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Where To Try On Mountaineering Boots In New England


Original Post
Ian Lemley · · Boston, MA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Hey Folks,

I currently live in Boston and cannot for the life of me find a place to try on mountaineering boots. Boston REI has none, I've occasionally seen a pair of La Sportivas at the Framingham or Reading ones, but other than that I have no idea. Are there any good outfitters in North Conway, Gorham or Lincoln that have a decent selection? Where do you New Englanders try on your boots?

DR · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 540

Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington Vermont has a bunch of Mountain Boots. They also have a big selection of ice tools and crampons and a massive climbing selection of slings, ropes harnesses and everything else. 

Michael Beckwith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

Hilton's Tent City -Now in Cambridge used to carry a couple styles at the Boston location. Not sure about the new shop.

IME in North Conway is the best. EMS in North Conway and Concord have a limited selection.

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

International Mountain Equipment, Outdoor Gear Exchange, The Mountaineer. 


Edit: Alpenglow if you're heading up to northern Maine (and by northern I mean anywhere North of Portland). Call first re: selection, I haven't been there in a while. 

Jeremy Cote · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

LaSportiva is carried at IME in North Conway. The easiest option is backcountry.com. I have bought all my boots online. Just return the ones that don't fit. Return is flat rate at 7, or about the same amount you would spend on gas to travel somewhere. 

Chris Blatchley · · Somerville, MA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

if you want scarpa mont blancs, you can get a few sizes shipped to an rei store to try.

another option is to buy a bunch from backcountry and just return the ones you don't want.

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 322

Everybody here talks about finding a “reputable local shop” (as opposed to an unreputable shop..?). Realistically, if you want to try a lot of sizes and styles, most people need to have boots ordered in. REI can order in boots for you to try. Backcountry and Moosejaw have great return policies so you can try and send it back if it doesn’t fit. That is a longer process if you really do not know your foot size unless you buy 3 sizes at a time though. 

Most folks don’t really have too much trouble finding a proper boot though. Manufacturers size them in a pretty standard manner. For me, I am a 42.5 in regular shoes and a 42.5 or 43 in La Sportiva boots. You just need to do a solid kick test and heel lift test and home if you do it yourself. 

Benjamin Mitchell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

Like others have said, IME has a good selection. I think it it's nice to go to an actual store so you can try on a few different brands/models/sizes. I have low volume feet with a high arch and Scarpas fit me terribly while Sportivas feel great. Some people have different feet and hate Sportivas and love Scarpas. 

Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 9,087

***PSA***

If you're not going to buy from your local retailer cause you can get the articles for cheaper/warranty replacement, TELL THEM SO.

Just ask the salesman to get you all the sizes/models you think you need and tell them that you don't need their help and to focus on other customers.

Repack all the boots properly (re-lace them if you found them laced up) and nicely stack them back up per model size so the salesman can reshelf them easily.

If you're trying on boots, go for a hike prior to going to the store so your feet have swolen up a bit and bring clean socks that you intend to wear when wearing those new boots.

Jeremy Cote · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Benjamin Mitchell wrote:

Like others have said, IME has a good selection. I think it it's nice to go to an actual store so you can try on a few different brands/models/sizes. I have low volume feet with a high arch and Scarpas fit me terribly while Sportivas feel great. Some people have different feet and hate Sportivas and love Scarpas. 

Are there really any other shops that carry technical boots in New England? The Mountaineer is the only other shop I can think of. Of course, it's in NY.

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

OGE in Burlington is the best Outdoor store in the Northeast, bar none. 

Edit: one store I didn't mention in my first post is Rock and Snow in New Paltz. 

DR · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 540
Jeremy Cote wrote:

Are there really any other shops that carry technical boots in New England? The Mountaineer is the only other shop I can think of. Of course, it's in NY.

https://www.gearx.com/footwear/mens/boots/mountaineering-boots

That is the link to what Outdoor Gear Exchange has in stock, plus they often have samples that don't make it on their website and they have a consignment section downstairs that almost always has used mountaineering and ice climbing boots.

Ian Lemley · · Boston, MA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0
Luc-514 wrote:
Ira O · · Hardwick, VT · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 25

Like everybody said, IME and OGE.... also, both those places often have boots on consignment, which is a good option if you are entering the sport and don't have a boot you really love yet. 

Russ Keane · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150

At IME you can walk in and be helped by staff members who know their stuff, also many times there are expert climbers and mountaineers hanging around who you can meet and talk with about gear.  It's like, the best.    All the new and used options.... It's an epicenter for eastern New England.  I hear OGE is good too but I have yet to go (so much further from Boston).

Mark Ra · · Frange, CO · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65

Swing by the MWV ice fest the first weekend in February and try some demo boots. They usually have sportiva, scarpa, lowa and you can take the boots for the day to try climbing in them.

Max Forbes · · Vermont & Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 108

Smuggs ice bash is coming up.. great opportunity to demo sportiva and scarpa boot for free! You can also check out OGE when your in town. 


http://www.smuggsicebash.com/

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

 The Mountaineer, Keene Valley NY, unless you know Scarpa doesn’t fit your foot. Then go to IME North Conway NH. The Mountaineer has a bigger selection of boots.

 It’s worth the extra coin to have a experienced bootfitter measure your foot. Especially if you’re a beginner. If you know what size in what model boot or you attend a demo at an ice fest buy online. But know this, I run into and there’s a whole bunch of boots for sale from people that tried to save a few bucks by buying boots online. It’s not worth it. 

snowman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 735

scarpa and sportiva are doing boot demos at the mountaineer this weekend for the adirondack mountaineering fest'.

Dan Knisell · · Townsend, MA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 2,251

Evans on the Common in Ma has nice footwear and they usually are willing to order in whatever you’re looking for. Bout an hour outside of Boston. Super small local business. 

Happiegrrrl · · Gunks · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 60
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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