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Feet Swelling and High Altitude Boots

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Feet Swelling and High Altitude Boots

Postby A-Lex » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:04 pm

So, I am looking for some advice. I have been looking around here, on other climbing websites, and asking climbing stores and friends and can't seem to get a general idea about how much my feet will swell at high altitude. I am wondering if SPers can help me out a little.

I plan on going to climb volcanoes in Ecuador next winter. As such I have been looking for a double boot (which is stupendously hard in California). Anyway I have tried on six boots and the one that is the best fit is the LS Baruntse. I have about a 1/2" between my big toe and the end of the liner. A bit less on the smaller toes but still no rubbing. That is with a med weight sock and a liner.

Does anyone with experience on these type of boots feel like this is enough room for swelling? My fear is that going bigger could make the heel slip, as I have really narrow and shallow heels (this was the problem with every other boot I tried on). Also, if I mold the liners I assume that I could get a little extra toe room. Yes? No? Necessary?

Any and all opinions welcome! Thanks in advance.
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Re: Feet Swelling and High Altitude Boots

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:41 pm

My feet do not swell noticably up to 6000 meters.
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Re: Feet Swelling and High Altitude Boots

Postby DukeJH » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:36 am

I haven't noticed my feet swelling at altitude either (up to 18,490'). That said, my feet will swell after a good pounding in a pair of double plastic boots but they swell outward and don't really increase in length.
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Re: Feet Swelling and High Altitude Boots

Postby Dane1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:11 pm

The foam liners swell, generally not your feet. Both can easily be managaed by sock weight.

The Baruntse will be fine at the height you are going to. Get the liners molded by a professional it will make the boot much more comfortable long term.

More here:

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/10 ... iners.html

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/04 ... untse.html
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Re: Feet Swelling and High Altitude Boots

Postby A-Lex » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:59 pm

Thanks for the great feedback guys! I thought I had read/heard about feet swelling but couldn't really verify that information. This definitely helps!

Yeah, Dane I have read you articles and they are what drove me toward the Baruntse, which has a much better fit for me than anything else I've tried. Thanks for writing some great stuff!

Is the molding not something I can do myself? I would have access to an Osprey oven when visiting family later this year and have personally molded belts and my tele boot liners in it. I can't imagine the tele liners would be much different to mold than the Baruntse liners.
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Re: Feet Swelling and High Altitude Boots

Postby Dane1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:13 pm

I use to work in a ski shop and fit lots of boots. I wouldn't mold my own. (I tried on my Baruntses and it is hard to do right and easy to totally f/u the liner) It is worth what ever they charge imo. FWIW to get it perfect I ended up buying new inners and starting over and had a pro do it.
Gotta be some good boot fitters on the Eastside.
Last edited by Dane1 on Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feet Swelling and High Altitude Boots

Postby A-Lex » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:40 pm

Yeah there are definitely good fitters here. I am just one of those "do-it-yourself" kinda guys I guess! Your advice sounds good though. Thanks!
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Re: Feet Swelling and High Altitude Boots

Postby elih » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:39 pm

Having lead expeditions to Ecuador, Peru, Himalaya, and AK for the last 17 years with more than 600 clients- I can't say that feet swelling to any degree noticeable in boots is an issue that we've dealt with- just make sure they aren't so small that your toes are hitting the end which would be an issue on the descents.
Best of luck with your plans.
Eli Helmuth
AMGA Certified Rock, Alpine, and Ski Mountaineering Guide
http://www.guide.climbinglife.com
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