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Thread: Gear Question - Plastic Boots

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  1. #1
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    Arrow Gear Question

    Hello People,

    Quick Survey of Plastic boots and fit,

    I have in my possession two sizes of Scarpa Vegas and I am torn. I went with these because they looked to be the best quality for the money, but this point could be argued ad nausium.

    However after wearing them both with insoles and thick socks for about a week I am still no better off. The larger size fits very comfortably and I could certainly wear them all day, but I noticed when front pointing up my stairs that the heel was slipping up a bit and they are a bit sloppy. On the other hand, the half size lower fits nice and snug especially when front pointing but after lounging around in them, sitting, walking for a few hours, I noticed some discomfort.

    It seems like in skiing and climbing the footwear is always supposed to hurt, but what is the consensus on mountaineering?

    Thanks (non gender specific) guys,

    As an aside to anyone reg. the larger size I mention, despite the UK sizing and everything, once I slipped in some superfeet and a thick wool sock I was back to my regular US. shoe size.

  2. #2
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    I'd argue that footwear is ever supposed to hurt in skiing and climbing. Maybe in rock climbing there might be some discomfort when you are off the rock, but they should never hurt.

    Same thing with skiing, whoever told you the boots should hurt is just dead wrong. Unless you are an Olympic ski racer or walking on stairs, the boots should never hurt. I used to downhill ski and my boots felt great, now that I telemark the boots are even more comfortable.

    Same thing with mountaineering. Your boots should not hurt...period! I had a pair of Scarpa Invernos that were too big so they could accommodate thick socks and foot swelling at high altitudes. One of the worst hiking experiences ever. I have permanent calluses and my shins.

    I sold those boots on Ebay and bought some Koflachs and they couldn't be more comfortable. I could and have worn them all day without a complaint.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

  3. #3
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    I don't think they are supposed to hurt, comfort is key.

    My rec, buy a pair of superfeet and stick em in the larger ones. You'll be amazed how they help...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian
    Hello People,

    Quick Survey of Plastic boots and fit,

    I have in my possession two sizes of Scarpa Vegas and I am torn. I went with these because they looked to be the best quality for the money, but this point could be argued ad nausium.

    However after wearing them both with insoles and thick socks for about a week I am still no better off. The larger size fits very comfortably and I could certainly wear them all day, but I noticed when front pointing up my stairs that the heel was slipping up a bit and they are a bit sloppy. On the other hand, the half size lower fits nice and snug especially when front pointing but after lounging around in them, sitting, walking for a few hours, I noticed some discomfort.

    It seems like in skiing and climbing the footwear is always supposed to hurt, but what is the consensus on mountaineering?

    Thanks (non gender specific) guys,

    As an aside to anyone reg. the larger size I mention, despite the UK sizing and everything, once I slipped in some superfeet and a thick wool sock I was back to my regular US. shoe size.

  4. #4
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    If you have to use thick socks or insoles to compensate for an ill-fitting boot than maybe you need a different boot. Have you ever considered the Scarpa Omegas(Alphas)? The Omegas may be better suited to the shape of your particular foot and they come with thermo-fit liners which can be custom molded to further improve fit as will. They are also much lighter than the Invernos(Vegas), which can make hiking those long approaches easier.

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    I don't know about skiing, but when rock climbing the footwear does not suppose to heart.
    If you feel uncomfortable when climbing change those shoes before you start damaging the foot.
    ___
    http://www.mycliffbuddies.com

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    If the boots are hutning you you better change them to a different pair and the sooner the better (befoer you start damaging your feet...)
    A friend of mine was grounded for three months because of such nonsense...
    __
    http://www.mycliffbuddies.com

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    I would try on some different boots. It maybe that Scarpa's last just doesn't fit your foot. Try a different brand. Also, watch for wearing a boot that is too big. On a down climb you will slam your toes into the front of the boot too much causing discomfort and possibly loss of some toenails (been there, done that). A number of years ago when I started climbing the best advice I got was to make sure I was comfortable in my boots.

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    This is how I select the proper size when it comes to plastic boots. The key to getting a good fit is sizing the shell rather than the inner boot.

    1) Wear the type of sock you intend to use with the boots
    2) Remove the inner boot
    3) Put your foot into the shell while wearing your socks.
    4) Slide your foot forward until you feel a toe touching the front of the shell boot.
    5) You should have a space between your heel and the heel of the boot shell that is between 3/4" to 1".
    6) Once you have found the correct size shell all you have to do is get the inner boot the same size as whatever your shoe size is.

    The above procedure works for me and I think it's the best way to fit plastic double boots. Not everyone will agree but you can at least try it and see how it works for you. The biggest issue is finding an outfitter that will let you individually choose your shell and inner boots.

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    I am planning my first big winter (I have a fair amount of 3-season experience) backpacking trip, and had been reading up on footwear. I am looking to go to for 4-5 days in Lincoln National Forest in central NM, near Ski Apache, early this January. I will be hiking in an area that ranges from 6500' at the trail head to 11500' on one of the peaks, with the majority of the hiking on a high ridgeline at ~9000-10000'. Fortunately, there is a SNOTEL station at 10200' in this portion of the forest so I have been pull up data from last year, and some spotty data from previous years. Day time temps highs average just above freezing, but go as high as the high 40's, while night time lows range average around 20F. Snow depth last year was in the 15-16" range. I expect a couple of inches in snow variance with altitude (to include possibly no snow at all around the trailhead), and plan on scrapping the trip and going elsewhere if there is more than 30" when I am preparing to leave. Given those temperature ranges and an expected snow depth of ~15" (up to a little over 30" at the peaks) I had a couple of questions about footwear. Right now I have a pair of Asolo 520 GTX heavy hiking boots and OR Croc Graiters, but wanted to see if what the consensus would be on investing in plastic boots and crampon, or if I should consider using snowshoes for this trip (I already own a pair of atlas snowshoes). Also I am planning on around 10 miles a day of backpacking (less if I am on snowshoes) if that effects anything.

    I am not worried about the cost of making this investment as I am tentatively planning a trip to Rainier this summer, and will hopefully be moving to Wyoming within the next couple of years for school, so I will probably be investing in them sooner or later regardless.

    I appreciate any advice you have.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by feind2
    I am planning my first big winter (I have a fair amount of 3-season experience) backpacking trip...
    I think you could invest in some plastic boots. Especially if you are going to Rainier and doing anything in the winter in Wyoming.

    That snotel data is helpful, but its only one year. And last year was pretty dry in NM if I remember correctly. They really do have feast or famine down there and you could be stomping on dust in the 50's or 20 feet of snow in the teens. Its the weather and changes all the time. So be prepared. Anything above a foot of snow and you are going to want snowshoes, unless you know its consolidated.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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