/ Winter mountain boots?

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imahuman118 22 Oct 2019

Hey guys I'm looking to get new boots for a Scotland winter trip. Hopefully there will be lots of snow and we'll mostly hike in crampons/snow shoes and do some easy ice climbing (I've been told you can ice climb in B2 boots, can you verify this?). I need help picking a boot, I went to the local store where there were only two boots available, the La sportiva trango towers fit perfectly, but I was told they're not warm enough. I couldn't get the scarpa manta pro's to fit properly in any size with any sole, either my toes felt too squashed or my heel was rubbing as I stepped.

I'm going to a larger store to try more shoes but need advice, does you have any boot recommendations? (requirements are warm and B2 or B3 compatible)

Also does anyone know the difference between the nepal evo, extreme and cube? It doesn't really explain on the la sportiva website.

olddirtydoggy 23 Oct 2019
In reply to imahuman118:

From what you're saying it sounds like you might be fairly new to the winter game and that's great, I'm no veteran. Unless you're teaming up with experienced partners, I doubt you'll be hitting big ice routes. There isn't a huge amount of ice routes unless conditions come in and then you got to find them. Last season we were up in Glen Coe in Feb on the top of the Buachille in t shirts and trainers getting a tan in 15 degrees. When I do get out I use La Sportiva Nepal Cube as they are warm and stiff.

Not sure what shops you have around the Leicester area but just a bit further up North you can visit Outside at Hathersage and get great info and try lots of stock. Good luck.

In reply to imahuman118:

For sure you can climb in B2's. Scotland isn't generally so cold, so if you run warm and keep moving then I'd be ok with B2's. If you're planning on long belays at the crag in the harshest conditions then obviously you'll want all the warmth you can get. 

Jasonic 23 Oct 2019
In reply to imahuman118:

Worth going to a specialist shop with a good selection- Outside/needlesports/climbers shop etc.

Boots vary so much - smaller sizes seem to be more stiffer than larger ones- some models are warmer than others. B2s fine for general winter mountaineering - B3s are better for steeper ground. Worth also sizing up from street shoes size-buying good quality socks- many people also use superfeet inners-although have not tried this.

In reply to imahuman118:

It sounds like what you're after is an all-round mountain boot, more than a higher end technical model.

Something in the B2 ballpark would generally be more comfy for walking in than a B3, and should work for you up into the lower winter climbing grades. Exactly how hard you can happily climb in this sort of mid-range boot will depend partly on how big your feet are (larger feet = more leverage on the sole = more flex, which you don't generally want on steeper ground).

As you've mentioned, you do also need to consider insulation; some all-round mountain boots are more summer alpine-oriented and likely to be a bit chilly in a Scottish hoolie.

That said, if you find something that fits well that just happens to be more along the B3 lines then it will do for easier stuff, could prove warmer, and will also future-proof you in case you are bitten by the winter climbing bug and want to progress onto harder routes in future. 

Bear in mind that the B rating is just a rough guide to a boot's rigidity and capability. Some brands don't even refer to B-C ratings for boots and crampons.

If you're buying crampons as well then you need to make sure in the shop that they fit the specific boot you've chosen, since not all makes/models will be an ideal match.  

And as for boots, there's no substitute for trying loads of pairs/makes on before making a purchase. The best way to do this is to go to a town that has a lot of outdoor shops in close proximity, since each shop is only likely to carry a few of the brands available. Go everywhere and spend hours trying each possible pair on, several times if necessary. Head for somewhere like Ambleside, Keswick, Aviemore, Llanberis or Covent Garden...

This review of several mid-range models might be a useful starting place:

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/gear/footwear/mountain_boots/all_round_b1-b2_mountain_boots-11233

glenn0010 23 Oct 2019
In reply to imahuman118:

I have the La Sportiva Trango Towers and I find they are warm enough for most cases. I have used them in both the Alps and Scotland. I only wear a pair of bridgdale mid weight socks and find it's not too hot nor to cold. If you want some more warmth, a pair of liner socks and heavyweight socks will good I reckon. 

pass and peak 24 Oct 2019
In reply to imahuman118:

> Also does anyone know the difference between the nepal evo, extreme and cube? It doesn't really explain on the la sportiva website.

I've had and still have all 3 reincarnations of this boot. There pretty much the same in most respects, the Evo was just an Extreme with an elastic gator around the top to keep the snow out and incorporated some fabric in the tongue. The Cube is an Extreme with more fabric/synthetic either side of the tongue, supposedly improves fit around the ankle, not sure about that, however it's less time spent breaking them in, which was a pain with the Extreme's as they always gave me lower shin rub when new! Also though they don't sate so, I feel the Cube is slightly more rigid and slightly less volume than the Extreme, but that might just be my knackered old feet changing shape. Good boot by the way and my go to boots for Scottish winter above grade 3, or on those cold days of standing around at the belay.


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