Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Alpine & Ice:
Boot sizing for technical ice climbing
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rockrock513


Nov 17, 2009, 12:00 PM
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Registered: Aug 26, 2008
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Boot sizing for technical ice climbing
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How do you size your boots when you will be climbing steep technical water ice?

Do you leave any room in the shoe, or are you looking for a spot on fit?


SketchySam


Nov 17, 2009, 1:54 PM
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Re: [rockrock513] Boot sizing for technical ice climbing [In reply to]
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1. Heel lift - Make sure you don't have too much heel lift. Put the boots on (with a pair of your standard ice climbing socks), lace them up snug and stand on the front edge, simulating a front point. Aggressively bounce up and down on that front edge and see how much your heel lifts up inside the boot. Ideally, the boot will be a snug fit and won't slide up at all in the heel. Excessive heel lift (more than an inch or so) will cause more calf strain, increasing the pump factor on steep ice. I've found that I get more heel lift in plastic boots and less heel lift in leather boots.

2. Fit - If you size your boots too tight they will cut off circulation to your feet and you'll have a greater tendency to go numb. Don't downsize your ice boots like rock shoes. Also pay attention to the toes - when the boots are laced up you should have some clearance between your toes and the front of the boot. Remember that you'll be kicking your feet repeatedly into the ice so if you have too little toe clearance you'll kick your toe into the front of the boot.

3. Leather or Plastic - Plastic is generally warmer. Leather is generally lighter, more precise and easier to hike in.

A boot fits properly if it is comfortable, snug, doesn't cut off circulation and doesn't lift up excessively in the heel. Don't buy your first pair of boots over the internet. Find a knowledgeable salesperson (who actually climbs ice) at a local climbing shop and have them fit you properly.

Also - bring your boots to the shop when you're buying crampons. You're not always guaranteed a good fit between the two. A poor fit could cause the crampons to pop off mid-climb. You may be able to fix an incorrectly fitting toe-bail by beating it with a hammer while the crampon is on the boot. This is best done by someone experienced who's done it before.


rockrock513


Nov 17, 2009, 1:58 PM
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Re: [SketchySam] Boot sizing for technical ice climbing [In reply to]
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Thanks SS,
A solid replyWink


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Alpine & Ice

 


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