La Sportiva Spectre Part 2 — The Review

Post by blogger | November 21, 2013      

Ok guys and gals, I’ve been in the 2013-2014 La Sportiva Spectres enough for a take.

La Sportiva Spectre backcountry skimo boot

The object at hand, La Sportiva Spectre 1.

I know, I know, do they ski? I’m used to fairly rigid boots without much progressive flex. Spectre works in similar fashion to those boots, in that a rigid cuff spine and latch are intended to provide your forward/backward flex resistance, while the cuff tongue is there mostly for comfort — obviously the case because the tongue has a “Flex Zone” that’s essentially a soft living hinge (obvious in photos). Difference from my other boots is that due to how the cuff and lower shoe of the Spectre work (combined with liner), you do get some progressive flex that feels sweet compared to ultra rigid shoes.

Hinge in tongue provides progressive flex in downhill mode, comfort while touring.

Hinge in tongue provides progressive flex in downhill mode, comfort while touring.

Too much flex? To me the flex was perfect. It felt soft while carpet testing, but terrific on skis. Oh, and laterally? Spectre easily has all the beef I’d want for tilting my skis, powder or hardpack. I’m not going to guess at a stupid flex number, but in comparison to other “4 buckle” category ski boots I’d call Spectre average in beef. You can find stiffer (and heavier) boots — and you can find softer boots.

And yes Virginia, you asked about swapping in a stiffer tongue without a hinge? Could easily be done, but would harshly compromise tour-ability. Would be interesting if Sportiva provided this as an option.

The beef to weight ratio of these shoes is good. Skeletonized (I learned that from a zombie movie) and carbon reinforced cuff helps that along.

The beef to weight ratio of these shoes is good. Skeletonized (I learned that from a zombie movie) and carbon reinforced cuff helps that along.

Lean lock is a fairly conventional steel bar.

Lean lock is a fairly conventional steel bar.

Cuff lean is adjustable.

Cuff lean is adjustable.

Adjustments: No skimping here. Cuff canting is provided. Cuff lean is adjustable. Buckles micro adjust down to the micron. Even the tongue has an option to align it to your leg and cuff angles. Interior boot board can be customized. Liner molds nicely. Rear spoiler is removable. I probably forgot something, but you get the drift.

Anchor at base of tongue has alignment adjustments.  Excellent for the precision skier, or for anyone finding the tongue interacting uncomfortably with their shin.

Anchor at base of tongue has alignment adjustments. Excellent for the precision skier, or for anyone finding the tongue interacting uncomfortably with their shin.

Tech fittings at toe are marked for reference. All boots should have this feature. Really helps the newbies.

Closer view of tongue alignment feature, note the small marks next to end of tongue.

Cuff alignment is included, along with myriad other adjustments. We like.

Cuff alignment is included, along with myriad other adjustments. We like.

Fit and touring comfort: As detailed in our Part One blog post, shell of the Spectre is low over the top of the instep. That will delight some of you — and be a problem for others. Luckily that’s an issue that any competent boot fitter can fix in her sleep. The liner heat molds nicely, and compensated for all but one of my four jagged ankle bones, one of which required a shell punch (again, easily done as the Grilamid of these boots molds like modeling clay).

Looking at the liner from above. Thick foam and double handles.
Lean lock switch is conventional, though reversed compared to some boots. It's small, but has to be that way so it won't get broken on rocks  -- or by your skis if you're practicing for the X Games.

Lean lock switch is conventional, though reversed compared to some boots. It's small, but has to be that way so it won't get broken on rocks -- or by your skis if you're practicing for the X Games.

Up for ski, down for walk. Again, it's a bit small but you get used to it.

Up for ski, down for walk. Again, it's a bit small but you get used to it.

Biggest question might be the 'Pegasus" buckles.

Biggest question might be the 'Pegasus" buckles. Do they work? Too fiddly? After nearly 50 years of sticking wire buckle bails into slotted ladders, it did take me a long 5 minutes to figure these things out. They're elegant and lightweight. The length adjustment works like a bicycle brake adjuster (knurled threaded tube over cable). Only downside to the Pegasus is the anchor won't snap over the stud unless you get the alignment perfect -- and you might find yourself removing gloves to accomplish that. BUT, the idea here is you do this once a day and switch between touring and ski modes simply by latching and unlatching your buckles (as is ideal with any other ski boot). I got this system working to some extent. With more days on the boot I'd have nailed it.

Another view of the buckles, you snap the hole over the stud.

Another view of the buckles, you snap the hole over the stud. I've got mixed emotions about these. Probably an acquired taste, but no real problems.

Tech binding marks. Always nice.

Tech binding marks. Always nice.

The boot of the day.

The boot of the day. Yes, I removed the lower buckle. No need for it in my style of use.

Conclusions: Spectre has a quite good stiffness to weight ratio, but does not ski like a massive beef boot. If you want to run Worldcup GS in your AT boots, you might want something more on the PU overlap side of the equation. But in the real world, I’d say these are worth a look by anyone wanting something on the stiffer side but still with excellent tourability. Shell fit is low at the top of the instep, medium forefoot last, a bit narrow at the heel. Stiffer tongue could easily be swapped in. Somewhat flat bootboard has a slight arch bump that thermo-mold of liner will take care of for most users. Lots of tuning adjustments is a nice feature. Overall quality and appearance are tops. A nice boot that’s worth a look if you’re shopping.

Spectre liner.

Spectre liner is high quality, has flex zone to help with touring mode and a type of foam that's firm but not harsh.

Flex zone is large and flexible.

Flex zone is large and flexible.

Sole is easily the most beautiful I've seen on an AT boot.

Sole is easily the most beautiful I've seen on an AT boot. I love the full coverage with sticky rubber. Ladders, stairs, rocks. Bring it on.

As with all tech fittings that are not Quick Step In, more room for rubber under the fittings.

As with all tech fittings that are not Quick Step In, more room for rubber under the fittings. If you do a lot of hiking or rock scrambling, this is a major consideration. Otherwise, either type of fittings work fine once you get used to them.

Weight: 1,439 grams (50.7 ounces) per size 27 boot. Shop for La Sportiva Spectre.

Spectre first retail unboxing.

Spectre shell fitting mods.


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147 Responses to “La Sportiva Spectre Part 2 — The Review”

  1. Joe Risi November 21st, 2013 9:48 am

    Sweet soles! Nice to see Lasportiva’s climbing heritage influence on these boots.

    L, how hard do you think it would be to adjust the Pegasus buckles in deep snow or covered in snotty ice?

  2. Greg Louie November 21st, 2013 10:02 am

    My guess is 105-110, with a very nice progressive feel.

    Compared to the Dynafit Mercury, probably the most logical competition, the fit is more consistent from front to rear – similar toebox width (but not as tall), wider in the medial midfoot and a touch higher over the instep. Sort of a mid-point between the Dynafit Freetouring fit and the Scarpa Maestrale/RS fit. Many people will be able to drop down a shell size compared to Dynafit, I suspect.

    LS is killing it with the Spectre pricing.

  3. Lou Dawson November 21st, 2013 10:56 am

    Joe, I didn’t have any trouble rotating the knurled knobs on the “brake” adjusters, but definitly needed thin gloves or bare hands. You wouldn’t be doing it with mittens. My take is that these are precision boots, and a person should probably be able to arrive at a buckle adjustment that doesn’t change unless they want to play around with optional fine tuning when convenient. Lou

  4. Yuri November 21st, 2013 11:15 am

    I had these guys in my hands. Soles look very soft (I could bend sole ribs easily by finger).

    Personally I like La Sportiva shoes (running, mountaineering) but last reports are not encouraging about durability.
    There is one report about ‘Batura 2.0 GTX’ (
    Sorry for Russian there but boots were used for one season of real mountaineering.
    If La Sportiva moved to make ‘disposable’ production it’s a really bad news for our small world.

    Could anybody give us a shot after more intensive walking/approaching usage, please?

  5. Lou Dawson November 21st, 2013 11:38 am

    Yuri, I strongly doubt the soles on those mountaineering boots on the Russian site are the same soles as those on Spectre.

    Pretty funny, how we all “evolve.” For years all we worried about was how stiff boots were. Now it’s how the soles wear while hiking! I stand by my opinion that the solution to the sole dilemma is going to ultimately be having good resoling options available, but yes, I’d agree that the sole might as well not be too soft.

    Back to the Sportiva Spectre, the yellow rubber at heel and toe is obviously there to slow down wear, it’s quite hard compared to the black rubber.


  6. David November 21st, 2013 12:32 pm


    Any idea when size 29s will be available state-side?

  7. JD November 21st, 2013 12:59 pm

    Hi folks- This is Jonathan Degenhardt from La Sportiva here.

    Just wanted to comment on the Spectre soles: there are 2 compounds in this sole unit, both manufactured and tested extensively by Vibram. The harder yellow compound at toe and heel is designed for durability and binding interface. The softer black compound is called Icetrek and is made for maximum traction in snowy and icy conditions.

    All sole compounds have trade-offs in terms of grip and durability, just like tires on a car. Think about soft race tires versus high-mileage commercial tires. The combo of materials in the Spectre sole was intentional and should provide a good balance of these two properties and offer traction where needed as well as durability where the highest wear often occurs.

  8. JD November 21st, 2013 1:06 pm

    The next shipment that has size 29 is expected in a week or so. Should hit stores right after the holiday.

  9. Yuri November 21st, 2013 2:19 pm

    I completely agree with you about yellow sole inserts for sure.
    Also user focus is shifted to do more skiing than approaching or walking for Spectre’s (I believe soles will be firmer outside as well as have better grip on cold air vs. frozen regular sole rubber).
    I’m about tendency from manufacturers to force us consume more stuff.
    For example: When my first trekking boots served me for 9 years (every year ~ 300 km hard backpacking + winter casual usage). I loved them, moreover I was ready pay that price ones in 5-9 years (casual winter boots cost me 4 times cheaper than trekking ones). Next I bought bit expensive but lighter version with expectation to have them for 5 years at least. Unfortunately that pair burned out to soles holes for two 60km (37miles) treks in half season. Next years I read many similar reports. It looks like common tendency to produce fast burning equipment now.
    About ‘evolving’ consumer requirements: It is progress – new tasks require new equipment – where new equipment opens doors for new tasks to be solved. Cycle (evolve) it…

  10. Drew Tabke November 21st, 2013 4:49 pm

    Handled these yesterday at work, decided they were awesome within .8 sec.

  11. Lee Lau November 21st, 2013 5:19 pm

    So Greg and Lou = sort of comparable in stiffness to say the Mercury and Maestrale RS? And at that remarkable pricepoint

  12. safely anonymous November 21st, 2013 5:56 pm

    Whoa that flexi-tounge is pretty cool. Do ya’ll think that could be used on a Dynafit Vulcan to ease the super-stiff flex up a bit? Anybody anybody?

  13. Lou November 21st, 2013 6:40 pm

    Flex, so subjective. This obsession on how stiff gets ridiculous. It’s like some kind of por** (let’s see if I can get my own comment moderated) nightmare… At any rate, they ski well, and had plenty of stiff for me. As for comparo to Maestrale and Merc, I’d say they are easily as laterally and rearward as stiff, perhaps a bit less so frontward. But I’m just going on recollection of not that many ski days. Louie is more of the tester of this sort of stuff. I’m sending them up to him for the next go-around. We’ll see what he says. Carpet testing could also tell the tale, but can be bogus.

    As stated in review, if you want something with alpine beef this is not the boot, but it has the touring stiffness. Point of fact, these are stiffer than the original version, which did have what I thought was too much flex in the shoe when carpet testing.


  14. Lou November 21st, 2013 6:42 pm

    Safely, I like the flex tongue. Not sure how it would swap over without some work, but a stiffer lounge could probably be easily swapped on to the Spectre. I’m actually surprised they didn’t provide a stiff tounge option. But then, at the price point, that would be inappropriate for them as a business. Lou

  15. Lee Lau November 21st, 2013 7:24 pm

    mmm boot po**….. gotcha on the stiffness obsession but others will ask.

  16. Hank November 21st, 2013 8:14 pm

    Worth mentioning it only works in tech bindings… I haven’t skied the boot but on carpet tests it seems softer flexing than the Dynafit ONE, comparing to the mercury which can drive the fattest skis out there seems a little too generous. In my mind its a touring boot only that happens to ski well and is better grouped with a TLT 6… IMHO.

  17. Greg Louie November 21st, 2013 9:06 pm

    @Lee: In the same ballpark (is there an equivalent Canadian expression? Ice rink?) – softer than the Mercury IMO, very close to the Maestrale RS, but a smoother transition from soft to stiff than either. FWIW the weight on the 27.5 was 1500 grams.

  18. billy g November 22nd, 2013 9:37 am

    The TLT is in a different league IMO (quite a bit more solid). I will be the first to admit that a boot like this has no place in my current quiver, but I could not feel any hint of progression in the forward flex (I was driving a big ski though). I would trust the TLT in on a dicey descent, this not as much much in current form. Stiffer tongue as an add-on option would be crucial for added versatility. This boot yearns to be a ski mountaineering game changer.

  19. Pieter November 22nd, 2013 1:34 pm

    Jonathan Degenhardt, if you’re still checking in here, quick question for you if you–and Lou–don’t mind:

    I’ve been really interested in trying LS ski boots here in Southern/eastern California, but none of the shops anywhere here in the coastal cities or up in the Bishop/Mammoth vicinity seem to be stocking them. One place in Orange County has some, but offers no boot-fitting services to go with it; I need that.

    Needless to say, other LS products are easy to find (my two favorite rock shoes and several other garments are LS), but these are proving elusive.

    Is there anyone in California south of roughly San Francisco-Tahoe you can recommend who can provide both the boots in the store to try on and comprehensive boot-fitting as well?

    Thanks very much!

  20. Colin Lantz November 22nd, 2013 3:16 pm

    @Pieter – Try Sunrise Mountaineering in Livermore. And please, go to your local shop and ask them to carry our ski boots! (-: FYI – you can always buy online and then go to your local outdoor or ski specialty shop that has a good boot fitter and get fit there. Might costs a few more dollars, or a six-pack, but an option to consider.
    @Greg Louie – Please check your weight. We have the final production 27.5 models all at 1445 grams. This is with the liner and the footbed in, but without the optional 2mm shims and the optional laces. Even with all of the crumpled up paper that is placed in the liner during production to keep the shape of the liner intact during shipping I still only get about 1665 grams. I’ve weighed 10 pairs and I can get 1-4 grams variance, but not 55.
    @Hank – Not true about tech bindings only. The Spectre meets the ISO DIN 9523:2008 specifications for Alpine Touring ski boot toe and heel pieces. See same topic already covered here –
    @Yuri – I don’t think outdoor footwear manufacturers are purposely designing shoes or boots to wear out faster. Consumers vote with their dollars. Retailers pass on the trends they see in this election. By and large, manufacturers listen to what the retailers and consumers are asking (or voting) for and then make products accordingly (excepting the occasional game changer that no one asked for or saw coming). We all want lighter, higher performance gear. Lighter weights usually mean less and/or lighter materials, which in turn almost always means reduced life cycles.
    @Joe Risi – Lou commented on the barrel adjusters. Worth noting also that when moving the Pegasus buckles from one hole to another in deep snow and icy conditions, the buckle has a self-cleaning action. During our testing phase all last winter our testers found that In these conditions, pushing the Pegasus buckle down onto the post clears the hole in the gold colored buckle. Another note about the barrel adjusters – you can micro-adjust without unbuckling the buckle. Could be the first ski boot buckle to provide this. During the last year’s winter tradeshow when we debuted the Spectre, one very high-profile athlete/designer from a competitor came into our booth along with some staff from the same company, saw the buckles and commented to his boss, “Look, this is what I’ve been talking about. They did it. They figured out how to micro-adjust without unbuckling.” Bingo!

  21. Colin Lantz November 22nd, 2013 3:18 pm

    @Pieter – Gear Co-op in Costa Mesa is another option, just not sure about their fitting capabilities. Call them.

  22. JD November 22nd, 2013 3:30 pm

    Pieter – I hear you on finding a shop that can do some fitting as well as sell the product.

    Two of our retailers who have taken delivery of Spectres are: Sunrise Mountain Sports in Livermore, Gear Co-Op in Costa Mesa.

    If you acquire them and need fitting, I’m sure that there are several qualified boot fitters in the Sierras. Cosmos in Truckee and Footloose in Mammoth come to mind.

  23. Colin Lantz November 22nd, 2013 4:13 pm

    FYI – For anybody interested we just posted informational video on our site highlighting the features of the Spectre. You can also download the owner’s manual here and a tech sheet with more detail about the EZ Thermo liners (both on the additional information tab).

  24. Pieter November 22nd, 2013 4:19 pm

    Colin, thanks. I did that yesterday!

    They don’t do fitting. When they get them in the store (as opposed to just online), I will probably head down there and try them on.

  25. Pieter November 22nd, 2013 4:23 pm

    JD, thanks too. Sorry, missed your post before for some reason.

    Thanks for the references. I will check those out.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve mentioned to Mammoth Mountaineering that I wish they carried your boots. They obviously have tons of other La Sportiva gear, including bindings (or they did last season anyway), and they are where I bought my current AT setup, but I feel like my TLT5s aren’t quite there yet for me. So I’m keen to try both the Spectres and/or Spitfires.

  26. Dane November 22nd, 2013 7:36 pm

    Easy to write a short book on the Spectre. I won;t. But been skiing them here for a week now. If the Scarpa Maestrale RS or Dynafit Mercury interest you..this boot will as well. Like Lou took me all of 5 minutes to sort away the buckles…but I had to play with them for 5 fuill minutes. In use they get easier/better as th spring tension relaxes. The progressive flex si a thing of beauty IMO. A weird as it sounds buckle them light is it s nice soft boot, Buckle down liek alpine cold feet tight and these things are SOLID. Like alpine boot 120 solid.

    I am currently skiing a RS, a 6P, Fredom SL and the Spectre back to back and on some runs, opposite foot. Spectre has become my dedicated fat or side country BEEF. It is a new lwt breed (a term not used lightly) but still beef. YMMV. I have been adding notes of skiing impressions the past week @ CT.

  27. Dane November 22nd, 2013 8:41 pm

    One thing I found worth noting..that I forgot. Buckles are really amazing little beasties. Really easy to get them way too tight because they are so easy to adjust. This is a boot that is easy to ski/tour in by comparison, while buckled loosely. Good charger buckled up tight. Funny thing is you can tour in them buckled pretty tight as well with just a flip of the walk mode lever. Lou had it right I think, buckle for the stiffness/flex you want and leave it for the most part.

    Greg L also had a good comment worth repeating. I usually run a tight 28 shell. But not the most pleasant touring size for me. My TLTs are all 29s which is much better. 28 shell in the Spectre I think cuts the difference for inside length even though the BSL is the same on all my 28s. They seem a 1/4 longer on me. Spectre is the best over all fit I have in a ski boot currently.

  28. Greg Louie November 23rd, 2013 4:50 pm

    @Colin – Sorry, Colin, you’re right, I was rushing around and that was with the customer’s custom footbed in the boot. I’ll weigh it again when I get a chance, but your weights sound correct.

  29. Dane November 23rd, 2013 6:07 pm

    No laces or foot beds..all 28 shells

    Spectre 1480g
    Maestrale RS 1590g
    TLT6 1354g
    ONE 1580g
    Vulcan 1730g

  30. merlinm November 26th, 2013 8:15 am

    carpet test with a vulcan stiff tongue under the yellow one. when the low buckles are stronghly closed, the spectre became beaffy!

    will try to make an on/off system with this tongue.

    anybody had try to “vacuumise” this grilamid beauty for a perfect fit ?

  31. louis dawson November 26th, 2013 8:31 am

    You should be able to easily shape a grilamid tongue.

  32. merlinm November 26th, 2013 10:36 am

    I know people using salomon custom shell on the fisher vacuum process.
    It’s work very well, you can reduce the volume of a Xmax100 as top fisher boots.

    with a grilamid shell like spectre should be easy too…

    this is one good point with spectre: easy customize

    and sorry with my poor english.

  33. Brett November 27th, 2013 10:16 am

    Any comments from La Sportiva on when 29’s will be available? I ordered a pair a couple months ago and have followed up with the shop but they say they they are not getting info on when they will be shipped.

  34. Colin Lantz November 27th, 2013 10:24 am

    @merlinm – next shipment due to arrive in our warehouse early next week, most likely Monday 2 December. We were hoping they would arrive before this holiday weekend, but had some customs, shipping, blah blah blah, delays, etc. As soon as they hit our warehouse they will be shipped right out to retailers with orders. You should have them mid to end of next week. PRAY FOR SNOW!!!!

  35. Colin Lantz November 27th, 2013 10:33 am

    @merlinm – which shop? We’d like to give them a call and update them.

  36. Brett November 27th, 2013 10:42 am

    Colin – Thanks for the quick response. I’ve been working with the Sport Loft in Salt Lake. I’m really looking forward to getting this boot. This will be my first true AT boot so I’m excited to see how it performs!

  37. Ian November 30th, 2013 10:09 pm

    I have a few days in the Spectre now and I am impressed. It took some time to sort out the adjustments but now that I have it’s pretty simple. The boots are comfortable (lift and punched), walk very well, and are plenty stiff for what I’m doing. No idea on durability but so far so good.

  38. George December 6th, 2013 5:55 pm

    Any comparisons with respect to Dynafit Mercury or Maestrale RS? Sorry for the stiffness fixation.

    I’m considering a Mercury/Maestrale/Spectre replacement for my Titans, and would like to know if all three are in a similar league with respect to stiffness

  39. Lou Dawson December 6th, 2013 6:49 pm

    I’d say the general answer is yes they’re all similar… would depend on the shape of your lower leg, how the liner was molded, how the boot was buckled, how tall you are, and your style of skiing as related to the boot. The Titan is probably stiffer than any, it’s more in line with a Scarpa Freedom. I’d think comparing a Titan overlap cuff boot to a cabrillo boot might not be apples to apples. Lou

  40. Greg Louie December 6th, 2013 8:42 pm

    @Colin: Weighed the same 27.5 Spectre today, shell and liner but no footbed, 1430 grams . . .

  41. Dane December 6th, 2013 9:19 pm

    Hey George, I have all three and they are similar for the most part as ski boots. Biggest differences are in the walk mode for me and how the boots flex. If you try on all three I suspect you will fine one of the three a good fit compared to the other two if you are picky about your boots.

  42. Tom December 7th, 2013 10:48 pm


    Skied my Spectres today for the first time. Very pleased. The tour mode works very well, better than most. Stiffness on the downhill was as good as expected… great! Just one problem; I would like to adjust the forward lean to a more more aggressive stance. Followed the instructions, loosened the screws, but wasn’t able to change the forward lean. Am I missing something? Got any pointers?



  43. Lou Dawson December 8th, 2013 8:00 am

    Tom, when I first got the Spectre I played around with the forward lean adjust for a short time, it seemed to make a very small difference. I just went out to the shop and messed around with it again. Same, as far as I can tell it does adjust, only a very small amount and not according to the marks. So, what you want to do is loosen the screws, lock boot in downhill mode with boot on, drive knees forward fairly aggressively (but don’t break something), re-tighten screws (probably with a dab of blue Loctite on them). You’ll get a slight amount more forward cuff lean. My opinion now that you direct my attention to this is that the adjustment should have a bit more range. Bear in mind you can do this same adjustment by simply adding thickness behind your calf. Lou

  44. Chris Johnson December 9th, 2013 7:38 am

    I had the opportunity to try a pair of Spectre boots this past weekend. I am a fan of progressive flex, and felt the Spectre was the best skiing AT boots I have ever used (I have owned more than a dozen boots during 18 years backcountry skiing). However, although the boots are advertised to have 60 degrees of cuff motion, I found in practice that they are much more limited in rearward travel than some other boots such as the Dynafit TLT line and the Scarpa Maestrale. Closer inspection of the inside of the shell with the liner removed shows that the lean lock mechanism bar protrudes up to ¾ of an inch from the back of the shell during the rearward part of a stride, limiting the effective cuff motion while skinning. I experienced pressure on my Achilles tendons while skinning with these boots and an odd “springiness” (from flexing the bar) while attempting to stride out a flat approach, both due to the same design issue. I’m wondering if others have noticed this and remedied it with a modification to the lean lock bar? It seems that cutting about 1.5 inches from the lean lock bar would improve the performance of the boot in terms of usable rearward travel and not unduly affect the function of the mechanism. I was skiing a size 26.5 boot, and I don’t know if the lean lock bar length varies with shell size. If it does not, this issue is likely more evident with smaller shell sizes.

  45. Clay Derouin December 17th, 2013 10:44 pm

    Hi there. I have a pair of each the LS Spectres and Dynafit One PXs. Both pairs of boots seem to fit really good! The problem is, I have to decide on which pair to keep before I ski them. I’m going to see a pro boot fitter to see what he or she thinks regarding the fit before I make a final decision, but at point I think the fit is good on both boots. I plan on using one of these pairs of boots as my solo pair for resort, slack and touring and I’m a rusty intermediate skier. I plan to get all the rust of this year!

    I’d love to hear some comments….


    Clay D

  46. Dane December 17th, 2013 10:56 pm

    Hey Clay. I have both. Been skiing the ONE for a year now. Easy choice for the Spectre. It simply does everything better. Skiing, climbing, easier to flip in and out of walk mode. Walk mode is very comparable. Only place the ONE has an edge I think. And it is slight over come by the easier to use latch. Weight, ski performance, as a climbing boot with crampons, I give them all a nod with the Spectre at the advatage.

    And then there is the price.
    Love the ONE and I still have mine. But they are now for sell. My wife has the ONE as well. Hers are not for sell. But only because the 26 shells sold out so quickly on the Spectre this year.

  47. Clay Derouin December 17th, 2013 11:12 pm

    Wow….thanx Dane…. love in the input and really appreciate it.

    hope you have a great season.


  48. merlinm December 17th, 2013 11:22 pm

    spectre for one reason: realy better progressive flex

    yesterday, I used them with dynastar omeglass 63 (slalom ski) on hard snow : they work very well.

    and another advantage of the spectre: very ezsy to customise, thanks grilamid and the inside sole.

    with a stiff removable tongue this should be the best choice ever.

  49. Lou Dawson December 18th, 2013 7:08 am

    I’ll throw in my two cents. To me, fit is always a big criteria. I got a better fit in the One, but with several hours customization I got the Spectre fitting good as well. Clay, I’d be very surprised if both boots truly fit you equally as good. But I suppose that could happen. I’d listen to your boot fitter first. If they say “yes, it doesn’t matter which boot.” I’d then ascertain how much you’ll be walking vs skiing. If as you say you are going for a one boot quiver, and using it quite a bit at the resort, then I’d recommend not evaluating for walking comfort, since both boots walk/tour fine. Instead, ski them a bit more at the resort. If after everything you still can’t decide, just flip a coin.

    Any differences between Spectre and One are not going to improve or be detrimental to your skiing — in terms of one over the other.

    For me the Dynafit Ones are very stiff, actually more stiff than I need. I still like the Dynafit “Driving Spoiler Ultra Lock” walk/ski system best of any boot out there, it’s just so smooth, so easy to operate. Since 95% of my time in ski boots is spent walking, that’s a huge factor for me and definitely biases me towards Dynafit. Spectre for me does have a nice flex. Personally, I don’t really call it “progressive” as I reserve that term for overlap boots that don’t have to bulge, compress or stretch the way a cabrillo boot does to provide fore/aft shell flex. The Spectre hinged tongue has a lot to do with it feeling the way it does. Put a stiff tongue in there, and I don’t think it would be any more “progressive” than the One. Likewise, as Dane has pointed out, fooling around with liners is also a factor. In the case of Spectre, the liner is what I’d call “medium flex.” If you wanted the Spectre to be stiffer you could also swap in a stiffer liner, but again you’d probably find the flex getting less “progressive” and you’d certainly compromise the walk mode.

    All this being said, I’m not certain either boot is really that appropriate to be used as a full-on day-after-day alpine boot at a ski resort. I’d say this depends on your style (not to mention the choice in skis). If you charge hard and ski really long days on bigger skis, you might be wise looking at one of the boots out there that’s more of an “alpine boot that tours” rather than a “touring boot that’s stiffer.”


  50. Dane December 18th, 2013 9:43 am

    I agree with Lou on a couple of points. ONE has a more progress flex than the Spectre imo. In the grand scheme of boots both have a very progressive flex for me. Spectre offers more over all support I think. The ONE does walk marginally better. But I am not a huge fan of the faff that goes with the Dynafit lock. Works great but a pia for pants in actual use.

    Both boots ski exceptionally well. And I do use them both on a lift with big skis,up to 196cm x 110+., 128, 138.

    Of the half dozen or so boots I have skied seriously in the last two seasons
    Spectre is also the only boot that I have had to do shell work on to fit properly. Easy enough to do and I have a great fit now. But if I were to try the boots on.side by side first (which is how I ended up in a ONE in a different sxs) I likely would not have gotten a Spectre. Which I feel now would have been a mistake on my part for how I use the boots. I likely spend my time 80% skiing and 20% hiking in these two boots . So everyone has there own priorities in a boot. I prefer hiking in a lighter boot. TLT would be my choice or better yet a PDG or Alien 1. The Spectre might gain some market share there as a technical climbing boot but I have yet to prove that to myself. Friends in Chamonix have been impressed with the Spectre though which is always a good indicator for me.

  51. Carson McQuarrie December 29th, 2013 10:08 pm

    Does anyone know the inside boot dimension differences between the One, TLTL 6, La Sportiva Spectre, Scarpa Maestrale? I’m more particular on the width difference in the forfoot and height difference of the instep but also the length.

  52. merlinm December 29th, 2013 11:17 pm

    spectre is the lowest, but it’s not a problem: heat molding the shell (so easy with grilamid) give your the choice to adjust perfectly the height.

    and there is an insole in the shell to do so.
    fot the width, if tlt5 seems to be 98mm on the metarsale with a general narrow feeling, tlt6 the same 98 metarsale width but much more place on the foot,
    spectra should be something like 101mm.
    the linners on spectra are thicker, also you have more chance to make some room.

    the best would be to buy it on a good bootfiter shop where they have the fisher vaccum “monstro” to adjust the shell perfectly to your feet.

    and you can’t do that with dynafit and scarpa (grilamid vs pebax)
    on one word, customize: best advantage of spectre.

    two tree days ago, they drived perfectly my 5,8kg samonon rocker (one with the pseudo swallow) to give a idea of what they can do 🙂

  53. Carson McQuarrie December 30th, 2013 9:48 pm

    I am actually more curious of the difference between the Dynafit One Px and the La Sportiva Spectra in terms of width and height volume. I’ve tried the Dynafit One Px in a 28 which is a too big but I haven’t been able to try a 27 or 27.5. but I tried the TLT6 in a 27 and it was too tight on the width and in general but I know the width of the One Px is 102.5 mm wide (wider than the TLT6). But I also got to try the Spectre in a 27.5 which was a bit too tight. I’m thinking of talking to a boot fitter but I think the Spectra 28 or the One Px in a 27.5 or the TLT6 in a 28 are my ways to go but I wanted some number comparisons between the width and height volume. I’m getting more drawn in by the Spectra.

  54. Dane December 30th, 2013 10:40 pm

    I have both One and Spectre. One was good to go out of the box with a heat mold. Spectre took some shell work. Both nice boots. Spectre is just a couple of steps up IMO all the way around. Liner included. Well worth the extra effort it took to get a good fit fro mthe Spectre for me. As I said both good boots But not reall ya very good comparison for boots. Mercury IMO is a better comparison for a ski boot. I think for most the Spectre is a better BC boot. And I ski the One, TLT5/6 a lot. Spectre is the sleeper here IMO.

  55. Bryan January 2nd, 2014 10:49 pm

    So I’ve been skiing the Spectre for a few weeks now. I found the fit to be painful on the instep but thanks to this site it was easy to fix that. I also found that the factory lean setting was too upright for me. I tried adjusting the EZ Lean mechanism according to the instructions and was eventually able to get the lean into a more forward stance. Only problem is that now one of the boots gets stuck in ski mode on a regular basis. It will eventually go into tour mode but it is kind of annoying to skin along with on boot in tour mode and one not for 5-10 minutes. It also sometimes gets stuck in walk mode but this happens a lot less. I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem and has a fix for it? When I take the liner out and move the shell on this boot it makes an unhealthy grinding noise when articulated in walk mode. This is not noticeable when you are wearing the boot though. Perhaps a diagram of how the mechanism works would be helpful?

  56. Rodney January 2nd, 2014 11:42 pm

    My Spectres also got stuck in ski mode. The fix for me is that I flick the lever to walk and then push it a bit further while pushing back and forward on the cuff with by leg. It then seems to release and is fine. Has worked every time so far. The trouble seems to be that the lock down pin gets stuck beeds some gelp to release.

  57. Bryan January 5th, 2014 10:02 pm

    Thanks Rodney I will give it a try. I have emailed La Sportiva as well so will be interesting to hear back from them if they have a fix as well.

  58. Colin Lantz January 6th, 2014 11:58 am

    @Bryan – A little Phil Wood Waterproof Grease in there will fix you right up. Any bearing grease will do, but we like Phil’s as it is a bike shop staple and easy to find. You might have a tube in your garage already if you own a mountain or road bike. Use a small screwdriver to work a little into the hole in the bar accessing from the outside of the cuff. Do the same from the inside also and work a bit around the pin that holds the bar snug to the mechanism.

  59. Michael B January 8th, 2014 3:33 pm

    I am on two pairs of skis this season.. K2 Hellbents 120mm with Dynafit TLT radical Ft bindings and Sportiva Hi5 110mm? with Sportiva RT binding and these boots drive both skis like a beast. Nothing but good things to say from the boot sole to the boot weight…by far the best boots I’ve ever owned, and Ive had a few pairs. The buckles do take a moment to get used to but after a day you should be fine.

  60. Fra January 12th, 2014 1:07 pm

    Wich is the right way to modify the forward lean? I can’t undesrstand from the user’s manual?

  61. Lou Dawson January 12th, 2014 11:42 pm

    Fra, you simply loosen the screws, pull cuff forward or back, then retighten screws (correct Colin?). I don’t have the boots with me but that’s what I recall doing. It’s not much change, but a tiny bit. Bigger lean changes are easy to achieve with boot fitting techniques. Lou

  62. Fra January 13th, 2014 6:49 am

    I’ve tried to do what you say…but it seems that anything moves.
    And If I completely unscrew and I push forward I can’t align screw holes…

  63. Colin Lantz January 13th, 2014 9:40 am

    Fra, First, it’s Important that you lock the boot cuff in “ski” mode. Now unscrew the two screws holding the adjustment plate three to four turns. While pushing the two screws in with your thumbs (push hard so the screw heads are flush with the plate) move the cuff up or down depending on which position you want to select. It takes a little force to get it to move. Try locking the toe of the boot between your legs while you execute the above procedure.

  64. Lee Lau January 13th, 2014 8:04 pm

    Tried Colin Lantz’s method and it worked fine fwiw

  65. Fra January 14th, 2014 1:09 am

    Thank you Colin!

  66. merlinm January 14th, 2014 1:37 am

    mine works better:

    remove the screws

    put on walkl mode

    push the collar, the top of shell back

    then with a thin screwdriver, push the metal teeth, you don’t need lot of strenght, and change the foward lean

    45seconds by shoe

    easy but hours to find that 🙁

  67. Bryan January 14th, 2014 9:53 am

    Gave each boot a shot of white lithium spray grease (didn’t have Phil Wood’s) and this immediately fixed the issue with getting stuck in ski mode. Thanks Colin Lantz for the tip.

  68. Fra January 15th, 2014 1:38 am

    Bryan, where did you apply grease?

  69. Bryan January 15th, 2014 12:16 pm

    @ Fra: I removed the liner and held the yellow plastic piece away from the steel lean bar and used an aerosol white lithium grease applied into the steel bar and pin hole mechanism. Wiped up the overspray – then applied from the outside as well sprayed up the steel lean bar. Worked the walk articulation back and forth a couple times and wiped up the overspray and the issue was fixed. La Sportiva emailed me and mentioned grease could also be applied into the mechanism by putting a small dab on the end of a screwdriver and poking it up into the pin hole area, from the inside and outside of the boot shell. Hope this helps.

  70. Brett February 1st, 2014 1:54 pm

    The forward lean adjustment does seem to line up with the marks. I loosened the screws then put in ski mode and pushed on the cuff until it clicked. Both boots clicked when I got it in place. Then just tightened the screws.

  71. Chris B February 21st, 2014 1:48 pm

    FWIW, I just threw a size 29 Spectre on a scale and compared a 29 TLT6 Performance w/green tongue. Spectre 3 piounds 8oz, TLT6 was 3 pounds even. Strip the power strap, cuff spoiler and lowest 4th buckle and Spectre drops down to 3.25 pounds. That is a pretty minimal 4 oz difference.

    Lou, if you have time what is the weight difference between your TLT6 and Spectre?

    Spectre fits me great but I thought there might be a significant weight advantage to the TLT6 over the Spectre. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

    I guess for lighter weight one has to move to the PDG, Alien, Syborg category.

  72. Richard Bratberg March 4th, 2014 8:29 am

    Lou, what is your take on the combination the Spectre shell and an Intuition Pro Tour liner?

  73. Lou Dawson March 4th, 2014 8:41 am

    Would be super.

  74. Jason March 10th, 2014 4:03 pm

    Does anyone have issues with the instep buckle (#2 from toe) not having tension? After I had my liners molded the buckle does not have enough tension to apply pressure to the boot and can easily be moved when tightened. It’s as if the cable isn’t short enough for my low volume feet.

    @Bryan– also have the grinding issue with one my boots. Did the grease help resolve this issue?

  75. Bryan March 11th, 2014 9:52 am

    @Jason – yes, I used white lithium spray grease and it did fix the problem.

  76. Jonn-E March 20th, 2014 2:05 pm

    I thought people research the Spectre here may appreciate this weight comparison I put together over at TGR. I’d have posted it here but (obviously) have no way to do that in a meaningful manner. Wildsnow authors are welcome to freely use the info I gathered if they desire.

  77. joel evans April 10th, 2014 8:56 am

    I have had these boots for 4 months now and they started to fall apart after a couple of weeks. The tongue cracked on both boots at the EZ flex area, or EZ break area. The sole is peeling off on both boots. There is a fair amount of movement with the cuff even when in ski mode. on a number of occasions the ski mode pin does not come out and I cannot engage ski mode. Very annoying when you are at the top of a long tour or couloir where you could really use ski mode. La Sportiva have done nothing to address the problems, the local rep keeps making excuses. This is terrible for a 500euro boot. The build quality is horrific and the after sales is beyond belief. BUY SCARPA OR DYNAFIT. La Sportiva should care about their brand image enough to sort out this problem.

  78. rangerjake April 10th, 2014 5:09 pm

    Joel, i had the same problem on my boots regarding the ski/walk engagement. Some white lithium grease on the bar/mech interior solves these problems easily. I also had the adhesive fail on the ez flex zone and though didn’t notice much of a performance difference it is also easily fixed by a flexible bond epoxy and roughing the plastic surface a bit to aid bonding.

    Can’t comment on sole peeling

    good luck

  79. Jonn-E April 10th, 2014 5:25 pm

    has anyone made the laces work? When I try to use them it loses adjustment if I lean back, and there is a ton of extra lace once I get it tight enough.

  80. Lou Dawson April 10th, 2014 5:28 pm

    Iv’e never found anything that held boot laces on a ski boot liner other than tying a knot.

  81. Jonn-E April 10th, 2014 5:40 pm

    Thanks Lou. I’ve been spoiled rotten by boas. This one-lace velcro system sucks in comparison.

  82. Lou Dawson April 10th, 2014 5:45 pm

    Boa is indeed very attractive…

  83. Tom April 10th, 2014 7:37 pm

    I have another comment regarding the La Sportiva Spectre. This issue is not likely unique to the Spectre, but I’ll bring it up anyway. While using the Spectre boot, I suffer an acute pain in the ball of my foot. Although I’ve not had it officially diagnosed, I believe the problem is Morton’s neuroma. I’ve experienced this pain with other boots, but not as bad as these. Does anyone have a good solution to alleviating this pain? I love the way these boots perform, so I’d hate to get rid of them. Ideas anyone?

  84. Dan April 10th, 2014 11:03 pm


    See an orthopedic surgeon with experience dealing with your problem. Surgically removing the neuroma is a distinct possibility. If you do not remove it, it will likely get worse over time. The incision should be made at the top of the foot…to avoid scar tissue on the bottom! I avoided the surgery for years. Having it removed early on would have saved me a lot of pain and bother (removing rock shoes between pitches, having to stop and massage my during a hike, etc.

  85. Brad August 16th, 2014 11:02 am

    Any other comments on long term (after the first season) durability of this boot? Particularly the flex zone in the liner, or the bellows in the flex zone on the tongue?

  86. Jonn-E October 7th, 2014 11:47 pm

    So I was walking downhill in these boots on Mt. Rainier a week ago, in heavy rain, stepping in shallow puddles. All of a sudden my feet started getting wet. WTF? It’s like the seam where the rubber meets the grilamid plastic was leaking. Has anyone else had this problem? Totally unacceptable.

  87. Lou Dawson 2 October 8th, 2014 5:14 am

    John, most ski boots are molded as a continuous plastic lower shoe, with the rubber laminated to that, there is no “seam” in that area as far as I know. I’ll look at the Spectre we have here and see what’s what. Moment.

    I pulled the glued boot board out of a Spectre shell so I could inspect the plastic molding of the inner shell/shoe. There is no “seam,” the rubber of the outer sole is glued to a continuous plastic molding. If your boots were leaking it must have been from water being splashed up and creeping in somewhere else. If you want, an easy test for boot waterproofness is to take the liner out, then fill a tub with water and gradually push the boot shell down into the water, while watching and feeling with your hand the inside of the boot and seeing where water starts to creep in. That would be a much better way to evaluate exactly where they are leaking. Let us know what you find out.


  88. Doug October 8th, 2014 2:41 pm

    How hard or impossible do you think it would be to get a Raichle or Full Tilt tongue in these?

  89. kevino October 9th, 2014 7:36 am

    Hopefully this will help answer Brad’s questions and anyone else concerned about durability and such. Also, never had a problem walking thru puddles having my feet get wet except for having sweaty feet!

  90. Brad October 9th, 2014 8:28 am

    Thanks Kevin.

  91. Jonn-E October 15th, 2014 10:34 am


    Lou I took your advice and performed some bathtub testing. The bottom is fully sealed. However, what happens is once I started spashing water up on to the toe, water penetrated the two adjustment screw holes for the tongue angle. Once in the boot, water runs down the outside walls and collects under the grey foam molding on the boot board. From there it easily squishes “back up”, which is why my toes and eventually feet were getting wet in the heavy rain and puddle splash.

    The tongue is guarded a skirt for a short distance so that is probably fine. The solution I will use (and recommend to other PNW-types) is to seal with silicone glue the underside square receiving tabs of the two tongue angle screws.

  92. Lou Dawson 2 October 15th, 2014 12:18 pm

    Nothing like a bit of testing!

  93. Gabe November 14th, 2014 6:29 pm

    has anyone skied both this boot and the Scarpa Freedom SL? I have had my foot in the Freedom and I like it, but i am tempted by the ~900 less grams for the Spectre.


  94. Lee Lau November 14th, 2014 6:32 pm


    Yah. What in particular do you want to know? They fit differently. The Freedom’s stiffer & has replaceable soles. The Spectre tours bettter by quite a bit. It totally depends on what you want from your boots.

  95. Greg November 23rd, 2014 9:58 pm

    Lee, I picked up a pair of the Spectres last spring and like them a lot. It is my only boot at the moment. I skied it inbounds on steep ungroomed snow and liked it, but I am considering picking up a Freedom (SL or regular) for my inbounds/out of bounds boot, where I will hike a lot but mostly ride lifts rather than skin. The Spectre would remain my touring boot for pure backcountry days and multi-day hut trips, paired with dynafit and Black Diamond Carbon Converts.

    How is the fit different? I haven’t had a chance to try on a Freedom yet. I fit pretty well in a Titan and a Spectre, although last year’s Spectre was tough on my high insteps before I molded the plastic using advice found on Wildsnow. I don’t have any crazy bumps on my feet but have very high insteps (making it hard to get some boots on) and super skinny ankles. I tried on a 98mm lasted Salomon today and could make it work, but the toe box might have been a bit too low volume for me.

    I’m coming from 30+ years of tele only, so don’t know a lot about alpine boots. When I tried alpine last year all I could think was why did I wait so long to switch?

    How would you describe the differences in downhill performance for inbounds skiing? I’ve seen reviews describing the Freedom SL as powerful, yet forgiving. I’ve got achy knees so want something that won’t pound me too much, yet I want some power for skiing big skis in funky conditions. Freedom better than Spectre for that? By a lot, or a little?


  96. Lee Lau November 23rd, 2014 10:51 pm


    Freedom has more space at instep and ankle than Spectre. So it’ would probably fit better than the Spectre right off the bat and if you’re lucky you would be able to maybe just custom mold the liner and you’d be ok.

    Freedom SL is slightly stiffer than the Spectre – call it 10 – 15% stiffer. So not quite as big a stiffness jump as one might expect because the Spectre is reasonaby stiff. The Spectre tours much better of course. I would say the Freedom skis beautifully whereas the Spectre was a bit more on-off in terms of power delivery.

    So its a worthy other boot to have but with not as much difference as one might expect. Hope that helps

  97. Rich November 28th, 2014 1:29 pm

    Hi guys
    I’m new to tech boots and just picked up a pair of Spectres.
    Could u explain to me purpose or laces on my liner and if u recommend I use them how do I lace ‘m up ?

  98. Jonn-E November 28th, 2014 1:59 pm

    They suck.

    Normally the idea is that it will keep the inner tight to your foot while the looser outer shell flops around a bit while climbing. Supposed to transfer the rubbing a bit. However, the lace system on the Spectre doesn’t seem to stay put under the tension and rubbing of walking. The boot works fine without them, however.

  99. trollanski November 29th, 2014 6:22 am

    The best use they seem to have from my experience is to keep the liners tight enough to walk around the hut-ie. to the john. Otherwise, they are just one more thing to deal with, and can be eliminated. I tour with my boot buckles open most of the time w/o problems, but do have friends who have to close buckles, and or put some DUCT TAPE around their heels to stop some rub.

  100. Lou Dawson 2 November 29th, 2014 6:59 am

    Laces on liners, a matter of personal preference. I’ve spoke with a few people who’s lives were changed by lace liners, due to blister prevention. For others, as you guys are saying, just another thing to fiddle with. Me, I like laces when they work but yes they’re usually too meager, prone to wear, etc. Lou

  101. rich December 4th, 2014 12:17 am

    Thanks all for your feedback. Very much appreciated.
    Let it snow…
    regards from Zurich

  102. GregM January 7th, 2015 8:23 pm

    I have a question concerning a spectre/ion/carbon megawatt combo…

    Last season I picked up a pair of spectres and used them as my touring boot on Soul 7s/Barons. When skiing lifts I used a pair of tecnica cochise boots. When I first got the Spectres I felt a little more in the backseat, but I adjusted the forward lean and that seems to have fixed the issue. I skied both boots the rest of the season and never really noticed much difference when swapping back and forth.

    This season I picked up a pair of Ion’s and carbon megawatts to use with the Spectres. When I first skied them conditions were “firm” and I felt like I really had to fight to get out of the back seat. Now, I’ve skied this setup quite a bit and in soft conditions it feels awesome, but I’m still finding myself fighting to stay forward. I’m slowly adjusting, but I still feel like I have to stay focused or I’ll get sent to back of the line. It’s mildly frustrating and I was wondering if this is a common occurrence when switching from alpine bindings to tech bindings or if it has something to with this specific boot/binding combo? Do I just have to adjust my technique, or is there an equipment adjustment/modification that can be done?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated…

  103. Jonn-E January 8th, 2015 12:59 am

    Greg, there are a couple different things going on here. Dynafit’s and some but not all pintech bindings allow an amount of rearward travel in the binding heel piece when the ski flexes into negative camber. Without this, the toe would pop right out. In alpine bindings this length change is absorbed by the forward pressure spring of the heel piece. This can lead to a “looser” feeling in the heel and that robs a bit of control and makes the tail feel washier.

    The second thing going on (and this is making a huge assumption that you are newer to touring) is that skis with reverse camber and/or rear rocker tails will dump support a lot more readily backcountry snow conditions than in the area. Both Soul 7s and Megawatts have a bit of this, so there may very well be a skiing style adjustment period you are going through. A lot of BC skis companies are hesitant to add much tail rocker or decamber the ski too much for this reason, but there are significant benefits too when slabby or crusty snow is encountered (less grabby, more slarvy).

    But in case your concerned that you’ve gone down the wrong path, let me assure you that I know a fellow who rips harder than 95% of this website skis on dynafits on Soul 7s, and I (an ex-racer, aka forward leaner) run my Spectres at the most upright setting possible and use the progressive flex unique to the Spectre when I feel the need to pressure the ski forward. Just give it some adjustment time to re-balance on your dramatically different-handling gear, and try to focus for a while on reading the surface and pressing forward right before hitting that bump that could throw you in the back seat.

    Not trying to be patronizing, just helpful because I’ve had to make those changes over the years myself.

  104. Fra January 8th, 2015 1:00 am

    @GregM Do you have some drop from hell to toe on ION bindings?

  105. Lou Dawson 2 January 8th, 2015 5:43 am

    Fra, pretty much the same as classic TLT we havea chart if someone would share the link (I’m on phone with limited time)

  106. GregM January 8th, 2015 8:09 am

    Thanks everyone for the help… here is the ramp chart ->

    It’s funny… in soft snow and even icy bumps I feel pretty good on this setup. I think that’s because in these situations I ski with a little more focus and and more aggressively… at least in the icy bumps.

    And it’s not that I’m getting thrown into the backseat… it’s that when I relax I feel like I’m more likely to settle into a backseat stance. On pre-work resort tours it’s usually at the bottom when cruising back to the base or the car that I feel it the most. When I stop paying attention and just settle in.

    In some ways it’s no big deal, but I’d rather “settle” into a more balanced position.

    I’m actually thinking about reducing the forward lean just to see what kind of effect that has. Sometimes I think that certain adjustments are counter-intuitive, and I’m just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and if they made any changes that have helped.

    Again… thank you to everyone that has replied. It’s very much appreciated.

  107. swissiphic January 8th, 2015 8:25 am

    fyi; I found that a quick and dirty method of assessing if ramp angle is too much is to ski the dynafit binding with the heel of the boot placed UNDER the pins of the heelpiece and toe engaged and locked…ski some smooth low angle groomers with some rollers and don’t overtorque the toes…effective immediate feedback on ramp angle. Of course, this also changes the forward lean of the ski boot so factor that in to the feedback and adjust boot forward lean if necessary…foam wedges behind rear innerboot or tweak forward lean adjustment of boot if available. If a guy wanted to discover if ramp angle was too little, i would stick some stuff into the holes of the boot pin holes and allow the pins to rest on the material without ‘clicking in’ and simply ski smoothly to avoid going over the handlebars….again, immediate feedback on ramp angle. f.y.i….my impression is that the binding ramp angle is simply one factor of many that contribute to stance issues…for example, i skied my dynafit mercuries side by side with scarpa maestale’s (same innerboot/footbed in both shells) and found that the built in ramp of the mercuries was noticably more aggressive (armada declivity skis and dynafit vertical st bindings)…setup skied better with the mercuries, was more back seat and unbalanced in the scarpas for this particular setup. (forward lean of boots were matched with foam wedges between rear cuff and innerboot. It’s all fun stuff to dick around with but admit it’s frustrating dialing in the perfect stance angles…which is typically why i buy and intitially tinker and find the best compromise then wear stuff out until it breaks, then fix it and ski it till it irrepairably falls apart.

  108. GregM January 8th, 2015 8:45 am

    Thank you again… can anyone out there recommend a good ski shop in or around the Burlington, VT area that would have someone that could attempt to help?

    Also, if the answer is just more time on this particular setup… I’m totally fine with that. I’m just curious as this is the first tech setup I’ve ever had.

  109. Frame January 8th, 2015 8:56 am

    GregM, try best ski shops in the wildsnow search function to help find someone to help.
    Good luck

  110. John January 8th, 2015 2:58 pm

    I just did a on snow comparison of boot stiffness vs. binding stiffness by AB testing 2 identical Movement Shifts mounted with Dynafit FT-12s w/ power towers, and Marker Kingpins. The 2 boots used were the La Sportiva Spectre and the Scarpa Freedom SL. The skis are 1400+ grams, an approxiamately 99mm underfoot.

    The first thing I noticed was how much more power I had skating with the Kingpin with either boot. Ultimately the stiffer binding allowed the ski to be pushed harder, and increased turn initiation and power out of a turn. The same ski was more lively, carved better, and did not chatter at speed.

    Maybe with a better ski/binding interface, in combination with a lighter less stiff boot with greater articulation may be the better way to go. The whole package of skis boots and bindings is lighter.

    I felt like what was a light nervous ski on hard snow, is now more powerful, stable, and predictable.

    What is your opinion of how bindings vs. boots affect a skis performance?

  111. swissiphic January 8th, 2015 3:08 pm

    John; thanks for that report! I’ve always been astounded by the difference in ski ‘feel’ when doing a/b comparisons between same skis mounted with regular alpine bindings vs. dynafits…without fail, everytime i switched to dynafits, the ski wouldn’t feel as stable driving from the heel in a turn and also, always felt a bit more twitchy and aggressive and less damp turning from the toe in harder/firm/crusty variable snow. Thus far, I’m speculating the best ski feel would emerge from perhaps a combination of non lateral release marker kingpin “type” heel and fritschi vipec “type” toe…though I have no clue if the amount of lateral elasticity inherent in the design of the vipec is adequate to produce that alpine binding on snow feel.

  112. Jonn-E January 8th, 2015 4:42 pm

    Up until very recently there wasn’t much to consider becuase it was pintech or plate bindings and that was it. I did notice all the things you mentioned about twitchiness and power when trying to drive a 125 Drifter with a Speed Radical. Moving to a G3 Onyx provided a noticeably better ride due to more damping. That difference pales in comparison to what’s available now, with Kingpins and Beasts providing forward pressure on the heel and alpine power transmission and damping while still pintech. The Vipec and the new (released?) F12 Radical also offer improved control.

    On another note, sometimes less forward lean does get you out of the backseat becuase you’re balanced on the ski and not leaning back to keep your tips up.

  113. John January 8th, 2015 4:50 pm

    Thanks for the feedback.
    I did not change forward lean on either boot, but I did not compare ramp angle difference either.

  114. hairymountainbeast January 22nd, 2015 8:59 pm

    Anyone have any input on the original low volume spectre and the newer higher volume version? Is there a considerable difference? Reason I ask is I can get some of the low volume at a considerably lower price, but I’m hesitant because of the instep pain everyone talks about. Is this so easy to fix that it’s a non issue, or are there other things going on? No chance to try on, unfortunately.

  115. Charles January 24th, 2015 9:24 pm

    Was skiing dragons tail in RMNP today and one of my Spectres wouldn’t click into ski mode. Took the liners out mid-hill to try and figure out the problem. I see that there is a small metal dimple that engages the hole in the metal rod, but the dimple is not moving when flipping the ski mode lever. Guess I will contact sportiva this week to troubleshoot. It was a bummer though skiing down like that!

  116. Lou Dawson 2 January 25th, 2015 12:12 am

    Hairy, as far as I know the instep volume issue is easy for a boot fitter to take care of. Charles, please let us know how the repair goes. Lou

  117. Jonn-E January 25th, 2015 12:22 am

    The lever and slider seem to require periodic lubrication on this boot. Mine and a friend’s have gotten hung up going into walk mode actually. A dry PTFE lube (garage door lube) did the trick for me; give that a shot.

  118. ph January 25th, 2015 7:23 am

    Last year, my boots also started not to click into ski mode. If you look at the Jan 6, 2014 comments you’ll see recommendation for Phil’s grease. I happened to have some for bike work, and put some around the hole and rod, and after a couple of flexing boot back and forth it worked for the rest of the season. This season I put some on again, (preventative) and no issues. Hopefully your issue is ‘simply’ this.

  119. Sylvain January 25th, 2015 10:52 pm

    Hi Guys,

    Feel free to pitch in…

    Couldn’t really find info on the differences between Spectre/Sparkle, size for size. Stiffness, Volume…

    I have a hard time finding a 25.5 in Spectre but can easily get a Sparkle. Couldn’t care less about the color… I’m french anyway.



  120. Fra January 26th, 2015 1:21 am

    No differences at all.
    Just a slight difference in the top back af the liner: Sparkle is a little more carved.

  121. Sylvain January 26th, 2015 7:10 am

    Thanks Fra!

    Most excellent…

  122. Fly'n March 13th, 2015 10:01 pm

    So, need to find a new boot and have been looking at the Spectre. I was very, VERY happy with the Scarpa F1 Evo’s, they were awesome. 102 last, 290, boa, loved everything about them. Straight out of the box I started skinning up and skiing down and they fit my feet like no other boots I’ve ever had. I loved them. And then the recall happened. So like I said, I’m looking at a replacement. Does anyone have any experience with both of these boots to say the Spectres would be a good replacement? I know the Spectres are a bit heavier but not enough to make me hesitate, I’m most concerned on fit and flex. Thanks for the help.

  123. Lou Dawson 2 March 14th, 2015 9:18 am

    Fly, I’ve used both boots of course, I wouldn’t call them a straight-across swap, the fit and flex is quite different, not sure I can describe as it’s been a while, can you do a carpet test? Lou

  124. Fly'n March 14th, 2015 10:18 am

    No, no one in town carries LS boots. Any other ideas? Or boot recommendations?

  125. Lou Dawson 2 March 14th, 2015 10:53 am

    The Atomic Backland has a fit similar to Scarpa and Atomic I believe is releasing some this year to retail… and what about Dynafit? Or if you want to go ultra modern lighweight, how about Scarpa Alien?

  126. Fly'n March 14th, 2015 12:35 pm

    Scarpa Aliens, huh? Only if I was interested in making my wallet ultralight. Ha! I would love if there was another Scarpa boot with a 102 last, Scarpa just fits me. I can get the Spectres at a really good price and am leaning that way, Dynafit doesn’t list last sizes on their website and I have no experience with their line at all. Damn.

  127. Fly'n March 14th, 2015 4:48 pm

    Okay, so I was looking at the Alien 1.0 earlier, just saw the ALIEN. Looks great, almost sold me, but the last is 99. The Dynafit Vulcan is looking pretty good got great reviews on Backcountry. How much looser do you think these would be laterally given the 103 last versus the 102 I am accustomed to?

  128. Paddy March 14th, 2015 5:28 pm

    Fly’n, given the opportunity, I’d still try the Alien’s on. I found the fit very similar to the F1 Evo. They have a thinner liner, which gives them a bit more room than the 99mm last would imply.

  129. Fly'n March 14th, 2015 7:51 pm

    Grrrrrrrrrr, no such luck. The only Scarpas for try-on in town are the Maestrales. If I was able to get to down to Anchorage I might have better luck, but I can’t see that happening for a few weeks. Story of my life. Probably just going to have to go on good research and a bit of luck.

  130. generall April 20th, 2015 1:57 pm

    I have this Spectre Boots now used for 22 Skitours – i bought them as a fast replacement of my Scarpa F1EVO boots in February 2015 after the recall – they are light and stiff, but the MaterialQualitiy and the Quality of Manufacture is extremly poor!!

    My liners were actually of different size (i got a strange feeling while walking uphill!!), although identical Serial Number and Size are written inside an outside (Differenz 1.5cm in Length and 2 cm in Height) just a Shame – they had to replace them!.

    My right ShoeTounge did tear on the outside beside the rubber element – Replacement is on the Way – i am Waiting now for more than 4 Weeks because they have no replacement – is this a company or just a small family business???

    But the worst: the Rubber of Vibram Sole is that week, that main Parts of the Rubber did tear away after a long walking tour (1,5 h up carrying) up to Hochschwab /Gschöderkar) -which is one of the harder Skitours in Austria

    I can not recommend this Skiboots – the Quality is really poor!!

    I go for Skitours for more than 42 Years – the LaSportiva Spectre is by far the worst Boot which i will have to throw away after a very short time!!

  131. Philippe September 27th, 2015 7:55 am

    based on all I read here, I am thinking that the Spectre might be the answer for me. I have VERY high instep feet, and fairly wide. My current pair of radium (which I love) is on its last leg, I need a replacement. Do you think that a good fitter and the Grilamid will allow the Specter to fit me? Any advice on where to go in SLC?

  132. Lou Dawson 2 September 27th, 2015 6:40 pm

    Hi Philippe, they adjusted the mold for the instep. Combine that with some boot fitting and you should be ok. Not sure about shops. anyone care to chime in? Shop owners? Philippe wants to be your customer…

  133. trollanski September 27th, 2015 8:57 pm

    Yes, the Sportiva is a great option for people with a high instep, as the front of the lower shell is a large open U shape. The shape is easy to open up with a heat gun and a lacrosse ball, wine bottle, ect.. Also, the fact that the front to back stiffness is handled by the structure at the rear spine means that you dont have to load pressure onto the forefoot. Yes, parts do have to be replaced occasionally, but I do have a client who has just ordered up a second pair to replace the first pair he has worn out.
    Also, regarding boot soles wearing out, this is apparently a necessary evil of todays light boot designs. best to save them by bringing some other shoes/sandals if you can’t afford to toss them away…

  134. Brett September 28th, 2015 5:45 am


    I bought these boots last year at the Sport Loft in SLC ( They do a great job fitting boots. Enjoy!

  135. Lou Dawson 2 September 28th, 2015 8:36 am

    Thanks Brett, Philippe please let us know how it goes with the boots! Lou

  136. Philippe Nantermet September 28th, 2015 2:41 pm

    Thanks to you all for the info. I will be starting the season from SLC in December (I am unfortunate enough to live on the East Coast despite growing up near the Alps) and I know where to go. I will check both the Spectre and some of the BD models like the quadrant that are known for large volume fit and reliability.
    Pray for snow, lots of it! Philippe

  137. Andrew October 20th, 2015 11:26 am

    Used extensively last season. Went through two pairs – the first very faulty and then the second ended up nearly ruining a trip to Greenland because one boot kept sticking in walk mode when temp was below -25C.

    Really poor quality on the liners means that a very sharp seam pushes into my foot as well – apparently not uncommon. Even with a couple of custom fitting sessions this won’t go away.

    Finally, virtually no service from La Sportiva means that I’m going to try and cut my losses and sell these and will do what I should have done first time around a get some Dynafit boots.

  138. generall October 20th, 2015 2:22 pm

    I can not agree with the posting which means, that because off the light weight construction the sole wear is so terrible excessive!
    This boots are not really light in weight, the sole is of a very poor quality.
    Also the liners are really of a very bad quality!

    I will try to get the soles repaired by LaSportiva- otherwise i will take them to the trashcan!

    There other boots, Atomic Backland Carbon or the new F1 Evo by Scarpa which are by far of better Quality and even off lower weight!

  139. Fra October 21st, 2015 1:14 am

    This winter will be my third season with Sparkle. I don’t find the sole so bad neither the lining.

  140. generall October 21st, 2015 10:40 am

    With a Sparkle you may be a Woman – with much less weight than I (80kg naked + Stuff….) -so like my Women friend there will be no Troubles

    Today i brought the boots to the service : a new sole – after 6 Months of usage and 22 tours will cost estimated 90 €

    The spectre is not a realy light weight boot – 3.300G in 29.5

    I put an eye on the new atomics – much less in weight 2.650g in 29.5 and the sole is much more rigid very nice lean shape, footprint like a F1EVO or Alien

    I will go for them repair the spectres to sell them with loss

    Fort mit Schaden wie man so bei uns sagt!

  141. Charles October 21st, 2015 10:48 am

    Realized I never posted a resolution to my Spectre issue last year. I called Sportiva’s customer service line and they referred me to a local office in Boulder, CO. Drove the boots over that afternoon and they replacement the ski/walk mechanism entirely and said it shouldn’t get stuck any longer. Said that no lubrication was needed. So far, so good…

    Regarding the soles (per the recent posts), mine did get shredded pretty badly on a tough ridge climb, but the traction of the sole is awesome. Give and take I suppose.

  142. Lou Dawson 2 October 21st, 2015 11:19 am

    Charles, good to hear something positive! Regarding ski boot soles, if you want them light and thin, they wear out fast. If a person does a lot of scrambling on rocks, replacing with full black vibram could be wise. Lou

  143. Fra October 22nd, 2015 1:26 am

    @generall no, I’m a man. I weigh 72kg. I didn’t use the boots a lot on the rocks.

  144. Charles McCash March 7th, 2016 11:44 am

    Had another issue with my Spectres this season. The cuff lean adjustment piece (the white piece of plastic on back of boot) broke after I landed a jump poorly leaning back hard. It actually also chipped a bit of the main boot in the inset mold of the boot where that piece fits – so they warrantied it w/ new boots. Great service overall with Sportiva!

    Question for anyone: Have you taken Spectres with their stock liner to any cold & high altitudes and how did they do? I’m heading to Denali in June and hoping for a summit ski. Debating adding the Intuition Pro Tour liner, but from all I’ve read, the stock liners are pretty darn good. Would Intuition really help with warmth? That’s what I’m most concerned about – the cold. (Will add a 40 Degree overboot to the exterior)

  145. KC December 4th, 2016 11:08 pm

    Durability report:
    I bought the Specters last spring and have put probably 70 days on them, I have absolutely loved them until yesterday. Last spring the only issue was with the buckle breaking, I had a leash attached to the buckle and wrapped that leash around a tree after having my skis tuned where they turned down my DIN and my ski popped off in the trees.
    Yesterday I took my rock skis for a spin on the opening day of Powderhorn here in CO, at the end of the day when I attempted to convert to walk mode nothing happened, it was stuck in ski mode. When I took a look at the ski/walk mech. a small yellow gear and a spring fell out. The spring was attached to a plastic little knob which attaches to the plastic switch via a plastic axle. The plastic axle just broke in half. Which begs the question, why would this part be plastic, it seems to be a designed in point of failure, because it is a very small little axle. I have emailed LaSportiva and am waiting for their reply, but I am seriously considering having a fabrication shop just make the part out of aluminum which I think might only add a gram, and much needed durability.

  146. Jaime January 8th, 2017 3:26 pm

    I’ve had the ski/walk mechanism issue on my Sparkle 2.0’s too (after less than two weeks of use). I am going to try the lubrication trick (thanks!), but keeping an eye on this thread for any other fixes.

  147. KC January 8th, 2017 10:03 pm

    I finally was able to get a hold of La Sportiva (hint: google their Boulder Colorad office contact). They replaced the mech. I told them I wanted a spare for each boot because I take these boots on long hut tours. The new mech. went in just fine and is working great, however my spare mech’s have not come yet. Once I got a hold of the office I got a call from them within a day. I spoke to a man who told me the mech. has been an issue. I told him “why not make them available to purchase along with the buckles on line?” Evidently the crew there has been pushing for just that. In my mind, as long as I can order the part without going through the headache of warranty claims I would be satisfied.

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