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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default scrambling footwear

Before I start planning scrambling trips this summer, I was wondering what I should be keeping in mind for footwear -- what would be more recommended? a lighter pair of shoes for greater agility, or B/C class hiking boots with more stiffness but good support?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 06:46 PM
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a good stiff hiking boot
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 07:54 PM
Dru
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Approach shoes if daytripping and not crossing snow

Otherwise a low-cut but stiff boot like the Garmont Vetta
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2007, 08:39 PM
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Trail runners were perfect for daytrips around here because of the longer trail access to get to the alpine. Of course, speed was often important to me too, so that was another positive. I have a nice pair of Merrell's that worked well.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 03:19 AM
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Leather mountaineering boots work really well for me. Something full shanked and stiff helps me feel really secure in all conditions on and off trail and while carrying loads if need be. Crampon compatability is something I would think about too.

Some of the boots that I've that suit this purpose very well are:

Scarpa Manta (fantastic in all respects after they get broken in)
La Sportiva Makalu (not that comfortable for me but really bomber)
La Sportiva Glacier ( Required no break-in period for me, not full shanked but still pretty stiff and really comfy although a little flimsy in terms of holding up to heavy use)

and some others but those are my favourites.

A boot that has peaked my interest that I may try out this fall is the Scarpa Summit. I've heard good things.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Shan

Before I start planning scrambling trips this summer, I was wondering what I should be keeping in mind for footwear -- what would be more recommended? a lighter pair of shoes for greater agility, or B/C class hiking boots with more stiffness but good support?
My suggestions... Go to MEC, talk to the staff, try on lots of hiking boots till you find a pair that fits very well. Avoid boots that are heavy and/or stiff (unless you have weak ankles). If they're leather then get a good waterproofing product for them. Wear a pair of liner socks as your inital foot layer (then hiking socks over them)... it will cut down on blisters.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 09:38 AM
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Totally depends on the strength of your ankles, how easily you injure, and which option is more important to you. There isn't possibly one answer for everyone.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Rachelo

Totally depends on the strength of your ankles, how easily you injure, and which option is more important to you. There isn't possibly one answer for everyone.
I have never considered myself to have weak ankles nor ever been prone to incedental injury yet still prefer stiff boots while in the backcountry, especially in the alpine. For scrambling I find that mountaineering boots edge better giving me more secure placement on footholds then would a pair of more flimsy aproach shoes. For kicking steps up an icy slope a full shanked boot will go into frozen snow with one swift kick where an only somewhat stiff boot made for simple backpacking may shirk the task. Crossing a boulder field or talus while carrying weight? Weak or ankles or not, a stiffer boot will take that problem in stride where as a flimsy boot will leave you with sore feet and sore legs, maybe a sore back, if not being downright dangerous. A week away from the road, I want something that I know is going to carry me through any terrain no matter what. You may not wear stiff big mountain, ass kicking boots on every trip you do, but they are a good investment for any semi-serious peak bagger. Plus they last a good long time, are easy to make 100% waterproof, and are just way more comfortable in the long run, I find.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 12:18 PM
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While it is true that a stiff boot is better for kicking steps in snow, the fact is they don't smear on rock well at all so you have to edge on everything. Given a popular day-trip scramble such as Needle Peak, with snow absent, I would choose a lightweight approach shoe over a stiff boot without reservation, because the light, flexible shoe will climb better.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Dru

While it is true that a stiff boot is better for kicking steps in snow, the fact is they don't smear on rock well at all so you have to edge on everything. Given a popular day-trip scramble such as Needle Peak, with snow absent, I would choose a lightweight approach shoe over a stiff boot without reservation, because the light, flexible shoe will climb better.
When it comes to technial climbing, I have to agree with you Dru, however if we are talking about an all purpose, all terrain, boot that works in every situation then a good stiff mountaineering boot is the only way to go. What you're talking about is a fairly specific circumstance whereas if he wants to find a boot that will take him through mountainous terrain in the summer, spring and fall, or while packing weight on an overnighter then really you can't go wrong with something designed specifically for travel through the mountains. If we are talking about scrambling and not summertime, fairweather class 5 climbing I think that the design of the mountaineering boot will carry you through 99 times out of 100 - if your approach shoes could make it to 100 scrambles (not likely in my experience). Even on wet rock in the summer, the smearing ability of an approach shoe is greatly diminished, making it necessary to edge anyway. I wouldn't worry about the extra weight slowing you down either. Many of my trip partners wear aproach shoes in the summer simply for the assumed comfort provided yet my choice in heavier footwear outperforms theirs nearly everytime. While they are daintily hopping from place to place having to watch their footing on everything from logs to boulders, creek crossings! to the odd icy patch, I simply ignore it and my boots give me fantastic purchase on everything. My faster, more serious partners are mostly of the same mind as me. I view my footwear in the mountains as my #1 most important tool, above all else I may bring with me. I want something foolproof that performs with whatever I put it up to. Stiffer mountaineering boots satisfy this requirement while I definitely will consider throwing some rockshoes in the pack if I anticipate my route crossing terrain where good holds for boot edging may be less available. When it comes to off-trail hiking, approach shoes fail miserably in my opinion and should stick to the well beaten trails for which they were designed.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
quote:My suggestions... Go to MEC, talk to the staff, try on lots of hiking boots till you find a pair that fits very well. Avoid boots that are heavy and/or stiff (unless you have weak ankles). If they're leather then get a good waterproofing product for them. Wear a pair of liner socks as your inital foot layer (then hiking socks over them)... it will cut down on blisters.
Yup, been doing that! LOL, in the last few weeks, I've blown off over 4 days now and have probably tried on ever pair of hikers going... finally came down to a pair of Meindl's, that unfortunately are higher weight, but are absolutely terrific for all other aspects of difficult-to-fit feet for something that are going to fare my tromping around in muddy/swampy conditions. Hehe, I finally decided to look at the extra weight as "well, I did want to get into even better condition, so in the long run, if its just equivalent to having a hamster's more weight tied to each of my feet, shouldn't I just build that little extra strength?" (and I intend to take up backpacking next summer, so hopefully they'll be more multi-purpose)

Fully leather and water proofed trail runners/day hiking shoes have got to be my all time favorite for the past three years! (hehe, I go through 2 pairs a year! though the moment I find something I love, they discontinue it! ahh!)... they just don't fare well when I go hiking in really mucky conditions or creeks, especially on the occasions when mud or water go up over the rim and into the shoe ... but when I did Haleakula Crater, I did quite prefer my "old friend" pair of hiking boots I used to have.

Mind you, off all the places I've been to, MEC staff were ammong THE LEAST helpful or knowledgeable... one of the guys even answered every question I had with a blank look and "which pair you want buy?!" and had the attitude of all boots are the same, just choose the pair you like the look of on the wall... sheesh []

Thanks for the tip on the liners ... I'll look into those ASAP for my new boots.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Summit Seeker

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Dru

While it is true that a stiff boot is better for kicking steps in snow, the fact is they don't smear on rock well at all so you have to edge on everything. Given a popular day-trip scramble such as Needle Peak, with snow absent, I would choose a lightweight approach shoe over a stiff boot without reservation, because the light, flexible shoe will climb better.
When it comes to technial climbing, I have to agree with you Dru, however if we are talking about an all purpose, all terrain, boot that works in every situation then a good stiff mountaineering boot is the only way to go. What you're talking about is a fairly specific circumstance whereas if he wants to find a boot that will take him through mountainous terrain in the summer, spring and fall, or while packing weight on an overnighter then really you can't go wrong with something designed specifically for travel through the mountains. If we are talking about scrambling and not summertime, fairweather class 5 climbing I think that the design of the mountaineering boot will carry you through 99 times out of 100 - if your approach shoes could make it to 100 scrambles (not likely in my experience). Even on wet rock in the summer, the smearing ability of an approach shoe is greatly diminished, making it necessary to edge anyway. I wouldn't worry about the extra weight slowing you down either. Many of my trip partners wear aproach shoes in the summer simply for the assumed comfort provided yet my choice in heavier footwear outperforms theirs nearly everytime. While they are daintily hopping from place to place having to watch their footing on everything from logs to boulders, creek crossings! to the odd icy patch, I simply ignore it and my boots give me fantastic purchase on everything. My faster, more serious partners are mostly of the same mind as me. I view my footwear in the mountains as my #1 most important tool, above all else I may bring with me. I want something foolproof that performs with whatever I put it up to. Stiffer mountaineering boots satisfy this requirement while I definitely will consider throwing some rockshoes in the pack if I anticipate my route crossing terrain where good holds for boot edging may be less available. When it comes to off-trail hiking, approach shoes fail miserably in my opinion and should stick to the well beaten trails for which they were designed.
I would pretty much have to disagree with all of that. Heavy mountaineering boots are only desirable if wearing crampons or carrying a heavy pack. For the routes described in Matt Gunn's guidebook, for instance, approach shoes will function better than mountain boots for about 80% to 90% of the listed peaks.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Dru

I would choose a lightweight approach shoe
Cool!!! Never heard of the approach shoes, but after Googling it, I think that'll have to be the next top toy on my list... they look like they'll be light enough to tack onto the back of my pack, and just perfect to do the shoreline cliff scrambling I like to do too

When I last attempted Lynn to Grouse, I was finding my trail runners just weren't suitable with the rainy and muddy conditions, but I loved them for the dry flat trail strecth as my buddy and I were jogging now and then... yet when I hit the boulders, I was wishing for just a tiny bit more grip and agility, and I didn't know if the couple tumbles my friend took were because of footwear, ability, or both.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 02:26 PM
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I prefer to wear my mountaineering boots. I think that for talus and scree, hiking across snow, and wet/muddy trails they are better (this is often a large component of routes such as those in Matt Gunn's book). If I anticipate more challenging scrambling, I will just bring my rock shoes. It's true that mountaineering boots are bad for smearing, but on the other hand, they edge better than approach shoes, so it kinda depends what you're climbing. Basically, I find my mountaineering boots are more versitile, so that's all I have.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 10:38 PM
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You can scramble in anything except flip flops. [)] And those really light foam slippers! They fall off real easy when your feet are sweaty. Not good at all for rappelling, either.

I prefer boots for the ankle protection. Otherwise it'd be shoes for the light weight.
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