Punching Synthetic Ice Climbing Boots


Original Post
J Cor · · New York, New York · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 180

Is punching out synthetic ice climbing boots like the Batura or Phantom tech possible? Do I just take them to a reputable ski shop and ask them to do it? I have concerns it might damage the goretex/outdry lining. I would imagine they just use the press and don't heat it up at all like you do with a ski boot right?

Anyone have this done and can speak from experience?

Also while I'm on the subject anyone know anyone in new england/ny that has experience punching light AT boots like a TLT5?

J Cor · · New York, New York · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 180

Thanks Dave,

Who did you have do it in NH? Stan and Dan?

Max Forbes · · Vermont & Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 114

Contacted Sportiva about heat molding boots. The removable liners in the G2/spantik/baruntse etc are moldable, but you can't punch the shell. OGE in Burlington does good work on boot shells. Call in advance.

Matt Murphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 35

I was blessed with extra bone on my heels which is integrated into my achilles tendons, it's called Haglunds deformity. This basically prevents me from using burly ice boots with rigid/substantial heel cup material for any significant length of time. Double boots work surprisingly well for me though. It seems the booty does the rubbing against the outer shell instead of my heel doing so. If that makes any sense.

I own a pair of Scarpa Freney synthetic boots that I've asked numerous ski shops to help punch and/or shape the heel a bit. No one wants to touch them due to the potential of damage.

My local ski shop owner just retired and closed his doors. I approached him about buying his boot punching press and attachments...$30...done deal.

Mounted the press on my workbench, heated my boots with a hair dryer slowly. Pressed gently at first then quite aggressively.

Long story short... No problems. I've been wearing them since, feel like I have a new pair of boots!

I'm not saying you can't damage them, but I think a little careful punching is worth it if you can talk some boot tech into it.

rocknice2 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 3,018

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/stretching-synthetic-boots/107959254

Emmett Lyman · · Somerville, MA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 355
rocknice2 wrote:https://www.mountainproject.com/v/stretching-synthetic-boots/107959254
As rocknice2 referenced, I asked about this a few years ago. Never did find anyone willing to punch my boots, but I ended up finding a bandaid solution that works pretty well. Whenever I'm not climbing in them, my current boots (Rebel Ultras) live on boot stretchers that are opened as wide as I can get them to make room for my bunions. The stretched boots generally fit well in the morning, but by dinnertime they return to the original narrow profile and start to hurt. So back on the stretchers they go until the next morning. I'm in the market for boots that are wide in the forefoot and don't require this process, but haven't yet found anything compelling. Anyway, the process works well enough for cragging - it's deficient for any multi-day alpine climbing, though.

Here's the stretcher I use: amazon.com/FootFitter-Premi...;qid=1484143980&sr=8-1&keywords=boot+stretcher Honestly, I've been pretty disappointed by the quality for heavy use like this, but it's the only thing on the market as far as I can tell.

Boots on stretchers
Andrewww · · Concord, NH · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 620

Emmett, you should check out Lowa for boots then. I have a wide forefoot and have found that Lowa's fit my foot really well. I would say they are a bit wider in front than Scarpa and have a heel that fit me better, no lift.

Emmett Lyman · · Somerville, MA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 355

Thanks Andrewww - any idea who around our parts stocks Lowa? I've been tempted a couple times to buy a pair from Sierra or Campsaver, but never pulled the trigger because I can't try them on in person.

Also, just reading back through the thread - Joshua, I had Stan and Dan's punch my Scarpa Maestrale RS's with great results. Other fitters told me the plastic was too brittle or too thin, but those guys had no problems at all. Made all the difference.

J Cor · · New York, New York · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 180

Thanks for all the responses guys. My new phantom techs are working out fairly well even though they felt tight at first. Those boot stretchers are kinda interesting though, may pick up a pair for lighter footware.

Thanks for the Stan and Dan thumbs up. I have heard nothing but good things. May try them out this weekend.

If I could find a boot press for $30 I would by it in a heartbeat, good find.

Andrewww · · Concord, NH · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 620

Emmett, there is a store in Concord, NH on Main Street called Simply Birkenstock and they are a Lowa dealer. I don't think they stock any mountaineering boots but what they told me was that if I wanted to try a boot, Lowa would overnight the size I wanted, plus the sizes above and below, and then I could just try them on and pick them out. Lowa is distributed out of CT so that's why it will only take a day. The owners are great guys and if you wanted to take a drive up this way I bet you could call ahead and have them get the boots there for you.

Woodchuck ATC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 3,110
Matt Murphy wrote:I was blessed with extra bone on my heels which is integrated into my achilles tendons, it's called Haglunds deformity. This basically prevents me from using burly ice boots with rigid/substantial heel cup material for any significant length of time. Double boots work surprisingly well for me though. It seems the booty does the rubbing against the outer shell instead of my heel doing so. If that makes any sense. I own a pair of Scarpa Freney synthetic boots that I've asked numerous ski shops to help punch and/or shape the heel a bit. No one wants to touch them due to the potential of damage. My local ski shop owner just retired and closed his doors. I approached him about buying his boot punching press and attachments...$30...done deal. Mounted the press on my workbench, heated my boots with a hair dryer slowly. Pressed gently at first then quite aggressively. Long story short... No problems. I've been wearing them since, feel like I have a new pair of boots! I'm not saying you can't damage them, but I think a little careful punching is worth it if you can talk some boot tech into it.
that's the best deal for sure, to buy out stuff from a friend who had a ski shop. So many adventure sports gear places can't close up and even give away their old stuff cuz of liability issues. Best to make an arrangement like you did, or have the person tell you the day and hour they toss out good stuff in the dumpster so you can go raid it and not attach any liability to a person or business. I did the same for ski boot and binding adjustment devices years ago.
Emmett Lyman · · Somerville, MA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 355

This is probably more of what you're looking for - http://www.contractortalk.com/f59/most-comfortable-work-boots-91829/

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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