Winter 2014 Outdoor Retailer – The Boots

Post by blogger | January 26, 2014      

AT boots continue to develop, and there were several updates and new boots visible at OR. Here are a few of the highlights I saw at the show. With the huge variety of touring-capable boots out there, I focused on new developments of the tech-compatible variety.

Super-light race style boots continue to see more development. The LaSportiva Syborg is an inexpensive grilamid version of their full-carbon high end race boot. It of course has an unreal walk mode, and locks down to what seems to be a passable stiffness. 800 grams per boot (size 27)

Scarpa's Alien boot is another plastic race boot aimed to be a lower cost version of pricier carbon race boots. It's been around for a few years, but this year gets a plastic interior cuff, making it more comfy and useful for standard ski touring. Previous versions of the boot had gaps in the plastic shell and required an exterior fabric gaiter to keep snow out.

Fischer is coming out with touring oriented AT boots this year. They have three boots that are basically slight variations of each other. They are general touring boots, with a fairly good walk mode, and not super stiff in ski mode.

Crispi's been making AT boots for a while, but they've never been distributed in the US. This year that's changing. Their Skr!!m boot (yes, that's how its spelled) looks to be a nice general touring boot. It features carbon incorporated into the rear cuff, and into the lower shell. It also has a neat upper buckle that also activates the walk mode lock.

Technica's Cochise line gets a lighter version, the Cochise Pro light. It has a standard power strap (as opposed to the buckle power strap on the heavier Cochise), lighter buckles, and it's a bit softer. The size 27.5 weighs 1705g

The Radical from Dynafit is a nice general touring boot, with PU construction. It's aimed to be a little more inexpensive than Dynafit's other stiffer touring boots. It's not quite as stiff as the Vulcan or Mercury; it feels very similar to the old PU Zzero. One cool feature is the power strap. The power strap is similar to a NRS strap, or a lightweight “Booster” strap, and can be tightened and loosed super fast. It weighs 1830 grams in the size 27.5

Of course there are several other nice new boots coming out, including Dynafit’s Pierre Gignoux full-carbon boot, and Scarpa’s F1 Evo. Lou’s reported on those from Europe, and you can find those posts here: FI Evo, Pierre Gignoux

Thanks a ton to Joe Risi for helping out a with this post. Most of the photos are his.



25 Responses to “Winter 2014 Outdoor Retailer – The Boots”

  1. ben January 26th, 2014 9:23 am

    Two questions both on weight:
    Is the 800 grams on the syborg for the whole boot or shell only?
    Did the update to the alien cuff change its weight? Any idea how much?

    Thanks for the help and great report.

  2. Eric K January 26th, 2014 9:29 am

    The Syborg looks cool but my biggest question is how well do crampons fit on it? The fit on the spitfire was awful! Sportiva could make the best climbing/ski boot combo but they want to protect their profits and not make a do it all boot.

  3. Eric Steig January 26th, 2014 12:24 pm

    Louie, you said Dynafit radical “weighs 1830 grams in the size 27.5”

    That’s PER boot I assume? Otherwise it would be lighter than the La Sportiva race boot.

    Amazing what a difference there is between race boots and general touring boots these days. If I got that right, then the difference is — 1000 g (2.2 pounds!) per boot.

  4. Louie January 26th, 2014 2:03 pm

    Yep that’s per boot on the radical. Not the lightest boots out there for sure.

    As for crampon compatibility, I’m not sure. I’ll try to figure that out

    I don’t think the alien update changed the weight much, but I’ll check that well.

  5. Anders January 26th, 2014 3:24 pm

    The boot segment certainly keeps developing in intressting ways. Any news on updates to the Scarpa range, especially Mestrale (RS)?

  6. Leszek January 26th, 2014 5:15 pm

    I am using this verion of Aliens since three months. About new interior cuff I can say that it does not provide waterproof of the boot. Snow gets under the BOA tongue and wet the linner boot. Extra gaiters are needed but in new version they are not include. Rotation of the cuff is little bit worse then without interior cuff. Other minus is that interior cuff (that’s made of rubber-plastic) when gets wet became noisy and pins holding the interior cuff to shell, damage the linner boot. I try to covered them by silver tape but this make things worse because in that kind of boot which are perfectly fit to foot every millimeter make a difference and I get ankle abrasions.

  7. Skyler Holman January 26th, 2014 5:18 pm

    Any idea on difference in stiffness between the Spitfire and Syborg?

  8. Leszek January 26th, 2014 5:25 pm

    Look on the Syborg tounge and how thin is the cuff and you will know the answer:) I think Spitfire is definitely stiffer.

  9. Mike January 26th, 2014 6:16 pm

    Any of these have 103mm or wider lasts?

  10. jbo January 26th, 2014 9:36 pm

    Quick note, the current season Scarpa Aliens (13/14) also have a sheathing to keep the snow out, obviating the need for gaiters. Looks slightly modded for next season though.

  11. Louie III January 26th, 2014 11:15 pm

    The Maestrale RS (and all maestrale models) get a updated walk mode mechanism that is designed to be more robust and resistant to icing.

    Eric – What made the spitfire not mate well with crampons? Was it the toe? I’m not familiar with that issue.

  12. Andrew January 27th, 2014 8:05 am

    On the Spitfire, the height and shape of the toe welt combined with the amount of rocker made it a pain to fit automatic crampons. I never found a bail that would fit out of the box; it took some hammering to get a marginal fit.

  13. Kenny January 27th, 2014 10:09 am

    So many options now with the new technologies, great to see what’s coming. Thanks For the OzR report Louie.

  14. Jeff January 27th, 2014 11:20 am

    FYI, the Technica Cochise Pro Light is not a new boot, it’s been out for a couple years now. You guys even reviewed it:

    The Cochise line has been updated with a new last and fit, but I don’t know the details.

  15. louis dawson January 27th, 2014 12:15 pm

    Jeff, good catch, better we are over enthusiastic than jaded cynics, eh?

  16. Louie Dawson January 27th, 2014 11:41 pm

    Jeff – Yep, my bad. I was meaning to just point out the new changes to the Cochise, I believe the changes are the fit, like you mentioned, as well as lighter buckles that knock off a few ounces of weight. Too much gear to keep track of!

  17. Jamie January 28th, 2014 4:20 am

    It was clear to me that you were covering new and updated boots. Good to see Cochise as a lighter beef boot. Looking forward to trying it out.

  18. denis January 29th, 2014 2:01 am

    Any news from freeride/tech compatibile boots ? Lance XT with tech inserts ?

  19. Mark January 29th, 2014 10:07 pm

    Pretty sure I had seen Crispi AT boots a time or two in USA. They were reviewed back in the Couloir Mag days. All the options are mind-numbing. It is great to see.

  20. Lou Dawson January 30th, 2014 1:50 am

    Crispi is still in business, that’s all I know. I inquired while in Italy, as I saw their factory. A while back they had some innovative ski touring boots someone was trying to import to the North American market. Not much ever came of it. Lou

  21. Chris February 5th, 2014 7:27 pm

    Thinking in terms of what might go on closeout this year for discontinued lines, what the status of the LS Sideral and Spitfire for next year?

  22. Brian February 6th, 2014 10:52 pm

    More on the new Cochises:

    I’ve been skiing the new Cochise 120 for a couple weeks now, and have had 2 years on the old Cochise 120. Lower instep and a much more comfortable toebox are the biggest changes. I also notice a smoother/better flex, and more even pressure vertically along the shin (used to get more pressure on the upper shin which could lead to some pain when skiing hard). Haven’t done any real long tours yet to notice the extra range of motion, as this time of the year I mostly do sidecountry and road laps.

  23. Martin March 20th, 2014 1:01 pm

    One issue with the Scarpa Aliens is that the power strap slips off the cuff when boots are in walk mode. Everyone I know who has these boots comments on that. My solution is to hold the straps in place with adhesive-backed Velcro strips. If anyone’s interested, here are the details:

    – Use “industrial strength” 2″ x 4″ Velcro strips, less than $3 a pair at Lowes or Home Depot
    – One Velcro strip goes on the front of the cuff and the other on the back of the power strap. To attach the strip to the power strap you’ll need to stitch the edges in place – the adhesive alone won’t work. You’ll need a heavy-duty needle and maybe some pliers. You don’t need to stitch the strip that goes on the cuff, the adhesive works fine for that.
    – Here’s a photo:

    I’ve heard of people using rivets to hold the strap in place. Velcro strips are more work to install, but they’re detachable and there’s minimal damage to the boot.

  24. Lou Dawson March 20th, 2014 4:30 pm

    NIce mod Martin!

  25. Phil March 20th, 2014 5:48 pm

    I’m not sure if the problem with the Alien powerstrap is the same as it is with most boots – the loosened off strap slips out of the loop as you are touring so you have to rethread it before tightening the strap up to ski.

    Dynafit has a nice tab on the end of their TLT powerstraps that prevents it from slipping out. Inspired by that, I’ve emulated it with other boots by just punching a small hole and tying a knot at the tip of the powerstrap. Ideally, the knot is small enough that you can just work it through the cinch loop – but big enough that it works well as a stopper. Simple and it seems to work very well.

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