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undermind

Koflach: Degre vs. Vertical vs. Arctis

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So besides what the website has to offer, are there advantages of getting the Vertical or Arctis over the Degre besides warmth?

 

I do peaks in the 10-14k range, and don't really have interest in doing bigger peaks or climbing in nasty conditions. My main concern is to keep my feet away from cold or wetness in any form. Secondary concerns are precision in stepping, and weight.

 

Price is not an issue, I just want the best boot. And I already have leathers, so this will absolutely be a plastic.

 

Thanks!

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when I was in the market a few years ago I was told that the degre was all I would need in the northwest. This has been true--plenty of warmth on all climbs I used them for. In fact, my feet usually were on the hot side. Of course everybody's different, but I couldn't imagine using thicker insulation in the cascades.

They are great for snow/AI but prolly on the clunky side for technical M and WI routes...

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Not to hijack a thread but does anyone have any feedback on how Degres with Intuition liners might work in the Himalaya or on Denali? I have a friend who is pondering a similar purchase but is thinking about adding some altitude to the mix

 

Undermind - Everyone I know seems to love the boot.

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I have both the arctis (colder places like denali) and the degree (local). The degree liner will last a lot longer. I have found that the arctis liner takes a longer time to dry out because it doesn't have small holes in the material like the degree liner. So it gets progressively wetter from sweat (warmer liner) and stays that way till I get home. I usually try to hang it from the tent to dry out. Both are good for walking long ways. Both suck for ice climbing.

 

No experience with the verticals. Would expect it to be a good ice and less good walking boot.

 

There are lots of places to rent koflach. Try before you buy to see if your foot will fit their designs. Usually normal to wide feet do good.

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I have Verticals

A bit stiffer than the Degre (good for ice climbing) and liner is a bit lighter than the Artic Expe so the boot is lighter. You could put intuitions in a Vertical to warm it up.

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My first plastic boot 15 years ago was the Koflach Ultra (the early men's version of the later women's Viva Soft). Switched to an early version of the Arctis Comprex after about 5 years, and I climbed PNW volcanoes and Canadian water ice with the Arctis Comprex for about 10-12 years. They were just great for the conditions around the PNW and BC/Alberta, but were too warm for me and tended to keep my feet wet with condensed sweat, like genepires said. They were a blue and gray affair, with an inner lining of felt over foam.

 

Switched to the Vertecals a couple of years ago, and even though they're supposed to be warmer than the Degre, I find that the liner is much better ventilated than either one of the Arctis Comprex or the Degre (I replaced the Arctis Comprex liners with Degre liners about 4 years ago, before buying the Vertecals, to see if I could get any more life out of the Arctis boots - no dice). I find that the Vertecals are just the right warmth, the liner breathes quite well for my feet, it either doesn't get wet or it dries out extremely quickly, and I stay just toasty. I've climbed in temps from +40F down to -25F with them and have had no problems with sweat/wetness when it warm outside or frozen toes when it's cold.

 

From 15 years of experience with three different Koflach boots, I would have to say that the Vertecal is better suited to WI climbing than low-angle slope slogging/trail hiking, and is considerably less clunky than any of the predecessors that I've used when it comes to making "mixed moves" in them. It also turns well (as well as one can turn in mountaineering boots) in my Fritschi/Fischer AT set-up, too.

 

And they are the only brand of boot that I've been able to wear that fits my feet without pain. I have a 10.5EE foot; super wide and flat, like a flipper. For all these reasons, my vote goes to Vertecals. YMMV

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Great info, thanks guys.

 

The Vertical uses the same shell as the Arctis, but uses 1 size smaller to compensate for the thinner liner. So in that regard I would suspect that the Vertical would be maybe just a bit less clunky.

 

Well, it sounds like the Vertical or Degre might be best for my situation. I'm more likely to be slogging than doing vertical ice. I just question whether the Vertical would be as comfortable on apprach hikes, being that it's a little stiffer.

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I've logged many miles in those beat up degrees. Never a blister. Just put some good insoles and you will be fine with degrees.

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...I'm more likely to be slogging than doing vertical ice. I just question whether the Vertical would be as comfortable on apprach hikes, being that it's a little stiffer.

 

The Vertecal will be less comfortable than the Degre for your typical application. Just don't lace it all the way up or too tightly.

 

You may want to add a pad to the front of your shin when you descend. You can get "shinbangs" with a boot that's too stiff for trail hiking, as others on this site have noted in other threads. Shinbanging typically occurs on the descent.

 

Now, I know I'm gonna catch shit from a bazillion people on this board when I say this, but I have had good results by taking a Kotex maxi-pad and cutting it in half (in the short direction) and placing the absorbent side toward the shin. Put the half-pad outside of your liner sock and inside your insulating sock to keep it in place at the boot cuff level. You could also use some athletic tape directly on the skin, but I'm too hirsute for that nonsense (actually, too wimpy when it comes to tearing the tape off blush.gif ).

 

PS: Get ready for the merciless taunting you'll receive from your (so-called) friends... smirk.gif

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Well, I got the Degre's. The weight and slogging comfort influenced that decision.

 

I got size 13's US. I normally wear 11.5/12's. But the 12's felt way tight. Not in length necessarily, but all around my foot. I wore Smartwool Mountaineer socks with liners when trying on the boots. I couldn't believe I was trying on 13's, but they felt better. They are still quite snug around my foot.

 

One thing I noticed is that the liner tongue says 12.5 UK / 13 US. But when I took the liner out, there is a 12 stamped on the inside of the shell. Is this normal? A size 13 liner and 12 shell?

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Well, I know that Koflach uses the same shell for the half size below. (11.5 and 12 liner both use the same shell) But doesn't make sense to me in this case. But I don't know, maybe it's perfectly normal... I tried to call Koflach today but the # on the website doesn't connect you to a live person.

 

What seems the most peculiar is that I tried on last year's pair (new old stock) at Marmot Mountain that were 11.5's and they fit me perfectly. That IS my normal size, so that makes sense. I just find it disturbing that I ended up getting 13's. Now I question if I truly am getting the right fit. The liner is so snug it's hard to tell.

 

I'm going to start a specific sizing thread..

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i have size 10.5 (UK) koflach verticals with a size 10.5 liner in them.

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If you are worried about the fit, maybe try doing a shell fit. Take the liner out, put your socked foot in the shell, with toes just touching the front of the shell in normal standing posture. See how much room there is between your heel and the back of the shell. There should be tight two-finger space to loose two-finger space, depending on how much of a technical versus warmth fit you want.

 

At least you will know if the shell is the right size.

 

Then by some Intuition liners, or stick it out in the stock liners until they wear out and replace them with Intuitions.

 

my 2 cents

Edited by dbconlin

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I'm having a hell of a time finding Verticals anywhere. I called Koflach...kind of a joke. And their website is no help: Dealer Locater "Coming Soon."

 

No one in Portland has any. Anyone know of a shop in or around Seattle? Or Bend? I reluctant to buy them mail order, but I have even looked at MGEAR and others. No one seems to have any, or any in my size (10).

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dbconlin, thanks for the tip, I'll try it tonight. I tried my foot in the shell, but didn't measure.

 

Couloir, Moosejaw has 10's in the Verticals right now on sale for $314 plus 5% off that. If you want to try them on in person, I would try Feathered Friends in Seattle.. There is a member here on the boards from FF named "featheredfriends" of all things. You could PM him. But it seems like not a lot of people are carrying the Verticals right now. You might want to call Marmot Mountain in Bellevue WA also. But then you wouldn't be in sales-tax- free Oregon anymore!

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