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Another Plastic Boot Q from a Noob

Original Post
John Summer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

1st post here. I've been rock climbing for a years, snow shoed, backpacked and ATed many areas around the PNW. I'm now just getting into wanting to do a bit of mountaineering. I find myself shoeing up to points where I need technical skill to keep going. 

I thought I might just buy some gear and start with some books and classes. So I made a bit of an impulse buy. I bought some Asolo AFS 103 boots without really doing any research. I got them for $50 and they came with super feet in the size/color I use in other boots. I've got a bit of an odd foot (Mens' 6.5 with a width of 4.25" EE) and these boots fit perfect. I guess my question is, should I have gotten synthetic/leather boots? it seems like that's the way to go now. I've worn my Fugitive GTX's out in the super cold and they've been fine. I know I'd want something a little tougher for getting to a summit, but what's the deal?

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

Plastics are dinosaurs and only exist for rental fleets at this point. If you're in the PNW you really do not want those lead bricks, nor do you need a double boot for the regular routes in summer. I wouldn't even consider using them (having done Rainier with people in Scarpa invernos).

I would look at the sportiva nepal cube, scarpa mont blanc pro, or the like if you want durability. Single boot with a leather outer and thin insulation.

John Summer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Well, that's what I thought. I may have to swoop the Superfeet out of them and look for something else. Thanks for the info.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162

The right boots for the job are highly dependent on the routes you'll be going up, the season, and the conditions.  For the easy routes in mid-summer, a 3 season boot (such as a Scarpa Charmoz) is usually perfectly fine, and in general lighter and more comfortable.  For shoulder season and more technical steeper routes, you generally want a full shank insulated single.

You should go to a local shop that carries boots and try stuff on, especially since you might be harder than average to fit.

John Summer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

What about the Scarpa Cumbre for a 3 season? I found some that fit great, NIB, for 160. I know they're a little older, but they seem to be a good boot.

Jason4Too · · Bellingham, Washington · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

What are your objectives?  I've been to the top of Eldorado in February on a very cold day in Scarpa Charmoz, the top of Baker in AT ski boots in April, played in the seracs on the Coleman in Nepal Evo Cubes, the top of Shuksan in June in Koflach Superpipes (!), and I haven't been to the top of a lot of stuff in various footwear.  Some of those choices were good and some were terrible and I'm happy to share which are which.  Now I'm really liking my Nepals if the conditions demand them, otherwise, they are heavy, hot, and stiff to walk in.  I'd like to replace the Charmoz with something else but I'm not sure what, another light boot but maybe all leather.  The Koflachs are gathering dust in a corner in the gear room.  The AT boots are my go to boots most of the winter but the purpose of those should be obvious.

That said, for the $50 you have invested in doubles I wouldn't chuck them unless you're living in a tiny house.  Keep them for winter camping or days standing around digging snowpits or moving slowly on glacier ice just to keep your feet warmer.  Spend the money on a light 3 season boot and keep those for the rare 4th season adventure if that fits your climbing interests.

John Summer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks for the reply Jason4Too. I've been out hiking and climbing with my AT and alpine boots as well, and having been rocking my Asolo Fugitives for almost everything else when there's no skiing involved. Snow shoeing and strappy crampon snow hiking. I definitely am going to keep the plastics, just because they fit good and I've got that odd foot. I'm planning on getting schooled up properly by professionals and then doing many of the local peaks that will include glacier travel and possibly ice climbing. I did go ahead and buy the Scarpa Cumbres. I got them for 125 and they fit awesome and they were brand new. I've been out for hours in bitter cold in the Fugitives, in the snow, and never had a problem with the cold. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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