View Full Version : The Great Question: Plastic or Leather?

01-30-2007, 09:02 PM
So I am looking into purchasing some mountaineering boots and I like the flexibility of leather, but first and foremost I want my feet to be warm and dry. I will be using these boots on some larger climbs, Rainier and possibly McKinley so they need to be maxed for alpine climbs. I don't want to pay more than $500. Any recommended brands, sellers, types?

Bill O
01-30-2007, 09:11 PM
If you are talking about Rainier and McKinley then you don't need to worry about leather, not an option there. Well, not on McKinley, maybe on Rainier.

My personal favorite is the Koflach Degre. Very comfortable. Only costs $269. If you buy used just make sure the liners aren't packed out. This boot will get you up Mount Washington and Rainier, but might leave you cold on Denali.

For Denali you are going to need thicker liners or the Koflach Arctis Expe. Another option is the Everest Onesport boot (might have a different name now). Pretty much the warmest mountaineering boot out there, and the gaiters are built in so you wont need gaiters or overboots on Denali. Besides Vinson Massif in Antarctica, Denali is one of the coldest mountains on Earth. Don't mess around up there with your feet.

01-30-2007, 10:25 PM
Thanks for the advice, I figured leather wouldn't cover my bases, one can always hope though. The Everest Onesport is way out of my price-range and the Koflach Degre seems to have some really awful reviews but the Koflach Arctis Expe seems like it could be good.

Bill O
01-30-2007, 10:43 PM
What are the awful reviews on the Degre's? I have no complaints about mine.

I tend to think very little of online reviews. People who have positive experiences rarely give praise while the people with complaints tend be the very vocal minority.

01-31-2007, 08:20 AM
If you are thinking of Mckinley, go with the Arctis Expe's from Koflach - you feet will thank you - I bought mine at 20off from Ems a few years ago - there's deals to be had - you just need to be patient. I bought my first pair of Scarpa Inverno's years ago in the middle of July at one of EMS' sidewalk sales - 125.00 - someone probably got them as a gift and returned them. So you don't need to pay full retail if you're patient.

leather recliners
05-30-2007, 01:58 PM
Well you can find a way to combine leather and plastic to get something right. By curiosity, how long does it takes to climb McKinley, and how long does it takes to train yourself to do that? Anyway, i admire you people very much, you feel freedom in its purity.

05-30-2007, 02:02 PM
I've got both plastic mountaineering boots as well as a "soft" boot made out of various materials. For plastic boots I have the Koflach Degre. For my "soft" boot I have Millet Alpinists. I have used both types of boot on Washington during the winter & I prefer my Alpinist boots for day trips in the whites. Longer multi day trips get my Degre boots.

05-30-2007, 04:07 PM
I am currently training for Mckinley - I leave June 26th. I work out year round, but began a more specific training program back in December - you really can't overtrain for a climb like that. 6 mos, I believe is minimum to prepare adequately for a climb of Mckinley. Weather is the big wild card determining the trip length. Minimum time with perfect weather would be 13-15 days, with 16-21 days being more typical. Regarding an earlier question about boots - The koflach degree would be fine for Rainier spring, summer and fall - for winter, I would go with a beefier boot like the artis expe. For multiday trips, the preferred type is the double plastic with liner - this way you can take the liners out and dry them in or alongside you bag at night - nothing worse than putting on a pair of frozen boots in the morning. The single design boots are better suited for day trips IMO.

05-31-2007, 08:20 AM
Have I been suckered by a spammer?