So this is more gear advice than a gear review but I got an email the other day from a friend about what B3 boots he should get. I am always very nervous about reviewing or giving and opinion boots as fit is so critical but though I would put my response up,
Email from my mate Dave:
Thought I'd pick your brains about boots. Been to Up and Under to try some on. Tried Salewa Vultur Vertical but they weren't quite right (slight pressure on the heal). Based on the fact that I might not get a perfect fit they may be ok, but I want to try some more boots on first. So they have ordered in a couple a couple of pairs of Scarpas for me (I think the ones you suggested when we were in Cham, one has the built in gator anyway).
I was just wondering if you had any other suggestions for (slightly) wide fitting boots that Up and Under may not stock?
Response from me:
So Boots. I assume that you are looking at B3’s. All the boots I have include are once that Up and Under can get hold of as well.
So my personal opinion is that the best three mountaineering boots on the market at the moment are the La Sportiva Batura 2.0, Scarpa Phantom Tech and the Arctyerx Acrux AR.
So all these boots are equally as good as one other, only difference is fit. Generally, Acrteryx are the narrowest, La Sportiva in the middle (although these do seem to fit a lot of foot shapes and they did seem to occasionally fit people with wide feet) and Scarpa the widest.
There are other super gaiter boots by Zamberlan, Boreal and Millet but there are a generation behind the top 3 aka they are a bit heavier and not as warm.
Know the only problem with these super gaiter boots is that they are super warm which for Scotland and alpine winter is not a major problem but for summer alpine it is. Both me a Lucys feet cooked in ours in the summer. So the other option is a traditional Leather boots such as the Salewa Vulcan, La Sportiva Nepal Cubes (These are awesome, super light yet tough and pretty warm), Scarpa Mont Blancs, Boreal Kangri and Zamberlan Pamir. These are great all-round boots but are heavy compared to the super gater boots for the warmth you get. However, they will last you for ever and they have gotten lighter in the last few years especially the La Sportiva Nepal Cubes with a carbon footplate.
The Final option is the latest generation of synthetic B3 boots. These are super light, brilliant for climbing in and are super comfy for walking in. Will be the comfiest in this list. These things are designed for pushing the limits of mixed climbing and be as close to a rock shoe as you can get. Only downside is in order to get the flexibility they have the least amount of insulation however they are still more insulated than B2 boots I see people walking around Scotland in. The only real two in this category are the Scarpa Rebel Ice and the La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube.
I hope this helps and give me a ring if you need any more help.