Mountain Boot Care


Original Post
Mikeyy · · Glendale Heights, IL · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 110

Hi guys,

Any advice for caring for Ice Climbing boots? Just threw down for the Scarpa Phantoms as I am starting ice climbing this season. I am in the midwest and it'll pretty much consist of 35 - 50' vertical frozen water I believe.

Is there anything that you find wears out boots quickest? I imagine even trying to stay away from mud or road salt when getting to the climbing areas. Maybe particular climbing moves or mistakes you can make that damage the boots? For instance, I over-tightened laces on snowboarding boots once and blew the point where the lace is threaded through :(

Also, what are people doing to care for boots after climbs or at end of season? Nikwax wash? etc.

Any advice, much appreciated - these things are expensive and I want them to last!

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

Phantom guide? Tech? 6000? Either way you have a synthetic boot and there's not much you can do for care. Keep them clean, nixwax products work, and avoid excessive wear and tear when possible.

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20
Max Forbes wrote:Phantom guide? Tech? 6000? Either way you have a synthetic boot and there's not much you can do for care. Keep them clean, nixwax products work, and avoid excessive wear and tear when possible.
Pretty much what I was thinking. Just try to treat them nicely and they should last for a long time.
Mikeyy · · Glendale Heights, IL · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 110

Phantom Guides

Thanks for the advice - I guess since they're primarily synthetic, other than stepping in a big mud-hole on a warmer day I have not much to worry about

Here's something I found from Zamberlain about boot care and the various materials:

http://zamberlanusa.com/images/cura_manutenzione.pdf

Mikeyy · · Glendale Heights, IL · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 110

From Scarpa

http://www.scarpa.co.uk/technical/boot-care/

K-TECH/L-TECH/S-TECH-example-Phantom Series/Charmoz Pro/Rebel Lite

A Kevlar based synthetic material which ensures maximum durability with minimum weight. Combined with S-Tech this allows us to achieve a lightweight boot which is strong enough for summer and winter mountaineering, scrambling and Via Ferrata. We recommend using Nikwax Fabric and Leather or Grangers G-Max periodically to ensure that the highest level of water resistance is maintained.

Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,953

Keep them dry, air them out after every outings, pull out the footbeds.
If you sweat a lot in the boots, look at rinsing them out with clean water once in a blue moon to remove built up salts in the insulation.

Steven Kovalenko · · Calgary · Joined May 2014 · Points: 25

The new high-tech boots are really expensive these days.

If I expect to walk 60min or more on dry trails, rocks, dirt, or scree before I get to an icefall or crag in the shoulder season, I carry my nice boots and beat up a pair of approach shoes or cheap hikers instead.

The "ounces off your feet saves energy" argument also applies, since approach shoes are nicer to walk in and lighter.

If the ground is completely snow covered, wear and tear is less of an issue. I always kill the sole before the uppers, so I try to minimize wear on long approaches if I can.

The rest of advice in this thread is good. Keep on top of little nicks, tears, and rips with Freesole or SeamGrip, and some sewing if it helps.

Mikeyy · · Glendale Heights, IL · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 110

Steve - might be taking you up on that idea of carrying the boots through rockier, dirtier terrain especially when there is less snow on the ground!

That shoe-goo or freesole repair compound I need to buy anyway, as my rock climbing shoe tips are starting to chip to the rand underneath! It's because of this happening to the rock shoe rubber that motivates me to make sure I'm being selective with my gear-abusing moves on ice!

Steven Kovalenko · · Calgary · Joined May 2014 · Points: 25
Mikeyy wrote:Steve - might be taking you up on that idea of carrying the boots through rockier, dirtier terrain especially when there is less snow on the ground! That shoe-goo or freesole repair compound I need to buy anyway, as my rock climbing shoe tips are starting to chip to the rand underneath! It's because of this happening to the rock shoe rubber that motivates me to make sure I'm being selective with my gear-abusing moves on ice!
Everyone walks to the local moderate drytool crag through grassy cutlines on a dirt trail, in giant, clunky and expensive alpine boots in dry conditions. I think it's silly and it burns through the sole. The same applies for long shoulder-season approaches in the Ghost or Kananaskis (when it's dry!). Beats up your feet, wears out the sole.

When I am camp-based on longer summer alpine trips, I also just carry my boots (think Bugaboos, Assiniboine, Robson, etc) until I need them on a real climbing day.

Just pretend your nice alpine boots are like rock shoes. They will live a longer and happier life, and you will save tons of energy when walking around.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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