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wfinley

Leather Mountaineering Boots?

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Once again it's time for new leather mountaineering boots and once again I am overwhelmed by all the new choices. I haven't bought boots in a few years so I don't know what's hot or not. These boots will be for spring / summer alpine routes in places like the Chugach mountains around Anchorage and occasionally the Alaska Range in places like Little Switzerland. Here are my requirements:

 

- I'll need them for spring and summer alpine routes; temps will vary from 20 to 60 so I want them to be fairly warm

- I want them fully crampon compatible (toe and heel) because I'm too cheap to buy new crampons

- They need to be comfy enough for long hikes (30+ miles)

- They need to decent (but not great) on ice and supple enough for easy rock

 

In the past I've had the Saloman Guides (they came out around 1999 and were lighter then the Mountain Guide); these were great boots that lasted 3 seasons of heavy use plus 1 season after a resole. They are now trashed. I also had the La Sportiva Cumbres - but these fell apart after 2 seasons and gave me severe blisters. I also have the lightweight Sportiva Trangos; but these aren't warm enough for spring conditions and I don't feel comfy on steep snow or ice. Likewise I use plastic boots all winter so I won't need them to be ultra warm or stiff.

 

So in order of ranking:

 

1. Waterproof

2. Comfort for hiking

3. Warmth

4. Flexible enough for easy rock

5. Stiffness for ice and snow

 

Any suggestions?

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the old blue Scarpa Freny was near perfect.

 

my advice is don't get anything with a goretex liner or fabric patches. one piece leather upper mandatory.

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Thanks all... I'll check out the Nepals. In regards to the Freny... i agree about the fabric. The latest craze for super light boots is nice as long as you don't mind buying 2 pairs of boots per season. I seem to be able to destroy lightweight hikers in half a summer.

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I realy liked the Kaylands, but had to return them as I bought them 1/4 size too small.

I'm in search of the perfect boot. If I find it, I'll buy two!

 

It sucks how everyone is going to fabric or are using too many stiches.

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Ditto the Scarpa mantas. Found at the thrift shop, practically new for $6 (not a typo). Great boot. One piece of leather except for the rear heel strip. Practically indestructable but not too heavy. Way lighter than the old Norweigen welt Raichle boots they replaced.

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2 questions.... (1) who sells the Scarpa mantas - I've only seen them on UK websites.

 

(2) Tried on the Nepals tonight. They are really nice - light and comfy... but SPENDY! :o $450 is an insane amount to spend on boots - especially leather boots. How well do these hold up? Will these take a beating?

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Wfinley. I have had teh Nepal Exreams for 3 years now. THey work great!! I love mine. One thing (think all boots will have this problem). The part for the front toe bail is wearing thin and I have to be real carefull about making sure my crampons are on real good otherwise they pop off. To let you know I have done a LOT of scree "climbing" in them so they got warn fast. I belive I can have this fixed via boot repair in seattle. Since I have switched to AT gear in winter and spring I don't use these boots till summer and they are a bit warm for summer in the cascades. But if you want a boot that is good for all conditions this is the boot. I have a hard time justifying the purchase of newer lighter boots since these are still working for me.

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Here's another vote on Nepal's. They have been my favorite boot by a long shot. They are really warm, which is great when it's cold\cool.

 

Mine have that double tongue which I found helpful in dialing in the fit.

 

-r

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I've had a pair of Nepalis for years, taken them on multiple long expeditions, and the only thing I needed to replace was the sole b/c I wore the tread down and compressed it to the point where crampons wouldn't fit them. The leather up remains completely intact. I've replaced the shoe laces several times.

 

The point is: $450 for a pair of boots that can last for years isn't such a bad deal.

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You can also get Nepals for just over $300 on the web. I'm also shopping for (lighter) La Sportivas.

Care to share a link for that deal?

 

FYI - for lighter Sportivas - I have the Trangos Evo GTX; they are nice and comfy. They are perfect for scrambles and moderate rock but I do not like kicking steps in them. They accept full clip on crampons but the boots feels too wimpy for a front toe bail; if you have crampons with a toe strap they'd be better.

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Didn't save the link (wrong boot). Google the boot name you're looking for + "sale" and you'll find it. Pretty much how I shop for everthing.

 

I've been climbing in old school all leather (inside and out) Makalus; they climb wonderfully but they are just too cold for some trips. I'm looking for Ice Evos or something like that.

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I'm just sad that the Salomon mountaineering boots are no longer available. All of their serious boots always fit me absolutely perfectly with no break-in required. Felt like slippers.

 

Desperately hanging onto the two old pairs I've got...

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I'm just sad that the Salomon mountaineering boots are no longer available. All of their serious boots always fit me absolutely perfectly with no break-in required. Felt like slippers. Desperately hanging onto the two old pairs I've got...

 

I'm with you there. I finally opted to retire mine after the sole peeled off this weekend. :cry:

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I like my Zamberlans. Alot. Leathers seem take forever to break in, but once that happens they are like on old baseball mit!

 

www.zamberlan.com

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The Nepal Extremes are versatile, great for winter and early spring in the Cascades. I have never had cold feet with them, they do get a bit warm in the summer. They are not the most comfortable for hiking (If an approach is long I would reccommend bringing something to approach in). I've gotten heel blisters once in these guys, because I was "saving weight" and did a long approach in them. I have used them for waterfall ice as well as general cascade climbs. I prefer leathers to plastics, so maybe I am jaded in my answer. :)

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I just picked up a pair of Scarpa Charmoz GTX's. Synthetic upper with goretex. Probably only a late spring to early fall boot. Caught a sale at REI for 20% off so $200US.

 

Only using them for scrambles and the odd summer glacier crossing, supposed to match well with the Grivel Air Tech New-Matic crampon.

 

Went on one 3 1/2 hour scramble, heel stayed in place no break-in hot spots anywhere. So far so good, will see how they hold up.

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Scarpa Triolet are light, and leather to the ankle. Not overly warm, so if you see hours of kicking steps for several hours you may want something else. Perform very well on rock.

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