Last year I wrote about summer mountain walking boots, so I thought I’d share some ideas on footwear that I wear whilst scrambling. I used to own one pair of boots and these did everything, walking, scrambling and I even climbed in them quite often too, I suppose I couldn’t really afford a selection of boots or had any idea that some may be more suitable than others for scrambling.
The Scarpa Mescalito was the boot to have, not only was it designed specifically for this type of activity and performed superbly well, but more importantly it looked cool! As with all manufacturers, when they have a fantastic product that does the job, they seem to stop production and change it!
The Scarpa Cristallo GTX came next. I always think the GTX part of any boot description makes it go faster! I’ve had so many pairs of Cristallos, I even bought several pairs one year when I knew they were stopping production, they were that good. The toe climbing area on them and lateral stiffness provided the precision on wet and dry rock that gave you the confidence to move over the mountain, but alas, it had to end…..
Then Scarpa produced some disco boot, that doesn’t work for me!
These days I’ve got a selection of footwear that must come close to what Imelda Marcos must have had! My current favourite pair is 5.10 trainers with a high top.
I’ve used 5.10 approach shoes for 15 years and their rubber soles are unbelievable. Whilst their soft sticky sole will wear out fairly quickly due to the volume of work I do with them in the mountains, what they allow me to comfortably scramble / climb in is considerably more than a pair of “big boots”. The high top protects my ankles and the particular model I use aren’t Go Faster GTX(!) so I use a different boot when it’s wet. Feet aren’t keen on being in a semi rigid boot all day and so the 5.10 is an excellent compromise for me.
When its wet, it’s back to my favourite boot manufacturer, it’s a fairly new venture for them to offer this huge range of technical boots, but as I expected, super comfy, fit for purpose and I think they look fairly cool too! http://www.hanwag.com/badile-combi-gtxr
I’ve nearly aways have had to purchase Hangwags online, but discovered them in Llanberis this year…happy days!
Crib Goch Outdoor World has a small selection of HanWag's, but can get the wider range on request