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NShighlander

To Plastic or Not

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Hi,

 

I am looking into buying a pair of alpine boots (since I've had really bad luck renting lately)

 

I am looking for recommendations on boots.

What is the consensus... do people still like plastic boots even though they seem to be going out of style with manufactures not making them anymore

or

Are people embracing the new soft boots for northern cascade climbs.

I'd like to hear peoples experience and opinions!

 

Thanks for the help

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I have plastic boots, but that is b/c I mainly ice climb in them. however, on approaches i don't have any problem or discomfort with them--and I've made a couple of unpleasant approaches in Montana. My feet were still fine.

 

I am sure experienced alpine climbers can give you much better feedback, but from my experience, I can say that dry feet and strong foot/ankle support are a good thing for me.

 

 

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The only plastics you should own are ski boots!

 

Unless you plan on spending extended time on the snow at high altitude (Denali, stuff in Peru, etc.) or plan on spending a lot of time on Rainier.

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I have always used leather boots. This year I got some Asolo AFS Evos. They are super warm and offer tons of support. If you check out my trip report on Thielsen you'll see the bad.. The liner in the those EVOs just chews up my feet! Had the same problem on hood.. Some Intuition liners are in my future!! I wanted a boot for alpine and ice climbing. I don't think there is one boot that will do it all though.. I might get a set of the Trangos for summer alpine.

 

 

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I'm really happy with LaSportiva Nepal Evo and my Trangos. When I climb around here, they are more than adequate.

 

I spend a lot of time in ski boots on the mountains and really have to deal with a lot of overwarm and persperation issues. I'm happier in leathers, but they don't work so hot on my skis! :)

 

-r

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I'm sure that you'll get a ton of feedback on this. I wear Scarpa Invernos, and my feet do pretty well. The longest trips I've been on in them are probably about 14 miles r/t.

 

That said, they are heavier than shit, and I'd much prefer my hiking boots.

 

But, if I need the stiffness to hold my pons on some steep stuff, I have to go with the plastics as they are all I've got.

 

I know that there are several models of boot out there that are intended to be plastic replacements and have plenty of stiffness to them.

 

I may eventually go that way myself.

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Thanks for the feedback,

I think I may try and go for a pair of the newer (non plastics) and see how they fit.

Most of my climbing will be cascade climbs. The one thing I am worried about is keeping my feet dry! (heard some good and bad about the boots listed below)

I have had two really bad experiences with Plastics, with my last rendering me usless for over a week!

 

I am thinking of trying the

Garmont Tower GTX

La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX

Scarpa Triolet GTX

 

Any others I might think of trying?

Thanks again!

 

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I have the Scarpa Triolet, and love them. They are a great summer/late spring mountaineering boot. Really excel on destinations with long approaches. Really like the fact that they are full leather bottoms, hopefully will be a little more durable in abrasive scrambles. Definitely not cut out for winter or early spring, as they tend to be a little cold. Very good for mixed stuff, and where dexterity is at a premium. I guess if your feet run warm they may work on some spring routes, but I would still be hesitant to go above 12K in them unless warmer temps are assured. Just my $0.02

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the boots you have chosen dont even come close to comparing them against plastic..I couldnt even begin to think aobut completing some trips that I have done in my plastics with the garmonts, the trango's, which I own, or te Scarpa's..apples and oranges

 

if you plan on hiking for longer than 2-3 days with big loads none of those boots will work, the Nepal extremes are awesome if you like La sportiva

 

I have plastics and ya there heavy but for hike outs longer than a couple days I would never go with out them. Surprising to hear you had problems with blisters on them as I always found plastics had no break in time. My feet have never gotten wet in plastics and to be able to wear my liners to bed is awesome, especially watching people stuff their feet in frozen leathers.

 

if you can only buy one boot, get the nepals

 

cheers

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My Asolo AFS EVOs gnaw up my heals on the ascent. Otherwise they are fine. I'm sure a set of Intuitions will fix it.

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There's little reason to wear plastic in the Cascades short of full-on technical ice-climbing or trips where you'll be on a glacier for more than 24 hours. I don't know much about the former, but the only place I'd wear plastic myself (I have Koflach Degre's) is on Rainier. And even there, if I was going on one of the standard two-day routes, I'd probably wear my leather mountaineering boots. Today's flexible crampons will stay on practically anything to tromp up glaciers short of front-pointing, so your only issue is cold. One thing you can do is take a lot of care to stay off the ice when you are around camp and not moving. Sit on your pad with your feet on it too. If you carry a closed-cell pad, as opposed to something that inflates too, like Thermarest, you can just stand on it when you are cooking and eating. Stand on your snowshoes if you have them, etc.

 

My current leather boots are Raichles, for which I love the fit. I was able to hike long distances in them almost immediately after I bought them, as opposed to the La Sportiva Makalus that I could NEVER really break in. But the Raichle uppers are no well made. This is their second real season and the first was not very heavy, but the stitching has come out on some parts of the sides and I am already fixing them with Shoe Goo. But they are super comfy and, so far, weather tight despite the problem. I was in snow for many miles last weekend and did a number of stream crossings that saw water well above my ankles and no leaks.

 

Good luck.

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There are ton of nice lighter leather boots out in the market that would be sufficent for the WA cascades. I have a La Sportiva Nepal Tops that I bought after I purchased them I ended up keeping my plastics, I figured I would use them on cold days in New England. After two year of never putting them on even on the cold days (-20), I got rid of them.

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I have used Vasque Super Alpinistas for the last couple of years (Rainier, Hood, Lassen, etc.), and have not had any complaints about them in comfort or performance. They are sort of a hybrid plastic/leather boot. Way more comfortable than the Koflach Degrees I've worn in the past.

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I prefer relatively light, rigid, single "leather" (is there such an animal anymore?) boots for technical alpinism, but I've never owned or seen any such that would keep my feet dry on an extended glacier/snow trip. I use an old pair of Lowa Civettas (surprisingly nimble for a plastic boot, and perfectly capable of demanding technical climbing) on extended snow trips. Locally, temps are mild enough that single boots are warm enough year-round. The main argument for plastics is dry feet on extended snow/glacier trips. So, if you're planning to climb mostly volcano routes, a light plastic is a good bet (Scarpa's newest ones are pretty streamlined). If you're headed for places like the Pickets, or Cascade Pass, or Mt. Stuart, something like the current version of Sportiva's Trango Extreme or one of its many imitators would get my vote.

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I have used Vasque Super Alpinistas for the last couple of years (Rainier, Hood, Lassen, etc.), and have not had any complaints about them in comfort or performance. They are sort of a hybrid plastic/leather boot. Way more comfortable than the Koflach Degrees I've worn in the past.

 

I have the same thing :tup: Only used them a handful of times, but my feet stayed plenty dry. Were comfortable, and reasonable for hiking/approaching. That said, I'd only use them in winter, or maybe on Rainier. I have a pair of La Sportiva Glaciers that I pull out for moderate summer snow stuff and backpacking (baker, shuksan, sahale, that kind of stuff). :tup: Have been very pleased with those to.

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I have used Vasque Super Alpinistas for the last couple of years (Rainier, Hood, Lassen, etc.), and have not had any complaints about them in comfort or performance. They are sort of a hybrid plastic/leather boot. Way more comfortable than the Koflach Degrees I've worn in the past.

 

I have the same thing :tup: Only used them a handful of times, but my feet stayed plenty dry. Were comfortable, and reasonable for hiking/approaching. That said, I'd only use them in winter, or maybe on Rainier. I have a pair of La Sportiva Glaciers that I pull out for moderate summer snow stuff and backpacking (baker, shuksan, sahale, that kind of stuff). :tup: Have been very pleased with those to.

 

I love my SAs. Use them for a winter boot in the Sierra, backcountry boarding, and 14K volcanoes.

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I'm in the same boat. I been climbing ice the last 2 years with my plastic Koflach Verticals (which I got a few years ago for a Torres Del Paine trip). My problem with the Verts is not wieght (those babies are as lite as sugar waffles), But as my climbing improves I want a little more flexibilty and Everyone is telling me to get Sportiva Nepal Evos but no one can tell me how warm they really are. I tend get cold feet during belays. I learned that the hard way from an rental plastic Koflach Degres that gave me damp, cold feet in sub zero Adirondaks weather so I'm worried about trading warmth for something way more agile than the Verts.

But the Evo's or the Baturas seem to be what I may need.

 

 

Does anyone really know how warm those Nepal Evos are? Also can you use them comfortably (without sweaty feet) for a Summer/Fall alpine trip in the rockies?

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Evos aren't as warm as a pair of Koflachs but darn close. And they climb better. Baturas are as warm as Koflachs but not as durable I suspect but also climb much, much better...may be better than the Nepals all around. Spantiks are a LOT warmed than Koflach's ever were even with Intuition liners.

 

Evos would be fine for alpine stuff in the Rockies during the summer. And really nice for a nasty route or unplanned bivy when the weather goes to crap on the ice fields. Obviously any warm boot is going to sweat when it is 40+ out.

 

Any of the three keep my feet warm at -25/30c standing around....Evos get chilly first, Spantiks last (never had cold feet yet) as the temp drops. I also have cold sensitive feet so judge accordingly.

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Thanks Dane.

What is this "-25/30c"? Celsius? -25 to -30 celsius*? If so that is pretty warm for a single leather boot-The Nepal Evo!

 

 

*transalated to -13 to -22 Fahrenheit!

 

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You'e welcome, hope it helps. Buying boots is a tough chore. The return policy at Zappo.com makes it easier though.

 

"25 to -30 celsius*?"

 

Earlier in the month we did day climbs for a week in those temps. New for me, the Evo worked fine. Couple of times I began to wonder just how warm they were going to be but never had uncomforatble feet, let alone cold feet.

 

The guys in Trangos and the older Nepals commented they were beginning to get cold and uncomfortable if we had to wait in the shade.

 

 

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I like plastics too. I have a pair of Koflak Degres that I wear on snowshoe trips about 10 times a year besides glacier climbing in them. They flex well and stay warm. Unfortunately, Koflak just went out of business. Mine are shot, and I'm looking for an alternative. Haven't found a pair of plastics that have the ankle flex that the Degres do, and most plastics are to narrow in the toe for me. I might even switch from plastic to other mountaineering boots if I can find something warm enough. For me it's all about warmth and dryness - I have circulation problems (Reynauds) - so keeping the digits warm is a necessity.

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I like plastics too. I have a pair of Koflak Degres that I wear on snowshoe trips about 10 times a year besides glacier climbing in them. They flex well and stay warm. Unfortunately, Koflak just went out of business. Mine are shot, and I'm looking for an alternative. Haven't found a pair of plastics that have the ankle flex that the Degres do, and most plastics are to narrow in the toe for me. I might even switch from plastic to other mountaineering boots if I can find something warm enough. For me it's all about warmth and dryness - I have circulation problems (Reynauds) - so keeping the digits warm is a necessity.

 

Lowa Civettas have very good ankle flex. They are also ugly as sin.

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I like plastics too. I have a pair of Koflak Degres that I wear on snowshoe trips about 10 times a year besides glacier climbing in them. They flex well and stay warm. Unfortunately, Koflak just went out of business. Mine are shot, and I'm looking for an alternative. Haven't found a pair of plastics that have the ankle flex that the Degres do, and most plastics are to narrow in the toe for me. I might even switch from plastic to other mountaineering boots if I can find something warm enough. For me it's all about warmth and dryness - I have circulation problems (Reynauds) - so keeping the digits warm is a necessity.

 

Lowa Civettas have very good ankle flex. They are also ugly as sin.

 

Me too, on both counts.

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But seriously... Those are the ones they showed me at PMS. I'm considering those. I guess I just hate to change. You should see my Degres... The liners are falling apart. Had them for 7 years at least, and use them about 15 times a year. Holes in the baffles and delaminating around the rand. They have to go after this season. (Right - I started saying that 2 seasons ago.)

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