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Plastic boots and ankle pain

Postby Bark Eater » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:33 pm

I recently rented plastic mountaineering boots from REI. They were correctly sized. These caused a great deal of pain (to the point of almost being disabling) on the lower side of both outer ankles after the first day's use. The area was bruised and blistered. Yes, you could say I have bony ankles.

In my seriously dated mountaineering experience I used Sorrels and flexible crampons without any foot or performance issues. These are obviously limited to moderate slopes but at my age I'm not going to start climbing any ice walls anyway.

Is there a trick to avoid the above symptoms with plastic boots? I thought about moleskin but didn't have the opportunity to try it before the damage was done.

Is there any issue with using Sorrels and flexible crampons for moderate slope routes (beyond not being one of the cool kids)?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Re: Plastic boots and ankle pain

Postby Dow Williams » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:28 pm

I suppose one could say I have climbed a fair amount in Alaska, Canada and lower 48. I have not used plastic boots for the past 20 years. Approx 20 years ago my feet suffered weeks of healing after wearing them on a big climb. Ever since I have sworn off of plastics. I climb waterfall ice in the winter at -30C/F no worries, without plastic boots. Kind of wonder if they are not an oversold/overused item in N. America myself. Scarpa and La Sportiva are solid companies in my opinion, but they will make and produce whatever the public wants to buy. Good luck making them work for you if that is your intent. Solid water proofing and good gaiters make modern leather boots pretty damn bomber in my opinion and your feet will always benefit.
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Re: Plastic boots and ankle pain

Postby Carbo » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:05 pm

I agree. Plastic boots can be warmer but damn they are uncomfortable on anything but snow.
I killed my ankles wearing the rigid and inflexible pastic boots. Like Dow I now use La Sportiva leather boots and can return from an outing with no problems.
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Re: Plastic boots and ankle pain

Postby Diego Sahagún » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:19 pm

What trademark are those plastic boots Frank :?:
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Re: Plastic boots and ankle pain

Postby Bark Eater » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:04 am

Diego Sahagún wrote:What trademark are those plastic boots Frank :?:

Scarpa Inverno. Not saying that they are a bad product. They just most definitely didn't work with my feet!
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Re: Plastic boots and ankle pain

Postby Scott » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:36 am

Is there any issue with using Sorrels and flexible crampons for moderate slope routes (beyond not being one of the cool kids)?


That's what I used for winter mountaineering because plastics are usually overkill in Colorado for most routes other than vertical ice.

I have severly flat feet and plastics hurt them and rub them raw. I'll still use them for glacier travel (or ice climbing, but I haven't done that in a few years) in cold conditions, but I avoid using them if I can.'

They actually work really well for some people though.
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