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Thread: Why stiff, rigid boot soles

  1. #1

    Why stiff, rigid boot soles

    The extra rigid sole unit prevents the boots from flexing excessively across the toes, the common point for other boots to fail.

    This is what a website says about a certain type of boot. My personal experience is the inverse. A boot which has a more flexible sole lets you feel a small stick before it breaks, lets you feel rocks when you climb them and most of all, more flex seems to keep your toes warmer. My impression is that toes get cold quicker in stiff boots.

    Opinions please.

  2. #2
    It's horses for courses, the stiff ones allow you to use the edge to support you on very steep slopes. On really cutting sharp rock soft soles are very hard on your feet.

    David.

  3. #3
    Rigid for hill/mountain
    Flexible for woodland/lowland

    Ed

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari View Post
    It's horses for courses, the stiff ones allow you to use the edge to support you on very steep slopes.
    David.
    What puzzles me is that people climbing those very steep rocks with very little gear use those tiny shoes just to have better feeling of the slightest edge.

  5. #5
    I agree with above ...

  6. #6
    Boots come in different stiffness for support. As stated above, you want a stiff sole if you are carrying a backpack and walking on rocks. You don't want to feel any rocks. If you are just hiking on grass and leaves, with a day pack, you want a lighter boot and more flexible sole. If you look at catalogs from real boot makers, like Danner, Asolo, Vasque, Meindl, you will see how they are divided into grades.

  7. #7
    The original pure rock climbing boots were called kletterschuhs - we used to call them kletts for short. They were like heavy duty plimsoles - great for technical rock climbing on bare rocks but terrible for anything else. Too tight with smooth rubber soles.- A nightmare anywhere else other than on clean rock.
    Proper mountain climbing boots are designed to protect the climber in many different environments i.e. the real world. They are heavier, bigger & come with vibram type soles & obviously not quite as good for pure rock climbing. Horses for courses. It is important to match the boot to the application & environment - there is no single design that does it all.

    Ian

  8. #8
    Old design of Lundhags, stiff as a plank, lined with a felt insole, two hours standing still on a snowy German Boar drive, toasty feet!.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hales Smut View Post
    What puzzles me is that people climbing those very steep rocks with very little gear use those tiny shoes just to have better feeling of the slightest edge.

    those climbing shoes only bend one way
    the side to side pliability is almost zero so they can edge
    the soles are flexible and have very soft rubber so they can smear the rock and use physical grip from the soft sole rather than mechanical grip from a contour

    not really a good comparison

    I have some 4 season boots capable of taking crampons with a rigid sole, I use them on the hill
    takes a while to figure out you have to alter your foot placement as you walk but easy once you get used to them
    also very good to digging toes in and using them like a crampon in soft steep hills

    the twig thing isn't a problem as it is mainly heather and hill

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    twig thing isn't a problem as it is mainly heather and hill
    I've yet to find a boot that makes walking in heather anything other than a complete and utter PITA

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