need advice on boots

12:24 p.m. on July 21, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

For you experienced hikers/climbers/mountaineers out there, I need your advice. I'm a recent newcomer to mountaineering and am trying to get geared up appropriately to handle a couple of climbs that we have in the plans.

Specifically, I'm looking at buying a new boot and need your advice. The first mountain I'm looking to tackle is Mt Shasta which I understand requires crampons (Avalanche Gulch). The second is Mt Rainier. Third could be Mt Elbert. Fourth could be Denali and last be Mt Kilimanjaro.

I'm trying to find what type of boot I should add to the mix. I currently have a pair of Asolo AFX 535s which I just used for summitting Mt. Whitney and use for general backpacking/hiking. I'm thinking that for the above mountains, the lack of waterproofness and lack of crampon mounts will make these unusable. Thoughts?

There seems to be a wide range in-between a boot like the Asolo AFX and the full-on plastic boots with fixed crampons. I've looked at the Sportiva Glacier boot, the Salomon ice boots, the Koflach, and a few others. I prefer the leather based as they seem to be more comfortable and crampon compatible but could be used for normal backpacking. As I mentioned earlier, I'm looking for some guidance on what would be a good product fit for the listed mountains.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Matt

8:53 p.m. on July 21, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

If you are going to get only one pair of boots, then you should get the extremely warm version of whatever plastic boot that fits you best; such as the Koflach Arctis Exp. or Scarpa Inverno. Because that + overboots is what you will need to climb Denali. Those boots will work on all the mtns. you mentioned. However, you could get a pair of insulated leather boots to use on all the other mountains you want to climb, then rent the plastics when you do Denali. The only other mtn you could argue that you might want plastics for is Rainier, and that is only because it is so wet up there, and if you are planning a trip that's more than a couple of days. You can rent plastics for your Rainier climb as well. So, my choice would be buy leather boots, and rent plastic as needed. But if you like warm feet, and don't mind the extra stiffness and weight, once again, expedition plastic boots will do it all. You can probably hike up Elbert in your approach shoes if you climb in late summer, and you don't need crampon boots for Kili either.

 

Quote:

For you experienced hikers/climbers/mountaineers out there, I need your advice. I'm a recent newcomer to mountaineering and am trying to get geared up appropriately to handle a couple of climbs that we have in the plans.

Specifically, I'm looking at buying a new boot and need your advice. The first mountain I'm looking to tackle is Mt Shasta which I understand requires crampons (Avalanche Gulch). The second is Mt Rainier. Third could be Mt Elbert. Fourth could be Denali and last be Mt Kilimanjaro.

I'm trying to find what type of boot I should add to the mix. I currently have a pair of Asolo AFX 535s which I just used for summitting Mt. Whitney and use for general backpacking/hiking. I'm thinking that for the above mountains, the lack of waterproofness and lack of crampon mounts will make these unusable. Thoughts?

There seems to be a wide range in-between a boot like the Asolo AFX and the full-on plastic boots with fixed crampons. I've looked at the Sportiva Glacier boot, the Salomon ice boots, the Koflach, and a few others. I prefer the leather based as they seem to be more comfortable and crampon compatible but could be used for normal backpacking. As I mentioned earlier, I'm looking for some guidance on what would be a good product fit for the listed mountains.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Matt

12:23 p.m. on July 22, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Kevin Rooney

You might consider renting plastic boots for Shasta and Rainier and gain some experience about what works for you. Fifth Season in Mt Shasta City is a good source of rentals, as are the many REI's. The most common plastic rental seems to the red Koflack model, which is a fairly flexible boot.

 

Quote:

For you experienced hikers/climbers/mountaineers out there, I need your advice. I'm a recent newcomer to mountaineering and am trying to get geared up appropriately to handle a couple of climbs that we have in the plans.

Specifically, I'm looking at buying a new boot and need your advice. The first mountain I'm looking to tackle is Mt Shasta which I understand requires crampons (Avalanche Gulch). The second is Mt Rainier. Third could be Mt Elbert. Fourth could be Denali and last be Mt Kilimanjaro.

I'm trying to find what type of boot I should add to the mix. I currently have a pair of Asolo AFX 535s which I just used for summitting Mt. Whitney and use for general backpacking/hiking. I'm thinking that for the above mountains, the lack of waterproofness and lack of crampon mounts will make these unusable. Thoughts?

There seems to be a wide range in-between a boot like the Asolo AFX and the full-on plastic boots with fixed crampons. I've looked at the Sportiva Glacier boot, the Salomon ice boots, the Koflach, and a few others. I prefer the leather based as they seem to be more comfortable and crampon compatible but could be used for normal backpacking. As I mentioned earlier, I'm looking for some guidance on what would be a good product fit for the listed mountains.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Matt

9:57 a.m. on July 23, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Quote:

Specifically, I'm looking at buying a new boot and need your advice. The first mountain I'm looking to tackle is Mt Shasta which I understand requires crampons (Avalanche Gulch).

Leather with crampon compatible bail would be the way to go here. LaSportiva Makalu or something comparable.

The second is Mt Rainier.

Wet wet and more wet. I have worn leathers on the thing as it was never too cold, but I was always a little wet for the sake of weight. Again, you could go double plastic, but either way, step in crampon compatibility is nice. La Sportiva K3s or something comparable(I dont mean to sound like an add for sportiva, they just fit me well).

Third could be Mt Elbert.

Dont know anything about this hill.

Fourth could be Denali
Cold. Really cold. Need doubles with insulated gaiters for sure. No two ways around it.

and last be Mt Kilimanjaro.

A high altitude walk. Could get away with leathers as it is a single day equatorial high altitude jaunt.

One boot wont do it all for all of these mtns unless you just want to suffer with a pair of double boots on the easier climbs.

Matt

10:42 a.m. on July 23, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Dont rent, is my advice

Renting might be a wise choice for Rainier at 3-4 days of use, but on Denali renting boots for 3 weeks or more is not that cost effective. You can find plastic boots on sale cheaper than the cost of renting and a boot like the Para is real close to rental price at full retail. So why dump cash into a rental boot you use one trip, go ahead and dump it into a pair you can use for years. REI here in Anchorage got out of the rental program - for now anyway - and that leaves not many choices. Rentals are stinky, worn-out rental boots that could be a nightmare. Last thing you want is hamburger feet day 3 on a 21 day trip.

Nobody is more proud of leather boots than I and I know for a fact insulated boots from LaSport were worn to 17k camp on Denali and stories are around they have been to the summit. But, Denali had a very warm season this year - current summit temp is +3F right now - and the last few years but summit day and even 14k and above it can be rather chilly - guide bud had -52F ambient at Washbrns Thumb 5 years ago.

If it were me, I would go for a plastic that fit well and later upgrade to a heat-moldable liner that will decrease wgt, add warmth and comfort.

Mt Shasta dont know but sure plastics will work.
Mt Rainier plastics would be good idea.
Mt Elbert dont know.
Denali plastics are mandatory with overboot.
Mt Kilimanjaro friend and wife hike in Makalus to summit.

Quote:

full-on plastic boots with fixed crampons.

These are not avail to the general climbing public yet and are more suited for tech alpine, mixed, comps and all that type of climbing, not a true mountain boot. I would look elsewhere.

Good luck in your search and adventures.

Belay-Off
Ice Dawg
Commitment, Not Equipment

11:22 a.m. on July 23, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Dont rent, is my advice

Thanks, extremely helpful. Of the plastic boots what is your preference? Of the leather, what is your preference?

Matt


Quote:

Renting might be a wise choice for Rainier at 3-4 days of use, but on Denali renting boots for 3 weeks or more is not that cost effective. You can find plastic boots on sale cheaper than the cost of renting and a boot like the Para is real close to rental price at full retail. So why dump cash into a rental boot you use one trip, go ahead and dump it into a pair you can use for years. REI here in Anchorage got out of the rental program - for now anyway - and that leaves not many choices. Rentals are stinky, worn-out rental boots that could be a nightmare. Last thing you want is hamburger feet day 3 on a 21 day trip.

Nobody is more proud of leather boots than I and I know for a fact insulated boots from LaSport were worn to 17k camp on Denali and stories are around they have been to the summit. But, Denali had a very warm season this year - current summit temp is +3F right now - and the last few years but summit day and even 14k and above it can be rather chilly - guide bud had -52F ambient at Washbrns Thumb 5 years ago.

If it were me, I would go for a plastic that fit well and later upgrade to a heat-moldable liner that will decrease wgt, add warmth and comfort.

Mt Shasta dont know but sure plastics will work.
Mt Rainier plastics would be good idea.
Mt Elbert dont know.
Denali plastics are mandatory with overboot.
Mt Kilimanjaro friend and wife hike in Makalus to summit.

Quote:

full-on plastic boots with fixed crampons.

These are not avail to the general climbing public yet and are more suited for tech alpine, mixed, comps and all that type of climbing, not a true mountain boot. I would look elsewhere.

Good luck in your search and adventures.

Belay-Off
Ice Dawg
Commitment, Not Equipment

11:23 a.m. on July 23, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

This is extremely helpful! Of the plastic boots what is your preference? Of the leather, what is your preference?

Sounds like I should just go for both to cover all situations if I'm continuing in the future with climbing.

Matt

Quote:

Quote:

Specifically, I'm looking at buying a new boot and need your advice. The first mountain I'm looking to tackle is Mt Shasta which I understand requires crampons (Avalanche Gulch).

Leather with crampon compatible bail would be the way to go here. LaSportiva Makalu or something comparable.

The second is Mt Rainier.

Wet wet and more wet. I have worn leathers on the thing as it was never too cold, but I was always a little wet for the sake of weight. Again, you could go double plastic, but either way, step in crampon compatibility is nice. La Sportiva K3s or something comparable(I dont mean to sound like an add for sportiva, they just fit me well).

Third could be Mt Elbert.

Dont know anything about this hill.

Fourth could be Denali
Cold. Really cold. Need doubles with insulated gaiters for sure. No two ways around it.

and last be Mt Kilimanjaro.

A high altitude walk. Could get away with leathers as it is a single day equatorial high altitude jaunt.

One boot wont do it all for all of these mtns unless you just want to suffer with a pair of double boots on the easier climbs.

Matt

10:33 p.m. on July 25, 2002 (EDT)
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Second ice dawg's comments, plus the Old Greybeard's comments

First, I will strongly emphasize John's (the ice dawg) tag line - Commitment, not equipment. Also, I agree with matt in slc. To repeat John's and matt's comments on what's appropriate for what peaks:

Elbert and Kili - leather is just fine, as long as the
boots are properly broken in. Your Asolos are
suitable, assuming they fit properly and were
properly broken in.

Shasta, Rainier, and Denali - good, properly fitted
plastics will work on all 3 (mandatory on Denali,
although I saw people with leathers on the summit,
but as John said, this was a fairly warm year for
the most part, although we had some really cold
days while sitting at 14,000, which were reported
to be very cold for those sitting at 17k, getting
beaten by the 70 knot winds).

If you are headed for Denali in a few years, get the plastics now and use them on Shasta and Rainier. You can get by with leather on Shasta and Rainier, but since you will need the plastics on Denali, buy now, getting a proper fit by a boot fitter who knows what he is doing, wear them a lot to see that they indeed do fit you (or else get a good shop to do the modifications), and you will come out way ahead money-wise. And, as the ice dawg said, after you do Shasta and Rainier (or maybe even before), get some thermofit liners to replace the standard liners (don't waste money on the aveolites, which are an extra-cost option - the thermofits, if fitted by a shop that know what they are doing, will be a custom, exact fit to your feet - and get the custom footbeds at the same time. Your feet will thank you before the end of the first day of slogging through the snow up those slopes).

By the way, if you do Denali or Rainier with a commercial guide service, they will absolutely require you to have plastic boots. If you go private, well, you do what you want, but if you look at the statistics on frostbite on Denali, you will choose plastics.

You keep asking about "what brand"? Well, young fellow (mumbles the Old Greybeard), everyone has different shaped feet, and every manufacturer makes their boots to a different last (foot shape, basically). For example, Scarpas fit my feet almost perfectly (although my Intuition thermofit liners plus footbeds make for the best fit I have ever gotten in a shoe or boot - still comfy after slogging the 15 miles from 17,000 on Denali down to the airstrip at 7000 ft in a single push with sled and full pack - gotta carry the trash out, ya know). However, my son is miserable in Scarpas. I find Koflachs too narrow, but many people love them.

The thing is to go to a good shop and try several different pairs on. So your better question is "where is a good shop?" with the second followup being "where is a good boot adjuster?" Your feet are so important on big, cold mountains that it is almost worth travelling to one of the top shops. Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking in Anchorage does an excellent job fitting boots, and knows how to do thermofit liners properly as well. And I say that not just because the ice dawg is my buddy, but because I have watched them in action (sorry, John, I had my boots before you started working at AMH). Here in the SFBay Area, Marmot Mountain Works in Beserkeley has several good fitters. In Boulder, I suggest Neptune (although you need to be sure which of the people you get sometimes). If you do fit Scarpas, the Black Diamond retail shop in Salt Lake is good. They do have a couple other good brands as well. An advantage to SLC is that one of the top boot adjusters is the guy who runs the ski shop in Alta (at the foot of the main lift), Dave. He did a superb job with my son's ski boots after several so-called experts just made things worse (my son has weird feet, by his own admission). Either Brian in SLC or matt in slc can tell you a couple other shops in SLC that do a good job as well. Sorry, I don't know East Coast shops these days (too long since I lived back there).

The short answer with the plastics is - get what fits you, and make sure what you get does indeed fit properly. As long as you stick with the top brands, and get what fits your foot, you will be ok.

1:39 a.m. on July 26, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Thanks! Extremely informative! I'm in the SF Bay area so finding a couple of experienced bootfitters would be key. I'll try Marmot in Beserkely but are there any others in the area I should check out?

Matt

Quote:

For you experienced hikers/climbers/mountaineers out there, I need your advice. I'm a recent newcomer to mountaineering and am trying to get geared up appropriately to handle a couple of climbs that we have in the plans.

Specifically, I'm looking at buying a new boot and need your advice. The first mountain I'm looking to tackle is Mt Shasta which I understand requires crampons (Avalanche Gulch). The second is Mt Rainier. Third could be Mt Elbert. Fourth could be Denali and last be Mt Kilimanjaro.

I'm trying to find what type of boot I should add to the mix. I currently have a pair of Asolo AFX 535s which I just used for summitting Mt. Whitney and use for general backpacking/hiking. I'm thinking that for the above mountains, the lack of waterproofness and lack of crampon mounts will make these unusable. Thoughts?

There seems to be a wide range in-between a boot like the Asolo AFX and the full-on plastic boots with fixed crampons. I've looked at the Sportiva Glacier boot, the Salomon ice boots, the Koflach, and a few others. I prefer the leather based as they seem to be more comfortable and crampon compatible but could be used for normal backpacking. As I mentioned earlier, I'm looking for some guidance on what would be a good product fit for the listed mountains.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Matt

3:15 p.m. on July 26, 2002 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
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5,258 forum posts
bootfitters

Quote:

... in the SF Bay area ... Marmot in Beserkely but are there any others in the area I should check out?

You can also try Sunrise Mountaineering in Livermore. They also have a shop in Concord, but I haven't been in that store. Marmot's other branch in the SFBay is Western Mountaineering in San Jose (El Camino and San Tomas) might have someone, although the guy they used to have is at the Berkeley store now.

Unfortunately, there aren't many shops in the Bay Area these days. Lots of REI's (6), but you have about as good odds of getting anyone there who knows anything about fitting boots is about the same as hitting the lottery, and they rarely have any plastic boots in stock. Shoreline up on the Marin Peninsula is basically a mail order warehouse, so I doubt there is anyone there knowledgable (again, never really checked, since I only stop in on my way to somewhere to pick up what I know I want).

I have been told there is a good shop in Sacramento, but I don't know the name and haven't been there. Also, several people have posted here in the past that 5th Season in Mt. Shasta (the town) has a good bootfitter who will work with you if you are buying boots, but for their rentals they just grab whatever boot has the size you tell them painted on it from the shelf and leave it up to you whether they fit or not. Again, no personal experience.

12:21 p.m. on January 24, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

La Sportiva boots for sale

Nepal Extremes for Sale. Size 47.5 or 13.5. have been outsdie twice and in great condition, look brand new and
have been waterproofed with nikwax paste. i am selling them because they are to big for me. asking $180.00, and that includes shipping. email Chalkbag225@hotmail.com for info.

8:09 p.m. on April 2, 2004 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: Second ice dawg's comments, plus the Old Greybeard's comments

If you're in the Northwest, try the American Alpine Institute's Shop, located in Bellingham, WA. They have experienced helpful staff who can outfit you properly with just about any mountaineering equipment you need for an upcoming trip.

August 1, 2014
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