/ Winter shoes and crampons for very small feet!
My wife has very small feet. UK size 1, EU size 32 or 33. We were hoping to head out into the hills this winter and then on to Chamonix next year.
I have searched everywhere online and also read previous posts - which were mainly concerned with women who have size ~34-35 feet, which seems easier to find.
Does anyone know where I can get mountaineering boots and crampons that would fit? i.e. EU 32/33, UK1?
I think you'll genuinely struggle to find some that small. The market for such tiny boots is very small so no-one caters for it.
My experience is looking for boots for my boys, we once had a pair of Rossignol B2 boots (size 34) but thats the smallest i've ever seen. We bought them (unused) from a seller on the Outdoor Gear Exchange on Facebook. Sold them on when they were outgrown.
Smallest size commonly available is 36 - so its worth trying those if you haven't already. Decathlon do a pair (https://www.decathlon.co.uk/womens-light-mountain-boots-id_8393495.html).
As for Crampons, assuming you can find boots, then a set of Grivel G10's should do it, or similar 10-pointers with a short front section.
mountain technology 10pt crampons go the smallest I think - I got them on a pair of size 32 boots. Boots I don't know.
Altberg do a made to measure service for people with unusual feet. It'll be expensive, and whether the Mallerstang, which looks like their stiffest boot, would be suitable for your wife, is another matter. Kids boots tend not to be particularly stiff, but you might find something.
Give a shop like Joe Brown a call and try and speak to the manager/senior staff. I used to work there many years ago and we got a pair of himalayan boots for a size 2 ish. Some of the manufacturers do a slightly extended range, but no shop ever advertises/stocks them- they might be able to order in especially though. If not, then its Altberg or other 'bespoke boots' as mentioned earlier. Also worth remembering you may go up a size in stiffer boots, and insoles make a big difference to filling out a slightly big boot...
Also, a graded boot (B1 etc) feels stiffer when small - my "B2/3" boots in a size 4 are stiffer than almost any B3 I've seen in 'big sizes'.
Be careful which crampons you choose because the toe of the boot can project over the front points reducing their effectiveness (particularly a problem with Grivel).
I also have tiny feet, although at 2.5 not quite as small as your wife. Most of my day to day shoes are 34 or 35 in european sizes.
Many people find they like their boots slightly bigger for winter anyway - for me a 36 or even 37 is fine and my actual shoe size usually feels too small with my preferred hiking socks on. This enables me to use the footbeds I want to make the comfortable, and wear my preferred socks. I also don't start banging my toes on the ends when my feet have swollen slightly at the end of the day.
Oversizing is fine, but the main pitfall is heel rub. I have found it is important to try lots of pairs on to make sure that even if the boot is a little large in the toe, the heel stays firmly in place. Different boots have different shaped heels, so take the time to find something that fits your wife's heels. There are also some lacing techniques you can use to help with this.
Regarding crampons, I have found that Petzl Vasaks or Sarkens work well for me, but obviously this may depend on the boot. For something more technical, I have heard good things about the BD Cyborg on small boots, but haven't tried it. I often have to cut the end off the bar to prevent it from sticking out the back. This obviously means you can't return them, so be really sure they are what you want before you take a hacksaw to them!
For small feet, I think these might be an absolute bargain - just 50 euros
They say UK size 4, but if the sizing is as consistently small as the pair of UK 9s I bought, then they might be perfect. Those UK9s were more like a UK7 (and low-to-mid volume too). Mine were too small to wear outside but, other than their lousy sizing, they looked superior to my pair of Nepal Extremes and Scarpa Phantom Lites.
My feet are nowhere near as small as your wife's, but I found that getting the heel secure on strap on crampons was tricky as the heel is significantly narrower than the crampons are designed to take.
Also, as someone else noted, smaller boots are stiffer so a lower 'B' rating is likely to work fine
Similar size actual feet to your wife at 33/34, pretty much all my street shoes at UK 1-2. I have La Sportiva Evo Nepal in a 36 which have had loads of use and abuse; ice and mixed climbing, scrambling with/out crampons, multi-day alpine peaks, snowy ridges, glacier approaches in Scotland and the alps with pretty much no issues. Playing with insoles, socks and lacing can help. Heel lift is biggest factor but manageable. Would recommend a proper boot b2/3 even if slightly on the large size and adapting it rather than trying for something less suitable smaller.
Crampons I use Grivel G14 although the fit isn't perfect, still handled plenty things fine, no problems getting heel bail on. I altered the front metal bail for a strap as the toe bail wore and this much improved security and worked better for narrower boot. Buying any newmatic style would be probably be best. Standard sized bars on those works fine for me, but you could also swap for shorter ones easily or trim them. Smaller boots are more stiff so the debate for b2 vs b3 depends on what you plan to do with them. B3 are much warmer.
Would highly recommend the boots, and if you can get them second hand ideal. Crampons might look something more like g10s or sarkens for general use.
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