/ Winter boot fitting

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xplorer on 24 Oct 2013
For general Scottish winter climbing what type of boot fitting do you have.

I've always had my boots fitting quite close to my usual street size. And have been happy with that, but I've spoken to a few people now who prefer sizing up a whole size.
highclimber - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to xplorer: pointless going off your shoe size. you need to try them on and you'll need at least a finger width space at the front (kick your foot to the front of the boot and squeeze a finger down the heel). I am a 7.5 shoe and a 9 in mountain boots.
xplorer on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to highclimber:

I've never had any problems finding a boot that fits, always been blister and toe bashing free. Toe bashing can be prevented over a couple of sizes by tightening the boot in certain places to stop forward travel.

I'm just after other peoples choices. What do you go for? A tight fitting or a looser fitting size?

highclimber - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to xplorer: Like you, everybody needs the space at the front (especially for ice climbing where kicking front points is required.) but buying boots too big to stop toe bashing is not a good idea. you need a boot that gives support across the top of the foot to stop the foot sliding forward. Some people's feet will flatten when stood up/wlaking and 'submarine' under that part of the boot and the only thing that will stop it is the inclusion of an arch support such as Superfeet insoles.

Blisters are something I have never suffered with and like most things, prevention is better than cure. I prefer a boot that is comfortable around the ankle and gives good support from around the heel upwards.
Ben Sharp - on 25 Oct 2013
In reply to xplorer:
> I'm just after other peoples choices. What do you go for? A tight fitting or a looser fitting size?

People ask this in the shop all the time, to me it sounds like people saying should I buy a boot that's too big for me or too small, do I want blisters or blackened toes? The answer being, why not just get one that fits? It might be a little bigger or smaller on the label due to variations in sizing between manufacturers but there is no rule to follow.

Seems to stem from a generation who are used to cramming their feet into small casual shoes and then going "a size up" for boots because because back in the day it was the done thing to just keep piling socks on till it fits and putting up with the pain. Times have changed, just put lots of boots onto your feet until you get a comfy one and don't worry about the size. Different widths, volumes. shapes and the conversion from US or EU to UK sizes (foreign boot manufacturers don't make boots in UK sizes, it's just converted and rounded up) all mean that the length of the boot (the size) is just a starting place anyway.

Given that a pair of winter boots might last you 10 years I'm not sure how anyone can say they always go up a size. Say they've been climbing 20 years and had two pairs of boots that were size bigger than what they wear casually, that's not the same as saying you always go up a size, it's just that in those particular boots were neat fitting for them or like I said, they just wear casual shoes that are close fitting.
Dave Perry - on 25 Oct 2013
In reply to xplorer:
Well said Ben. I've had numerous winter boots over the years.

Get them to fit comfortably is the key even if this means the stated size isn't exactly what you'd wear in a normal shoe or boot. Buying one smaller will only make your mountaineering experience miserable as modern boots with a rand just don't stretch.
Take your time buying!
BruceM - on 25 Oct 2013
In reply to xplorer:
XP isn't worried about numbered size. Are you XP? He's just asking if people wear looser boots than normal shoes.

I'd say no, but... They need to be snug at sides, heel, and top to prevent you sliding forward when you do things that you don't do in street shoes like front point, or heel lifting when on tip toes. But you obviously need more length in toe for some of that too. And you prob wear thicker socks. So they might be looser than the shoe by equiv of 1/2 size or more if you wore your usual shoe socks.
ice.solo - on 25 Oct 2013
In reply to xplorer:

i dont like socks trapping moisture round my feet, so prefer warmer boots that do the insulating and a just a regular mid weight sock. to that end i buy my boots straight to size, no extra room for juggling socks etc.
i do tho go for enough width and room to wiggle toes, and following bens advice, ignore sizing.

as it goes, i almost always end up wearing sportivas - from rock shoes thru to oly mons via approach shoes and 'lesser' boots - and they range over a spectrum of 5 sizes.
xplorer on 25 Oct 2013
In reply to xplorer:

Thanks for the replies

And no, I'm not looking for advice on how boots should fit me. I've had plenty of winter boots and I've never had any problems with the fit. Like I said I've always had a closer fitting boot.

Recently I've noticed a few people saying they prefer a looser fitting winter boot. And just wanted to know what other people thought.

I can see the benefits of a looser fit while at altitude, due to swelling and probably a lot more time spent on the feet

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