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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
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    857

    Salomon X-Alp Explore / S-Lab X-Alp boot, sort of review.

    Who comes up with these names? Anyway, my local shop is stocking the new Salomon X-Alp Explore boot, similar but slightly softer and cheaper than the much hyped new Salomon S-Lab X-Alp boot. So I tried them on, in my usual size 28.5. WOW. Iíve bitched forever about how ski boots seem designed without consideration for any feet Iíve seen, but these ones are. Theyíve a nice low instep and narrow heel that plays well with my (Raichle Flexon original, Dynafit Mercury) feet, and my chicken legs would benefit from an intuition liner to take up volume, but the toe box is actually asymmetrical, like a Birkenstock sandal, like my feet. Unmolded and without footbeds they still felt amazing. If youíve read the reviews then you know theyíre light as fuck, and provide an incredible ROM. The Explores I tried on donít seem supportive enough for the skiing I do , but maybe the S-Labs are, and for something that fits this well, Iím motivated to find out. Unfortunately, something this specialized probably wonít stay in production for long, and thereís no way Iíll spend $1000.

    I also tried on the new Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130, which fitted like a standard medium volume overlap boot, and seemed like it would handle short walks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    333
    Don't they fit pretty much the same as Procline?

    I also tried on the boot and really enjoyed them (in a 27.5 though). Very comfy even though I have wide feet, I echo that the toe shape is really excellent. I didn't find the heel hold to be as great as you say, but I have super skinny ankles.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    289
    Yeah I feel like between the 2 models that Salomon offers and the 4 different iterations that Arcteryx offers there is going to have to be some sku reduction somewhere. Because 6 shades of grey in a market that already has some awesome lightweight but not race touring boots is a lot of shades....

    And yeah that instep on them badboys does not have a lot of volume. I have a high instep and it was already hurting me just standing in a store trying them on. Which I wonder how working in that area with the gaiter bonded there would work. Sounds like it could be a headache/ future warranty issue.
    TLDR; Ski faster. Quit breathing. Don't crash.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    333
    Which brings up another question - if the molds are the most expensive part, why not just sell a couple models at a more reasonable price? The volume increase would probably offset the lost margin-per-item. I think these would be a great boot for casual fun days in the mountains.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    289
    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    Which brings up another question - if the molds are the most expensive part, why not just sell a couple models at a more reasonable price? The volume increase would probably offset the lost margin-per-item. I think these would be a great boot for casual fun days in the mountains.
    I almost wonder if the arcteryx boot will be discontinued if they just ground the extra ribs into the procline molds :P

    Although since they share the same cuff mold...so 1/2 the number of new molds to into the Salomon version
    TLDR; Ski faster. Quit breathing. Don't crash.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    857
    Bought a pair of S-Lab X-Alps off The Jongiest. Screwed around with several Intuition liners, but couldnít get the fit I wanted, so am sticking with the stock liners for now. Have now had them out for 4 days of touring, all pretty substantial days, 4Ē - 12Ē of fresh snow on a firm base, steep chutes, tight trees, early season obstacles. I was looking for comfort, and these deliver. I wore them for the hour drive to the Pass, toured and skied hard all day, wore them home, and they felt like slippers the whole time. Most significantly, the asymmetric toe box doesnít crush my toes into a point like my Mercuries. Everything about walking, climbing, and breaking trail is next level, like I now have an extra gear (or two). Transitions are easy, no tongue to swap, and minimal buckle adjustments: Iíve been leaving the top buckle in position, and clamping the bottom buckle down one notch for descents. Ski performance has been just fine. I was initially nervous, as theyíre significantly less supportive than anything Iíve ever skied in since I was a telemarker (back in my very distant past), but with some slight adjustments in technique, ie. slightly exaggerated ankle, knee, and hip flex, and focusing more on the soles of my feet rather than driving my shins, they work great. Iím making the same turns at the same speed with the same control as usual. Current skis are so easy (Iíve been on G3 Synapse 109ís and DPS Wailer 112s) that itís hard to go wrong. Granted Iím not hucking, or charging in firm conditions, but for the 95% powder touring that I do, these are more than adequate. I was thinking of keeping my Mercuries for more aggressive skiing, but these are so much more comfortable, that likely wonít happen. Intuition liners would be a great upgrade (more positive heel hold and warmer) but Iíll wait till I can get to their shop in Vancouver before guessing again on fit. Durability is obviously an unknown at this point, but Iím hoping for the best.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    520
    Great news about the toe box fit. Just finished a round of four punches per foot to get the toebox/forefoot of my Vulcans just right. How do the X-Alps fit on the instep? Low, average or tall?
    What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    857
    Quote Originally Posted by swissiphic View Post
    Great news about the toe box fit. Just finished a round of four punches per foot to get the toebox/forefoot of my Vulcans just right. How do the X-Alps fit on the instep? Low, average or tall?
    I have a low instep, and they fit perfectly. My local boot fitter told me itís a challenge getting them to work for anyone with an average instep. Otherwise, the toe box is spacious, the heel seems relatively snug, and the lower leg adjusts over a wide range.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    9,923
    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    Don't they fit pretty much the same as Procline?
    Pretty much exactly the same

    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    Intuition liners would be a great upgrade (more positive heel hold and warmer) but I’ll wait till I can get to their shop in Vancouver before guessing again on fit. Durability is obviously an unknown at this point, but I’m hoping for the best.
    Get the low-volume liner! I tried to stuff my medium volumes in the Procline and X-Alp and no-go. It's way better with the Intuitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    I have a low instep, and they fit perfectly. My local boot fitter told me it’s a challenge getting them to work for anyone with an average instep. Otherwise, the toe box is spacious, the heel seems relatively snug, and the lower leg adjusts over a wide range.
    It basically crushes people with average or high insteps. I have been told it'll hold a punch but the shop fit will hurt

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    857
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Pretty much exactly the same



    Get the low-volume liner! I tried to stuff my medium volumes in the Procline and X-Alp and no-go. It's way better with the Intuitions.



    It basically crushes people with average or high insteps. I have been told it'll hold a punch but the shop fit will hurt
    I tried fitting LV Dreamliners in them, but theyíre significantly longer than the stock Salomon liner in the same size, and from trying them un-molded, Iím feeling thereís a better Intuition model/size out there.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    9,923
    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    I tried fitting LV Dreamliners in them, but theyíre significantly longer than the stock Salomon liner in the same size, and from trying them un-molded, Iím feeling thereís a better Intuition model/size out there.
    Tom will definitely sort you out. I put LV ProTours sz 26 in the sz 27 Proclines. I'd imagine it will work

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

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