/ B1 vs B2, Full Leather vs Fabric etc....

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craig1983 - on 22 Jan 2013
Decided after doing a good few summer Munros and general walking that I'd like to get out and do some in winter, with the possibility of hitting some snow.

So I took a punt on some Scarpa SL M3s as they were going cheaper than the new model, the SL Activ. The boots felt fine in the shop so I went for it.

I've been wearing them to work and whatnot, trying to break them in before using them on a hillside, and have found that my big toe on one side is just touching the end of the boot when simulating walking downhill. I'm a bit worried that it could do some damage on a long walk!

Would everyone agree that the boots are too small if my toes touch at all?

If so, would there be any advantage/disadvantage to going for a B2 boot? As I'd quite like to progress to low grade winter climbs....albeit a bit down the line!

The advantages I can see so far could be weight and comfort if they are fabric based...the SL M3 is a full leather heavy boot!
Disadvantages? Relying on GoreTex lined boots? Do these linings really last?

Are B2 boots just as comfortable/easy to walk in? The SLM3 is a pretty stiff boot for a B1...

Any advice welcome!
iksander on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to craig1983: >Would everyone agree that the boots are too small if my toes touch at all?

Personally yes. My test is to kick a suitable object and if your toes touch, the boots are too small.

I would say that the SL M3s were probably as stiff as most B2 boots (assuming they're not size 15, smaller boots are stiffer). In my opinion they would be OK for taking a walking crampon.

Fabric boots are generally lighter but less durable than full leather boots.
Mountain Llama on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to craig1983: Hi Craig

It sounds like your boots are a tad small - my guide for fit is that if I can't cant my fingers behind my heel without raming my toes against the end then there too small.

I recently sold some SL M3's on UKC for £65ish from memory, I only wore them a couple of times and they we're not for me. You may get a bit more on ebay.

I wear la sportiva tango extremes for summer alps and scottish winter climbing and the SL's have a fairly stiff sole in comparison - my feet are only 41.5 though!

You could try scarpa mantas which are b2 are ok for munros in winter plus grade III climbing.

Best bet is try a few pairs on and see what fits, you could then try and buy second hand to save some cash?

HTH Davey
highclimber - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to craig1983: What size are you I might have some Nepal extremes for sale if they fit!
craig1983 - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Mountain Llama:

Thanks Davey, some good advice.
I'm surprised that the 'B1' M3 has a stiffer sole than the 'B3' Trango Extreme...I think I just discounted B2 & B3 boots thinking that they would be too stiff to do alot of walking mileage in. I'll hit the shops at the weekend and try on a few different types....get them properly fitted and take it from there.

highclimber - thanks, but I think Davey above is right, need to go get properly fitted for different boots....learned my lesson on taking a punt!
Mountain Llama on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to craig1983: Hi Craig

Just to qualify, I said the SL's had a stiff sole in comparison to the trangos, ie they are v stiff for a b1 boot. In addition, small sizes tend to be stiffer than say a size 12, I take a 7. So the SL'S are stiff but not to the extent of the trango extremes.

Good luck with your boot hunting, Davey

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