Après Ski Shoes


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | September 26, 2008      

Consider après skiing footwear. It is of course the après après we’re frequently after, but for prelims it’s nice to wear shoes more comfortable than clunky chunks of Pebax. (If you entirely understand that sentence, then you’re truly a skier in all senses of the word.)

Unless I’m in a wet climate such as Tahoe or the PNW, I’ve always preferred a simple pair of running shoes to slip into when we get back to the car or bar after ski touring. More, it’s sometimes useful to carry a pair of shoes in your pack if your destination involves a stay at a hut or restaurant, or a walk on a dry trail or road. Key for packable footwear is something lightweight and sleek, but sturdy enough for more than cleating a bar stool rung.

Ski touring gear.

Enter the genre of running shoes that weigh less than 13 ounces each (size 10.5). Today’s pick: La Sportiva Skylite. These zapatos weigh in at a svelte 12.3 ounces (350 gr) each, size 10.5, yet still provide a sticky rubber lugged traction sole, fairly stiff last and various reinforcements so the nylon mesh upper doesn’t look like mouse food after your first dance. They also have a nifty gaiter over the laces that keeps dirt out and makes them comfortable for wear without lacing — for ultra-lite backpacking camp shoes you could even take the laces out, or do some hacking and carving to trim a few more ounces.

What makes these shoes stand apart is they’re a full-on trail run racing shoe — built to be as lightweight as possible yet still perform. That means they resist pronation, have somewhat of a shank, and provide decent ankle support. Thus, more versatile than than simply hacking up a pair of cheap running shoes so they weigh less. In all, using these saves me a few ounces over my normal running shoes, yet they’re better performing and just as comfortable . WildSnow two thumbs up. Shop for La Sportiva shoes here.

Oh, one other thing. La Sportiva has a full carbon fiber ski mountaineering boot in development which may be available soon. It’ll be an expensive limited edition, but fun to at least dream about. Can you imagine a ski boot that weighs about the same as a hiking shoe?

Comments

11 Responses to “Après Ski Shoes”

  1. cory September 26th, 2008 10:10 am

    In my humble opinion, nothing beats the closed toe crocs for apres ski. Light, comfy, cheap…they work great as a hut shoe (and the ones w/o holes do well in the snow).

  2. Lou September 26th, 2008 11:07 am

    Crocs are indeed light, but hiking in them?

  3. cory September 26th, 2008 11:32 am

    Maybe just the hike to the frozen cone in the privy

  4. Lynn September 26th, 2008 11:58 am

    Those look pretty sweet, nice for clipping onto the back of my harness for a approach/descent in the Cirque. I have some 5.10 Daescents and they are super lightweight but not that great for any approaches of distance.

    Crocs are nice for around the hut and to the potty, but that is about it.

  5. Dongshow September 26th, 2008 2:59 pm

    i agree with the running shoes, those do look super light and comfy, but more often then not I find myself driving home in XtraTuffs.

  6. Njord September 26th, 2008 5:55 pm

    Why screw around? Be hard and go barefoot! Lightweight, self-regenerating, inexpensive, ecologically sound, and fit perfectly everytime!

    Anything more and you are a complete wuss not worthy of living within 50 miles of CB…

    Njord 🙂

  7. Stewart September 28th, 2008 9:48 am

    After a long day of ski touring, there is nothing like the slip-on convenience, spacious comfort, slush-proofing, and no BS aesthetic of Blundstone boots.

  8. George Laquian September 28th, 2008 2:58 pm

    +1 on the Blundstones- they do make life so much more comfortable, stylish and convenient…

  9. Lou September 28th, 2008 8:29 pm

    I’ve always wanted a pair of those… now you guys have me going after yet another pair of shoes! Make it stop!

  10. replica coach April 22nd, 2009 11:29 am

    Very good information. I plan to incorporate a number of these suggestions in my blog.

  11. MBT SHOES June 3rd, 2010 7:50 am

    good to share …thanks

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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