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New Ski Touring Boots for 2018

Posted on October 10 2017

A Big Year for Ski Touring Boots
There is a cyclical nature to the R&D of ski touring gear. Some years are relatively quiet and then the next year new products will rush into the market with innovations that will push to the sport to the next level. This year it is ski touring boots pushing the needle with manufacturers across the board and across every quiver niche. We were testing all spring and summer and have hand selected a few boots to look out for in the coming season.
Alpine Overlap Boots that Actually Tour
Atomic raises the bar for alpine style overlap boots with the Hawx Ultra XTD
In previous seasons there were boots that skied like an alpine boot, had a great walk mode, but couldn't sneak into that competitive weight category. The Hawx series now comes in around 1400 grams for the 130 in a size 27. This is in the same weight class as many of the other leading high performance touring boots but with the progressive flex that only an alpine over lap boot can offer. At an entry level of just $599 for the 100 flex and going up to the awesomely stiff 130 flex, there is a boot for everyone in the Hawx lineup. We still think you should consider a lighter boot for big tours, but if you are looking to replace a resort and backcountry boot in the same year check out these boots and do it all in one. Atomic also released the laddies Hawx with 2 choices of 110 and 90 flex and are more anatomically designed for women's feet and calfs.
All Around Hard Charging Touring Boots
Scarpa Maestrale and Gea Boots Get a Major Upgrade
The Scarpa Maestrale and Gea haave lead the charge for lightweight but great skiing boots since its release in 2011. For the past 7 years this boot has remained as the flagship touring boot almost completely unchanged. Now the Maestrale and Gea 2.0s are here with a brand new design. Some of the features include a brand new walk mode, a slight upgrade in the stiffness department, a giant boost to its range of motion- all of this at a decrease in weight! Both the men's Maestrale and Women's Gea are offered in the RS option for a little added stiffness and performance.
La Sportiva Steps into the World of Freeride Touring
The Spectre 2.0 is an amazing boot that remains a staple of the do everything boot category. However, when pushing big skis in challenging conditions it leaves a little stiffness to be desired. At a 125 flex the Synchro should be a strong contender for any ski tourer focused on the down. It fits the widest foots especially well with 102.5 last and a shell that can easily hold a punch. Don't expect quite as much range of motion as the Spectre but with 50 degrees of cuff articulation this boot can cover even the flat approaches with amazing efficiency.
New Race Boots are Skiing Better Than Ever
This year we are seeing new boots from Atomic, La Sportiva, and Scarpa, that are designed for not only the occasional race, but for the big tours on slightly wider skis. There is no reason why being efficient in the mountains can't also be fun!
The new Alien RS is more than just a race boot
We skied the new Scarpa Alien RS boot into the ground and fully loved it. The Alien boot ruled the race circuit for years, but the RS makes a leap into the adventure touring category. If you are doing a few ski mountaineering races this boot will be an excellent choice, but don't rule out your 85 mm waisted skis quite yet. This boot has a higher cuff and a beefed up frame that can push a wider ski in a variety of conditions. This boot does the downsizing for you so aim up when choosing your size. It fits a medium to even wide foot once you are in the right size.
The La Sportiva Sytron upgrades from the Syborg
When we first unboxed the Syborg it seemed like a lightweight boot couldn't get any cooler. Then the Sytron rolled in with the Cavo Bike Lever Pro to give you a more definitive switch between walk and ski mode. You no longer have to worry about the lever getting stuck and feel completely secure on the way down with the reinforced cuff. The lower buckle is also redesigned with a Z pattern to really secure your foot in place. At 850 grams it stays light and borrows all the tech from La Sportiva's $3000 boot at a quarter of the price and with increased durability. This boot fits the widest out of all the race boots we tried on.
CHECK OUT THE WOMENS VERSION HERE
The Backland Ultimate boot is competitive in weight and pricing
The Ultimate sneaks under the 800 gram mark AND the $1000 price tag. This weight slot used to be a spot reserved for only the most expensive boots pushing 2-3 thousand dollars. At 750 grams in a size 27 the Ultimate features a carbon cuff for added ski performance and a one step tour to ski mechanism for blazing fast transitions. The cuff hight is not quite as high as some of the other boots in the adventure racing category, but its innovative design provides a nice progressive flex even with the stiff carbon. This boot fits a little on the low volume side, but the garilamid lower will hold a punch for customization.
Need help choosing a Touring Boot?
There are certainly more options than ever before so don't be afraid to reach out and talk ski boots with us. We have expert boot fitters with skills specific to lightweight AT boots and would love to get you dialed in for the season!
Owner of cripple creek bc

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