Hey all, I'm looking for advice on getting a set of boots for scottish winter climbing (easy - mid grade stuff).
So far I've used a set of Manta Techs from Scarpa. I've had these for a couple of years, I've done a fair bit of scottish winter hillwalking and a bit of climbing with them, and a couple of months in the Alps. I've found the fit good for hillwalking and boshing about, but I've realised they're just too big (size wise) for me - I get loads of heal lift when font pointing. Borrowed my mates Nepal Extremes which were a couple of sizes smaller today and they worked so much better - tighter fit, and being b3s felt way nicer to climb in - so now I'm looking to invest in a set of b3s.
Anyone got any reccomendations? Looking for something warm as I get freezing cold feet, and as good value and long lasting as possible. Nepal Extremes, or Scarpa Mont Blancs seem like the obvious choices? Would mostly be used for Scottish Winter, but a bit of Alps stuff too. Looking forward to hearing your reccomendations!
You'll get second hand Nepal's reasonably cheaply and if they work for you that's perfect. Mont Blanc's might not fit if Manta's don't. The more expensive Nepal's are a bit lighter. I would say that nearly everybody I've seen on easy climbing terrain is wearing nepals (hence why they're so common on the second hand market). Try them on first if you can!
Given that you say the Nepal Extremes that you tried were two sizes smaller than your Manta Techs, I don't think we can make any judgement about which type inherently fit you best. I have some old Mantas and went up in size to get a good fit with my Nepal Extremes so I'd imagine going down two sizes would be very snug!
Either should be fine for what you want to do, if they fit well. Would it be worth taking your Mantas into somewhere like Outside or Needle Sports, getting your feet measured and having a conversation about whether different insoles and socks would give a more secure fit or whether you need different boots?
Feet and fit are important. I had an old pair of Scarpa Freneys from new and they cut me to pieces but my Boreal B3's were better as long as I applied a compeed patch to my heels before setting off. Those boots are history now but my Nepal cubes are a perfect fit.
Buying second hand can work but sometimes older boots have failed membranes and that's no fun if the boots soak through and freeze as you get higher, I've had that happen and it's no fun. Fit is so important, the above poster who suggested going into store was spot on as it can save pain, faff and having to buy more boots.
Mont Blancs are a great hardwearing choice, as are Nepals, but there’s no actually ‘bad’ B3s out there that you can buy easily from a real shop (I’m sure there’s some if you try hard enough online from an obscure source).
Get yourself somewhere and try a load on and choose something which feels like a good fit.