/ Mountain boot fitting....
LOL, actually I work at the Cotswolds in St Albans, and we are not all jummies! It's just a fact that there's not that many mountaineers working in shops in Hertfordshire, so it depends allot on the member of staff who is working that day. I'd help you out, but I'm climbing and trekking in the Himalayas for the next few months (I'm writing this from India). If you have been in there and not found a mountaineer to speak to my best advice would be to try the shop at the Castle climbing centre in north London (I think it's the same shop as West Way). Every time I've been in there they've really known their shit and had some shiny gear.
If you really want to speak to staff who are climbers and can travel anywhere then go to where the climbing is. I know for a fact that Cotswolds in Keswick and Bewts y Coed and Manchester have some hardcore climbers as staff, some of whom are in mountain rescue. There's also V12 in Llanberis and Needle Sports in Keswick who are probably the best climbing stores in England and Wales (In my humble oppinion). Can't remember what Needle Sports range of winter boots is like.
I've tried to be impartial, hope that helps.
Also, Peglers of Arundels dedicated bootshop is highly recommended
PS. This was the Brummie branch
Peglers in Arundel is very good. If you see Dave Pegler he is good, they also had a wide range of style when I was there a few years ago - much wider than many chain stores, including some more unusual brands you don't see at them...
There's Mountain Feet, in Oldham, they love the whole boot fitting thing.
> try the shop at the Castle climbing centre in north London (I think it's the same shop as West Way).
Not anymore, it seems - you'll need to go to the Westway to get boots now. This is the best place bar none for Sportiva Nepals, but if you need something different I'd add another recommendation Peglers.
Good advice and help in the shop is important, but so is trying different makes of boot, built on different lasts. Ring ahead and ask what stock they have in your size (+ and - 1 size) of what makes/models.
My feet are too wide for a Sportiva boot, but Scarpas generally feel great FOR ME.
Personally, Scarpa Charmoz are just about the best boot I've ever owned, and come out for everything I do except steep Ice Climbing (Scarpa Jorasses then)
Ultimately the best person to fit boots for you is yourself - don't be afraid to spend 20minutes walking round the shop browsing whilst wearing new boots, and be sure if they press in the shop, they're going to kill on the hill.
Enjoy the shopping!
I also second the comments of previous posts on this thread that Snow and Rock have a nice specialist range, and Needle sports is Keswick are wicked!
If you get anywhere near Hampshire, Barkers in Ringwod (www.barkers-ringwood.co.uk) is about as good as it gets for boots...
I agree. The Harrogate shop has always been good.
It also depends who you get on the day. My wife went for boots in another shop and we had show the assistant how to get the display crampon off the boot for it to be tried on. She liked the boots, but decided to go back when the 'boot specialist' was in and bought another boots as a result.
> If you get anywhere near Hampshire, Barkers in Ringwod (www.barkers-ringwood.co.uk) is about as good as it gets for boots...
Couldn't agree more. Steve will sort you out with the boots that suit your feet and not what is fashionable. He spent a total of 6 hours sorting my mate and I out for the Alps and I cannot recommend him highly enough.
Elsewhere on the site
A product review by James Turnbull. James Turnbull at Outside recently took the new Osprey Mutant 38 on a rigorous test in the... Read more
As a long-standing name in the UK rockshoe market, Scarpa have a loyal following and many much-loved models. As a fan... Read more
WINTERFEST 2014 at Outside in Hathersage 6th and 7th December 2014 Outside's ever popular Winterfest event is back... Read more
Nick Livesey discovered the mountains of Snowdonia over a decade ago and finally moved there a year and a half ago, quitting a... Read more
If asked to name a British female climber who stood out at a time when British women's climbing wasn't... Read more