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Boots for winter 14'ers

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Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby eskermo » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:21 am

Hey Catalyst, I purchased the Garmonts you linked to at REI last December. They were on sale for 50% off at the time, so perhaps you might want to look around a little or wait a month to see if they go back on sale.

I've since climbed seven 14ers in them between January and May as well as Princeton two weeks ago. I've also put countless miles on trails around Boulder this previous winter. I don't know what everyone else is talking about with them falling apart - mine are still in excellent condition and appear as if they will hold up for a while.

Performance wise, I think they are excellent. The tread is excellent in dry conditions, as well as on wet rock and in the snow. Microspikes fit well and work great on these. I have not, however, used these with crampons. They are definitely solid and stiff enough to kick in good snow steps, and also just take a beating in general.

These are ridiculously warm. I think the only time my feet ever get cold in these is when I stop moving for too long. I use the thickest mountaineering merino wool socks I can find with these and as long as it's not too warm out, my feet always stay dry and warm enough. In the spring these are great for kicking around in deep mud and water, like for high stream crossings and the willow regions in the basins.

The only real complaint I have is the fit. I'm used to wearing shoes and boots that perfectly fit my foot, and these just don't seem to do it. Not that they are uncomfortable, but toward the end of the day after a long hike, my feet just don't feel as good as they would have if were wearing, say, my trail runners. But perhaps they'll fit you just right. IMO, I can bear a little uncomfort later in the day if it means my feet stay dry and warm.

Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby DoubelDD » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:18 am

I've done a number of winter 14ers in the Garmonts and I'm currently looking for a new boot. I've been cold in the garmonts a couple of times, La Plata -18 and windy comes to mind. They have given me heel blisters a few times. They are light and they do work fine in show shoes, but I would not recommend them because of the heel construction and I would want a warmer boot for true winter hiking.
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Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby Catalyst » Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:36 pm

Thanks for the comments guys, I decided to go with the Garmonts.

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Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby SarahT » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:19 pm

I was excited when I bought these exact Garmont boots last winter. They are less bulky than many other boots and have a very low temp rating. However, I was very disappointed to find that they're not warm enough for me to wear on typical cold days up high in the dead of winter. They're OK on a "nice" winter day, but I won't wear them on anything serious. All of my previous boots were Solomons, various styles, and they were all much warmer.
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Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby WillV » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:49 pm

I'm a little surprised to see what was recommended here. IMHO some of the boots mentioned above are more for shoveling snow off your driveway.
I understand lightweight (especially in winter) is highly desirable, but having a heavier and more solid boot can make step-kicking easier, especially if your planning on using the same boots through Spring with crampons. I went with these heavy beasts. http://www.sportiva.com/products/footwear/mountain/lhotse-gtx
For the naysayers, at least try them on. The fit is sick.
Some would respectfully argue they're overkill for a Colorado Winter/Spring boot, but I ain't ever going back to those Garmont or Keen Summit boots again. I found them too flimsy, flexible and just not built well. Synthetic material for all the eyelets... Seriously? :roll:

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Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby dsunwall » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:33 am

WillV wrote:I'm a little surprised to see what was recommended here. IMHO some of the boots mentioned above are more for shoveling snow off your driveway.
Granted those Lhotse boots will last longer but one requirement for a lot of the winter 14ers are very long approaches. Comfort and light weight make all the difference for me. The salomons do kick steps just fine. If the snow is so hard they can't, on go the crampons, which work fine with them as well. The north face of Capitol, maybe not, but the knife edge, yes.

I've gotten to prefer the Nytro's myself, not rated quite as warm as the Toundra's, but I don't need toe warmers at zero degrees. They are a little more solid than the Toundra's I think. At 22oz per boot they are almost half the weight of the Lhotse.

http://www.salomon.com/us/product/nytro-wp.html#bas

Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby metalmountain » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:28 am

WillV wrote:I'm a little surprised to see what was recommended here. IMHO some of the boots mentioned above are more for shoveling snow off your driveway.
I understand lightweight (especially in winter) is highly desirable, but having a heavier and more solid boot can make step-kicking easier, especially if your planning on using the same boots through Spring with crampons. I went with these heavy beasts. http://www.sportiva.com/products/footwear/mountain/lhotse-gtx
For the naysayers, at least try them on. The fit is sick.
Some would respectfully argue they're overkill for a Colorado Winter/Spring boot, but I ain't ever going back to those Garmont or Keen Summit boots again. I found them too flimsy, flexible and just not built well. Synthetic material for all the eyelets... Seriously? :roll:


I will second your opinion of Keen's boots. They would be fine for doing some snowshoeing or lite hiking. But I made one summit in them and I swore I would never do it again. To soft and not enough support. While super comfy and warm, but just not up to the task I needed them for. They have been relegated to snow shoveling detail now.
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Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby Derek » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:49 am

ajkagy wrote:i wouldn't spend $160 on boots. Look around a bit more and you'll find a better deal

I have a pair of North face lifty boots (rated to -40F) that I got for around $50-60 many years ago and they are still awesome


My liftys were my favorite winter boots I have ever owned. I'd pay top dollar now if I could find a secret hidden pair somewhere online. Unfortunately, when North Face stopped making these, they didn't seem to create something comparable. Mine have officially died. They had a nice life.

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Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby bergsteigen » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:04 pm

Fletch wrote:Steve Gadblach sends out a copy of a previous post every year which details the winter boot question. Bill should post it to the site or something. It's a great answer to the question that seems to come up every Oct/Nov...

Steve, are you out there? :-D


Do you mean this post? viewtopic.php?f=4&t=32087&p=378160&hilit=+boots#p378160
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Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby geojed » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:17 pm

My feet tend to run pretty warm anyways so I've been able to get by thick wool socks and my Assolo Sasslong boots from STP. It has a thick, full Nubuck Leather upper w/ Gore-Tex and I'm wearing calf-high gaiters that help stop heat from escaping from the boot upper.
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Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby kushrocks » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:37 pm

When I know I am not doing anything real technical I leave the mountaineering boots at home and stick with these. If I really need to I have a pair of strap on crampons that work well with these. I tend to have cold toes and even though these are only rated to -25 I have had zero problems with cold feet dring the winter in Colorado wearing these. I bought these on the advice of Steve Gadblach and he really knows what he is talking about.

Just in case you didnt see when bergsteigen posted it just below is a great link to Steve's advice.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=32087&p=378160&hilit=+boots#p378160

Here is my winter boot
http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11774630&010=SKU-10569678&003=4239056&camp=CSE:GooglePLA:11774630
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Re: Boots for winter 14'ers

Postby Mindy » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:54 pm

bergsteigen wrote:
Fletch wrote:Steve Gadblach sends out a copy of a previous post every year which details the winter boot question. Bill should post it to the site or something. It's a great answer to the question that seems to come up every Oct/Nov...

Steve, are you out there? :-D


Do you mean this post? viewtopic.php?f=4&t=32087&p=378160&hilit=+boots#p378160


OK I did it - taking Steve's advice - and I just paid $31.46 for them!

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