/ Where to go for B3 Boot advice?
Yesterday I was in Betws Y Coed, and called into Cotswold Outdoor. I hadn't intended on talking boots, but got drawn into conversation with their boot specialist, and was pursuaded to bring my boots in from the car. Cotswold Bloke then spent the next 20 minutes re-measuring my feet, telling me I'd been sold the wrong size boots, and advising me to "think very seriously" before using them outdoors as they would be painful (and possibly damaging) to wear, and that I should really be seeking a replacement from U&U
Had I not gone into CO, I'd have happily worn them on the snow and ice on the tops over the weekend, and been blissfully ignorant of any potential problem they might cause later on Mont Blanc.
Now I can't decide what to do. The bloody things cost me nigh on £300, haven't been worn at all since I bought them, are now 6 months old, and the likelihood of getting them refunded or replaced is very slim I fear.
I could sell them on here, but I'd lose a chunk of the money... and I can't keep taking financial hits on the basis of "gaining experience".
Any ideas anyone ? Would a 3rd opinion help? where could I get one? I live in east Devon, and to be honest, apart from the Exeter branch of Go Outdoors, and Cotswolds, there's bu99er all in the way of expertise down this way...... in short...... help?
You don't say whats wrong with the U+U boots- I'm amazed that after taking so long choosing you came away with a pair that were so badly fitting. However, if that is the case, and you really haven't worn them outside, have you tried going back to U+U and asking their advice?
You also say that you would have been blissfully ignorant... well you could wear them down the high street and they will still be the same boot, where you are wont change how they fit!
If you're that unsure, get 'um on your feet around the house for at least a day, this will help you to get a real feel for how they will work and if there is any discomfort.
So long as you can comfortably wiggle your toes, have no heel slip, prominent pressure points or pain throughout a day then they will be ok.
You should definitely be wearing them indoors before outdoors. This is all the more so with b3, as it can be hard to tell where the issues are from a few minutes padding round the shop.
Some heel lift is common but not desirable in B3s. Most people put up with it. I also have narrow feet and since I discovered Mammut Mamooks I've done away with heel lift.
Should confess here that I'm ex U+U staff (donkeys years ago) so I'm surprised they sold you a badly fitting boot, but in the end, its the customer who chooses the boot, and the advice is always to wear them at home. Some always used to come back on this basis and people got refitted.
They didn't and seemed worse than I remembered! They are comfy all apart from (what I consider to be) excessive heel lift... they'll have to go back. Despondent I am. :-(((
A simple method of fitting boots properly is to put the boot on with the laces completely slack and wear the thick socks you would wear for climbing. Push your toes so they jam against the front. Now keep your heel flat but bend jour knee forward. You should now be able to push your forefinger down between your heel and the back of the boot. If you can't do this it is too short. If there is too big a gap it's too long. The rest of your problems like heel lift can usually be cured by fitting some decent insoles. If the boots you bought are Nepal Extremes you can also reposition the tongue which velcros into place.
If the shop who sold them still stock the boots and they are in pristine condition, I don't see why they shouldn't swap them for a bigger size - it would be in their interests to do so and keep your custom.
I sorted my heel lift issues with a pair of anatom heel inserts, they go under the footbed you're using. Cost about a fiver I think. Could be the answer.
> I sorted my heel lift issues with a pair of anatom heel inserts, they go under the footbed you're using. Cost about a fiver I think. Could be the answer.
+1 I used these and Superfeet insoles to fit out a pair of Scarpa Cumbre's which with sorbothane insoles and no heel insets had torn my heel and ankle to shreds on the walk in to Trinty Face... With the new insole setup, it's not a problem, even walking a fair distance on hard surfaces.
I’d be very keen to see your boots and feet back at Up and Under. We pride ourselves on our boot fitting services and specifically use staff who are experienced winter climbers and Alpine mountaineers as well as trained boot fitters to help when anyone is trying mountain boots on.
Whilst I cannot really comment without having your boots and feet in front of me I would be a little concerned that if you are getting heal movement in a size 45 that you are recommended to jump to a 46.
The comments from Stephen Reid (he certainly knows what he’s talking about), Grendel and Mountain Llama regarding rules of thumb for fits is spot on and I’d be happy for you to try a 45.5 to compare, but I would anticipate that if you are having problems with heal movement that that won’t necessarily be the best solution.
It could be that trying an alternative lacing method or sock combination is all that you need to achieve perfection. Different foot-beds or heal inserts (if necessary) may also help. Were you wearing the sock combination at Cotswold Outdoors and during your try on time at home that you chose / we recommended on your visit to Up and Under?
We are always keen to help solve boot issues for anyone whether they bought from us or from competitors as comfy feet are as important as it gets when you are out in the hills.
So the question is; What makes you trust the advice of cotswolds over the advice of Up+under?
I don't work for U+U so can be reasonably independent and I'd be quite surprised if they got you the wrong boots as they do know what they are on about normally. Even if there is an issue I'd be shocked if they can't sort something out for you.
What others have said about insoles is also worth considering. I have very narrow/low volume feet and need thicker insoles in my winter boots, even with the narrow fit of Sportiva boots and the adjustable tongue in the Nepals.
Elsewhere on the site
Pete Whittaker has flashed the 32 pitch route Freerider 5.12d on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days,... Read more
Last year, Finn McCann wrote an article about climbing El Capitan with his terminally ill father Seamus, who had been... Read more
A fantastically versatile little pack; whether out running in the hills, hitting the trails on the bike or just running for the... Read more
Manchester Climbing Centre is showing Reel Rock’s Valley Uprising on Tuesday the 11th of November at... Read more