Some good ideas just seem to get reinvented on a regular basis. Back in the day (bitd) there were real mtn boots you used on snow and ice. Then there were lwt "rock" boots you use on rock.....if there was a lot of rock like on El Cap a good pair of shoes could make your life easier. They still can.
But for most (that rock climb now) rock climbing has changed and a "big shoe" has no place in their closet. More like a rubber soled slipper is more common backed up by a pair of sticky rubber approach shoes.
I use the same system (approach shoe/rock shoe) myself a lot of the time. But it hasn't always been so. So another trip down memory lane for those that don't know what what "rock boots" really are. It might just be worth your time.
Actually what I would prefer to use would be a single pair of shoes car to car. But if you look at our "typical" summer routes here in the Cascades it makes no sense to me. It hasn't in decades. So it is generally runners, rock shoes and maybe even a lwt boot depending on the route and distance to be traveled.
worth a click to see the goat playing in the rocks in this one
Here we might easily have a 10 mile walk on anything from a decent trail to a talus field miles long. That can easily be followed by a 2000' technical rock climb or more than likely a mixture of crevassed glacier travel, snow fields and maybe a dirty ice gully that is hardly worth taking a tool for but nasty in just a pair of runners. Much better at times is a decent boot that will take a crampon.
But this is a boot style I have intentionally ignored for years. I'd rather just wear a lwt runner for anything that requires serious mileage. Not many boots I want to wear on a 10 mile hike if a decent pair of runners will do.
But if your climb includes technical rock a step or two down from the limits of your skill level, some snow and may be even some moderate ice this is a boot genre worth looking at. Summer mixed routes in the Canadian Rockies come to mind as do late season climbs on many of the bigger routes in the Cascades. The best of these boots are easily up to a quick ascent of all the NW volcanos. As long as you keep them dry with a good gaiter.
These are the boots in this catagory I have used:
Scarpa Rebel Carbon GTX
One boot, size 45 1# 11.5oz - 782g
North Face Verto S4K GTX
One boot, size 45 1# 15 oz - 879g
Salewa Raven Combi GTX
One boot, size 45 1# 14 oz - 852g
La Sportiva Trango S EVO GTX
One boot, size 45 1#13oz - 822g
The soles are likely the best available for rock climbing in boots. It is the Vibram® MULAZ. Same sole on my beloved Scarpa Ultras ice boots and half a dozen other pairs of mountain boots like the Trango Extreme Evo. All the soles are closely trimmed and the low profile toes lace low to take every advantage the some what soft and sticky rubber of the MULAZ.
Worth noting that all the boots here are lined with Gortex as well. This style of boot is so popular in Europe that virtually every serious boot maker has a model that is similar. Add Goretex, the Mulaz Vibram sole and give the boot a ledge on the back for crampons and seemingly you are in business.
I like the Scarpa because of the weight (but only 3.5oz between them all or 7oz for a pair) and the extremely low profile fit on my foot. IMO it is the best @ climbing difficult rock. But the Trango is by far the most proven of these boots and hard to beat on any terrain the others are useful in. I also like the Raven because I think it is a bit warmer. It is also the biggest boot by volume.
The North Face version only slightly smaller. I hadn't climbed Liberty Ridge in a while and took the Salewa there last summer. I failed but not because of my choice in footware. DC was an easy hike C2C in the Salewa and I had warm, dry feet the entire day. Nice to be comfy in lwt kicks at the end of the day. I couldn't complain about the fit in any of these boots. All are comfortable on my foot. Which is unusual. How quickly the soles will break in and start to flex too much? Anyone's guess. Although the Rebel does have the only carbon mid sole in the bunch.
All are warm enough for a "dry" summer ascent of Rainier imo. And stiff enough to climb snow with out crampons if required. But they were designed for climbs that will be a mixture of moderate technical rock and moderate snow and ice, not glacial slogs. It doesn't really matter what I like of the selection here. teh boots are useless unless they fit YOUR feet. So if you like the idea of this style of boot, look around. I suspect one of them will fit you. If not there are others that are very similar to choose from.
The last pair of boots similar to these I had used were the old blue Galibier Robbin's boots from the '70s and then a Vasque Shoenard. Any of these are a big step up from those boots and a lot more useful long term I think. But none of them will rock climb as well either. But the Scarpa Rebel isn't far off because of the fit, the last of the boot and the carbon mid sole.
Either way any of them add some warmth and comfort on long days and wet conditons in the mountains..
Trying to dry out the gear...including the camera this time. A beautiful day out on alpine rock but wet and snowy conditions on the route. Perfect conditions for any of these boots.