A little something about Lange’s first tech compatible boot and my current beef boot of choice, the Lange XT Freetour 110.
Given the proliferation of mainstream alpine boot manufacturers entering the freeride ski touring market, it was only a matter of time before Lange jumped into the fray. The XT Freetour 110 (as well as 130 and 130LV) represent Lange’s first tech compatible boots.
Put these on your feet, and with their bright dayglo colors (orange and green) there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
Based on the walk mode equipped XT series, the Freetour makes many standard changes to bring them into the touring fold. It begins with Dynafit certified tech inserts, Grilamid shell, Ultralon liner, a grippy and slightly rockered sole, and a comfort oriented 100mm last (98mm in the LV) that covers nearly anyone’s foot shape.
Bear in mind that at 1743 grams for the 26.5 and 40 degrees ROM these are no elf slippers you’ll be using to set a personal best at the Pierra Menta, at least not on the uphill portions. The XT Freetour is oriented towards the alpine side of life. (I did save some mass by swapping in a set of Intuition Powerwrap liners; set up that way my XT testers come in at about 1,600 grams per boot).
I have done a couple of short tours with the XT Freetour. Unbuckle the four buckles, loosen the power strap — results are acceptable. It’s critical to be sure the ski/walk mechanism is fully engaged or disengaged. Otherwise it has a tendency to stay locked when you want it open or open when you want it locked.
These boots are by no means something I would choose as a primary touring boot. I use them for frontside skiing including ski area bootpacks, guiding cat skiing and sidecountry tours. They would also make a very good one boot quiver for travel.
Where the XT really shines is on the down. They provide a solid link between the skier and ski with a lively and responsive feel. Lateral stiffness is excellent. The proof being in the pudding, as soon as I got on these boots, every one of my skis felt more precise and held better than with any tech compatible boot I have had for many years previous. I am able to ski more aggressively with greater finesse and confidence since I can remember.
Simply put, I have been able to buy more ability through improved technology. Love it! These boots have created a new standard for me in downhill performance with acceptable uphill capability. That’s a standard I can live with.