Forums Boots Walking approaches in hard boots
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    Kahti Ryan
    48 Posts

    So I just tried on a pair of TLT 6’s to see if this hardboot thing would be for me. Carpet testing the flex felt fine for riding, not really any different from stiff soft boots. The ankle freedom in walk mode was amazing and felt like it would be great for skinning.
    The one thing I did find though was when actually walking rather than skinning, the boots feel pretty “clompy”. Kinda like a proper stiff B3 climbing boot – I wouldn’t want to walk too far in them and while great for proper climbing they feel kinda clumsy on scrambling terrain. I was expecting them to feel kind of like a Scarpa Omega, but the felt more like old Koflachs.
    Is this something you just get used to or is it not actually that noticeable in the field? Most days here involve an approach to get to the snowline and often a fair bit of scrambling on rocky ridges so its an important factor for me. I do love the ankle articulation, it’s the main reason I want rid of soft boots, but the soles on a Fitwell do feel more “graceful”.

    22 Posts

    Hey Kahti;
    I switched to hardboots two years ago, so I don’t have the experience that a lot of people here have. Thus far I have done a few 14ers (Bierstadt, Evans, Quandary, and Shavano so far) here that involved some descent approaches as well as scrambling up top. From what I’ve noticed, my hardboots do actually really well (I ride a pair of La Sportiva Siderals, so similar to the TLT’s). They are a little rounded on the sole and so they actually walk really well. The articulation of the boot works really well and the vibram soles help a ton when footing is iffy and the stiff sole makes up for the loss of sensation and keeps you stable even on small footholds.

    I agree with your initial impressions, it’s a little clunky at first, but they really do perform more like mountaineering boots than ski boots. I would assume that you’re TLT’s will be even better. I would highly recommend getting out on some stuff with low consequences, but with a variety of footholds/footing problems. You’ll get the hang of it really quickly. I grew up skiing, so the learning curve wasn’t very steep; as always, your millage may vary.

    151 Posts

    I have done many flat approaches with TLT5s, the hard sole is something that you get used to. I am stepping in a kind of a rolling way, where I step on the heel and let the foot hinge on it and fully sтеп.
    It can be a bit shaky if you walk on rocky ground, mostly spring. Sometimes, when I walk over bigger rocks and rock rivers I am a bit nervous that I can get stuck in a hole between them, but haven’t happened so far. The sole has excellent grip and the ankle articulation is a big deal. In my 3 years hardboot experience ankle articulation is a bigger plus, than the hard sole is a minus. Also they are much better when scaling ice with crampons.

    Kahti Ryan
    48 Posts

    Thanks for the replies guys!

    So I finally tried on my buddy’s Fitwells again today. Actually more clumpy to walk in than I remember, and they just feel like big wide clubs compared with an AT boot or my new winter climbing boots.

    That said I actually found I had more rearward flex in them than my 32 TM-2’s, not as much as AT boots but not as overly uncomfortable as regular boots.

    So now i’m really unsure 🙁
    Getting the TLT’s would cost me £500 here (!), but with boot fitting included in the price I think. Or I could get a pair from the Continent for £320, but how much would I expect to pay for having them punched out (which I will definitely need?
    Alternatively I could get the Siderals from abroad for £330, but no UK importer so no way to try first. Can anyone compare the fit of the Siderals to TLTs? specifically, the TLTs give me some serious discomfort around the sides of the instep (the navicular?) I’m guessing unless I can get away with wearing them OTB I should go for the TLT’s as they’re more time proven and slightly softer flexing?

    Alternatively I can stick with softies and get Fitwells for £300, save £500 on phantoms (perhaps plus customs) and just stick with my afterburners I already own. But its all so BULKY!


    291 Posts

    Personally I would go for TLT5s, as I found the Siderals to be too stiff and to provide too little forward lean.

    Kahti Ryan
    48 Posts

    Yeah, I would only consider the Siderals if they fit my feet a lot better than the TLT’s.

    Am I right in remembering reading that you tried hard boots and decided to go back to soft? Not many people seem to go back. What made you change your mind? My main concern would be impact absorption from airs. I don’t tend to do much freestyle in the backcountry but that’s mainly because where I ride the main terrain is steep, narrow gullies often with thin coverage. I’m not planning on staying in Scotland forever though so I might move more into backcountry freestyle in the future, as I do enjoy the odd bit of park action or dropping small cliffs if the snow is good.

    22 Posts

    While I haven’t really had any time on snow with the TLT’s, when I was trying to decide on a hardboot it felt like the La Sportiva’s had a bit more room. Only had carpet time in the TLT’s, but they were definitely a little narrower. I have a little higher volume foot, so the Siderals felt a bit better. They also felt a bit softer (medially/laterally, not so much anterior/posterior). Maybe someone with time on snow with both can give you better information, but I figured I’d throw my 2 cents in.

    151 Posts

    If you are in the UK, check if they have them at It’s a french site, but they ship free to the UK, can charge you in GBP and few years ago, when I was in the same situation, they offered hassle free payment in 3 monthly instalments with UK bank cards (debit too!), which is nice, because my TLTs costed me 3x£112.
    It was a big shot in the dark, because I couldn’t find a single physical retailer that stocked TLT5s in London in 2011 and I hadn’t tried them. The closest I could find was Dynafit The One in Ellis Brigham at Covent Garden…
    Regarding punching, UK is a very small touring market so I guess not many boot shops will have experience with it. told me they could do it, but they wanted something like £120… A sales dude in the Covent Garden EB actually had bought the 5s and had punched them, back then he told me that he can assist with this, so if you are from the area you may drop in and ask around.

    Edit:Yep, TLT6 Mountain for €397 or ~£310

    Kahti Ryan
    48 Posts

    Cheers MoridinBG,
    That’s an even better price than at snowinn! but still leaves me with having to pay for punching out, which I can get done here in Aviemore by Rob at Mountain Spirit. He’s the only person that’s selling TLTs in the UK I think, along with being the only La Sportiva importer, which is why I know I won’t find the Siderals cos he hasn’t got them!
    He’s a really knowledgeable and nice guy, with a shop you should definitely visit if you’re ever up this way, and I’m sure he’d do a good job on the punching. I don’t know how much he’d charge though. Also I feel like a dick trying on his boots then getting them cheaper and getting him to punch them. But £500 for a pair of boots?!?

    So unfortunately I think I’m going to stay soft for this year at least. For the amount i’m realistically going to get done this season while working a minimum wage job, the additional cost of between £500 to £850 for a hardboot setup just doesn’t seem worth it, especially for something I’m not even sure I’ll like. Hopefully in the near future I will get a chance to try a hardboot setup, or maybe even someone will start making an AST (alpine split touring? sound catchy?) boot!

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