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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Friday, April 9, 2010

The La Sportiva Spantik

On the right, the Golden Pillar on Spantik

Love them or hate them the La Sportiva Spantik is without doubt one of the lightest double boots currently on the market. Although the new Scarpa 6000 should be a good competitor to that claim when it is available this fall. The Spantik was named after an amazingly beautiful mountain.

"This stunning ridge line is located on Spantik (7027m) in the Karakorum Range near the Hunza Valley, Baltistan in northern Pakistan. The route was first climbed in 1987 by an international team of mountaineers which included Victor Saunders and Mick Fowler, among others. Fowler’s photo of the arete highlights the extreme rock and ice climbing involved in their ascent. Spantik is considered one of the finest and hardest mountains in the world."

To purchase the photo look here:

The boot's retail price currently is $700 but with some smart online shopping the going price over the last three years seems to be around $500.

The Spantik is exceptionally high tech. Unlike the typical double boot the Spantik is two distinct layers of insulation by design. In other words both the inner boot and the outer shell offer a certain degree of insulation. Not the first attempt at such technology but so far the most successful. That technology is what allows such a "small" profile boot to be so warm in comparison. "Small" might not be the right descriptor there as no question in any size the Spantik is a BIG boot. The innovative lacing system was designed to offer an easier system to use one handed or with gloves on. How well that was accomplished depends on the opinion of the end user. I find it hard to get the boot really laced tight across the instep when I want to cinch it down for harder climbing and eliminate heel lift. But I can, with some effort, get the lace system to work well enough even on my skinny ankles. But it doesn't eliminate the worry of a broken lace or eyelets. A better system? Not imo.

Here is the La Sportiva spiel :

"The Spantik is perfect for 6-7000 meter peaks or anywhere that you need a toasty warm performance fit. It is step-in crampon compatible and provides excellent technical climbing capabilities.

WEIGHT: 44.48 oz • 1261 g LAST: Nuptse CONSTRUCTION: Outer: Board Lasted Inner: Slip Lasted OUTER BOOT: PU-Tech transparent PU-coated embossed Benecke CeraCom® PUR leatherette/ Water-repellent Lorica® with Antiacqua™ external coating/ Vibram® rubber rand/ Molded TPU ankle backstay reinforcement/ PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam lined with a thermo-reflective aluminum facing coated with an anti-abrasion flockingcoated with an anti-abrasion flocking INNER BOOT: Micro-perforated thermo-formable PE/ Water-repellent Lorica® with Antiacqua™ external coating INSOLE: 5mm thermal structure carbon fiber and aluminum insulation MIDSOLE: TPU/ Dual-density Micropore EVA SOLE: Vibram® Montagna"

Weight? Even in my size 45s aka 11.5 US you should be right at 5# for the pair. Which is very good.

"Step-in crampon compatible"? Well, may be not on every crampon. The Spantik has an extremely wide heel and getting some crampons to fit perfectly is a PITA. Trimming the heel on a grinder is one solution. Black Diamond Cyborgs, Grivel G12s and Petzl Dartwins with lever locks seem to fit with no hassles. The rest (and those I have listed as well) I would check first and not assume anything.

Besides the extra wide heel the Spantik has an extreme rocker on both ends of the boot sole which makes a perfect crampon fit a little tedious to accomplish with some/most 'pons. The intention was to add rocker to the boots so we could walk more naturally on easy ground

I am on my 3 season with the Spantik. And hard to believe but also on my fifth pair of boots! The first 3 I broke inner boot eyelets on. When you start playing with the inner and outer lace system you realise they are Spartan at best. Missing an eyelet might work in a pinch high on a winter wall but isn't a good sales point if they are breaking in your office or the parking lot at Lake Louise while just lacing up.

Thankfully breaking eyelets seems to be solved these days. My 4th pair I eventually realised were just too big. My suggestion now (and it has not always been this way) is buy the same size Spantik as you wear in all the Sportiva boot line. I seem to be a 45 across the board with Sportiva.

But the real reason I have a new pair of Spantiks is not that I think they are the end all double boot. Nor do I think they are the best technical double boot Sportiva is simply the lightest.

Palau's Inner boot web site:

It was the French foam inner boot made by Palua for the the other La Sportiva double boot, the Baruntse, that made me think of trying the Spantik again. The Palua inner is truly heat formable by any good ski boot fitter and had given me an exceptional fit in the Baruntse. Which made me think, 1st, maybe I was buying Spantiks in too large of size and 2nd, that that same inner boot was lighter (than the Spantiks inner or a Intuition) and just might fit perfectly in a smaller size Spantik shell. Which in turn might make a wider array of crampons fit better.

I was right on all counts.

As a side note if anyone has had success with heat molding the original Spantik inner boots would you please post your thoughts and the details in the comments? While the Sportiva literature claims the Spantik liner is heat formable I don't know of anyone who has done it and I could not get Sportiva NA to give me any direction let alone written instructions. The expert boot fitters I showed the liners to refused to take on the job because of the worry of wrecking an expensive pair of inner boots....but had zero issues molding the simpler Baruntse liner or the Intuition liners with perfect results.

(update 4/28/10 I actually broke down and bought a high quality, professional heat gun and attempted to heat form my Spantik inner boots with almost ZERO success. I worked as a ski boot fitter at one time so not something I would suggest to everyone. Yes they fit a tiny bit better but there just isn't enough foam there to really get a custom fit. On the other hand my Baruntse inners, which do have enough foam, fit the Spantik shells perfectly with a much better fit on my foot and less weight. )

I only wish La Sportiva USA offered spare Baruntse inner the moment they do not. (They do as of 9/1/2010) I'll get into the details of the Baruntse in an other review. Short version? If you are looking for a cold weather double boot specifically for technical climbing....the Baruntse is an unqualified success imo. I'd give it a 5 star rating no question. Only a small part of that story but take a look at the over all weights of both Spantik and Baruntse in the previous weight blog as a first comparison. You will likely be surprised. Sportiva's sales comment abou tthe Baruntse at one time was, "less technical than the Spantik ". It is not. And in many ways it is the better technical boot on steep ice and hard mixed.

There have been many, many hard, technical and cold climbs done now in the Spantik. Just not on Nanga Parbat as most will assume from House's youtube clip of what he "used" on Nanga Parbat. That was the Nuptse another La Sportiva double boot.

House/Anderson photos

More on Steve House and Vince Anderson

The Spantik has routinely summited Denali on quick trips with no over boots. You can use a very thin sock with the boot. And because the inner boots don't breath also work as VBL liners and keep your feet warmer and the inner and outer boots don't freeze.

The minimal lacing system on the outer shell collects little snow and in turn allows you to have warmer feet in really cold and deep snow conditions. The extra layer of foam in the sole also helps insulate you from the cold coming through the sole of the boot and your steel crampons working as a heat sink.

The down side of that same foam mid sole is you can collapse the mid sole if you over tighten your crampon bindings. Take a close look at the mid sole when you snap the lever in place and be conservative here. Enough of a problem on my size 46 Spantiks that I never really trusted most of the crampons I could fit to the boots. Thankfully the 45 shell is easier to fit.

You'll want to check here just under the heel is obvious when snapping the clip on and when in position if you are collapsing the mid sole. Either change 'pons or loosen the heel lever to an acceptable level of retention for boot integrity and crampon retention. The gap in the crampon heel fit is obvious in the picture as well. The crampons pictured are a perfect fit for what it is worth. Just a 5 to 6mm gap between the back end of the boot and the base of the crampon because of the additional built in sole rocker. Smaller gap up front depending on the crampon and bail style. A little disconcerting on the Spantiks until you get use to it.

Admittedly I have a difficult foot to fit. Long and narrow in the heel. And because of the added leverage of a size 12 foot I don't tolerate heel lift well. The 45 Spantik, using a thin insole and a custom fitted, heat molded Baruntse inner boot fits me as well as almost any double boot I have used. The side flex is almost non existent in the Spantik which i like and the progressive forward flex is tolerable. The Baruntse's flex is better in both areas for my needs and has a solid midsole. But by ditching the factory Spantik liner I can get a lighter and more comfortable Spantik and use a smaller shell, which is saying a lot.

Still not convinced the Spantik is THE best dbl boot available. And not in love with the Spantik as some of its supporters are. But at least I no longer hate it. And I do admit it is ONE of the best dbl boots available from a very short list. Just don't let the high tech lace system and fancy looks fool you if you can't get a an acceptable and hopefully perfect fit.

Spantik with a light weight, Black Diamond Sabertooth/Never crampon set up. Size 45 boot and crampon combo weights in at 3lb 10oz for a single side. Which sounds heavy but is actually pretty good :)

Here is a cautionary tale on the Spantik from a buddy. I mentioned the crampon fit and how the mid sole will collapse if the crampon fit is marginal.

Daniel Harro's comments and photos:

"As far as the spantiks go here is what I had to go through.
Before the resole. Obvious cracks in the toe piece.....10-15 days of use....maybe."

"After Dave Paige did the Resole. Note that I had to pay $100.00 bucks and of course La Sportiva does not import the Spantik sole, hence the Nepal sole on my Spantik boot... Short story don't buy boots direct from the company or they will screw you, like they screwed me. Dave Paige did do a good job for what he had to work with. First pair he has ever had to do."

The bright side of Daniel's resole? He now has some of the advantages and all the EXTRA weight of the of the Baruntse midsole. I think the Baruntse is a better technical boot than the Spantik becasue of the stiffer mid sole. Just a tough way to get that advantage and still have the heavier liner. It is the worst combo you could hand out imo.

My caution.... like Daniel' never, as in, never ever, buy boots directly from a boot manufacturer, or their state side wholesaler. All the best climbing boots are made out side the US and imported...getting any of the US importers to stand behind defective boots is damn near impossible and expensive. Vasque, La Sportiva, Raichle and Kayland have all been problems that I have personally whitnessed with ZERO satisfaction.

The bastards laugh at us all the way to the bank is my thought. But hey if you work for a importer I'd love to here your side of the story. Happy to publish it here. My suggestion is buy your boots from a reputable retailer with a unconditional guaranteee...Like REI, or Zappos.


Unknown said...

Heat forming Spantik liners at home:

After months of struggling with the fit on my Spantiks, I just heat formed the inner boots in my home oven. It has greatly improved the fit! The liners are no longer sloppy on my low-volume foot, and the heel lift that I couldn't get rid of is now reduced to negligible levels even when "front pointing" (in my kitchen).

I basically treated them like Intuition liners. I heated my oven to 250F (use convection setting if you have it). I put the liners in the oven (sans insoles) and kept a close eye on them. After about 7 minutes they became very soft--almost a toasted marshmallow consistency to the foam areas. I suspect this is key--if you don't get them hot/soft enough, they won't mold.

Once they attained the slightly alarming marshmallow consistency described above, I pulled them out, stuck my custom insoles in them, put them on my feet, laced them up, put the shells on, and laced those to a moderate tension (i.e., less than would be applied in actual use).

Note that, before putting on the liners, I put spacers between some of my toes (folded-up paper towels), put on toe caps made of old, thick wool socks, and covered it all with a thin liner sock.

After standing in the boots for about 15 minutes, I took them off. The liners are now firmer/stiffer and fit my foot much better. Overall, the boots feel snug and secure but not tight, exactly as they should. Since I have not yet climbed in them, I can't say for certain what the effect on performance will be or how the molded liner will resist pack-out. But given the improvement in fit and how they feel tip-toeing around the house, I expect good things. If they pack out or stretch I will try molding them again. It's also possible that the fit could be further improved with additional molding, use of heat gun, etc., but I'm not inclined to mess with them unless the field performance is less than satisfactory.

I don't know why La Sportiva is so reticent about providing directions for molding these liners--it totally transforms the boot and is an essential step to get the most out of these (very expensive) boots, in my opinion. The lack of information on how to do this made me nervous and kept me from trying it for quite a while, but in the end it was easy. I hope this helps a few other climbers--but please don't blame me if something goes wrong.

Dane said...

Older review I wrote on the Spantik for Zappo's.

The new bench mark? In 1979 the white Koflach became available in North America. They were used to make the 2nd ascent of Slipstream among other classic N.A. ice climbs. It was "THE" state of the art in a cold weather technical boot. Others brands soon followed. There were small improvements but nothing that compared to the Koflach's original jump in technology over the then current leather dbl boots. No surprise that La Sportiva has made the next big leap in cold weather technical boots. They have been pushing the envelope for a few years in mtn boots. The new (this is the third winter season they have been available) Spantik is light, stiff, comfortable and with enough ankle support to get you up 1000 meters of steep, hard, alpine ice with a pack on your back, effortlessly. No more super gaitors or over boots on Denali. No more sore shins, fried calves or sore feet. And more importantly no more cold feet if you do your part. The boot's volume is big but nothing as huge as the over sized Asolo. The Spantik will climb as well or better than some of the warmer single boots. You don't need a lot of sock to maintain the warmth. Feel through the boot is excellent. It is the Holy Grail, at the moment, in high mountain/cold weather technical boots. The down side? Had to be one right? Silly asking price to start with. But there is a lot of technology packed into this boot. In 1979 the Koflach was $200 so I guess in 2007 dollars, $650 is almost "reasonable". Well "almost" anyway. Durability? The lace and hook system are fragile. I broke an eyelet lacing the inner boot first time out of the box in my living room. It made the boot almost unusable. Things aren't going to get better from there. You'll want to carry spare laces for inner and outer. Ditch the lace's keeper on the outer boot and add a "puller" that is less fumble free and will stay on the lace. Be prepared to figure out an alternative closing system for the boot if you break an external eyelet ...which I suspect you will at some point. You aren't going to find French technique in these boots any more than you did in 10 year old Koflach̢۪s. They are stiff, front, back and side ways...but I suspect they'd dbl as a back country ski boot easy enough. :) I added a spare pair of custom foam inners with no laces the second day of ownership. Should make the boot even warmer, certainly improved the fit, and makes entry and exit a lot easier. Also added another $175 to the cost of the boot. With tax that is a $900 climbing boot!!? Gotta admit that a few alpine possibilities came to mind today after getting the inner boot and lacing system squared away. This boot will add to your confidence on any cold weather venture. They'll make the ice fields seem like a winter wonderland when the wind kicks up and the sun is gone. The Spantik will make a few more summit days on Denali possible. So I guess I have already justified my $650. All of a sudden the Spantik seems like a good buy sitting here at the keyboard thinking of the next trip north of the border.

CreepUp said...

I will appreciate so much if you could answer one question to me about this boots, because few days ago when I've received a pair of this, I've tested them and I've discovered that the right one fells smaller than the left (on both boots the length is perfect but the heigth on the left -near to the toes- not), basically it seems (or fells) to be lower.
I usually wear trekking boots size 9.5 US so I've purchased Spantik size 44. The left one seems to be fine.
I think that the socks will change so much my scenario, so what kind of socks do you recommed me to use with them in cold weather? Should be thick socks or the thinners should be fine?

Thanks for all and sorry for my english.
Julián(from Argentina)

Dane said...

I use a very light liner sock and a lwt to medium weight wool sock in my dbls. You don't need or want much in the Spantik. Just enough to keep from having blisters and something light weight enough to dry easily.


Anonymous said...


Two questions:

1) The boot comes with two footbeds. One is insulating and one is a felt insole. I took the insulating one out to improve fit. Will this make the boot too much colder? I wonder if this isn't the source of the fit related knashing of teeth I've read about this boot. I am a 41 in a Trango and went with a 41 Spantik -- fits great, but if I need that other footbed for warmth, I'm SOL.

2) The footboard is not flat. My custom insoles don't fit right because of the high arch built into the boot. Is there a way around this?

Dane said...

I've owned half a dozen pair of Spantiks. I've only ever seen the removable black and aluminum foam insoles. Those insoles can be heat formed when you do the inner boots (if you do the inner boots).

I'd use foam if there was a choivce between felt and foam. Felt will absorb moisture the foam never will.

Insoles and arches? My take is La Sportiva planned the boots to be fit with the heat moldable foam insole and not with after market insoles.

I think the fit issue is more the fact that La Sportiva won't give heat fitting info (I published my results on the blog) on the Spantik. For those that the boot does fit...most everyone loves them. I get a good fit after heat molding the inner...unmolded the fit is terrible.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the Spantiks would fare well in a 7500m peak in the Pamirs (Communism)? thanks.

Dane said...

7500M = 24600'
The Spantik should be warm enough there in the normal summer climbing season.

Anonymous said...


While I specialize in fitting high end ski touring boots I can offer some advice for fitting ice climbing boots. I have done several pairs of Koflach and Scarpa plasic double boots with intuitions with great success. With the Spantiks I wouldn't necessarily treat them like an intuition but more like the mouldable liners in alpine ski boots like Salomon and Lange, these are heated on a glorified hair dryer not in a convection oven. Most ski shops have these machines if they do high end ski boots.
In doing the fitting you must use toe caps I recommend the ones made by Intuition they are 1/4" foam. As well you should use the same thickness of socks you will be using in the boot. You must as well remove the laces and DO NOT use them when you form the liners. Tightening the laces on a heated liner pretty much always results in pulled eyelets.
To form the liners remove the insoles and laces then put the liners in the shells and heat them, if you use the Salomon heater it would be 15 minutes. Then place your capped toe setup in the boots after putting the footbeds back in. Lace the outershells in accordance to how you want the boot to fit. If you want a tight fit the laces should be loose as this will compress the foam the least. Tighter laces= looser fit. Once they are laced up stand with feet shoulder width apart and elevate boot toes with a piece of 3/4 inch wood under the soles about an inch from the toe end. This puts a little extra pressure on the heels and makes for a really snug heel pocket. Stand like this for 15 minutes until the foam stiffens. The less you wiggle and move during this time the better the fit will be.
Let the boots cool completely then install the laces and off you go.
As far as sizing I would recommend taking the liner out and placing your foot in the shell you should have about 10mm of space. Thus you really can't buy boots without having them in person.
In regards to you saying, "I find it hard to get the boot really laced tight across the instep when I want to cinch it down for harder climbing and eliminate heel lift. " If you fit the boot as I suggest you will not have to do this as your heel will not move. Tightening any footwear across your instep is not good as it cuts off your circulation and is painful to most people ie. cold sore feet! If you have heel movement due to a narrow ankle a good boot fitter can make some achillies pinches (foam pads that attach to the liners and clamp the heel tighter and you're good to go.

Creep-up. Have you measured your feet on a Brannock Device? It is a tool every bootfitter uses to accurately measure your foot. It gives overall length, arch length and width. 95% of people have different sized feet some as much as a full size. Best to size your shells to your bigger foot, if this is the case and
maybe use some bootfitting foam to take up the volume or go thick sock / thin sock.

Hope this is helpful.

any further questions email is

Dane said...


Thanks for the input. Some good info but some I don't agree with. Climbing boots need to be able to pull and reinsert the liners with no worries about changing the fit. Adding heel pads to the out side of an inner boot won't work to keep the heel down if you have to worry about taking the liner in and out and loosing the fit pads.

Intuition liners are much much easier to do than the thin Spantik liners. Not really much foam there to improve the fit. Even the Palau liners of the Baruntse are easier to work with and get a better end result.

In the past I've also suggested getting a basic foot measurement off a Brannock device in the past.

My take is there are three levels of boot fitting skills, ski boots, AT boots and then climbing boots.

Understanding the requiements of each sport and the technology available in each style of boot isn't easy. Thankfully for the boot companies most people are willing to accept a poorly fit boot and/or bad boot technology.

Anonymous said...


Regarding using L pads on liners. I have added these to ski boot liners that have been in and out of boots hundreds of times. I use a strong contact cement and chamfer the edges so they slip in and out of the shells easily. Conformable makes pre cut ones with and adhesive backing, but I still use contact cement. As you say they are useless if they don't stay firmly affixed. I see no real alternative for folks with narrow heels, unless as you say you want ill fitting boots; can't imagine what it's like trying to climb steep ice with your heel moving.
Intuitions are indeed fantastic things but if the shell of the boot isn't right for your foot you are polishing a turd. It is essential to size and fit a boot correctly from the start. This starts with measuring the foot on a Brannock. This is true for any footwear. It is not only the length of the foot but the arch length and width that are key variables. Your foot can measure 26.5 in length but have an arch length of 28 (mondo point) this seriously affects proper sizing. You can also measure 27 in length and have an arch length of 26. Width is also essential to measure, most people think their feet are wider than they actually are, hence quantifying it is crucial, unless you don't care how your footwear fits. A good boot fitter will also note the shape and condition of your arch and your instep. Some people have very low insteps and no arch while others have high insteps with a prominent arch. With this information you will have a way better idea of what boot will fit and/or which is the closest that can be modified to fit. A low volume foot works well with an intuition; a high volume foot maybe not.
I disagree with your three levels of boot fitting. Any footwear is easy to fit if the persons foot is close to the shape of the last the footwear is built on. Probably 75% of people fit this category. This is the crux of fitting; footwear is made on "lasts" these are generic whereas people's feet are unique. So, if you are lucky enough to have feet that basically match the last the boot you want, sweet. For example, my foot is essentially a perfect match for the Nepal Top. I actually borrowed some Sportiva lasts from a friend who is a shoemaker to resole my rock shoes, they look like a plastic mold of my foot, no wonder the Nepal Top was glorious right out of the box. The worst thing is that I have connections to get other brands for pro deal
but I paid full retail for the Sportivas. It is worth finding what fits and spending whatever it costs for the right gear. The downside is the Nepal Top has some design flaws ie. the toe welt; fragile, mine cracked almost instantly (10 years on it and it is fine) but the fact a $500 boot shit the bed and the folks at La Sportiva were less than sympathetic was disappointing. Oh well.
I agree that boot makers both climbing and skiing could vastly improve their products (La Sportiva, Garmont; I am looking at you!) but the buyer is ultimately the one who decides if you get properly fit or not. I have people who come into my shop with Garmont Radiums they bought online because they are "light and got great reviews" but have destroyed their feet for months because they don't fit and nothing I can do will fix that. The boot is lasted on a low volume last and if that isn't the shape of your foot, well...


Anonymous said...

My advice for getting the right boot:

1. Measure and asses your foot not just with a Brannock but instep and arch.
2. Find a place with selection. Try on as many different boots as possible.
3. Find someone who understands fitting and can modify the boot to your foot if that is the only option.
4. Don't go for a brand; go for the "last" that is the closest to your foot shape.
5. Don't ever settle for ill fitting footwear.
6. Understand that the more oddball your feet, the less chance of finding something out of the box that will fit.
7. Don't forget under the foot is essential to fit properly, most footwear comes with a shitty 10 cent piece of foam for an insole, consider a custom foot bed or at least a proper supportive insole.

Good luck, good climbing and skiing.


This wouldn't fit with my above post, guess I am just
one verbose m**********er!! :D

Dane said...

Ivan I am not questioning your skils just not agreeing with everything :) But always great to hear a differing opinion. Let me know how those heel pads work after 3 weeks on Denali with a good bit of time running around in just your inner boots shoveling snow and then going back in the shells. Just m but I prefer a well fit inner boot and shell without glue on pads.

Easily done with the right inner boot even with my feet.

Boot fitting? Last I checked the "perfect feet" are easy, it is the ones that aren't or the boots that aren't that makes it a horse race for boot fitters :)

I do agree 100% with you 7 point list.

And love this one!

"7. Don't forget under the foot is essential to fit properly, most footwear comes with a shitty 10 cent piece of foam for an insole, consider a custom foot bed or at least a proper supportive insole"

It amazes me that companies ship $7000 and $1000 boots with a 10 cent insole. Not only is it bad business but it endangers your feet. Once your feet are messed up, how likely is it that the customer will buy that brand of boot again? Even if they can wear it.

To that point I have been writing a long blog (not yet published) while working with a Podiatrist on technical boot design and how rigid soled boots with soft ankles eat feet. And the flip side, the most common foot issues that really need a custom orthotic to solve or eventual surgery if you don't and want to continue climbing/skiing pain free.

Ivan if you are interested in doing a quest blog on boot fitting, and full credit of course, send me a private email.

Might be a good fit :) with the write up I am doing on "feet".

Josh Allred's Blog said...

Hi Dane,

I am trying to fit a pair of Spantiks. My foot size is just a bit over 11 (without a sock). I am thinking a 45 would be dead on with a midweight smartwool phd medium crew sock (midweight sock). What you think? Should I go with a lightweight sock? I only ask cause it looks like you are about the same size as me.

I currently own a pair of Trango Evos at 45.5 and I get too much heel lift. I sized them with a pair of mountaineering socks and now understand why you whouldnt wear heavy socks.


Dane said...

Hi Josh,
44.5 and 45 are the same shell size. Yes sounds like you are a 45 to me. And yes a mid weight sock with a liner is all you need in these boots. Good luck!


Anonymous said...


I'm reading various comments on Spantik and Phantom 6000 but would like to get your latest input on these boots if possible.

I'm going to a 12-day Alaska training course in June this year and plan to climb Aconcagua and Denali next year. I'm debating between getting a Spantik, Phantom 6K, and Baruntse. I usually wear 7W Women US size hiking boots and carrying heavy loads is one of my issues. I want to getting something that is light, comfortable, yet technical enough for the type of climbs/hikes I will be doing. I'm a newbie (snow climb included only Rainier and got bloody shin from some rental boots). What would you recommend?

Also, I'm looking at doing Elbrus and Cho Yu in future. So if I can get a pair of boots that might work for some other climbs or preparing me for them, that'd be a plus.

Your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Dane said...

Any of the three will work. Find the one that best fits your foot.

Anonymous said...

How have people found the fit of the Spantiks compared to rest of La Sportiva range.

Also info regarding models and size of intuition liners
would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your very useful observations, reviews and advice. I am going to buy a pair of Spantiks and was wondering if you would recommend that I use Intuition Denali liners to make them warmer or if you think that these would offer no benefit over the stock liners. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


Do you think the Spantiks would be adequate for a summit of Baruntse?


Dane said...

I suggest using the La Sportiva Baruntse liner in the Spantik not the Intuition Denali...for lots of reasons. But yes either will be warmer. Do a search on both inner boots here or goggle/cold thistle and subject and you'll see what I have written. Boots should be fine on Baruntse.

Anonymous said...

Dane, you mentioned that Baruntse inner "just might fit perfectly in a smaller size Spantik shell." Does that mean that you used a larger Baruntse inner in a smaller Spantik shell? If so could you comment on what size Baruntse inner you were using in your size 45 Spantiks? Thanks!

Dane said...

I use a heat molded size 45 Baruntse liner in both a 45 Spantik and better yet in a 45 Scarpa 6000.