Good boots for the Cuillin Ridge.


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Working on the Cuillin Ridge, guiding folk along the easiest route to traverse the entire range reveals a lot about recent boot choices.

One well known guide revealed this week that she would not expect to wear a sponsor’s fabric boots for more than a hundred days on the screes and rough bedrock of the range.
My own preference has been to persevere with Scarpa’s traditional lasted boots,made with a minimum of stitching and without a goretex lining. Meindl have built very good quality alternatives around gore-tex linings since 1997 but without regular washing the membrane typically clogs before the sole wears out. Stiffer alpine oriented boots do make for easier wet weather rock climbing but in most conditions lighter more flexible models sap less energy over the two long days usually required.

Descending each scree-filled gully on the ridge tests the quality of workmanship and stitching: some old favourites literally fall apart! Do trust a sales assistant who knows about the latest and prior models of your preferred brand and others. More supportive insoles or a completely different last may postpone disability and disappointment for many years to come.

They say you should be very careful whose advice you take but don’t ignore the obvious question : Is there enough room for your foot to swell in the heat?

Look for high pressure building in the weather forecasts and call us if you’re interested in the finest mountaineering expedition in the UK.

Disclaimer: “Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.”

thanks to Mary Schmich

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