What have we been up to



Dan Bottomley

This quick article is just designed to give you an idea of what I wear throughout the year and whats best for the winter season.

[photo top row- Inov8 Roclite G400(B0), Scarpa SL Active (B1), Scarpa Manta (B2). Bottom row - Scarpa Ribelle (B2), La Sportiva Trango (B2), La Sporitva Batura (B3)]


B0 - your traditional summer hill walking boot. A 3 season boot that can cope with the lightest dusting of snow. My go to for the summer is the Inov8. They're lighter than most trainers but have a good sole and grip for summer.

+ Lightweight
+ Comfy
+ Inexpensive

- Not suitable for Crampons
- Not warm

B1 - These 4 season boots have stiffer uppers and rubber rand around toes and heel. I have the Scarpa SL Active. Comfy out the box. Waterproof and have a good rubber toe and heel rand to protect the boot. Theyve had plenty of walks in the moors and boggy areas running courses. i haven't used these in winter yet but will be doing this season. Not as heavy as they look.

+ Designed to take C1 crampon
+ Stiffer and good for winter walking
+ Warmer and more waterproof than a B0

-Only good for winter walking anything more technical this is not the right boot

B2 - Open a can of worms. This style of boot is a good all-rounder. Stiff edges, a heel welt that is compatible with more technical crampons and usually a bit more insulated. Commonly seen in the Alps and possible on easier Scottish winter climbs. However, having done a lot of work and walking in Scotland, some B2 boots would fall short in keeping your feet warm and dry, so have a good read up online before committing to these for winter.

Pictured, the Old School Scarpa Manta. Used on many of my winter Mountain Leader days. These are warm, big and chunky. Good for kicking steps and keeping feet warm.

Also, picture, Scarpa Ribelle. Also, a B2 boot. I have used in winter, but only if I know its going to be a shorter day or the snow is good neve and not wet thigh deep snow. I do love these boots!! So lightweight and not too stiff for normal hill walking. My absolute go to boot for most of the year.

Also pictured La Sportiva Trango S. Another B2 style boot. Great for Alpine and scrambling. Cold for Scottish winter. Personally, these felt stiffer than the Scarpa's for general hill walking but still a good summer mountaineering boot. These were my go to boot, until i found the Ribelle's. Now these sit gathering dust.

+ Designed to take C2 crampon
+ Stiffer uppers and midsoles for more technical mountaineering
+ Best allrounder for hillwalking and easier winter climbing

-Differing degrees in stiffness and warmth

B3 - The best for technical winter climbing. The stiffest boots to give support when climbing. Pictured is the La Sportiva Batura. These have a built-in gator for that extra warmth and protection from the snow. I like them, but only for climbing. Too stiff for me personally for stomping around the mountains. You'd know about it afterwards if you did something like the Yorkshire 3 Peaks in these.

+ The best boot for winter climbing
+ Designed for a C3 crampon, but will take a C2 also
+ Warm

- Expensive
- Too stiff for general hill walking