/ Ski mountaineering boots

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Carless - on 31 Jan 2013
Have finally decided that I need some new boots

I've used the red Scarpa Denalis for years with no problems (but with adding volume adjuster insoles), but there's now no denying the newer stuff is lighter, more comfortable & more rigid

I'm looking for the mythical boot that can be used for everything: off or on piste, touring, mountaineering, icefalls, etc.

So which makes should I be looking at ?
I've been told Scarpa (Maestrale), BD (Factor 130) & Garmont (Cosmos)

Anyone got any useful opinions on these and others?

Thanks
Frank4short - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Carless:

1. Find a good boot fitters
2. Tell them what you're looking for
3. let them fit a pair of boots for you
4. Buy the boots they've recommended fitted to you

Buying boots on recommendations is a mugs game as if they don't fit you properly the best recommendation in the world will only be slightly better than useless. Hence the suggestion of finding a GOOD bootfitters and buy the ones that fit.
HeMa on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Carless:
> I'm looking for the mythical boot that can be used for everything: off or on piste, touring, mountaineering, icefalls, etc.

No such thing... You can prolly tick 3 or 4 of the mentioned... but not all.

if you drop ice climbing (and non ski-moutaineering). Any of the more freeride oriented things will work after fitting and so on...

if you drop liftserved, then provided Dynafidless fit, something like TLT5 (or 6) would prolly work rather well.
James Edwards - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Frank4short:
Well, i haven't found that. I have been to a boot fitters for my first pair and had no end of trouble going back and forth back and forth (pay top dollar and make use of their time).
My subsquent 3 pairs of boots i have all bought second hand and had no problems at all with.
However, and it is a big caveat, i have very 'normal' off the peg feet and i know what my boots should feel like.
Probably go to a good boot fitters, but as bruce lee said "don't fink... FEEEEEL"
There we are
James e
James Edwards - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to James Edwards:
p.s.
my experiece is only of denali, denali blue, laser and spirit 4; the new yee ha radical specialised boots are out of my purvue. So perhaps i have scarpa feet.
James e
tri-nitro-toulumne on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Carless:

"1. Find a good boot fitters
2. Tell them what you're looking for
3. let them fit a pair of boots for you
4. Buy the boots they've recommended fitted to you

Buying boots on recommendations is a mugs game as if they don't fit you properly the best recommendation in the world will only be slightly better than useless. Hence the suggestion of finding a GOOD bootfitters and buy the ones that fit."

+1
Shearwater - on 31 Jan 2013
If you want one boot to do everything, it'll be a big compromise and you'll probably be disappointed.

A super lightweight boot will work for most things... there are folk who'll climb ice in Dynafit TLT5s. The TLT6 is due out this year, the La Sportiva Spitfire is another nice alternative. Either will be a bit light for chargey skiing, but they'll be great for touring. These'll be pricey, and very hard to come by in the UK.

A mid-weight boot like the Maestrale RS or Dynafit Mercury or Tecnica Cochise will also be pretty reasonable... I wouldn't necessarily want to climb in em though. Scarpa and Dalbello also have good offerings here. Not so pricey, and you'll probably find somewhere stocking a few models so you'll get a chance to see what fits.

Black Diamond boots just don't seem to be as good as alternatives from other manufacturers, and Garmont have not done so well in recent years either.

You probably want to plan a shopping trip to Chamonix or Verbier ;-)
Ben Briggs - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Carless:

No boot will be ideal for all of those uses but there are plenty that will do it all adequately. The best thing for you to do is pick a type of boot you want and get which ever make fits you best.

A Freeride orientated boot like the BD Factor 130 or Technica Cochise will be better for skiing any time you are using a lift but not be great for climbing and mountaineering.

A super light boot like the TLT5/6 will be the opposite and probably to specialised for general use.

Boots like the Scarpa Maestrale and Garmont Cosmos fall somewhere in the middle and are probably what you looking for as the best all round compromise. The BD boot in this category would be the Quadrant but in my opinion the best of the bunch would be the Dynafit Vulcan (if it fits you.)

Hope that helps,

Ben



meh - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Carless:
Anything but the Garmont. They are worryingly far behind now compared to others.

I went with Dynafit Mercurys as an upgrade from years old Garmont Radiums and they are night and day different.

I'd look at the Maestrale/RS, Dynafit One and Mercury. Outstanding walk modes in all boots with a variety of stiffness. The TLT5 and Dalbello boots are worth a second look too.
boots - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Carless: Anyone tried the solomen quest 12?
alkira - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Carless:

had Scarpa Typhoons for the past 4 seasons and had so much fun on all sorts of terrain . Had the blue denalis before that ......night and day
davy_boy - on 31 Jan 2013
iv got the salomon quest 12's a good allround boot but for touring any more than a day i would prefer a lighter boot with a better walk mode. i find these boots good on piste as well but they are a compromise between a full stiff piste boot and a light touring boot just depends what you will be doing the most off if these are suitable or not.
manumartin - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Carless:
I bought Dynafit One boots in November to replace worn out Scarpa Lasers. I have done approximately 20,000mts of ascent so far this season and have had no problems at all once they are on. Ski walk system is nifty but in walk mode the top buckle sticks out too far...... They have been comfy to walk in when necessary. There is a ski station where I live that I use for training on poor weather days or at night after work so I have done quite a lot of piste descents. I have felt nothing but confident in them.
I originally wanted to go for Maestrales at a very similar price but these definately fit my feet better - Maestrales hurt as soon as I put them on.
With certain socks I find it really difficult to get in and out of the inner boot - it can be a really desperate struggle so I have found some thin plastic that helps me to shoehorn in and out. Inner boots are toasty and we have had some really cold temps here in haute savoie of late. They do get quite damp from sweat though but this is only noticeable once the inner boot has been removed.
Would I buy them again? I think so as they are light, very well made, give me good feedback and they do not make my feet hurt (except for when I am trying to get them on and off!!!!)
Morgan Woods - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Carless:

i think the factors have pretty horrible boa liners....would much prefer something with intuitions. currently waiting to ski my new dalbello sherpas.

of those you mentioned i would probably go for the maestrales if they fit....but that is because i prefer the tongue type boots to overlap ones.
jonnie3430 - on 31 Jan 2013
In reply to Frank4short:
> (In reply to Carless)
>
> 1. Find a good boot fitters
> 2. Tell them what you're looking for
> 3. let them fit a pair of boots for you
> 4. Buy the boots they've recommended fitted to you
>
Just as long as you don't class Mountain Spirit in Aviemore or Ellis Brigham as a good boot fitter as they have both tried to sell me what they have left in stock, one even in the wrong size, regardless of what I want from the boot!

To the OP, get into as many shops as possible and try on many pairs as possible as you'll never get a decent range of makes and models in a shop.
Carless - on 01 Feb 2013
Many thanks for the comments
Lots to think about - I see I have some serious shop visiting to do!

Especially as I'm also contemplating new skis and bindings...
alpinebisou - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to Carless:

I used the red denalis and just switched to the rush. It is a lighter version of the maestrale. Not quite as light as the tlt5 or similar. Might be worth a look.
Fultonius - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to manumartin:
> (In reply to Carless)
> Ski walk system is nifty but in walk mode the top buckle sticks out too far......

Just in case you didn't know - if you pull the wires forward in the buckle, the buckle sits more flush with the cuff of the boot.
kevin stephens - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to Carless:

I still use read Scarpa Denalis for touring and very good too, but now have some BD Factor 110s for when the downhill is more important than the uphill (ie most of the time)

Dont really see the point of stiffer BD Factor 130's unless you are good enough to be sponserd
Gael Force - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to Carless: Ive got those old Denalis and bought the Maestralis which are much better in terms of comfort warmth and walking, and much stiffer. I tried the other cheaper options but the large amount extra was worth it, currently blasting about the Alps, and have never had such good boots, but dont wear ski boots ever.
Re walking in them ,very good, but they're all crap compared to climbing boots, same goes for climbing, apart from ice routes which aren't too hard. Mine take Grivel crampons really well, but some boots don't always take any crampon.

Re skis I bought some G3 Spitfires which are too short for me, with fritchi eagles on, used for 3 days this week PM me if interested, Ill be putting them on for sale soon.
ads.ukclimbing.com
meh - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to kevin stephens:

"Dont really see the point of stiffer BD Factor 130's unless you are good enough to be sponserd"

Or a fatty. ;)
Dave - on 01 Feb 2013
In reply to Carless:
> Have finally decided that I need some new boots
>
> I've used the red Scarpa Denalis for years with no problems (but with adding volume adjuster insoles), but there's now no denying the newer stuff is lighter, more comfortable & more rigid
>
> I'm looking for the mythical boot that can be used for everything: off or on piste, touring, mountaineering, icefalls, etc.
>
> So which makes should I be looking at ?
> I've been told Scarpa (Maestrale), BD (Factor 130) & Garmont (Cosmos)

The Factor is a bit different to the other boots you mentioned there. I just bought Cosmos after having blue, beefed up, Denali's for many years. First skiing impressions are very good. Despite some comments in this thread the Garmont Cosmos is one of the touring boots to have this year, if they fit you, try Google for some reviews. But if you are going to use them in Dynafits be warned that the Dynafit insert needs a bit of modification to make it work better.

Bob_the_Builder - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Carless:

Does anyone know a good ski boot fitter in/near Edinburgh? I don't have a car. =[
Gael Force - on 08 Mar 2013
In reply to Bob_the_Builder: Tisot, the Blues ski shop is inside, its on Rose Street, have a good range of boots as well as staff who know wot they are on about.
They also have other shops in Perth etc, good deals at the moment.
Si - on 08 Mar 2013
I bought new boots this season after skiing red denalis for years! I went for Scarpa maestrale RS as I wanted quite a stiff boot. Its got a brilliant walk mode and seems OK for climbing about in. Ultimately though its all about what fits your feet. I had a good idea of what I wanted but tried on lots of pairs and then went to get a proper opinion. I bought mine from Sole in Chamonix, not cheap but well worth it for fitting and hopefully they will last for a few years!
OwenM - on 08 Mar 2013
In reply to Si: When you say they have a brilliant walk mode how comfortable exactly are they? Would you be happy to wear them for a eight hour walk-in or skin up to a hut?

I to am in the market for some new touring boots, trouble is different people have such different ideas about what makes a good touring boot. I'm much more of a dedicated tourer than freerider. I don't want anything heavier than my current boots (very old Dynafit tour-lite 2's)these are 1500g each. Something stiffer would be good for the skiing but not if it's at the expense of comfort. It's no good having your boots trash your feet in the middle of a ten day tour.

Just trying to get an idea of where you are on the spectrum of ski tours.
Morgan Woods - on 08 Mar 2013
In reply to OwenM:

i would say look at something that has good rearward articulation then. Dynafit, dalbello and scarpa (among others) seem to be offering that these days. Liners have improved a lot so look for something that is heat mouldable like intuitions. In terms of weight i tried dynafit TLT 5's on in the shop and found them very soft at 1200g each. I'm sure they would have been very good for extended tours but not for slack country fat ski (120+mm) driving. I settled on Dalbello Sherpa 5/5 (1650g each) and rate these highly. They are as stiff as a good alpine boot but benefit from a tongue ie cabrio design which (i believe) gives a more natural flex than overlap boots. If you are talking about downhill performance then i think this is a worthwhile distinction rather than worrying about a couple of hundred grams here and there.
Si - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to OwenM: They are light but are stiff too. I skinned for five days last week in them with no issues including a fair bit of bootpacking and crampooning

http://oranjebergsport.blogspot.fr/2013/03/transitions.html

I'd say if you are happy to ski something very soft then there are probably better options but it goes back to what fits your feet. Dynafit boots are just too narrow for me etc. Ta
Si - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to Si: Scarpa says 1570g for Maestrale RS.

http://www.scarpa.co.uk/ski/maestrale-rs/
OwenM - on 09 Mar 2013
In reply to Si: Thanks, that's a great help.

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