• Will Sweat Harm My Harness?
  • Should You Use Rope or Webbing to Connect to an Anchor?
  • Choosing Between C4s and Friends
  • Can You Lead On a Static Rope?
  • Can I Use Climbing Bolts For Anchors in a Gym?
  • Are Falls Held or Breaking Strength More Important In a Rope?
  • Does Poop Harm a Climbing Rope?
  • Are Homemade Draws Reliable?
  • Shopping for Economy Carabiners
  • When You Fly, Can You Carry On Climbing Gear?
  • Can I Trust Fixed Draws?
  • Which Helmet WIll Fit My Big Head?
  • Choosing Ice Screw Length
  • Are Adjustable Leg Loops Useful?
  • Should I clip ice screws with Screamers?
  • How do I Make a Bomber Anchor?
  • Can I Modify my Crampon Without Compromising the Integrity?
  • Hot Versus Cold Forging
  • Caring For Your FIngertips
  • Are Sewn Slings Stronger Than Knotted Ones?
  • When to Replace Climbing Webbing
  • Using Grip Dip To Color Code Gear
  • The Benefits of Cotton
  • How to Pull a Rappel Rope
  • How to Properly Orient a Carabiner Gate
  • Are My Fuzzy Quickdraws Safe?
  • How to Stretch Climbing Shoes
  • Are 1/2-inch bolts really better than 3/8-inch?
  • Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?
  • Hand Drill Advice
  • Lonely Climber Looking for Woman
  • Is My Invented Knot Safe?
  • Difference Between Double and Twin Ropes
  • Dealing With an Argumentative Partner
  • Will Antifreeze Ruin Rope?
  • Why Is a Rack Called a Rack?
  • Rock Shoes For a Big Guy
  • Do They Kill Geese To Get Down?
  • How to Wash a Rope
  • Do Cam Teeth Do Anything?
  • Can I Fix Delaminated Rock Shoes?
  • Can I Mix a Static With a Dynamic Rope for Rappelling?
  • Should You Lower Or Rap Through Anchors?
  • Should You Clip the Belay As Your First Lead Pro?
  • How Should The Middle Man Tie In?
  • How Do I Get a Good Climbing Man?
  • Do Falls Weaken Bolts?
  • Should I Rope Solo?
  • Should I Angle Ice Screws Down?
  • How Should Old Climbers Train?
  • Can I Make a Belay Loop?
  • Reusiing Ice Screw Holes
  • Overcoming Fear of Falling
  • Choosing a Stove Fuel
  • Will My Hiking Boots Work With Crampons?
  • Do Heavy People Shock Load the Rope?
  • Can Offset Cams Subsitute for Regular Cams?
  • Can I Resling My Cams Myself?
  • Are Older Alien Cams Safe?
  • Antifreeze
  • The Truth About Climbing Supplements
  • Can I Make My Leashed Tools, Leashless?
  • Rope Stretch Facts
  • How To Cut a Rope Without a Knife
  • Secrets of the Toprope
  • How to Sharpen Crampons
  • Should I Become a Climbing Guide?
  • Preventing Climbing Rope Wear
  • How to Remove an Old Bolt
  • How to Customize Ice Tool Picks
  • Double Rope Facts
  • Do It Yourself Fruit Boots
  • Climbing Rope Sheath Slippage
  • Rockfall Safety
  • Do Screamers Work?
  • Defining the Cheater Stick and Stick Clip
  • Climbing Skin Care
  • Selecting a Gym Rope
  • Quick Links for Climbing
  • Are Russian Cams Good?
  • When To Retire Climbing Gear and Ropes
  • Should I Get a Link Cam?
  • How to Get a Climbing Mate
  • Will Dog Urine Harm My Rope?
  • Using Steel Carabiners for Fixed Quickdraws
  • Petzl Tibloc and Climbing Rope Sheath Damage
  • Overcoming Anger
  • Fixing a Spinning Bolt
  • Video Spotlight
    Gasherbrum I - Winter 2011
    Gasherbrum I - Winter 2011

    Do It Yourself Fruit Boots

    02-Feb-2010
    By Gear Guy

    I'm a poor working s.o.b. and can't spring $400 to $600 for a pair of sweet fruit boots. Can I make my own?

    Get your freak on! With a bit of craftiness, you can concoct your own fruit boots. I made a pair two seasons ago, and they rock. Here's what you need, and how to do it.

    Get a super stiff pair of rock shoes or light mountain boots. I used the La Sportiva Ventor (pictured here), a discontinued (limited sizes available at mtntools.com) hybrid rock shoe with a hefty foam-cushioned heel, three Velcro straps and near boot-like stiffness under the front of the shoe. The rigidity is key: A soft shoe won't hold a bolt-on crampon. The Ventor is ideal because of its stiff platform, mesh upper that dries quickly, velcro that lets you get them on and off in seconds, and a heel that works great for hooking.

    Next, buy a bolt-on crampon. The Black Diamond Raptor ($170) is a good one and the most readily available.

    Last, go to the hardware store and purchase pan-head allen bolts (plus nuts) that will fit through the crampon holes. Depending on the crampon and shoe, these will probably be 6 x 12 mm bolts. Be sure to use pan-head bolts. I used socket-head bolts and the bolt heads protrude. Sometimes the bolts feel like massage beads gently nuzzling on the bottoms of my feet ahh ..., but usually they feel like Chinese throwing stars. This season, when I replace my beat crampons, I am switching to pan heads.

    Place the crampon on the shoe sole and align it the way you want for climbing. I prefer the front mono-point in line with my big toe, rather than centered. Once you have the crampon where you want it, mark each bolt hole with a pen. Drill out the marks, align the crampon and bolt it on. With the Ventor, you have to drill all the way through the shoe upper to accommodate the allen wrench. If your shoe opens down through the toe you might be able to insert the wrench without drilling holes in the upper. No big deal either way.

    I only attach the front crampon, preferring to leave the heel clean for hooking and resting on rock holds. Leaving off the heel crampon also keeps the shoes light and makes it less likely you'll snag your clothes when figure-fouring. The downside to not having a heel crampon is that you could slip to your death while plodding up a snowy exit slope or kicking down the descent.

    The above process takes about an hour, and when you are done you will have spent around $270 or less if you already had the shoes or boots. Besides saving money, this homemade fruit boot has rock-shoe-like performance. Disadvantages include zero insulation and less rigidity than a true boot. Minor points considering most modern mixed routes are short and largely (if not entirely) rock. For pure ice and long routes -- where keeping your toes  on your feet and not in a jar are a consideration -- you will still need to nut up and buy factory fruit boots. Next!

    Reader's Commentary:

    Don't want to use Facebook, but still want to comment? We have you covered:

    Add Your Comments to this article:
    Hello