/ B3 boot advice, please.

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petenebo - on 05 Jan 2018
Evenin' all,

I'd appreciate some advice, please. There seems to be a limited range of mountain boots at local retailers, so I'm considering buying online and hope to keep returns to a minimum.

The last pair of B3s I had were Asolo 101s (plastic doubles - yes, I'm THAT old!) many years ago. For the past 4/5 years I've had a pair of Scarpa Manta Pro B2s (46s) which fit quite well - I've used these for walking, scrambling and easy winter routes up to III. With steeper stuff in mind I'd like something more rigid with more support at the ankle to assist front pointing. I'd also like something with good insulation as I've sh*t circulation in both feet.

This raises a few questions:
Scarpa Phantom Tech seem a good choice. Does anyone know whether the fit will be the same as my Mantas? I'm fairly broad in the forefoot so wouldn't want to go any narrower than these; plus P. Techs are pretty pricey so a cheaper option may appeal. Also, I've read that they've a good bit of flex at the ankle for mixed climbing. Will this render them less supportive generally?

Sportivas: The Nepals look good but I've formed the impression that these are generally narrower than Scarpas. Do any folks have experience of comparitive fit of Sportiva/Scarpa?

Garmont Mountain Guide Pro GTX: These seem to have appeared recently. I've not heard of them previously so any info regarding fit, warmth, quality, etc welcome, as the price is attractive.

Finally (phew!) anyone selling any of the above or similar in my size (46) for me to think about?

Thanks in advance for all opinions, advice, recommendations - gratefully received.


hpil - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to petenebo:

My painful and expensive experience is that la sportiva are too narrow for my feet. Scarpas vary according to the last they are built on - I had a pair of mantas on a DL last which were too narrow, I have a pair of Charmoz on the FT last which are fine. I also have marmoladas (B1) on the BQ last and Mont Blanc (not the newer pro version) on the AG last - both of these are fine. The mont blanc pros would be a cheaper option, but to me felt a bit more flexy than the older MB. I've heard / read that the phantom techs wear out quite quickly. Above all though, I would try and find out as much as possible about the last shape before buying. Oh, and if you wanted to chop your toes off and shave a bit off the sides of your feet, I have a pair of sportiva nepal evos in size 8 for sale, used for one day only ;-)
nniff - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to petenebo:

I've got a pair of La Sportiva Nepals, size 46, available if you wish. Uppers and lining in good order. Sole a bit worn but plenty of life left and the lip for the front bale of clip on crampons is also a bit worn but still sound. Reasonable offer? Happy to take a photo or two

I used to have Scarpa Cumbres which really suited me. Now gone back to Scarpa, Mont Blanc Pro at size 45.5, with one pair of socks instead of two - I wore the size 46 Nepals with two thick pairs of socks and a volume reducer. Can't say that there's much to choose in the width (dog-walking fettling experience only so far)
petenebo - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to All:

Thanks chaps, for the info.

Based on what you've said re: sizing nniff, your Nepals may be worth a look. I tried a pair of Mont Blanc Pros a couple of years back and IIRC the fit seemed ok. D'you fancy pm-ing me a few photos to show the general condition and wear you mention, particularly the crampon bale area, please?

Many thanks
nniff - on 07 Jan 2018
In reply to petenebo:
No problem - I’ll get onto it now
Jonny Allen - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to petenebo:

A pair of VGC La Sportiva Batura 2s in size 45.5??


A brilliant boot I’ll compare for you all day If I’m not too late and you haven’t got sorted already?

Def more advanced and warmer than Nepals (never mind a lot sexier too! ;-)


PM me or let me know here if you prefer. 





pjm on 13 Jan 2018

If you can find a pair, worth having a look at Salewa’s Guide Pro. Nicely insulated and have a fab switch which flips them between B3 and B1 mode!

angry pirate - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to petenebo:

In the good old days, most scarpas were based on the bx last (SL and the Fitzroy) and the manta used a different last that had quite a different fit. I happily fit the bx last so dropped into most scarpa boots happily with the exception of mantas which felt too low volume for me.

With newer boots (Marmaladas, Triolet etc) I find the different lasts all fit me so I'd be happy to risk taking a punt on a pair of Scarpa online.

That said, if I was in the market for new winter boots, I'd visit a decent retailer (excuse to take  trip to Snowdonia or The Lakes) and spend some time getting fitted properly. It may cost a few quid more compared to an online deal but worth the hit to save the misery of ill fitted boots.

Solaris on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to petenebo:

I used to think that Nepal Extremes were narrow but I've been persuaded by "people who know" and by my own feet that they are in fact quite broad. They are a neat looking design and have a fairly narrow sole, and it's these that give the impression of overall narrowness.

When I was looking for narrow walking boots, a shop suggested I look at Scarpa, which did seem narrower than equivalent La Sportivas. Don't know whether Scarpa's mountaineering boots are the same.

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