The right boots for the classic north faces in the Alps

2:13 a.m. on October 24, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I'd like to get recommendation about a good boot to deliver warmth(15F) rock climbing skill (5.8) and WI5 for a trip in the Alps (France) next spring? Are the leather ones can stay dry for 10 days from camptocamp journey? Or should I go with plastic (Koflack et al.)? I have a wide feet at the toes and I usually end up taking a full size bigger which reflect on burning calves.

12:17 p.m. on October 25, 2002 (EDT)
42 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

Hi Patrice-
Read my answer to your question on boots at
www.TraditionalMountaineering.org under Questions. Good luck in the Alps - wonderful climbing!
--Bob Speik

 

Quote:

I'd like to get recommendation about a good boot to deliver warmth(15F) rock climbing skill (5.8) and WI5 for a trip in the Alps (France) next spring? Are the leather ones can stay dry for 10 days from camptocamp journey? Or should I go with plastic (Koflack et al.)? I have a wide feet at the toes and I usually end up taking a full size bigger which reflect on burning calves.

2:18 p.m. on October 28, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

My advice is to get a double boot (plastic shell + liner) then you can wear your rock boots inside the plastic shell for mixed climbs. Climb the ice w. shell/crampons on, then take off the shells and climb the rock with sticky rubber, then put back on shells when back on snow/ice. Only thing is you'll need "comfortable" rock boots--but I do this anyway. I wear 10-1/2 shoes and rock boots maybe 1 size smaller, not the toe-vice ones needed for "upper end" rockin'.

Enjoy Cham' -- ! ! Beautiful place.

Jesse

Quote:

Hi Patrice-
Read my answer to your question on boots at
www.TraditionalMountaineering.org under Questions. Good luck in the Alps - wonderful climbing!
--Bob Speik


Quote:

Quote:

I'd like to get recommendation about a good boot to deliver warmth(15F) rock climbing skill (5.8) and WI5 for a trip in the Alps (France) next spring? Are the leather ones can stay dry for 10 days from camptocamp journey? Or should I go with plastic (Koflack et al.)? I have a wide feet at the toes and I usually end up taking a full size bigger which reflect on burning calves.

1:23 p.m. on November 3, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

Quote:

My advice is to get a double boot (plastic shell + liner) then you can wear your rock boots inside the plastic shell for mixed climbs.

If you want frozen feet. And mangled toes. If its warm enough to wear rock shoes inside plastics, put on some Nepal Tops or something even lighter. If you really need rock shoes for the hard climbing, change the whole rig.

12:25 p.m. on November 4, 2002 (EST)
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rock shoes as liners for plastics

There are a couple of plastic makers that have a rock shoe liner for their boots. Ifirc, Koflach is one. A number of folks climbing mixed stuff around the Alaska Range use them. I had heard of these several years ago, but the first time I saw them in person and tried on was last May when I was in Anchorage visiting with the ice dawg at Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking. AMH has a website so you can possibly see them on line. Or look at the Koflach website. Maybe John can tell us who else makes them (after he picks himself out from under the rubble after the weekend's 7.9 shaker, that is).

4:12 p.m. on November 4, 2002 (EST)
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408 forum posts
Rock shoes as rock shoes, plastics as plastics...

Quote:

There are a couple of plastic makers that have a rock shoe liner for their boots. Ifirc, Koflach is one. A number of folks climbing mixed stuff around the Alaska Range use them.

Who? My impression is that folks have tried them, but, really don't use them.

Quote:

I had heard of these several years ago, but the first time I saw them in person and tried on was last May when I was in Anchorage visiting with the ice dawg at Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking.

For me, I'm not so sure what a shoe/plastic boot combo would do, other than be uncomfortable.

I concur w/ Brandon. You need the warmth, you're not goin' to want a rock shoe on for insulation. You need to hike aways, you're not goin' to want the blisters. You need performance for rock climbing, you're not goin' to want to be climbing in a retro-esque liner.

They don't really save on space or weight.

I'd say, either learn to climb at the grade in boots, or carry both shoes and boots, IMHO.

Brian in SLC

8:57 p.m. on November 4, 2002 (EST)
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the ones I saw

I know that some people tried using regular rock shoes as liners and ended up with serious frostbite, since rock shoes have no insulation and are usually bought very tight. But these were more like boot liners, with insulation and such as you would expect for a liner, plus a sticky sole, wrapped around like a rock shoe. Visualize something like the regular liners for the Scarpa Invernos (lace to the toe), but with sticky rubber wrapping around like a Mythos. My impression was that they would work the same as the regular liners when used as a liner, and would be passable as a rock shoe. When I stuck my foot in them, they felt pretty much like my regular liners, not any less comfortable. But I didn't try them on a climbing wall or out in the snow, so I don't know how they climb or how good the insulation really is. I'm just suggesting they might be worth a look.

8:40 a.m. on November 6, 2002 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: the ones I saw

I like the idea below, but I will say I have used the "boot in shell" technique in the Alps on mixed routes without any problem several times, in fact it worked like a charm. Also, liners were kept on for slogging, rock shoes on at the base of the climb, then shells/crampons on for ice/snow sections. Also, to reiterate, rock boots definitely should be relaxed fit, allowing for a liner sock as well. As for me, thats preferred anyway since I really don't climb much rock over 5.9 Also, fwiw, I was taught this by a highly experienced UIAGM guide who had climbed in the Alps for at least 20 years.

Quote:

I know that some people tried using regular rock shoes as liners and ended up with serious frostbite, since rock shoes have no insulation and are usually bought very tight. But these were more like boot liners, with insulation and such as you would expect for a liner, plus a sticky sole, wrapped around like a rock shoe. Visualize something like the regular liners for the Scarpa Invernos (lace to the toe), but with sticky rubber wrapping around like a Mythos. My impression was that they would work the same as the regular liners when used as a liner, and would be passable as a rock shoe. When I stuck my foot in them, they felt pretty much like my regular liners, not any less comfortable. But I didn't try them on a climbing wall or out in the snow, so I don't know how they climb or how good the insulation really is. I'm just suggesting they might be worth a look.

August 28, 2014
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