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 Post subject: why not snowboard with a 'hiking' boot
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:58 pm 
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I realize this must be a silly question since i don't see anyone doing it, but since I'm about to drop a chuck of change on some boots, i figured id check for an answer. Im preparing for 2-3 trips here in Montana this spring that are going to require crampons. The Fitwell Backcountry boots look like the perfect choice for my needs, except they won't be making a size 46 until next year. Im considering a mountaineering boot that could pull double duty because i would also like to ice climb more this next winter and I'm tired of renting boots. The La Sportiva Spantik seems to be the best "snowboarding" mountaineering boot to chose from, but I'm not crazy about the fact that it would be ONLY a winter boot (plus the high $$$). I would much prefer to get the Nepal Evo instead, as this boot could serve my needs in both winter and summer trips, plus, i have worn that boot and i know how it fits. The spantik would be a cross-your-fingers-it-fits order. So, the question is... Has anyone tried snowboarding in a more traditional 'hiking boot' shaped mountaineering boot? My bindings could be adjusted to fit. Is my biggest tradeoff going to be 'comfort' while riding? If that is the case, i will be ok, as the decent will only be a short part of the trip, or will there be bigger problems with trying to ride in that style boot? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: why not snowboard with a 'hiking' boot
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:43 pm 
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I've snowboarded in several kinds of mountaineering boots. Probably the 'softest' boot I have used is the AKU Spider. These boots rode fine in powder conditions. But firm conditions are a completely different story. The added range of motion and flex in the ankle made going edge-edge quickly very difficult, and trying to hold the same edge over a long traverse was incredibly taxing on the lower leg muscles.

While the Spantik are indeed a double boot designed for cold temps, it doesn't bother me to use them for Spring corn and associated warmer temps in CA. They hike well enough to not feel an overwhelming need to use trail shoes for snow-less approaches while carrying them on my pack. Perhaps the best 'compromise' for you would be to try and ride in the Sportiva Baruntse. I haven't tried them on personally, but it sounds like they have a flex similar to the Spantik, though slightly softer. They would still be very warm boot as well, definitely not as light as the EVO (though the EVO are still considered a winter mountaineering boot). Good luck in your search!

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 Post subject: Re: why not snowboard with a 'hiking' boot
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:52 pm 
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96avs01 wrote:
But firm conditions are a completely different story.


I wonder if using an additional ankle/calf strap, like Spark's "Strappy Strap" if that would help things?

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 Post subject: Re: why not snowboard with a 'hiking' boot
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:19 pm 
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^^^ a booster strap does help, but boots with this much flex even when combined with a booster strap still don't provide the response and feel I personally seek for firm conditions. YMMV

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 Post subject: Re: why not snowboard with a 'hiking' boot
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:39 pm 
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cool, thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: why not snowboard with a 'hiking' boot
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:06 am 
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The Spantiks are doubles too so you can make them not as warm by messing with the liners. The Spantiks are beefy and supportive like a soft snowboard boot, I didn't like the feel of the Baruntses, they didn't have the same beefcake and didn't feel as good in the shop.

When I put my 32 liners in my Spantiks they feel so good flexwise and I think the 32 liners will be better in warmer conditions. Havent tested to see how much cooler (temp wise, I already know they are awesome) they are then the stock liners but just by looking at them I think they will be a fair amount cooler.

The Spantiks are expensive but I have a feeling they will last twice as long as a regular soft snowboard boot.


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 Post subject: Re: why not snowboard with a 'hiking' boot
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Any day, above freezing, with conditions suitable for noboarding, I rock my hiking boots and gaiters.

But seriously, I've boarded in Columbia Bugaboots just like these. I had a similar experience to avs. In pow, it feels much more like a surfboard in terms of flexibility and range of motion (which is cool and fun and all) but that was at the expense of energy and control on everything not-pow.
Due to the increased range of motion, the highback feels like it's in the way; as opposed to helping you edge. In order to utilize them, you have to align your calf with the highback; something which stiffer boots do automatically.
I found heel-lift to be a big problem with these boots. Unless your hiking boot has lace hooks on your ankles (like these, as opposed to these), there is nothing keeping your heel in the heel of the boot.
Also, because of the difference in size of footprint and profile, if you use your normally sized bindings with hiking boots, your boots flop around inside the binding like peas in a shoebox. Hiking boots are much squishier than snowboard boots. You have to crank the bindings down, pushing the strap into foot instead of against the boot. This causes foot sores.
Boarding in hiking boots? It can be done. . .


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 Post subject: Re: why not snowboard with a 'hiking' boot
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:19 pm 
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HansGLudwig wrote:
In order to utilize them, you have to align your calf with the highback


I have a friend who lent me his size 46 Nepal Evo's, which is the exact boot i am thinking of getting, and i did some experimenting at the house and realized that very thing. I also found that the highback hit me in the back of the calf which hurt, even just messing around in the living room. I did 3 things that made a world of difference. 1 - adjusted my highbacks to match the angle of my boot/leg. 2 - pushed the forward lean as aggressive as possible. 3 - taped some mini-cell foam to the top of the highbacks for padding. I tried this setup on one foot, then my other regular with my snowboard boot, and it really felt comparable. I think it could work. The lean did put me in a bit more of a squat then i would rather be in, but it felt much more responsive then at my standard angle. I am going to take the setup to my local hill and try it out on some groomers before i purchase the boots, so i should know a bit better after that.

drpw wrote:
The Spantiks are doubles too so you can make them not as warm by messing with the liners.

The Spantiks are expensive but I have a feeling they will last twice as long as a regular soft snowboard boot.


It isn't just the warmth that has me concerned about using them elsewhere, but also the way they fit and walk, which i have heard is much more like an actual snowboard boot. The Nepal Evo's are more of a traditional hiking boot 'walk'. Plus, I can purchase the Evo's, and the Fitwell Backcountry next year for only a little bit more than the spantiks alone. I am not certain of anything right now, i still may end up going with the spantiks because im sure they are awesome boots,,, but at this point, im gonna try the Evo's out for a half day of resort riding (which will be a lot more 'riding' than i will do on my trips) and if they feel ok, ill probably go with them.

All feedback is helping, so thanks a bunch.

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