurer and Voyager are not. The boots are waterproof but not breathable (some day hopefully they will be breathable) so expect sweating of lower legs and feet. That is the only serious downside of Neos. But if you are just out for a day hike or one night trip, that won't be an issue.
Email me ig you have any questions about the Neos - their main advantage is that you can wear you most comfortable hiking shoes in winter's deepest snows.