Generally, for trails that are easy to tackle, go with low-cut shoes. Go mid to high if there are more trail obstacles.
Boot Grading for Crampons
Plastic mountaineering boots
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Plastic mountaineering boots are exceptionally built to carry and protect you in extreme outdoor conditions. Brands who create these types of boots put priority in heat retention and security to help aspiring mountaineers reach the summit safe and sound. The materials and technologies incorporated, however, often equates to a hefty weight and sky-high price.
How to choose the best plastic mountaineering boots for men and women
Selecting the best mountaineering boots is a crucial factor that you need to consider before heading to the mountains. It is the most important equipment you will bring as it can make or break your summit. Listed below are some of the tips that can help you decide which is the best for you.
Before you buy your new pair of plastic mountaineering boots, you have to make sure that they fit you well. This consideration comes in utmost importance as it can jeopardize your expedition. Take your time in trying on the boots that interest you. Even if a lot of your friends are recommending a particular brand and model to you, remember that no foot is alike. You have to get a feel of them as it can also help you save money. Check the snugness and volume. Observe for any unnecessary slippage.
Once you determine which boots fit you best, comfort will come naturally. It is important that your feet feel good every time you are wearing your plastic mountaineering boots. If comfort is compromised, especially when you already set forth on that adventure, it will be too inconvenient for you. You don’t want your foot to be the source of pain.
Most plastic mountaineering boots excel in providing a warm interior to alpinists. This is important as it can also affect your performance. You want to avoid cold toes when the temperature drops. Look for styles that have insulated insoles and liners.
Do you really need a pair of plastic mountaineering boots? There are a lot of boots to choose from depending on the weather condition and type of terrain. If your adventure does not include technical ice routes or high-altitude conditions, you may be better off with a pair of sturdy backpacking boots or hiking boots.
Plastic mountaineering boots are typically heavy. This is the reason why numerous brands are continuously developing techniques on how to keep their products lightweight without compromising warmth and comfort. Look for brands that offer lightweight boots but are still warm enough for your outdoor activity.
Crampons are attached to plastic mountaineering boots when walking or climbing on ice. It is important that your chosen gear fits your crampon excellently. There are various binding systems used that cater to different boot designs and rigidity. Ensuring the compatibility of your crampons to your boots is also securing your safety.
Other types of mountaineering boots
Single mountaineering boots do not come with a separate liner. They are generally lighter than double boots but are not as warm. Some models are made of leather, and some are a mix of leather and synthetic. They are, however, more difficult to dry during multi-day adventures. Select styles are designed with an integrated gaiter.
Plastic mountaineering boots belong to this category. Double boots come with a separate inner liner (or boot) and an outer shell. Their hefty weight is attributable to its provision of excellent warmth and waterproofness. They are often used in extreme climates as you can dry the separate inner boot overnight. They also have superb crampon compatibility, thanks to the uber-stiff exterior.
Some brands that offer the best plastic mountaineering boots
Since 1938, Scarpa has been very dedicated to creating high-performance footwear for mountaineering and climbing folks. The Scarpa Inverno is one of their known double plastic mountaineering boots designed ready for extreme temperatures. This crampon-ready gear wears a Pebax outer shell and a High-Altitude Liner inner boot. Each component comes with their separate lacing system for an optimal fit. The rockered profile of its Vibram outsole facilitates a smooth toe-off.
Founded in 1975, this Italian footwear company has been developing innovative technologies that they incorporate into their offerings. One of their products is the Asolo AFS 8000. It is a plastic mountaineering boot ideal for technical alpine routes. Its stress-resistant Pebax outer shell and insulated inner boot give wearers the protection and comfort they need. Underfoot, it uses a PU midsole with carbon fiber and fiberglass skeleton which provide lightweight support and stability. Its crampon-compatible Vibram outsole handles almost all types of terrain.