Scarpa Phantom 6000 or La Sportiva G2 EVO? | Uphill Athlete

Scarpa Phantom 6000 or La Sportiva G2 EVO?

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  • #60902

    I am trying to find the right mountaineering boot for below 6000m peaks (Elbrus, South America, etc), and would appreciate your advice. I used to wear La Sportiva Baruntses but sold them as they were heavy and clunky, albeit being comfortable and blister free.

    I have tried both the G2 EVO and the Phantom 6000s and need to figure out the following:

    1. Brand/Purpose:
    Personally I liked the Scarpa 6000s a lot better than the G2s, both in terms of fit and the lacing system. I have read that the Scarpa 6000 is more of a technical ice climbing boot, and that people should get something more “solid” such as the La Sportiva Spantiks for big mountaineering climbs. Is this true? If so, would the G2 EVOs be a better option? My main concern with the G2s is the heel lift issue.

    2. Fit /Sizing:
    I had sized up 1/2 size for the Baruntses. 1/2 size up for the G2s felt super tight. I went up one full size for the Scarpas. While it felt just right with mountaineering socks in my living room, I am concerned that it may be too tight when taking to account feet swelling. Should I go up 1.5 size instead to be safe?

    I understand that Nate Emerson had written a related response to a similar question a while ago. I am having a hard time finding that discussion thread.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Participant
    Edgar Carby on #60903

    Yvonne, below is Nate’s response to my question about heel lift in the Scarpa 6000s. I am a total noob but I know that the guy leading my RMI climb up Denali wears Scarpa 6000s with neoprene overboots for the summit. I have had no issues with mine once I got the heel lift issue figured out. Fit is perfect although that’s obviously very individual.

    From Nate –

    It’s great that you are already trying this out and figuring out your boot. You are miles ahead of some other climbers! Dave will be psyched.
    A good fit for a high altitude / cold weather boot for Denali can feel like it has too much movement in the heel. There’s not much in those boots that you want “snug” if you want to have adequate warmth. If it’s just minor heel movement with step ups and step downs, you first have to evaluate your body and your technique. After that you can look for issues with the boot. Since I don’t know your full mountaineering/athletic history, I’ll explain some background points:
    1. If your rear foot heel is slipping: Your boot has a full shank, so it’s important that your technique is modified – you need to step up using the whole foot, similar to squat or deadlift. This is not a natural movement pattern – our rear foot wants to flex and push off the toes to assist the new stance foot. Even guides and pro athletes spend 98% of their lives in footwear with flexible soles, and need to modify technique when they put on full shank boots.
    2. If your stance foot (raised foot) heel is slipping: A majority of recreational athletes have restrictions in ankle mobility. This can often lead to excessive heel “lift” (not to mention it can be a huge contributor to over-pronation – these often go hand in hand). Even with good technique, restrictions in ankle dorsiflexion can make it feel like there is a problem with the boot. This applies to a lot of alpine skiers out there as well.

    Try loosening your boots and doing a few minutes of step-ups with them extra loose. This can help show whether you are stepping off a flat foot or rocking onto your toes.

    Keep in mind, snugging up the heel too much can lead to too much friction which can lead to blisters. Some climbers prefer the more slippery feeling liners, because they feel it’s less likely to cause blisters. You might even check how the sock interacts with the liner.

    It’s important to look at the whole picture to figure out what is causing the heel “slipping”. If you think it’s the boot, make sure that you are seeing a specialist that really understands the nuances with fit for a boot like this. Boot fitting is really hard to do without seeing someones foot and the way that they walk. I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in a typical big-box retail salesperson.

    mhsc on #60925

    Thank you Edgar, this is super helpful.

    MarkPostle on #60926

    Yvonne, Those are all great boots, as long as folks as in the right “class” Boots for the objective i.e. warm enough then I think the most important factor should be fit. If the Scarpas fit you well then go with them and don’t look back. For what it’s worth I haven’t encountered that much foot swelling with the kind of objectives and altitude that your goals have. If they fit correctly at home then you should be fine. Just make sure your toes have a little wiggle room and arent banging the end of the boot or the long descents in crampons will cause issues. As discussed in the previous post heel lift is one of the main problems from oversized boots (assuming your goals arent super technical). You can also bring a slightly thinner pair of socks if your worries about your feet swelling a bit. Somewhat counterintuitively I’m always much warmer with a thinner pair of socks it allows adequate blood flow and allowing the boots to provide the insulation as they’re designed then stuffing extra socks in an attempt to add insulation but actually constricting the blood flow and making my feet colder in the end.

    mhsc on #60932

    Mark, thank you for your feedback – very much appreciated! You had the foresight to address the questions I didn’t ask. You are correct that I will not be doing any crazy technical stuff. I also like your thinner sock idea. The boots are an even better fit with the new sock combination.

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