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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:43 am 
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Posts: 98
Did 20 miles in the Spantiks yesterday on trail, split, and cramps and am happy to report that they are great. I opted for the stock liners over putting my snowboard liners in which I think would improve the ride of the boots to almost a snowboard boot. My other boots are 32 Ultralights.

The Spantiks hike really really well. You definitely feel the boot around your foot but articulation is enough that you can get an almost natural walk. I can't wait to get these thing on some high altitude rock, the rubber is sticky and the rand looks perfect for sticking into a crack. They look mega tough.

They skinned really well but not as well as the Ultralights. I think the missing inch of height is noticeable while skinning, especially while traversing. Another issue I noticed was the toe of the boots stuck out farther then my snowboard boots (my Spantiks are sz46) and kind of maxed out the heel lift.

I felt just as barely in control while split skiing as I do with the Ultralights.

The ride is great. To be honest with you it is hard for me to recollect clearly through the stoke. If it means anything the last thing I was thinking about on the way down was the boots and I even totally forgot I wasn't wearing my ultralights until I switched to split mode. We hit mostly crappy socal crust with one or two good pow sections.

All in all I am looking for a new pair of Ultralights to compliment the Spantiks. The Spantiks are great but I think that they are just too heavy if they are not necessary. For most non-technical trips I will stick with the Ultralights with the Camp XLC crampons. There are a few things I want to do high up on rock and on some vertical ice which I think will be what these boots will be perfect for, they feel like they will kill ice and rock.


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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:48 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Bozeman, MT
So other than the $ is there a down side to riding in the Spantiks? I am looking for a snowboard mountaineering boot. I have 2 trips planned this spring to peaks that will require crampons, so my question is should i wait for next seasons fitwell or sparks and just use some strap-on crampons for these 2 trips with my old boots, or purchase some Spantiks? One other consideration im thinking about, is that i have gone ice climbing a few times in the last 2 years and always borrowed boots, and have been thinking about my own boots, and if i got the Spantiks, they would serve that purpose as well. Basically, if the ride doesn't suffer too bad, i don't see a reason not to go with the Spantiks... I would love any thoughts. Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Location: hopefully not at work
If you want to use the boots for more than splitting you are going to be hard pressed to find something better than the Spantik. I notice little impediment to my riding performance, and these things climb crazy good. Price is definitely steep, but if you are patient and look around for sales/deals you can usually get them for around $550.

One note on sizing though. I sized mine as I would a snowboard boot. As such, they aren't quite as warm (less toe box room) as they would be if I sized them for a purely mountaineering application. So while I won't be able to take my own pair to AK any time soon as many elite mountaineers typically do, I am quite happy with them for anything in the lower 48, with or without a board. Not really a big deal as I have other boots if I ever decide to play the AK range another visit. Cheers

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165 Venture Divide, Spark Franken-Burner, LaSportiva Spantik
163W Jones Solution, Phantom Alphas, Dynafit TLT5
162 Furberg


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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:32 pm 
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Posts: 98
i feel like the real dilema is that you don't need the spantiks to go up until it gets a little sketchy but i don't know how much i'd like them going down something like that. i still prefer the ultralights for skinning and riding but can totally tell the spantiks kill it going up steep scary stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 4:34 pm 
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Let me start by thanking everyone who has contributed to this thread so far. It has been the thread I have been looking for. All the discussion of which soft boot is better and how to mod the hard boots just did not strike a cord with me. I was looking for evidence that there exists out there a mountaineering boot that is ideal for snowboarding. Main reason is because the main reason I like to go into the backcountry is to get in the high alpine areas, where a boot that can perform like an alpine boot is critical for safety reasons. To find one that does not compromise the snowboard riding is ideal. Well, for anyone interested in this, I believe these guys, and now I, have found it.

I have taken this boot out twice. Since I bought this on sale for $600 at the end of the season from Backcountry.com (as of today, it is still on sale), my choices for snow conditions were limited here in the Seattle area. My first trip was to the Hyack backcountry area. More specifically, I toured the line underneath the west facing wooden power lines. Conditions were essentially slush, with some hiking through the woods. My findings were identical to all that has been mentioned thus far. Clearly, these are superior hiking/mountaineering boots, that much is obvious. More important to me was how they toured and how they rode. On both accounts, they were awesome. There is absolutely no compromise in the riding. The only modification I needed was to adjust the forward lean forward, given the volume of the boot around the lower leg is less than a standard snowboard boot (I used to ride the Salomon Malamute). The boots were super responsive on turns. For touring, there are no complaints either. The added stiffness of the boot actually made it easier to get on the edges when traversing. I imaging that they will also perform quite nicely when I am able to fix the heel with the new Karakoram heel lifts and start skating down logging roads. Hiking up steeps with these allowed me to kick steps that probably would have turned my toes black and blue with the Malamutes. Extremely effective for climbing the steeps.

The second tour I did with these was today, the McLellan Butte, North Couloir. did about 3000 ft vertical in again slushy spring snow. Experience was identical, if not even better because I had to hike across multiple boulder fields, which probably would have shredded the Malamutes. Having these boots when I got up high where the angle was close to 50 degrees gave me a lot more piece of mind. Being able to kick deep solid steps was absolutely key. As far as the ride down, all I can say is that these boots felt so good that I am considering wearing them for resort riding.

If you have a wide foot, make sure you try these before purchasing, or make sure you can exchange them if necessary. These are European made boots, which tend to be more narrow than US made boots. I wear 9.5s in the Salomon Malamutes. I started by trying the 43s, but the toe box was just too small. After moving up to 43.5s, this was better, although there was still tightness around my forefoot. This sensation was completely relieved after I took out the insole. I am happy to report that the 6.5 hour hike on McLellan Butte caused absolutely no pain or blisters. In fact, they are one of the most comfortable boots I have ever worn, period! The only other negative is the cost. Even at $600 (they were originally $800), I will probably not wear them for routine resort snowboarding, although I think they would be just fine. However, they are extremely well built boots. If used just for backcountry riding, I suspect they will last a while. Given the comfort and peace of mind they have given me, they are worth every penny!!

In summary, I believe these are a great alternative to soft snowboard boots for backcountry/alpine snowboarding. It is a shame that this is not better known. I have suffered through many tours with the wrong boots, and have probably compromised my safety a few times as well due to soft boots. If you have the same concerns, these are definitely worth trying.


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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:27 am
Posts: 65
Location: Bham
Decided to bite the bullet and try these bad boys out. I wear a size 13 US snowboard boot, and after some review reading I was definitely concerned that the boots wouldn't fit me (La Sportiva only makes up to size 47, which is slightly smaller than a US size 13), but they fit beautifully. Have no doubt, these boots scream quality. Flex is significantly stiffer than my 32s Lashed, but that was to be expected. I also had concerns that these would be too warm, as most of the time I will be wearing these boots will be for spring riding in fair weather, however my foot does not seem any warmer in the Spantiks vs. 32s. My calf is covered all the way up to the top of my bindings (Karakoram split30), and I did not feel any pressure leaning heelside in my living room, however I will have to see in real riding/touring conditions. They bind into my Karakorams just as tightly as my 32s. However, I have replaced my toe straps with Ride's gel straps and they seem to mold more easily to weird toe boxes. These boots are pretty pointy so I can't say how regular straps would fit. Significantly heavier than 32s as well, but I'm sure they will more than make up for it in durability.

Now onto the bad: The boots are quite a bit longer than my 32s, and therefore stick out of my bindings a lot more. My bindings stance currently is pretty mellow, (12, -6) but I may have to change that to try to eliminate toe drag. In tour mode, it limits how far my bindings can come off my board, however I'm not really sure if this will have any affect on touring as it seems I can still almost reach a 90 degree angle. Touring with the heel risers up seems like it could be tricky, though. One thing I thought might help all these would be to find a pair of the infamously unavailable toe risers for my Karakorams.

If you had a more reasonable size foot, all of the cons I listed would not apply. However, I have yet to see how they ride, and cost is definitely a huge con, but if they last as I hope they will, the investment should be worth it.

drpw, I remember seeing that you have a size 46, do you have any of the problems I mentioned above? Any ways to deal with them?


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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:41 am
Posts: 278
Location: Altadena SoCal
idtmcp542 wrote:
I'm sure they will more than make up for it in durability.

I first want to say I am really glad you you are stoked on your seriously righteous footwear. I too am exploring options and have found this thread valuable.
Like anyone who is pondering pulling the trigger on spantiks, I've had my share of "oh-shit-I-wish-I-had-more-serious-boots-on-now" moments billy goating my way up to a line.

To keep this in perspective for me, I totted up the prices of the three-pair hiking boots, two-pair winter hiking boots, and three-pair snowboard boots I've purchased in the last ten years (all different boots which specialize in a job spantiks can pull off -and- all of which were bought at end-of-season sales). I ended up with about the price of new spantiks + tax + shipping.

If you are counting on durability to justify this purchase (even at off-season prices), you are looking at at least a six-year investment. Compare those clams to two pairs of Deeluxe's or three Driver X's.

Let's be clear about this. Spantiks are top of the line mountaineering boots which can shred. They're bad ass. Period.
Nobody buys a Corvette because in the long run they'll save money. It's just gnarly to lay scratch off the line then go sideways into a hairpin turn.
This a boot practically designed for hucking lines down the Khumu ice falls. :rock: If you got'em rock'em. Enjoy your solid kicksteps, automatic crampon compatibility, removable inner boot et al.
Words like "wait," "worth," and "investment" belong in a thread about a retirement portfolio. :twocents:


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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:27 am
Posts: 65
Location: Bham
Quote:
If you are counting on durability to justify this purchase (even at off-season prices), you are looking at at least a six-year investment. Compare those clams to two pairs of Deeluxe's or three Driver X's.


I didn't say anything about justifying cost by durability, that was meant about durability vs. weight. However, I would imagine these boots will last me 6 years easily if I used them for splitboard mountaineering only when I needed them.

To keep this in perspective for me, Sparks don't fit my feet (only make up to size 12.5, and I've tried them), and Driver Xs nor Sparks provide near the amount of climbing ability as the Spantik, obviously. I also got the boots 20% off from backcountry.com, so I get an unlimited return policy. My other options seem to be that boot that only has information in Italian, and hardboots. And considering I probably wouldn't be able to return hardboots after I cut down the tongue and remove some buckles, I decided that the Spantiks involved the least risk.

These boots can be found for a decent price used. For instance, in my local craigslist: http://bellingham.craigslist.org/spo/2976654974.html

I think words like worth and investment are important in threads where you're talking about boots that cost close to $1000 retail. I guess maybe I don't really understand what you mean by that last part.


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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:09 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Colorado
Saw this modification to the Spantik and thought those of you with these boots might find this interesting.

What I'm thinking could be loads of fun is to pick up these boots, and modify the toe for a tech mount like in the link below and then ride a full powder surf board like split (say the Venture Euphoria) with nothing more than these boots with bindings that are full auto compatible. Kinda like no boarding but with the obvious exception that you do have a binding. (I know, I'm sure this is nothing like no boarding, go easy, not trying to hurt any feelings here or make any ridiculous claims just thinking out loud). However, I'd expect that with no highbacks and thinking that this is a softerish boot, it might provide a really fun ride without having to worry about losing your board and having to carry extra bindings for going back up.

Now to see if I can find a pair of these boots on the cheap...

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2012/04/it-is-about-time-tech-fitting-on.html


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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:23 am 
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keffler wrote:
Saw this modification to the Spantik and thought those of you with these boots might find this interesting.

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2012/04/it-is-about-time-tech-fitting-on.html


Sickness :headbang:

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Chris

165 Venture Divide, Spark Franken-Burner, LaSportiva Spantik
163W Jones Solution, Phantom Alphas, Dynafit TLT5
162 Furberg


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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 1173
Location: Denver
Cool to see someone giving that a go. I'll be interested to hear the results of testing. Seems a little sketch? If they would do it in the factory however with a bomber palstic toe piece. You would still have to use crappy strap bindings. (with overboots?)

I still think a warm plastic AT boot would be better for high altitude splitting. Let the boots do most of the work for all the traversing you will likely be doing, and simple bindings w/possible overboot compatibility, bomber dynafit toe piece.

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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:07 pm
Posts: 349
Location: Green Mountains
Que the fruit!! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: La Sportiva Spantik - First Impressions, Feedback Welcome
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 3:08 pm
Posts: 241
Location: 109-blocks-of-watch-yo-f'n-back, CA
Has anyone had a chance to test the Spatniks out long term? I'm really interested in hearing an updated report, I'm looking at getting a pair for splitboard approaches/descents in Alaska this spring.

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