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Matt_Anderson

Boot Beta

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Probably should've put this in newbies or gear critic, but . . .

 

My wife and I are going to go do the Ptarmigan (traverse, not ridge) with a couple of friends this summer and need to get her some better boots.

 

I've got more expereince than her and I still don't know shit about long alpine type stuff. The guy with the experience is out of the country and we want to start breaking in her boots sooner than when he gets back.

 

What's optimal for this objective/ how burly do the boots need to be? Leather, full shank? Flexible crampons? Are flexible crampons even relevant if the boot is full shank?

 

Obviously, I'm a total gumby on this inquiry and would love to have someone both frame the question and anwer it.

 

Thanks,

matt

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Matt_Anderson said:

Probably should've put this in newbies or gear critic, but . . .

 

My wife and I are going to go do the Ptarmigan (traverse, not ridge) with a couple of friends this summer and need to get her some better boots.

 

I've got more expereince than her and I still don't know shit about long alpine type stuff. The guy with the experience is out of the country and we want to start breaking in her boots sooner than when he gets back.

 

What's optimal for this objective/ how burly do the boots need to be? Leather, full shank? Flexible crampons? Are flexible crampons even relevant if the boot is full shank?

 

Obviously, I'm a total gumby on this inquiry and would love to have someone both frame the question and anwer it.

 

Thanks,

matt

i suggest heavy investment now in flowers and backrubs and that kina shit. Or else youll be paying later after your little expedition.

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Check it, I got a new pair of Sportiva Makalus, the big shit kicker motherfuckers, and right after I got them I went on a 2 mile hike. I barely made it, my feet and legs hurt so bad. So like the idiot that I am, like 2 months later, after not wearing the boots for that time, I go on another hike, but this time I do 10 miles. the last 5 miles back my knees hurt so bad, I wanted to cry. So I go home, Ice my knees, bigdrink.gif and take some ibuprofen. The next day, I'm fine. Was it just my knees getting old? I don't know, because I bike about 13 miles a day at least 3X a week. I also run 2 or 3X a week, and my knees don't hurt doing that. Since those hikes I've worn the shit out of those things, and I mean I wear em everywhere on the weekends. After like 2 months of frequent use, they're just now getting comfortable. Of course my case may not be representative of the rest of the planet, because I have very big and very wide feet. Bad boot fit for me? maybe. Probably. My point is wear the fuck out of those things in town cuz you do not want to wearing new boots in the backcountry, especially if you're going on a hike like that. just my 2 cents. Anybody know good boots for people with very wide, very big feet?

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How closely do you intend to follow the original route? That included several first ascents that are often circumvented now. In any case, fit is the most important thing. For some reason, ladies don't seem to fit well into the boots I normally see. I've heard a lot of really good field reports on various Zamberlain (spelling?) brand boots. I've run into several who took them treking in Nepal. Their comments were that the required almost no break in and gave good stability. These were from backpacker to mountaineering styles. You might take a look.

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bunglehead said:

Check it, I got a new pair of Sportiva Makalus, the big shit kicker motherfuckers, and right after I got them I went on a 2 mile hike. I barely made it, my feet and legs hurt so bad... Since those hikes I've worn the shit out of those things, and I mean I wear em everywhere on the weekends. After like 2 months of frequent use, they're just now getting comfortable. Of course my case may not be representative of the rest of the planet, because I have very big and very wide feet. Bad boot fit for me? maybe. Probably... Anybody know good boots for people with very wide, very big feet?

 

Women's feet are a bit different (I have little wide feet), but I've had luck with Solomon, Lowa's and Zamberland (for midweight hiking). I cannot wear any La Sportiva shoe because the last is way too narrow in the toebox. I never found my Makalu's to be comfortable and sold them as soon as I bought my Solomon SM8s. Go talk to Jim at PMS. He'll set you up.

 

Matt - My advice, since boots aren't cheap, is to wear them in the store with a pack similar in weight you'll be carrying. Walk around a bit and see if they're comfy. If you buy them at REI though you can take them back and exchange them if they don't work out. Did that with a pair of Asolos that gave me blisters every time I wore them.

 

If she's taking a light pack, a lightweight hiker will be good because they're more comfy. If she's carrying more than 30#s I'd suggest a mid-weight boot. It'll save her feet from bruising on the bottom due to the weight.

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The ptarmigan traverse is a lot of cross country and glacier walking. I did it two years ago in september in 3/4 shank leather boots with flexible aluminum crampons. My partner was in full shank La sportiva karakorams. Anything else would be too much. If you are buying boots, I'd consider what else you want to do with them and don't buy a boot that you will quickly grow out of (experience wise).

 

The best way to break in boots is go on a long hike through snow in spring time slush. The minor postholing is softer than walking on trail and easier on the legs. The boots get wet, soften and mold to your foot. Make sure you put water proof treatment on leather boots first though.

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ski_photomatt said:

The boots get wet, soften and mold to your foot. Make sure you put water proof treatment on leather boots first though.

If you waterproof treat boots, how do the boots get wet?

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Sloth_Man said:

Second ascent has a great selection of boots.

 

I'd go there first.

 

Used boots have the advantage of being broken in. I have had good luck with the 2 pairs I bought there. Go old school with leather liners. I don't think fabric inards can be repaired. They probebly be willing to work with you if the used boots didn't work out.

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Attitude said:

ski_photomatt said:

The boots get wet, soften and mold to your foot. Make sure you put water proof treatment on leather boots first though.

If you waterproof treat boots, how do the boots get wet?

 

In my experience, no matter how much waterproof stuff I put on leather boots, walking all day (or on multiday trips) in wet spring snow will cause wet boots. My understanding is that the waterproofing keeps the leather from getting damaged and cracking when it then dries. I could be completely wrong though. I have noticed when I don't treat them for a while the leather does start look dried out and not so healthy. A little moisture is all that's needed to soften the leather though and make it easier to break in.

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ehmmic said:

Pro Mountain Sports in Seattle. smirk.gif

 

This is an excellent choice. thumbs_up.gif

Finding the right boot can take some time - if you have it. confused.gif I suggest going to other places and get the salesman to give you lots of info.

Some are smarter than others - so keep asking. I tried on about 15 pairs before I found the right boot. Sometimes you may have a comfortable boot but too much room in the instep. Super feet are the best - they take up excess room and are comfy.

And have the appropriate socks with you while shopping. wave.gif

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