I live in the UK and spend most my time in the northern 'mountainous' areas of England but I'm starting to get more involved with higher climbs so I need to think about getting new kit. However, I'm not really sure what type of boots to get. I see people taking about Nepal EVO GTX and then plastic boots like Scarpa Maestrale and also boots like the Koflach. From what I've read people seem to prefer the plastic boots at the higher altitudes where it gets cold but I'm not sure why. What are the advantages of each type of boots and what kind of activity suits it best. I'm mainly planning on spending most my time in the Alps, Andes and Himalayas.
Sorry if this is a stupid question but I've spend a while look around the net and I'm still not entirely sure.
FYI, Plastics are harder to come by now and more of the boot manufacturers are making synthetics. From Scarpas Phantom Range to La Sportiva Batura and upwards. Plastics are kind of old school.
Maybe check out the Scarpa and La Sportiva (then Boreal, Raichle, Salewa,Zamberlan) websites, they can give a semblance of information about what boots are designed for.
In a gross simplification, the more expensive the boot, the colder temperatures it can be used and generally stiffer.
And as you go warmer and stiffer, you get less comfortable for walking.
As for double boots for cold. The double (or triple) nature of the boot means better insulation plus the inners can be taken out and dried (or worn in sleeping bags/tents ). Its really hard to dry or warm leather or single boots.
If I were to recommend one boot it would be the Nepal Evo or similar (Scarpa Mont Blanc, North Face has one out now, etc). Reason is that you'll get more use out of that type of boot (insulated leather) than you will out of any other type of mountaineering boot.
For summer summits in the Alps up to and including Mont Blanc, Nepal Evo or equivalent. They will also cover your Scottish Winter and Lakes ice climbing.
Otherwise, you'll have to be more specific. Himalaya, Andes, and Alps is pretty vague. Trekking? Summits? How high? What season? What route? You won't find one pair of boots that will cover you for everything.
The Nepals will cover 75% of the climbs you'll be doing. They're comfortable, reasonably warm, and very versatile. Plastics are becoming less and less common now as people are turning to non-plastic doubles.