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  1. #1
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    What Touring Boot Am I Looking For?

    Just got an unexpected bonus from work and rather than do the responsible thing (save it) I'm going to treat myself to new boots. I've never really started from the start; going to a reputable shop and working from the feet up. I've always chased the deal and ended up with boots that were ok but never anything I was in love with. I've taken my deal boots to bootfitters and they've done wonders with the crap I brought them but I feel like this is the time to do things the right way.

    My feet:
    right foot measures 278mm length and 101mm at the widest point
    left foot measures 269mm length and 100mm at the widest point
    flat feet, pretty serious pronation if uncorrected
    very low instep
    narrow heels
    Basically, I have duck feet
    I've been using orthotics in my shoes and custom footbeds in my ski boots for 15 years and they have been great for me...no more ankle, knee and lower back pain when running and no more bleeding ankle protrusions when skiing. Will definitely have new footbeds made for the new boots.

    What I'm looking for in a boot:
    Light, good ROM when skinning, decent performance on the down. These will be dedicated BC shoes...I have a pair of boots that I am moderately happy with inbounds. Don't want a race boot with a walk mode but don't want a mountaineering boot that can clip into skis either. Skis will be Atomic Backland 95s with Backland tech bindings. I ski pretty exclusively in Vermont.

    What hasn't worked for me:
    Dynafit Zzeus (27.5) - nice and light, good ROM but I can't make them fit my feet. They're too wide and are pretty high volume
    Scarpa Freedom with Maestrale liners (28) - decent (not great) fit but heavy and the ROM is somewhat lacking
    Scarpa Freedom RS (28) - Great downhill performance, fit is pretty good but they are not light and they do not have good ROM
    Scarpa Mobe (27/28) - got these from someone on here; they are 2 different sizes - the left is a 27 and the right is a 28 - best fitting boots I've ever owned but they're pretty heavy and have just an OK ROM.
    Atomic Redster (inbounds only, 27.5) - heavy AF, my feet swim in them because of the high instep on these

    So what AT boot am I looking for? Fairly narrow for touring boots, low volume, light but decent on the down, good ROM. Is it the unicorn of touring boots that I seek?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Uhhhh. The red ones. Case closed!

    And obviously I am here to reinforce your decision to buy new boots rather than save the money.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Maybe a Scarpa F1 (and they do come in red)
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Try on the Fischer Travers Carbons and the Tecnica Zero G. The Fischers might be a bit soft for you, but both will drive the Backlands and both should fit a narrow foot.

  5. #5
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    You have to make a decision on weight class, and I assume you want to go lighter because every boot you mentioned above is a tank. It's not that easy to decide; each time you drop weight the downhill performance suffers. I would suggest something in the 1400 to 1500 gram class, in which case you automatically limit your choices to a very small number of models.

    You also need to size down at least a size, especially considering your narrow heel. When you go down by 1 Mondopoint size the width gets 2mm narrower and the other dimensions also get smaller, it's not just 1 cm shorter. My right (longer) foot is also 27.8 cm and about 104 mm wide (not counting a 7mm high bunion on the first met head) and all my touring boots are 26.5 (I would probably go 27.5 in a Hoji Free). I've currently got the Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro, Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD and Lange XT Free LV and I've made them all fit, but you'll need a decent bootfitter to make this happen in a 26.5. I also skied the Salomon MTN for a season in 26.5, which skied well but the ankle and heel are pretty roomy. Any of these should be no problem in a 27.5 unless your foot is very high volume, but it will be pretty big on your left foot.

    Personally I would go even lighter with the Backland 95/Backland Tour combination, but like I said light boots are an acquired taste. If you go this route, I'd look at the new Backland Carbon, the aforementioned F1, and maybe the Dynafit TLT 7/8 (haven't tried on the TLT8).

  6. #6
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    PS When I say "at least a size" it's because I'm not sure if the Scarpa sizes you reference are actually even 27 and 28. A Scarpa 27 is the same as a 26.5, a 28 is the same as a 27.5.

  7. #7
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    Just read LeeLau's Scarpa F1 review on doglotion.com.

    They're on my list for sure. Probably not red though. Don't want to oversell my limited skillz.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    PS When I say "at least a size" it's because I'm not sure if the Scarpa sizes you reference are actually even 27 and 28. A Scarpa 27 is the same as a 26.5, a 28 is the same as a 27.5.
    Thnx for the detailed info. I'm hip to Scarpa shell sizing. The Mobe's are indeed 2 different shell sizes (27.0 and 28.0) which makes keeping track of left and right skis pretty important. All of my other Scarpa tries have been 28.0.

    I'm ready to go light. Our descents here in Vermont tend to be moderate pitch, fairly tight trees and generally decent snow. We don't venture too far away from the ski areas if it's been a long dry spell or we've had some nasty freeze/thaw/freeze cycles. I felt like the Zzeus's were pretty light and were very soft; I didn't like them at all inbounds but they were great in the trees. They just aren't made for my feet.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hafjell View Post
    Try on the Fischer Travers Carbons and the Tecnica Zero G. The Fischers might be a bit soft for you, but both will drive the Backlands and both should fit a narrow foot.
    Thanks for the recommendations. Basecamp Outfitters in Killington carries the Zero Gs so I'll give them a try.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2018
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    I use the F1 for dedicated touring days and also have wide and short feet. Like them a lot. For sidecountry and mixed lift & hike days I decided on the Zero G Pro's which I still need to fit. EVO is selling them at 419.95 or something like that for last years boot. Still had a range of sizes last I looked and they'll price match to your benefit. Think it's minus 5% on same (model / size) merchandise?.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by L82thegate View Post
    I use the F1 for dedicated touring days and also have wide and short feet. Like them a lot. For sidecountry and mixed lift & hike days I decided on the Zero G Pro's which I still need to fit. EVO is selling them at 419.95 or something like that for last years boot. Still had a range of sizes last I looked and they'll price match to your benefit. Think it's minus 5% on same (model / size) merchandise?.
    Cool. What do you like/dislike about the F1s? As for online retailers, I love the prices but this time I'm going to pay for the expertise to put my feet into shoes that will fit and do what I want them to do. I'm just looking to "narrow" down the choices before going in to the shop(s).

  12. #12
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    IMHO, from the description of your foot and intended use, you're looking for the Dynafit Hoji. Narrow heel, low instep, wide forefoot. The walk mode is inextricably linked to the upper cuff opening and closing, which unfortunately is a trend it seems. But the fit should be spot on, and far far better then any of the boots you've listed, given your description of your foot.


    My $0.02 from a review of posted last year. I know this year's models have changed, and in my opinion the changes are not for the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by reckless toboggan View Post
    X 3

    If you have a Lange foot, then try Atomic for touring. I have a similar foot to yours.

    I fit the Lange RX LV in a 25.5 for resort (have to remove the insole/footbed to get the instep to fit and I ski it without, and even then it can be a bit too tight on cold days) and I run the Lange Freetour 130 (non-LV) in 25.5 for slack and yo-yo. The heel hold is the same, but the non-LV has more instep height and a very slightly relaxed forefoot width which suits me for walking up. I can fit the stock insole, but can't fit my Conformable custom beds in there. No punches or any fitting needed with Lange shells for me. Both these shells are a 5 to 7 mm shell fit.

    The Maestrale is a terrible fit for that type of foot.

    I tried on the Maestrale RS and the regular Maestrale in 25 and 26 shells, and they are terrible. In fact, given how they fit, I can't believe that they are as popular as they are. It has a wide Freddy Flintstone heel and instep (with absolutely no shaping to speak of), with a ballerina forefoot and toe (proportionally narrows and thins relative to the gaping maw they call a heel pocket, ironically I'm sure). It's shaped like a pyramid with the point facing forward to the toe. It's only slightly worse than some of the Salomon touring offerings in that regard. The euros love them because they all buy their boots 2 shells too big anyway, and don't know any better. The tongues in these, and in the F1's, are an impediment and a hindrance at room temperature, and will be moreso in the backcountry, especially in cold weather.

    I also tried on the F1 in 25 and 26, the fit is about the same, and they are fiddily as fuck to get in and out of. Plus, every time you want to get in or out, you have to undo the velcro "power strap" which will make it wear out and loosen very, very quickly. Given that this velcro strap acts as the upper buckle for the boot, and the way the tongue is set up, it's a terrible, weak, Rube Goldberg machine of a boot. I guess this shouldn't be surprising given all the different failure modes that we've seen with late-model Scarpa boots.

    Go try the Atomic Hawx XTD, or the Backland Carbon if you want something silly-light (I know, same company as Salomon, but the boot fit couldn't be more different). They are simple, and well engineered (unlike Scarpa). Almost the same heel hold as Lange (Atomic's heel is narrow but taller than Lange's), and about the same forefoot as Lange, but even more instep room than Lange. I got the Backland Carbon in a 26.0 (I sized up from Lange, which makes the Atomic 7 to 9 mm shell fit) for my silly light setup. I can actually fit my custom footbed (Conformable) plus use one thin bontex shim under the liner to take up some of the instep volume. That makes them fit pretty damn close to a Lange. Plus you can heat mold the shell and the liner if need be. I haven't because I don't heed to. The stock liner is thin and wears fast, but it serves the purpose til it crumbles, and then I have a brand new size 7 Intuition ProTour to put in it, which should allow me to lose the bontex shim and either run a footbed or not, depending on how I set up the bake.


    If you fit in Vulcans or TLTs, you don't have a high instep.
    ...

    ...
    tl;dr

    get the red ones.

    ...



    Edit to note: The above is true of this year's, and the past few years Atomic boots. Apparently Atomic has "redesigned" the Backland line for next year and they have changed the clog shape and added a dial closure, which is a terrible idea IMHO. The dial was another reason the Scarpa F1 sucked to get on and take off. Plus, if anything impacts the dial and breaks it, aside from absolutely crushing your foot (seriously, try the F1 on and give the dial a hard tap, it's not pleasant), and from taking away a bunch of instep room, there's no way to tighten a broken dial if it fails in the backcountry and thus no way to tighten the lower clog and instep in the event of failure or destruction. It also means that on the new model Atomics (and just like the Scarpa F1) you can no longer remove the hard tongue if you feel like it, and that the forward motion of the tongue is fixed, meaning you can't open up the throat/instep of the boot to get you foot in more easily. IMHO Atomic is going in the wrong direction with next year's Backland Carbon.
    Last edited by reckless toboggan; 09-08-2019 at 03:15 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  13. #13
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    Sep 2018
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    Things I like about the F1 are; weight, out of the box fit, range of motion, and when buckled in for skiing, they're not bad. The boa buckle system is okay but careful alignment of tongue and shell elements is important. They ski better than they might appear and for me, comfortable on the feet. For tours they check all the boxes.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Scarpa F1: I used these for 2+ spring seasons primarily on bigger mountaineering objectives. The boot walks amazing, skis well, and is plenty stiff (I'm 160lb). The forward lean is severe. I have a race background and typically do not have trouble finding the fronts of my boots, but ultimately could not consistently stay in the sweet spot on these. I'm personally sensitive to ramp angle and such so YMMV. I had many good days on the F1s, but also had too many days trying to stay balanced. As for durability, contrary to the concerns noted above, I had no issue or failures. The vibram on my boots is very worn, and they look haggered from rock scrambling, but they have held up very well IMO. Probably 80-100 days on my pair.

    ZeroG Tour Pro (Scout): I replaced the F1s with these. They weigh more and do not walk as well as the F1 but ski much better (for me). Stock liner is cold, but walks better than a beat to hell Maestrale ProTour. These also replaced my winter season touring boots (OG ZeroG Pro), as they are stiff enough to drive big skis in variable conditions. A+

    ZeroG Pro (original that is on closeout at EVO): Don't bother if you're buying new. The new crop of boots is better in every way.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    The forward lean is severe. I have a race background and typically do not have trouble finding the fronts of my boots, but ultimately could not consistently stay in the sweet spot on these. I'm personally sensitive to ramp angle and such so YMMV.
    Good point about the forward lean on the F1, North. If OP has a very thin calf and/or loves the stance of the Redster, they might be fine though. I think it is about 18 degrees, and would be hard to modify given all the pieces and pegs that have to fit together.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    Good point about the forward lean on the F1, North. If OP has a very thin calf and/or loves the stance of the Redster, they might be fine though. I think it is about 18 degrees, and would be hard to modify given all the pieces and pegs that have to fit together.
    x3

    The forward lean and ramp angle of the F1 is messed up. I'm a former racer and coach from a time when you had lots of forward lean and ramp angle and really skied the front of the boot. Although I ski centered and neutral with lots of lateral movement now, I can still easily ski the previous technique too. But the F1's are terrible even when skiing with old school technique.
    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  17. #17
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    I posted a mod to the F1 forward lean in the doglotion review.

    Agreee with Greg about the Backland boot. A fine boot and worth considerinf

  18. #18
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    Love my F1's. My favorite boot ever. I would say that I am sensitive heel-toe delta, but not forward lean. I also have some Hawx Ultras, but I prefer to ski the F1's in any halfway decent conditions.

  19. #19
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    I also have wide, flat feet, and I also ski and like the F1s. Needed custom footbeds in my inbounds boots but the F1s have been great with well-heat-molded liners.

  20. #20
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    Nov 2017
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    the current unicorn boot...Alien rs, they fit different than any other scarpa boot I've had on. And ski amazingly well for a light boot

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by thelongride View Post
    the current unicorn boot...Alien rs, they fit different than any other scarpa boot I've had on. And ski amazingly well for a light boot
    I thought they fit like a slightly shrunken F1, but I only slipped them on quickly a while back.

  22. #22
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    Headed to Boot Pro in Ludlow, VT tomorrow to try on Backland Carbon and Hawx Ultra 130 XTD. One goes up better and is lighter, the other goes down better and is a little heavier (300g per boot) but ultimately its about the fit. We'll see.

    I think I'm down to the Zero G, the 2 Atomics, the F1s and maybe the Salomon S/Lab MTN. A whole range of weights there but compared to what I've been hauling uphill, they're all going to feel like clouds on my feet.

  23. #23
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    130? First chair Redline slayage?
    www.apriliaforum.com

    "If the road You followed brought you to this,of what use was the road"?

    "I have no idea what I am talking about but would be happy to share my biased opinions as fact on the matter. "
    Ottime

  24. #24
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    120s are heavier by almost a pound. I'm a second chair kinda guy.

  25. #25
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    Results of yesterday's boot shopping; I didn't have my footbeds so these are just initial thoughts:

    Scarpa F1: They put me in a 27.5 (same shell as 28.). This boot has a 305mm BSL. Incredible fit out of the box; very snug all over but no pressure points; right big toe was just touching the liner; left big toe did not reach the liner but the fit felt so snug I don't know that my foot would slide forward. If you open the cabrio away from the rivets they're that fiddly to get into. Incredible walk mode compared to the alpine boots with walk mode that I'm used to. Flex seemed pretty progressive for such a light boot. I did not even notice the forward lean (see comments below on the Hawx Ultra XTD 130).

    Atomic Backland Carbon (27.5): fit was ok out of the box but these boots feel more like nordic boots than alpine boots. They are very low and don't seem like they would support my lack of skiing skills. Liner is very thin, almost no adjustability there. I've seen in other threads (maybe on Wildsnow?) where people have managed to stuff Intuitions into them and added a booster strap to shore them up. That's all well and good but I don't want to spend an extra $200+ to fix a brand new boot. Crossed off my list.

    Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130: They need to shorten the name of this boot; my fingers are tired from having to type all of that. Fit out of the box was similar to the Backland. OK, but not as good as the F1. Despite being a narrower last, these boots felt more roomy width-wise than the F1s. I attribute this to the liners. The F1 comes with an intuition Pro Tour liner; the XTD 130's liner is a little more substantial than the Backland's but not much. If my research is correct, this is how Atomic shaves 200g per boot off of the XTD 120. The XTD 130 felt very light despite being 250g heavier than the F1s. Walk mode was very good. Since we don't do a lot of flat touring here in VT, I'm not sure the extra ROM of the Scarpa is such a big deal. After about 15 minutes in the boot (sitting, standing, flexing, walking) I started to feel some discomfort on the instep of the right boot. This is where I find the heat mold-ability very interesting. I like that I could ski these inbounds (I do have inbounds skis with compatible bindings). This is where it gets weird - I noticed the forward lean in these almost immediately. They felt like they were forcing me forward even though the stated forward lean is something like 13* (I think the F1 is something like 20*). I'm guessing it was toe/heel delta but I can't back that up with any facts. I just noticed the forward lean in those way more than I did in the Scarpas. I'm an old-school skier and forward lean does not bother me (I think the Lange Banshee XL1000s I skied in college had almost 30* of forward lean. Definitely still on my short list.

    Next Steps:
    I'm trying to find a place that has Zero Gs in stock. I definitely want to try them on and see how they compare to the Scarpas and Atomics. I also have to go back to Boot Pro with my foot beds to see how they change the fit dynamics of the F1s and XTD 130s. I'm doing some volunteer work at Magic Mountain today so won't get back out until Sunday.

    Of note - the XTD 130s are this year's model and thus have a full-price only option of $799. The F1s are last year's boot with a price of $700 minus 30%. That's a significant price difference.

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