I've recently bought g12s with the New-Matic bindings. They fit but don't look too secure on my Meindl winter hill boots - these usually take a pair of G10s (they have a very narrow ledge / indent at the heel - see photo) so I find myself in the market for B2s.
I was liking the Sportiva Aequilibrium but the UKC review mentioned some C2 fit issues and a poster also commented on their likely short life span given bog, heather and bracken etc.
Anyone comment on their longevity iro Scottish use and also other boot recommendations?
Couldn't comment on the sportivas, but my old Mantas have always had a great fit with G12s. I've always found snug fit varies a lot between B2/3 models and boot size affects it, so probably worth taking your spikes into a store and testing the fit on a few pairs.
If you like the idea of something light and more modern (à la Aequilibriums) in design my Scarpa Ribelles Played very nicely with G12s and G14s
Are you sure those boots in the pic are B2 they look like B1.
Depends if you want light weight fabric boots or a durable workhorse. Mantas last ages but they are as heavy as many leather B3, just a tad more comfy for walking in. Fabric boots will generally be much lighter. I had good mileage out of my fabric Freneys but I did find when I did them up tight enough that the boots didn’t feel sloppy for climbing in that the laces dug in to my ankle quite badly so much so I bought some Nepal tongues to go in there! You may want to keep this in mind if you go for this option.
leather boots generally feel a bit more supportive/stiffer when climbing imo which can be a good thing unless the fabric boots are very well fitting.
I went lightweight B2 a couple of years back and regretted it as very soon they wore out. This time I went for the Mantas and they do feel like a light B3 but I expect to get much more use out of them. I wouldn't use them for spring and autumn scrambling as they are a bit clunky.
As CurlyStevo mentioned, those don’t look like heel bails for crampons on your existing boots, so yes not right for the new-matic binding. So regardless of which new ones you choose, do make sure you’re using full strap on crampons with your existing boots. Are your G10s strap on at the heel?
Some options for winter and alpine B2 include Scarpa Ribelle, Scarpa Manta, Scarpa Charmoz, La Sportiva Trango Tower (not to be confused with the Tower Extreme which is a B3), Karakoram HC. Other brands may include Garmont, Lowa, Boreal (Arwa), Aku - although not sure on availability in the UK at the moment.
I have the Aequilibriums but I have only taken them on a summer test walk so can’t speak to durability. They appear to take a crampon okay although I agree the fit is a little funny with the heel. I don’t think it’s a deal breaker though. Also it appears that it may be difficult to get them re-soled in the UK.
Another consideration for winter boots apart from durability and crampon fit (and how well they fit your feet of course) is warmth - heavier boots like the Manta or Karakoram will be warmer. Depends a bit what you’re doing and in what conditions but for any long days where you might be stopping or colder conditions or if belaying on lower grade routes then insulation could be a factor.
Also, you can get G-12s with the full strap on binding so that could be an option too if you’re happy with your existing boots - sell/return the new-mastics, cheaper than new boots. Depends what your objectives are - winter hillwalking, or something that will cross over into winter climbing?
FWIW I know my Meindl boots are not B2 and I haven't said they were.
Macawle, re swopping for the more new classic more flexible bindings, yes, considered that though I read that these can require retightening which may be not possible or very inconvenient, and I note that em with my G10s, I do occasionally find myself doing that, but as its on less technical / steep terrain, its not been an issue.
> I was liking the Sportiva Aequilibrium but the UKC review mentioned some C2 fit issues and a poster also commented on their likely short life span given bog, heather and bracken etc.
Me and my wife have the Aequilibrium ST and have used them for scrambling (Aonach Eagach, North Buttress BEM, Curved Ridge) and also in winter on Golden Oldy on a coldish day (about -4C, -6C coming off the top) and on Fiacaill Couloir (about -4C again) and we've also done some winter talking in them down to -8C. They work well with the Grivel in my opinion, we've both got Airtechs.
The boots are warm enough although we have spent a long time on belays and have worn gaiters when it's been a bit colder (keep legs warm first!).
They do bend and although we've done some very hard snow and ice, I wouldn't like to have to front point a whole route in them given a choice, but they'd do the job and give your calves a workout at the same time.
The braking system is way more than a gimmick too - I did my mountain leader training in them in torrential rain for five days and coming down grass slopes was almost embarrassing as everyone else was slipping over regularly while the brakes worked to dig in. I quite like the cut heel to help with foot roll too - seems to work OK and isn't as 'slappy' as my mantas.
In retrospect I might have bought the leather but so far the fabric is pretty tough wearing!
Thanks for clarifying - the fact that you posted your existing boots with B2 crampons fitted + your comment that they fit but aren’t secure implied to me that you may not have been aware that the boots and crampons are incompatible, but clearly you aware are so all good.
Can’t really comment on the strap on binding potentially coming loose more easily as I haven’t used that binding type much.
Worth pointing out that any type of crampon binding can potentially come loose and require retightening - I guess the type of binding could be a factor here but also perhaps the fit and stiffness of the boot; I can imagine a stiffer boot might enable a more secure fit. In saying that I have had a fully auto crampon come loose on a b3 boot although it has only happened once.
I have the Aequilibrium LT (leather) and get on well with them. I did have issues with the fit of my gravel G12s with them, as there would be a gap at the front where the boot bent and the crampon didn't. I now have a pair of Petzl Sarkan and the fit great.
The boots are just coming to the end of their 2nd winter season and are lasting fine so far. I have done maybe 20 Scottish winter days with them, along with maybe another 20 spring/autumn days. I don't honestly expect them to last as long as the Mantas but so far, no concerns with longevity. I find that I will reach for the Aequilibriums if I think I can get away as they are just so damn comfy. Also the are excellent scramble boots.
The double-heel is blinking good on steep, muddy descents. It is not a gimmick!
As for climbing, I have only used them for winter walking and grade I/II, I would not go higher. I'd get the Mantas out again.
For days that I know I'll be standing around in the cold or the forecast is biblical, I also use the Mantas.
For me, Aequilibriums are fab and I have seen a few pairs on the munro this winter.