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Advice on Ice/Mountaineering Boot Lacing - Prevent Heel Lift
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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 1, 2012
Indian Creek Climbing
I am currently wearing the La Sportiva Trango Extremes, but I have repeated problems with heel lift in several mountaineering boots. I am using a custom insole.

Any tips or advice on boot lacing to prevent or minimize heel lift is much appreciated. Thanks!

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By Woodchuck ATC
Mar 1, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
No matter how tight I lace down my boots, after I walk around in them for 5 minutes I've got loose heel already. Think it's unavoidable with a rigid sole boot in a rigid crampon. I'm baffled as to how to do any better without cutting off circulation if overtightened.

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Mar 1, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
You may already do this. But, if not, it will help a little bit...

As you're lacing the speed eyelets above the ankle, twist the laces into a 'starting knot' just as you do when you're actually tying the bow knot of your laces. Pull it tight before lacing the eyelets above. Do this in between each of the eyelets and all the way up.

This allows you to cinch the upper portion of a rigid boot more tightly than you can otherwise and it will stay tighter longer.

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By Dane
Mar 1, 2012
Cham '11
I only climb in rigid soled boots. I also have extremely narrow heels.

One of the boots I use, liek you, is the Trango Extreme.

FWIW I don't tolerate heel lift in any of my boots.
For the Trango I generally lace the lower so it is not very tight and snap into the lock lace. The I do a dbl or single cross over knot (half a square knot) above the lock lace and depending on the terrain (steeper it is and the more support I want) I may do that again after every lace hook. (likely just as Crag is suggesting)

No reason for your heels to be lifting in any rigid boot if they actually fit. Let me know if that helps or if you need more info or pictures.

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By Princess Mia
From Vail
Mar 1, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks
I have very narrow heels and I just wear a sock with extra heel padding. Works great.....for me :-)

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By Tico
Mar 1, 2012
try lacing around the whole ankle with a "starting knot" at the back, I do this on the first set of eyelets above my ankle. If you're okay with a semi rigid boot, Salewa's new ones fit a narrow/low volume foot quite well.

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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 1, 2012
Indian Creek Climbing
Thank you everyone for the responses. If you can share pictures or videos that would be fantastic.

i found these helpful videos




thanks again

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By Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Mar 1, 2012
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the backgr...
The Trango last is a bit sloppy in the heels for me.
What Tico suggested with a wrap around the back of the boot helped me a bit w/ these boots.

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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 1, 2012
Indian Creek Climbing
Mia Tucholke wrote:
I have very narrow heels and I just wear a sock with extra heel padding. Works great.....for me :-)


on this topic what socks do people wear with your ice boots?

I think most of my socks are medium hikers from smartwool

thanks

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Mar 1, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
coop wrote:
on this topic what socks do people wear with your ice boots? I think most of my socks are medium hikers from smartwool thanks


I wear expedition weight smartwool.

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By MarcDurant
From Boulder, CO
Mar 1, 2012
This may not be the answer you're looking for, but... try a different pair of boots. I went through three pairs of boots (nepal extreme, super alpinista, and a pair of Kaylands) before finding a brand/model that fit perfectly (Scarpa Summit GTX). As much as I tried, I was never able to make my previous boots fit correctly with any combination of insoles, lacing, etc.

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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 1, 2012
Indian Creek Climbing
I'm going to try the modified lacing techniques and thicker socks.

I have tried the batura, nepals, and now I'm in the silver bullet nepal extremes. The next time I am at Neptune's I'm going to try on every boot I can. Unfortunately not anywhere local to try them on.

Thank you

MarcDurant wrote:
This may not be the answer you're looking for, but... try a different pair of boots. I went through three pairs of boots (nepal extreme, super alpinista, and a pair of Kaylands) before finding a brand/model that fit perfectly (Scarpa Summit GTX). As much as I tried, I was never able to make my previous boots fit correctly with any combination of insoles, lacing, etc.

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By gearwhore
From Orange, CA
Mar 1, 2012
Coop eat a cheeseburger and fatten up those heels!!

Seriously though - (I did not read all your post or replies) I did see that you had custom inserts. Have you tried shimming those a little??

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By APBT1976
Mar 2, 2012
Black Dike 12/25/11
coop wrote:
on this topic what socks do people wear with your ice boots? I think most of my socks are medium hikers from smartwool thanks


SmartWool Over calf Ski socks.

To get the perfect fit on my fucked up feet "one whole size different each foot" is size up to a bigger boot one half to a full size from largest foot. I wear the Batura and i then use the old tongue insert from my Nepals combined with Green Superfeet.

The lace lock on the Batura and Nepal seems to keep things in place just fine for me and have giant skinny ass long feet rocking a size 46...

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By Princess Mia
From Vail
Mar 2, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks
Smart wool with the extra heal padding

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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Nov 13, 2012
Indian Creek Climbing
Could you post some pictures?
How does heel lift in the La Sportiva Extremes compare to Scarpa Phantoms?

Dane wrote:
I only climb in rigid soled boots. I also have extremely narrow heels. One of the boots I use, liek you, is the Trango Extreme. FWIW I don't tolerate heel lift in any of my boots. For the Trango I generally lace the lower so it is not very tight and snap into the lock lace. The I do a dbl or single cross over knot (half a square knot) above the lock lace and depending on the terrain (steeper it is and the more support I want) I may do that again after every lace hook. (likely just as Crag is suggesting) No reason for your heels to be lifting in any rigid boot if they actually fit. Let me know if that helps or if you need more info or pictures.

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Nov 13, 2012
Middle
The P-Guide is more flexible under foot. Should walk better and have less heal lift even though they are wider in the forefoot. I found the P-Guide to fit a half size larger so I got a lower volume boot that fits my narrow heel better.

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By akafaultline
Nov 13, 2012
In my trangos, I wear a pair of regular socks (thin), and then wear a thicker sock with the toes cut off to prevent heel lift. That way I have my toe wiggle room but a complete heel lock. It works great.

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By Greg G
From SLC, UT
Nov 13, 2012
The route in it's entirety.
A heel lift (wedge) cures issues such as these in ski boots. Maybe experiment with adding a shim under the footbed while cragging at home crags.

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By Jim Amidon
Nov 13, 2012
J TREE
Custom orthodic footbeds.....

End of story........

Oh yea a thicker sock I've always have found to be uncomfortable.

I routinely wear ankle high lighter to mid weight hiking socks...

Just my personal preference for the last 17 years of ice climbing.....

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By clay meier
Nov 13, 2012
Thats Me
Dude, just loop and swoop... duh

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By Ryan N
From Bellingham, WA
Nov 13, 2012
RJN
Or get a pair that fits...

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By Roswell
From Newnan. Ga
Nov 13, 2012
Baby Rosalyn ready to send
Something that helps me to make sure that i tighten my boots down good and my heal does not slip is by standing and placing the bulk of my weight and bouncing my weight into the boots as i tighten them. This works well for me but be sure not to cut off circulation. Usually, avoid cutting off the circulation by not tightening the final knot down so tight.

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By Sunny-D
From SLC, Utah
Nov 13, 2012
Top of Jah-Man Sister Superior
Cooper,
I will take Wigwam or Darn Tuff over Start wool any day of the week. hit me up and I can give you more information. My all time favorite are Wigwam...
Dallen

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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
Nov 15, 2012
West Overhang
If you decide to go out to Neptune you could give Bob Egeland a try. He works out of Neptune. He was offering running free consultations during one of their sales and what he provided in 10 min was 100x more helpful than my last 4 podiatry visits combined. I was having a lot of problems with sesamoiditis. He didn't try and sell me new orthotics, but instead showed me a stretching exercise, made a quick fix to my insole hack and suggested trail/approach shoe styles that would provide less impact to that area. He does do custom boot fittings if it comes to that.

Having turned around ~6 pairs of various mountaineering boots over the years due to poor fit, he's my next stop if the current pair doesn't work out.

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By Nate Reno
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Nov 15, 2012
Ellingwood Point Summit, Little Bear in the backgr...
Ryan N wrote:
Or get a pair that fits...

+1

What helped me most w/ the same issue w/ the LS T Extremes, was getting some Scarpa Jorasses instead.
The trango last just doesn't fit my heel well at all - too sloppy.
On the other hand, I have some LS Nepals EVOs, that fit wonderfully as far as the heel goes, same brand but different last - much different (and better for me) heel shape.

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