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  1. #1
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    The AT Boot Thread

    I've been going through the process of buying my first light AT setup, doing a lot of searches on this site and others. AT skis and bindings I can figure out. But finding out info on AT boots has been a bitch. Much harder to figure out than alpine boots with all the compatibility issues, flex, weight, lack of walking modes, vibram or not, etc.

    So do you guys think there is a need for a definitive AT boot thread for jongs like me? Or is there good info somewhere/everywhere on the web I don't know?
    Last edited by muted; 11-07-2007 at 07:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    DICLAIMER
    This covers the most popular 3 and 4 buckle AT boots out there. I have no plans on any other boots or brands that are 2 buckles, racing only, etc. This thread is mainly for strong skiers doing long day tours, hut trips, or some mountaineering. It's also geared for true AT boot jongs who are buying their first pair.

    If you have any corrections or additions, post them up so I can change things.


    WHO MAKES THEM? BRANDS AND COMPANY WEBSITES
    Dynafit
    Scarpa
    Garmont Mens and Garmont Womens
    Technica
    Lowa: no longer available in the US so this site is for euros only
    Crispi

    THE BASICS
    1)Why AT over Alpine Boots?
    You want a lighter, more comfortable boot than your Alpine boot. The lighter it is, the flexier the boot will be; and vice-versa. So your main dilemma is how much weight savings are you willing to sacrifice for boot performance.

    2)Are all AT boots compatible with all bindings?
    Absolutely not, so you have to make sure the boot you are about to buy works with the binding you already own or plan to buy. The main question is if the boots are Dynafit compatible or not. Dynafit bindings can only be used with these types of boots. Dynafit, Scarpa, and Garmont make Dynafit-binding compatible boots. These Dynafit compatible boots usually work with other non-Dynafit AT bindings, but not always.

    Only a few AT boots are rated for alpine bindings (aka DIN compatible). But some boots have switchable soles so you can make them work with a variety of bindings. Also, some AT bindings won't work with Alpine boots, so if you were planning on doing any skiing with your alpine boots on your AT setup, you might not be able to. For more info and ways around this, read the BINDING COMPATIBILITIES section below.

    3)What is the best boot out there?
    Fuck if I know. To pick a boot, factor in the binding you are using, the flex you like, the general boot weight range you'd prefer, and most importantly which model fits better. This should narrow your selection down a bit. Of course there's other choices like DIN compatibility, laced liners, lean amount, canting or no canting, cuff height, etc.

    SPECS

    *Info from boot manufacturer websites that usually fib a bit. (The other info is taken from various website reviews which are hopefully more accurate.)

    Thanks to Tony for his flex thread which also goes into a lot of different cool info about the boots listed above.


    GENERAL FITTING QUESTIONS

    Dynafit/Scarpa/Garmont 2007/08 Comparison Fit by Lou Dawson
    Scarpa Spirit 3/Garmont Megaride/Dynafit Aero Freeride 2006/07 Comparison Fit (all are stiff boots and only Dynafit bindings compatible) by Spats
    Dynafit 2007/2008 Freeride Aero TF, Zzero 4 PX and CF Comparison Fit (and more boot info too) by Pechelman
    Scarpa 3 2006/07 Fit questions by Summit
    Snuggest Boot?
    Narrow Fitting boots?

    AT BOOT REVIEWS
    1)TGR and other ski board Reviews
    Dynafit Aero 4 vs Scarpa Spirit 4 2006/07 by Idris

    2)Blog and Webzine Reviews/Info
    Garmont Axon Unboxed (but not skied on)
    Is the Garmont Axon just an Endorphin with Dynafit fittings? by Garmont/Wild Snow
    2006 AT Boot on-slope reviews by Backcountry Magazine
    Dynafit 2007/08: Lee Lau puts three boots (Zzero4 C-MF and Zzero3 C-TF) to the test
    Dynafit 2007/08: Lou Dawson explains the new Dynafit Line but no on-snow tests
    Dynafit Freeride Aero 2005/06???: SierraDescents is unsure about them
    Garmont mega-Ride G-Fit 2006/07: Same as the 2007/08 model by SierraDescents
    Scarpa Spirit 3 2007/08???: Flex changes with forward lean changes by SierraDescents
    Scarpa Hurricane 2007/08: Brief Powdermag review
    Technica Agent 120 2007/08: Brief Powdermag review
    Garmont Shaman 2007/08: Brief Powdermag review/fluff piece

    3)Magazine Reviews

    BINDING COMPATIBILITIES
    Can AT Boots be used in alpine binders? Summit does his own test
    Using AT boots that are not DIN compatible in alpine binders; good idea?
    Spacing on new Dynafits with older boots?

    MODIFYING BOOTS
    1) Making them stiffer with:
    Different Straps
    Booster Straps
    Different Tongues
    Making a Megaride Stiffer with a Raichle tongue instructions (with pics) by Meathelmet
    Adding Raichle Tounges by Summit
    Making a Megaride Stiffer with a Tornado tongue
    Adding Dalbello Krypton Tongues to Garmont Megarides step-by-step instructions (with pics) by Hugh Jass
    Different Spoilers
    Adding a different spoiler from a stiffer boot (with pics) by pde20
    Nordica spoilers on Megarides (with pics) by Oftpiste
    Different Liners
    Adding Raichle or Koflach Liners by Lou Dawson

    2) Making regular AT boots compatible for Dynafit Binders by Buck Corrigan

    3) Making Alpine boots compatible for Dynafit AND alpine binders (work in progress)

    4) Making them compatible for Alpine Binders

    5) Adding Vibram Soles by Idris

    LINERS
    AT boot liners can be quite different than the alpine boot liners you are used to. Options to look for:
    Rubber Soles: For wearing inside on hut trips
    Cuff length: some liners have a much shorter height than standard alpine liners, often found on 2 or 3 buckle boots
    Laces: for adjustable comfort on uphills
    Weight: most heat moldable liners (intuition, etc.) are lighter than standard liners
    Does it matter what tongue I used when molding my Intuitions?
    Pain with my Intuition Liners Help
    Which Intuition Liner?
    Molding heat moldable liners instructions by Wild Snow
    What are heat moldable liners and why should I buy some?
    Foam vs Intuition Liners

    OTHER
    Benefits of walk mode on AT boots?
    Can I use these old crampons on my AT boots?
    What is the burliest AT boot out there?
    Warmest AT boots?
    Backcountryworld.com has an AT Boot Forum
    Last edited by muted; 11-16-2007 at 03:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    problem with AT boot weights is that a 26 is going to weigh less then a 28

    Its similar for skis but most folks round here are going to be skiing 180-190 in skis so it makes it easier to get a handle on weights
    For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by muted View Post
    So do you guys think there is a need for a definitive AT boot thread for jongs like me? Or is there good info somewhere/everywhere on the web I don't know?
    it's a good idea. There's more information out there.

    - Summit's thread on putting AT boots into alpine binders
    - Spats thread on comparing fit of different boots
    - Lou Dawson's thread re comparing fit of different boots
    - pechelmans review of Scarpa PX
    - Various threads about beefing up boots with Flexon tongues
    - Various threads about Intuition liners as replacement liners

  5. #5
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    Terrific Job! Keep it up.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by muted View Post
    WORK IN PROGRESS....if I'm missing a

    No, it's a bitch figuring it out. You have to make sure the boot you are about to buy works with the binding you already own or plan to buy. The main question is if the boots are Dynafit compatible or not. Dynafit, Scarpa, and Garmont make Dynafit-binding compatible boots. These dynafit-specific boots do not work in other AT bindings or any Alpine bindings.
    (My emphsis)

    This is not true at all
    * Dynafit compatible boots will work in all AT bindings.
    * Only boots with DIN compatible soles will work reliably in Alpine bindings
    * There are no boots with DIN comapible soles AND Dynafit fittings - not that you couldn't there just aren't any

    Edit - I am usure about compatibility for the Scarpa bellowed AT boots ie F-1 F-3 and FX
    It was all a whirlwind; freeze and flash.
    Within a week we had grabbed our skis and hit the road.


    (nothing... a little powder, a little blood.)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrosendahl View Post
    (My emphsis)

    This is not true at all
    * Dynafit compatible boots will work in all AT bindings.
    * Only boots with DIN compatible soles will work reliably in Alpine bindings
    * There are no boots with DIN comapible soles AND Dynafit fittings - not that you couldn't there just aren't any

    Edit - I am usure about compatibility for the Scarpa bellowed AT boots ie F-1 F-3 and FX
    Not all Dynafit compatible boots will work in AT binders. F3 will work with Fritschis and alpine bindings for example. F1 won't. Some older Dynafit TLT boots also won't. So - it depends.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by muted View Post
    Dynafit, Scarpa, and Garmont make Dynafit-binding compatible boots. These dynafit-specific boots do not work in other AT bindings
    You're mistaken about this.

    Scarpa F1 spacer may be what you're thinking of.

    Wasn't there already an ample sufficiency of info about this stuff here already. It's not really that complicated....is it?
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  9. #9
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    Thanks, I'll update my mistakes later today when I have time.

    PNWBrit, searching for info is not complicated. Learning about boots is not rocket-surgery. All I'm doing is making it easier/faster for people. If you can help me out; great. I asked everyone if it was worth my time BEFORE I started, not when I'm almost done!
    Last edited by muted; 11-08-2007 at 01:45 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrosendahl View Post
    (My emphsis)

    This is not true at all
    * Dynafit compatible boots will work in all AT bindings.
    * Only boots with DIN compatible soles will work reliably in Alpine bindings
    * There are no boots with DIN comapible soles AND Dynafit fittings - not that you couldn't there just aren't any

    Edit - I am usure about compatibility for the Scarpa bellowed AT boots ie F-1 F-3 and FX
    I don't think that Dynafit TLT 4 series boots will fit in anything other than Dynafit binders.

  11. #11
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    Some of the links don't work (Tornado @ Powdermag), at least they don't work for me.

    Don't listen the naysayers....same thing happened when I tried to compile AT boots by flex.

    Keep up the good work

  12. #12
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    How to buckle AT boots for Tour mode?

    I have trouble adjusting my Megaride buckles for touring and could use some suggestions. If they are loose, I get too much heel lift and get heel blisters. If they are too tight, I get numb/cold toes. Suggestions? Does anyone keep the cuff tight but loosen the toes? I would think that would impinge on ankle mobility. How about loosening the first foot buckle but not the second? Other suggestions?

  13. #13
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    I never touch the toe buckles on mine and use the slide out tag on both cuff buckles for all but the shortest up hills.

    Long trips I'll pre-tape feet as a precaution. Also prefer wools socks rather than poly.

    You have the lace up liners? Found those were much better than the ones on my previous g-rides.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  14. #14
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    OK, I added the graph and I'm pretty much done with everything. Feedback?

    Tony, those links work for me on Firefox. Anyone else it isn't working for?

    I was clearly wrong on the compatibility issues. Sorry for the mis-info that is fixed now.

    Can anyone fill in the missing flex/weight/prices of the graph?

  15. #15
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    Great work here! How about adding the Scarpa Terminator X to the chart?
    Last edited by sfotex; 11-11-2007 at 03:10 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schnappi View Post
    I don't think that Dynafit TLT 4 series boots will fit in anything other than Dynafit binders.
    This is true. My wife has a pair of TLT 700s that only work with Dynafit bindings.

    Nice work on the chart!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by harpo-the-skier View Post
    I have trouble adjusting my Megaride buckles for touring and could use some suggestions. If they are loose, I get too much heel lift and get heel blisters. If they are too tight, I get numb/cold toes. Suggestions? Does anyone keep the cuff tight but loosen the toes? I would think that would impinge on ankle mobility. How about loosening the first foot buckle but not the second? Other suggestions?
    What kind of shell fit have you got? Are your liners beat? Have you tried to address the issue with a good bootfitter? Sounds like you've got some fit issues. Maybe you need a more developed heel pocket? I skin with all my buckles undone most of the time and have no problems with blisters or slippage. If you slide the ski and not lift it when skinning, you get much less pull/pressure on the ankle area. The heel retention strap on the new Scarpas(S3 and 4) is by far the most secure heel fit I've seen. Just a few random thoughts but sounds like you need a bootfitter.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeStrummer View Post
    This is true. My wife has a pair of TLT 700s that only work with Dynafit bindings.

    Nice work on the chart!
    REALLY?!?!?

    I've used my 700's in freerides with no issues

    from Marmot Mountain works

    The TLT 700 is the most skiable Dynafit boot ever made. It has the stiffest forward flex, increased forward lean of 15 degrees, a new progressive forward flexing cuff, and three buckles for maximum downhill performance. It has a new impact absorbing traction sole. The Walk/Ski forward locking mechanism works when engaging the“ski” mode in all cant positions and is easy to grip with gloves. It has a built in cant adjustment, a walking sole and the light, warm, comfortable Thermoflex liner with a camp sole built in, which saves one pound over the standard liner. Final fit of this boot requires an appointment at one of our stores, or if you are from out of town, fitting by a qualified Thermoflex liner expert at any good downhill ski shop. It is compatible with all alpine touring randonnée bindings, including the Dynafit Lite-Tech bindings.

    you sure she doesn't have the TLT 4's?
    For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was

  19. #19
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    You might be right.

    I thought about this after I posted - maybe I'm wrong. Her 700s are about 5 years old, maybe they have changed the toe a bit. Or maybe the boot instructions were BS when they clearly said they were not compatible with non-Dynafit bindings. I didn't read this fine print until after I had mounted a pair of Fritschis to her skis and couldn't figure out why they didn't work.

    So although my wife's boots didn't work with Fritschis, perhaps 700s are generally fine with non-Dynafit bindings!

  20. #20
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    wow - very comprehensive muted. Nice work

  21. #21
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    Joe S

    Maybe there are multiple versions of the boot, I'm just surprised since I've had no problems with mine
    For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can't be found, elseways everyone would know where it was

  22. #22
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    Great Stuff!
    thanks for putting this together!

    one thing on the table, both the Garmont Adrenaline and Endorphin do have a rocker sole with the vibrum plates on, it isn't as big as say the TT but it is still there and much more comfortable to walk in than a flat DIN sole

  23. #23
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    muted, that kicks ass, super-comprehensive.

    +++++++++++++++++++

    A quick observation on boot volume/fit, based on my personal experience. I've been skiing for a long time, and I was a bootfitter at Ski Center in Wash DC from 1979-1986, so I've seen and fit lots of boots on lots of feet. I made it a regular practice to try on every model of boot we sold (not every single boot sold, though!) so that I could get a sense of what they truly fit and felt like.

    I have a narrow foot with a very skinny ankle, but my narrow feet also have bunions which cause each foot to be much wider at the ball of the foot. The left bunion is particularly pronounced and makes the forefoot a full C width; the right one maintains maybe a B+ width after a B-/A+ heel and midfoot on both feet.

    When I was buying AT gear in 2004 I tried on Scarpa, Garmont and Lowa boots, all of them at the then-top models. The boots like the Adrenalin and Endorphin weren't out yet. Coming from alpine skiing I wanted beef more than light weight or mountaineering abilities.

    My thought on boot fit was as follows:

    Lowa were too high-volume everywhere.

    Scarpa were too narrow in the forefoot and WAY too huge and high-volume everywhere else, and were very tall at the forefoot. I never knew that people had fat ankles and skinny-but-tall forefeet, but I suppose Scarpa has a last based on SOMEONE's foot!

    Garmont have snug heel pockets and midfoot with an average forefoot and toe box.

    Overall the most low-volume were the Garmonts. I bought the Mega-Rides. Even still they needed lots of mods to make them as snug as the alpine boots I use.

    I have no experience fitting into Crispi, Dynafit or Technica.
    Last edited by uncle crud; 11-12-2007 at 09:21 AM.

  24. #24
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    Graph is updated with Terminator X and fact-checked as best as possible.

    If anyone has any more info, thread links, or graph ifo let me know so this can be kept updated.





    As for what boot I bought, I went for the Dynafit Zzero PX. My past boots have been the Techinca Race Icon and Krypton Pros, as I have narrow feet and calves. Scarpas felt like shit and Garmonts fit nice but had a lot of heel lift. Dynafit felt awesome, so it was my only choice.

    Now I have to stiffen them up a bunch. And wait for it to snow.
    Last edited by muted; 11-16-2007 at 04:10 PM.

  25. #25
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