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Boots (Nepal Evo) and toe banging
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By CWood
From SLC, UT
Jan 11, 2013

Let me start by saying these boots are probably not too small. They are a full size larger than my normal shoe size (43.5 instead of 42.5)

www.sportiva.com/about/technology/sizing-boots-shoes

My big toe hits on occasion kicking into ice, but I'm thinking this is more of an issue of adjustment rather than one of size. In other words, I could probably manage to get the same thing in an even larger boot.

What, if anything, can I do to keep my foot nested further back without cutting off circulation on the top of my foot? Any ideas? I don't use the tongue inserts because I assume the volume they add would impede circulation and make my feet colder. I do have insoles that are fairly thick, and they might prevent me from wearing thicker socks without circulation issues.


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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Jan 11, 2013
Me, of course

CWood wrote:
I don't use the tongue inserts because I assume the volume they add would impede circulation and make my feet colder.


The inserts are designed to do exactly what you are asking. If you don't tie your boots too tight you won't have problems with circulation. I have nepal evo's and the insert works perfectly.


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By CWood
From SLC, UT
Jan 11, 2013

Evan S wrote:
The inserts are designed to do exactly what you are asking. If you don't tie your boots too tight you won't have problems with circulation. I have nepal evo's and the insert works perfectly.
Huh... I should have figured that one out on my own. Thanks - will give it a try this weekend and see how it goes.


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By Kevin Craig
Jan 12, 2013
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

Let me start by saying that the relationship between your street shoe size and your boot size is pretty much irrelevant. Those conversion charts just get you in the right range and a 43.5 from one manufacturer is likely to fit differently than the same size from another (can be up to a full size). You need to figure out what the right size is for you in Sportiva. For example, I wear a 46 in Sportiva (or even 46.5 in some models) and 45.5 in Scarpa - both Italian-made boots.

In addition to what's been suggested, if you only occasionally bang your toe, you could learn to curl your toes slightly when you kick into the ice (seriously, I do this) or have a competent boot-maker bump out the toe box a bit.


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By CWood
From SLC, UT
Jan 13, 2013

Kevin Craig wrote:
Let me start by saying that the relationship between your street shoe size and your boot size is pretty much irrelevant. Those conversion charts just get you in the right range and a 43.5 from one manufacturer is likely to fit differently than the same size from another (can be up to a full size). You need to figure out what the right size is for you in Sportiva. For example, I wear a 46 in Sportiva (or even 46.5 in some models) and 45.5 in Scarpa - both Italian-made boots. In addition to what's been suggested, if you only occasionally bang your toe, you could learn to curl your toes slightly when you kick into the ice (seriously, I do this) or have a competent boot-maker bump out the toe box a bit.


I actually do curl my toes, and only bang them sometimes when I forget to.

I figure the sizing is a little different, but I tried size 44s on in the store as well and seemed to have the same problem when test-kicking stuff. Admittedly not climbing actual ice with them makes it slightly less valid, but I figure if my toes can reach the front, it's because my heel is coming away from the back, not because there isn't enough room at the front.

Tried them this weekend with the tongue inserts and new insoles. I get enough heel lift with the laces cranked down pretty tight that heel blisters are going to happen if used for long enough. I can't remember how I prevented this in the past - probably liner socks plus thicker socks (smartwool mountaineering).

As for positives, they were plenty warm yesterday (though the weather was warm) and my feet were 100% dry after a thoroughly soaking wet day in which every other piece of gear I own was drenched through.


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By Tony T.
From Denver, CO
Jan 13, 2013
Getting up the Great Dihedral on Hallet Peak, RMNP.

Just a word of caution. I had a pair of Nepal Evos that ended up having the interior liner fold in on the toe-box. It's hard to explain, but basically the materials that make up the insulation and everything else behind the rubber rand/toecap bubbled inward.

Prior to literally feeling the inside of my boot I had no idea it happened and was really confused as to why one of my feet grew in size between seasons. Check it out and you never know. Regardless, what everyone else said about not getting hung up on the number sizes is important.

The tongue insert definitely helps too. Good luck!


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By Jeffrey Dunn
Administrator
Jan 13, 2013

I got rid of a pair of nepal evo's because of this issue. I tried almost everything including the tongue inserts, thinner and thicker socks, toe curling, cutting my toenails super short. The boots were big enough, just didn't fit the top of my foot well enough to prevent this. (I could limit the issue by tightening my boots but that cut off circulation and was also not a solution) I suggest to everyone who asks about bootfitting to kick something hard when trying on ice climbing boots to determine if this is going to be an issue because it really really sucks.

Subsequently, I got a pair of Trango Evo's in a larger size (the next larger size would never have worked for climbing... just too big) which limited the issue to only when my feet were already frozen, and i don't have much feeling to remember that my toes can (and will) hit the front of the boot.

I also have a pair of Spantiks that I do almost all of my ice climbing in. Grade 5+'s? No problem! My feet are always warm now and my toe only gets beat up slightly in the most extreme front-point to rock kicking scenario.

Anyway, my advice is to wear very thin socks, tighten up the boot (mostly near the ankle), and learn to be more delicate with your kicking. Fluted ice will always suck, there's really no way to protect your toe if you boot goes all the way to the ice when you kick. Also, a downward kicking/stomping motion will help clear bad ice better with less pain.

Other options, find some other boots. Get some spantiks...


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