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Do I need winter boots?

Re: Do I need winter boots?

Postby dav2930 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:19 pm

BobMcBob wrote:
Alteknacker wrote:Just one point on matching boots and crampons: I bought the wrong type of boots/crampons and had to exchange the boots. I then discovered Andy Kirkpatrick's website, and this is the only place where I've found the subject to be comprehensively covered. Well worth a look.

I rarely wear winter boots and crampons, because I don't find the stiff sole comfortable; but I always take them with me, just in case. As SW says, you can go a long way once you start to slide downhill on snow; so if in doubt, especially when descending, I put on the (not very comfortable) boots and crampons, and grip the axe that bit tighter...!!


This is an interesting post for me, as my osteopath has told me in no uncertain terms, that I must not wear stiff soled boots if I want my knees to last beyond the age of 50. As far as he's concerned, stiff soles and high ankle support, especially when descending slopes, are the worst thing you can possibly do for your knees. My usual technique of flexible soles and descending on the balls of my feet is great, but I wear stiff soles for work and and those plus a lot of kneeling have ruined my knees.

So, what's the most flexible boot/crampon combination that exists?

I totally sympathize with you on this. I used to wear 12pt crampons on my Zamberlan Inverno's, which are definitely not crampon-compatible (officially). It's surprising what you can get away with - inadvisably! But since I bought my Mammut mountain-trail GTX's I haven't felt the need to be so daft. They are surprisingly flexible for crampon-compatible boots and are very comfortable to walk in on and off the snow. I don't know of a more flexible winter walking boot than these, but it's probably worth doing some research on this interesting question.
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Re: Do I need winter boots?

Postby mikecrockatt » Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:50 pm

I also own a pair of Mammut Gtx Trails and have used them with a pair of Grivel G10s with no issues at all. However, when I went to do a winter skills course at Glenmore Lodge the instructor was shocked that they were considered B1 due to the amount of flex in the sole and said I would definitely need more rigid boots. I think her rationale was that there was more chance that the boot could pop out of the crampon which could leave you in a bit of a sticky situation. Also if the crampon failed/broke for any reason a more rigid boot would be better for kicking steps into snow or ice. So on that basis I now use a B2 boot but like I said I never had an issue with the mammuts when I did use them.
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Re: Do I need winter boots?

Postby gman » Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:12 pm

mikecrockatt wrote:the instructor was shocked that they were considered B1 due to the amount of flex in the sole and said I would definitely need more rigid boots.


Instructors and a lot of shops will give this as standard advice, however the experience of many of us is that B0/B1 boots and C1 crampons (with a flex bar) are often the best combination for winter Munro bagging as they're fine for the steep bits and much better on the flat than stiffer-soled boots. B2+ boots would obviously be the better option for graded winter climbs. I've never had a problem with G10s coming loose on my B0 Meindl Burmas.
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Re: Do I need winter boots?

Postby prog99 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:36 pm

Indeed, I very rarely wear my B1 boots these days but stick to b0.75 ones instead. Can kick steps fine and a g10 crampon works.
Your normal munro routes shouldn't be going anywhere near grade 1 territory!

Did have an interesting day on the lochnagar circuit in B3 boots. My poor feet at the end of the day! I'd gone via the black spout and had just packed my normal winter climbing boots without really thinking about the grade of route.
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Re: Do I need winter boots?

Postby LeithySuburbs » Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:42 pm

Another "I use flexible crampons with B0" boots post here. I had a pair of Raichle (what Mammut used to be called) MT Trail for 6 years and used them many time with crampons without issue. I now have a pair of North Face Verbera Lightpacker and they are also ideal for most Scottish winter conditions and take a crampon. I just can't walk any distance in anything stiffer.
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Re: Do I need winter boots?

Postby BobMcBob » Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:06 am

This is all extremely encouraging :)
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Re: Do I need winter boots?

Postby Hutchymh » Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:30 pm

All this is putting me in the mood to get out! Come on snow!
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