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Guide to Boots

We have had many questions over the years about boots…

Should I buy?  Should I hire?  What size do I need?  What grade do I need?  Will my old boots be ok?

To try and answer some of those questions we have put together this simple guide providing you with some basic information on getting the right boots for the right job.

All our ‘winter’ ascents will require you to wear a pair of crampons. It is important to wear a pair boots suitable for the grade of crampons you will be using with them.

You also need to find a boot that will:

  • Have a high ankle to prevent twisting and ankle sprains.
  • Be inflexible sideways to offer you high torsional stability.
  • Be the right level of stiffness to keep your foot supported.

Most boots are rated by their manufacturers for stiffness and the type of activity they are to be used for, this makes it easier for you to know which boot to purchase/hire.

So Which Boot to Choose?
  • BO An everyday walking boot. (3 Peaks Challenge and other similar walks)
  • B1 A flexible boot that is suitable for trekking and hillwalking only. (3 Peaks Challenge and other similar walks)
  • B2 A modern B2 semi rigid boot designed for UK Mountaineering and easier grade snow and mixed climbing. These are ideal for easy snow based routes but not ice climbs. (Winter Ben Nevis, Winter Toubkal)
  • B3 A fully rigid boot for mountaineering, ice and mixed climbing. These are suitable for all types of climbing. (Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and Major Mountains)

* Please be aware that the larger a boot, the more flexible it will be, which means a large size boot may end up to be a classification less than it is labelled. In other words, if you have big feet, you may need even stiffer grade boots!

If you already have a pair of boots but are not 100% sure if they are suitable for your chosen activity, we suggest you take them along to your local outdoor/walking store.  Tell them what you will be doing and ask them to take a look and give you their advice, they will have a much better idea by being able to see them in person