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Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

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Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby shaunparr » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:43 pm

Hi all,

I'm hoping to get some advice on boots as I've done a lot of research but I'm still unsure what to do for the best.

I am looking for a boot that will be suitable for trekking but that will also be able to fit crampons. From what I can see it seems that it is difficult to get boots that cater for both?

The crampons that I have are: http://www.grivel.com/products/ice/crampons/5-g12

I've seen these boots, which have mixed reviews: http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/mammut-mens-mt-trail-gtx-boots-p133493 but I'm unsure whether the crampons will fit correctly and am wondering if anyone has any further suggestions?

Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks!

Shaun.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby radson » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:08 pm

A lot easier to find crampons that fit any boot than a boot that fits any crampons. A boot with the heel inset for a crampon by design is made for mountaineering. Look at crampons like the air tech light wilde which are much more adaptable for all types of boots. Also think of kahtlooa spikes etc if you just need some basic grip in icy conditions rather than precise crampon work which needs a rigid sole and firm ankle support etc.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby rgg » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:37 am

shaunparr wrote:I am looking for a boot that will be suitable for trekking but that will also be able to fit crampons. From what I can see it seems that it is difficult to get boots that cater for both?


Boots that are good for crampons are too stiff to be good trekking boots, and vice versa good trekking boots are too flexible to be a good fit with crampons. That means you'll have to compromise if you want just one pair of boots for both purposes.

As long as the boot has a heel welt specifically designed for crampons, the G12 should fit. Therefore I suggest that you concentrate on finding boots with this welt that fit your feet well and in which you can walk comfortably. To make sure, you can simply take your crampons to the store and when you've selected a boot that you're happy with you can ask the shop attendant if he/she can help you to attach the crampons to see how they match. I've done that myself once (though with different crampons).

What I've learned over the years is that I got better at walking in fairly stiff boots. Since 2013 all my cramponing has been with Scarpa Jorasses Pro GTX, which I've used with the G12's as well as the Black Diamond Sabretooth Pro's and I've done a fair bit of hiking in hem as well. However, if you're not used to fairly stiff boots, or if you will mostly be hiking and only occasionally going to use crampons, I would recommend against them as these are too stiff.

From looking at the specs of the Mammut boot that you mentioned, it looks like it's not real stiff, which makes it better for hiking. However, I also noticed they were heavy for hiking boots, which is not ideal. They weigh more than my Scarpa Jorasses even. I had a look at the site you mentioned, and, with your purpose in mind, from their selection I would first try these: http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/scarpa-rebel-lite-gtx-mens-boots-p277475. A whole lot lighter than those Mammuts, good for hiking and some cramponing. And another lightweight option are the http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/trango-alp-gtx-p164842. That said, if these don't fit your feet, don't buy them. But if nothing else, this shows that there are much lighter boots.
Last edited by rgg on Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby infinityjellyD » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:35 am

Standard follow-up question: what are you using it for? Shaun, you said "trekking" in your original post. If that's the case, then get the boot that feels comfortable and meets your needs, then buy crampons. If you like the boot in your link above, buy it and then take the pair to an outdoor store and try different crampons for compatibility. Most standard "strap-on" style crampons should work. Crampon compatibility is really only an issue when you use rigid crampons with toe and heel bails, aka "step-in" crampons. For trekking, which I take to mean backcountry hiking etc in snowy conditions but nothing that entails ice climbing or high altitude alpine ice, a pair of flexible strap-ons are fine.

With strap-ons, the boot doesn't need to be specially designed for the crampons. As long as the crampons and the base of the boot can sit flush they will be fine. You should note that, depending on your shoe size, the out-of-the-box crampons might be too small for the boot, but fortunately all major crampon manufacturers sell extender bars to accommodate larger shoe sizes.

A final thought: you may consider 10-point crampons if you are just doing trekking. They are lighter than 12-point crampons (like the G-12s you linked) and easier to maneuver while reducing the chance of catching points on things like your pants or gear. Frankly, 10-pt crampons are fine for angles up to, I dunno, 50*, before you start thinking you want the added aggressiveness of 12-point crampons.
Last edited by infinityjellyD on Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby Tonka » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:40 am

One of the classic go to standards for what you are asking about would be the La Sportiva Trangos. A style boot you'll see used all over the world for hiking but I find it a bit much for that use and will use them for lightly colder conditions, snow-shoeing or easy snow climbing. They'll take your crampons. Otherwise, as mentioned above, a good pair of micro spikes gets a lot more use than you think if you're not into full on snow routes and glacier travel.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby DukeJH » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:59 pm

As I gathered equipment, I found a good deal on strap-on crampons (Grivel). I have used them with heavy backpacking boots (Zamberlan Civetta and Asolo TPS 520), and mountaineering boots (La Sportiva Trango, Lowa Silberhorn, Scarpa Inverno, and Koflach Arctis Expe). The backpacking boots were a touch flexible so I had to make sure that the crampons fit tight at the heel and toe and the straps were very tight. I haven't had any issues with any of the mountaineering boots but they are rigid and designed to take crampons.

As suggested above, you may want to consider your ultimate goal and see if a trekking boot with MicroSpikes is more appropriate to your use than crampons and a mountaineering boot.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby shaunparr » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:17 pm

Hi all,

Thanks very much for all of the suggestions, I will look into these now. I think I will concentrate on something suitable for trekking mainly for now as it is unlikely that I will do anything more than that this year realistically.

Thanks again.

Shaun.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby JHH60 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:22 am

If you are thinking about the La Sportiva Trango, another boot to consider is the Scarpa Rebel. I love my Trangos because they are light, comfortable to hike in, but stiff enough to take crampons, but found that the Rebels were even lighter (especially the Rebel Carbons, which I have and which are now hard to find) and more comfortable. They have a directional carbon-fiber sole insert that stiffens the boot from inner toe to heel, but allows it to be slightly more flexible along the outer toe, meaning it's stiff enough to use with crampons but is a little more flexible when walking. The Scarpa Rebel Pro boot which is widely available is slightly heavier than the Rebel Carbon but still lighter than the Sportiva Trango S, and unlike the Trango S is insulated and is step-in crampon compatible.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby Josh Lewis » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:17 am

Approach shoes for the win! :D I admit I'm a bit more old school. I use plastics for the heavy duty stuff and then tennis shoes for the approach, scramble, and some climbs. I make up for the added weight by going light weight in other departments and end up making a 3 day pack with glacier rescue equipment weigh as much as a typical day pack. First aid kit and other essentials included.

Keep in mind that the length of your trek and the difficulty of your climb play a role as well. For myself if doing an intermediate trek with moderate glacier travel I would want to forgo plastics assuming it was not late in season. However if you are planning on racking up a lot of miles and want to do some really hard climbs, then I prefer my way (reduces blisters and is much better suited for penetrating ice). :wink:
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby nartreb » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:33 pm

Josh makes an excellent point. If you're not planning on sub-freezing temperatures, spending long hours in the snow, or doing anything that requires real crampons, you should wear low-cut shoes: they're much lighter and more comfortable than boots.

Sneakers are OK, but I'd invest in some trail runners for better grip in wet conditions, and a bit of stiffness in the sole to protect your feet from sharp gravel.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby DukeJH » Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:30 pm

Many approach shoes have a rubber rand and toe rubber and suggest they are good for climbing. I haven't found this to be the case and am considering Josh's approach with trail runners with appropriate boots/climbing shoes for the technical sections.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby shaunparr » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:05 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the additional replies.

The only thing I am booked up for at the moment is http://www.summitpost.org/watzmann/150412 in Germany. Anything else this year would be UK based. I had Mt Blanc in mind for next year but if that transpires I will just have to buy some new boots at that point I guess! :p
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:31 pm

Josh Lewis wrote:Approach shoes for the win! :D I admit I'm a bit more old school. I use plastics for the heavy duty stuff and then tennis shoes for the approach, scramble, and some climbs. I make up for the added weight by going light weight

You make up for the extra weight by being a strong young buck.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby rgg » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:14 pm

shaunparr wrote:Hi,

Thanks for the additional replies.

The only thing I am booked up for at the moment is http://www.summitpost.org/watzmann/150412 in Germany. Anything else this year would be UK based. I had Mt Blanc in mind for next year but if that transpires I will just have to buy some new boots at that point I guess! :p


Assuming that you're headed for Watzmann in the summer you're not likely to need crampons.
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Re: Help with choosing boots/crampons please.

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:57 pm

Again, there is a lack of information about what you intend to do.

There are "light" Salewa Rapace boots that will take semi-automatic crampons. Not insulated, so bring extra thick socks. I have them, and have done class 4 in them on rock, but they are certainly not as capable as stick-rubber approach shoes.

There are aluminum (and steel) crampons (Grivel makes some) with flexible center strips that will adjust to about any flexible-soled boot. Don't use them for ice-climbing, but they are OK for 40 degree snow slopes. I have such.

There are boots (like the 5-10 exum) that are basically approach shoes designed to take strap-on crampons. I have those too.

A time and place for everything.
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