Boot Help

8:28 a.m. on December 28, 2006 (EST)
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I'm fairly new to serious mountaineering and am looking to get some advice on boots.

Next year I'm climbing Kilimanjaro (which is, I've been told, to all intense purposes a long hike), I'm also looking to get into some Scottish winter climbing. Whilst I'm not planning on doing anything too technical, I want crampon compatibility, something that will keep my foot warm and something that can take a beating. I had my eye on the La Sportiva Makalu or Glacier, however a recent 'expert' told me to ditch that and go with a Trango S EVO GTX. I'm not too sure how good his advice is.

To be honest, I could do with some sound advice here. Any info would be appreciated. Cheers. Ed

10:13 p.m. on December 31, 2006 (EST)
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Ed, I don't profess to be an expert on climbing boots, but, here is what I would consider-there are basically two kinds of climbing boots-leather and plastic-all boots are one or the other, or in a few cases, a combination of the two. I am not including lightweight boots made of synthetic materials that look like macho running shoes.

Before plastic boots came along, all mountaineering boots were leather. Plastic boots are a variation of the plastic ski boot-stiff, warm, pretty much indestructible. There are single and double boots-doubles have a removable liner-singles are more like a ski boot. Plastic boots are not all that comfortable for long walks-I've worn the old Koflach Viva Soft for hours on glaciers and wound up with bad shin bang (bruising)that made walking very painful.

From what I have seen on tv (no personal experience), Kilimanjaro is cold, but not like high altitude mountaineering. For that, a sturdy leather boot seemed to be what the people I saw on tv were wearing.

For Scotland, where the weather is colder, especially in winter, a plastic boot would most likely be recommended.

However, no matter what you choose, fit is more important than brand. A $400 boot that doesn't fit you right is worse than useless-it can cause you to become incapacitated and unable to walk. Virtually any mountaineering boot is crampon compatible. The best thing you could do is go to a reputable shop with a good bootfitter, explain what you need and start trying them on.

12:48 p.m. on January 10, 2007 (EST)
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69 forum posts

Tom D - good advice.

Boots4, irregardless of brand or model, if they don't fit you then they are opponents of your journey. Ill-fitting boots fight you every step of the way and you should be payed to wear them instead of paying for them.

I would certainly talk to people who wear mountaineering boots and find out the problems they have had. Take that information and apply it to the boots your are considering. My first pair were too tight and not insulated enough. I took that into consideration when purchasing my second pair and bought larger Vasque Super Alpinista, a very warm set of boots. Shin bash is a problem with higher boots but can be reduced if the boot has a slidable padding on the tongue.

Please, don't just take my word for it. Find other people and ask them about their experiences. See what issues they have had. After that, try the boots on and give them a thourough test drive. Know that you can slip Superfeet in them a change the fit. I hope you find a set that are good to you.

August 30, 2014
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