One boot to rule them all, One boot to find them, One boot to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them…
I have long thought that having the right tool for the job requires a quiver of options. I have applied such logic broadly in life — acquiring a large collection of wrenches, always making sure to give both bourbon and scotch space on the shelf, opting for Neapolitan ice cream, and of course sporting a healthy range of ski widths. As far as boots go, I have rocked skimo style light-is-right boots as my everyday drivers for sometime, but have always kept some beef in the freezer too. The last couple of seasons, the La Sportiva Sytron has been my go to, with a pair of Salomon MTN Explores on the shelf for ‘big ski’ days. The Fischer Travers CS — a 1 kilo category, carbon-soled, touring machine — is making me rethink my logic.
Light as they may be, folks will find these to be a good boot for a lot of daily drivers. I’ve had a hoot in the Travers CS riding 88 underfoot skis. What has been so surprising is how they handle 114s in deep pow just fine, while also feeling chargtastic for hot laps in good snow on Peak 3 outside of Anchorage on 76s.
If I ever need to carry ski boots across Middle Earth and still have the power to charge down Mount Doom – Travers CS all the way:
-Carbon/Aramid plate in the sole
-80 degrees range of motion
-104mm last (on 28.5)
-~1150 grams (advertised at 980, more on this below)
Fischer jumped into the touring boot game with the Travers Carbon, the Travers CS is the update. This boot is aimed at a touring crowd with weight in mind. The Travers CS is most comparable to the F1, TLT, or Backland. All have pretty good walkability, but the downhill performance on the Travers CS stands out to me because of the lean, flex, power transfer, and cuff design. Fischer has shown a strong entry into the kilo boot class, proving that if you know how to make killer boots, you can make killer boots lighter.
While light boots often feel like low-cut sneakers with an ankle brace attached, engaging them often feels like falling into a wall. Low cuffs that throw you in the backseat are sometimes the hurdle, other times it’s stiff tongues, still others it’s ski-walk buckles that leave you too tight on the up and too loose on the down. The Travers CS aims to solve these issues.
A relatively high cuff, large strap (they call it the ‘Phatt Maxx,’ so there’s that…) that locks open for tour-mode (and takes out quite a bit of slack when flipped for the downs), simple vertebra bar for ski-mode, and grilamid shell, all still manage to give a some progressive flex, good power transfer, and solid feel. A carbon plate in the sole has managed to lighten up a boot with incredible torsional stiffness [note: Fischer briefly offered a version with a carbon upper, the ‘Travers CC’, but recalled this version after some issues came to light]. The TLT and Backland may still be ‘stiffer’ than the Travers CS when maxed out, but the weight, forward lean, progessive-ish flex, and placement of the wide cuff strap more than make up for it, helping these fly on the up or down.
A spoiler that velcros onto the stock Palau liners (not the Lace liners listed on the website) helps give an extra bit of forward lean. I thought this was a gimmick when I pulled it out of the box. After skiing with it one, I will never take it off. Another potential gimmick advertised is Fischer’s ‘Somatec’ stance. Essentially the boot flares out a couple of degrees from parallel with your ski – supposedly for better power transfer. Although I can’t say I’ve noticed it much, my knees have been super happy in these boots, maybe the stance has something to do with it.
Like many skiers, I have hobbit feet. Flat feet and bunions have always made fit a challenge. While my feet might be unusual, the problem I have with boots that are ‘pointed’ in the toe is fairly common. I need a high volume forefoot, with a snug heel and midfoot which usually means spending a lot of time baking liners and punching shells. Contrary to all that, I have skied about 50,000 ft on the Travers CS without a blister straight, out of the box.
While the ski boot industry has finally realized that we all spend most of the day going uphill, too many boots still force a bargain between range of motion on extension and downhill performance – not the Travers. In part this is helped by the long way the Boa system seems to have come in the last few years. I feel like I can get the Boa on the Travers tight; it sinches evenly across the lower with the help of brass pulleys, and it hasn’t broken yet. Low volume feet won’t think it’s snug enough (low volume feet probably want to size down in the Travers), but it works for me–what else can I say.
Fischer advertises 80-degrees of motion, but what impresses me is not the range, but how usable the range is. Often boots advertise an ROM that includes ankle compression that isn’t part of a normal stride (in other words, motion that isn’t useful). The Travers CS walks as good as just about any boot north of 800 grams.
I really like the stock Palau liners. I know Intuition gets more fan fare, but Palau liners breathe well, mold great, give good padding and support where needed, and hold up. Oh yea, and they are plenty warm. I’ve seen folks out there online trash Palau liners with stories of cold feet; I took these up to the Alaska Range over New Years, it was -20F and my toes were just fine.
[***side note: If you want warm toes, don’t just up the liner. Think about layering well on your legs, keeping your core warm, wearing the right socks (not too tight in the boot), and staying hydrated and fueled. If after all that your toes are still cold, consider getting a pair of overboots for those frigid days. I’m personally a fan of the 40-below overboots with toes and heels cut out for bindings. If you want your boot to keep up with the coldest day without everything mentioned above, you will be sweating most of the year, and blistering all spring.]
A couple of cons
-This sounds a bit odd, but these are more annoying to step into bindings then I’ve been used to the last few seasons, perhaps because of the shape of the toe?
-These boots should shine in variable snow on little skis, but it’s easy to ‘overdrive’ small sticks and get kicked into the backseat. I’ll happily share half the blame here, but I am surprised that while these perform beyond expectation on big boards, and fabulously in the middle of the road, I am less enthusiastic on small sticks (for me, that was on 76s).
-The tongue on the lower has to get pushed into the boot every time you cinch up the Boa – this is annoying, especially with gloves on.
-There is very little rubber on the sole (saves weight). It’s been snowy, but as soon as spring ski mountaineering season comes around, I worry it won’t hold up – we’ll see…
– “980g” is printed right there on the side of the boot, and they are quite light… but not nearly as light as advertised. The shell alone on the 28.5s comes in on my scales at 945g; the liner comes in at 155g; the stock footbeds come in at 20g. So these run 1120 grams at a minimum. If you add the spoiler (33g), the optional extra volume footbeds (18g) you’re up to 1170 grams (everything that comes in the box). I swapped out the stock bed for a decent custom footbed and am now over 1200 grams. Running between a third of a pound and half a pound more than advertised per boot is just too much. The Travers CS is still a wicked light boot solidly in the 1-kilo category, but Fischer should not be exaggerating the number down to 980.
Overall, the paired down simplicity and versatility of the Travers CS is refreshing. They are a good boot for a wide range of skis, skiers, and ski days.
I will be super happy taking these boots on every day ski tours, big traverses, hut trips, peak bagging missions, couloirs, and pow laps. I probably won’t huck my meat off a cliff or race the GT in them, but the Travers CS have a heck of a range. Also they are green! Or is it yellow? They’re like a neon yellow-green! Anyways, the eagles will be able to spot you from a mile away.
Two thumbs up.
Weight: 1120g (confirmed for 28.5)
Last Width: 100mm
Forward Lean: 14 degrees w. spoiler
Cuff Articulation: 80
Sole: No Torsion, Carbon, Arimid
Buckles: Boa with Power Strap
Binding Compatibility: Tech
Shop for the Fischer Travers CS
Dr. Alex Lee lives in Anchorage, Alaska. Alex is a professor at Alaska Pacific University, teaching philosophy and environmental studies. He also works as a sometimes guide, naturalist, writer, and photographer.
I think Scarpa could take some cues from these boots. The throw on the cuff buckle actually works, no re-velcroing!
I find the ROM to be more than my ankles need, and these are the most comfortable boots I own. They walk like a DREAM. They ski downhill better than my F1s, or rather I ski them better than F1s because of their more upright stance.
I’ve had a pair for over two years and they’ve been through many spring traverses. The soles are certainly chunked up, and the carbon is looking frayed, but I have zero other issues. Some have said the gaiter peels away, I haven’t had that. The liners are pretty well packed out, and I may get some new ones, as I think the boots will last at least another season or two of heavy spring abuse.
If I lost or broke these, I might go try on the F1 LTs, but if the fit was poor, I’d end up right back with these for all my big days.
No need to re-velcro the F1 during transitions if you have this quick disconnect mod: https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/334615-Scarpa-F1-strap-buckle-mod-—-max-ROM
I found the progressive flex of the F1 preferable to the Traverse but I haven’t tried this latest version.
I’ve been thinking about this too, has anyone considered throwing a Travers CS buckle on the F1 RS? Seems like a pretty easy experiment…
F1 LT not RS, but on that note Scarpa should probably also make an F1 RS.
If I ever care to switch, I’ll definitely use my Fischer buckles..
I fully concur with this review! I’m now on my third pair of Travers over the past five seasons, and they are the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn. The range of motion and no-adjust power strap make long slogs and transitions a breeze, and I love being able to make microadjustments with the Boa dials as my feet swell or shrink over a long day. The soles do look really minimal, but mine have held up extremely well to scrambling and general abuse–they are much more substantial than they look.
My only issue is that I’ve now had four of the six boots I’ve owned crack near the front most rivet above my big toe. I’m a splitboarder, so I suspect the torsional force I put on the boots in this area is more than what they were designed for. It’s a bit worrying, but Fischer warrantied my first pair no questions asked, and actually sent me the lighter C/S version to replace the “standard” version I had initially bought. On the second pair, I drilled out the cracks and that stopped them from progressing. A little duct tape from the inside keeps the melty snow out. Here’s hoping that pair #3 will hold up for another season or three!
Finally, I know Boa makes people nervous, but you can email them and get replacements for free whenever you need to. I asked nicely and got them to send me an extra spare set that I keep in my repair kit for an inevitable way-out-there situation.
As a fellow splitboarder, have you had to do any mods for ease of use?
I punched a couple of extra lace holes in the liner so I get better heel-hold, but other than that, no mods at all! I ride them in “walk” mode, so had to mod my technique a bit at first, but that was pretty straightforward.
Same here, best splitboarding boots ever, just use a thick Voile strap against heel rise (maybe a higher volume liner would be a better solution…) – but I “board” them in ski mode w/ very loose upper buckle :-).
By the way during late summer my heavy mountaineering boots had a service need and these did excellently for mountaineering w/out any skis or boards too.
Any chance you wear 26.5 and have a left boot laying around that’s not broken! I have the same issue as you and hoping I can find one to last me the rest of this season.
Hey Jacob, I’m a 27.5 and both of my spares are cracked. D’oh! I did drill out the end of the cracks though, and they haven’t grown at all after that. Give that a shot if you haven’t already.
Nice no nonsense real world review! Thanks. I’m a bit perplexed by this statement describing an annoying design feature: “The tongue on the lower has to get pushed into the boot every time you cinch up the Boa – this is annoying, especially with gloves on:
Can you post a picture or explain? Is it a game changer?
Oh and living in Canada, I’d be really interested to hear about the insulated overboots with the binding cut outs ?Forty Below and other options. I use the neoprene ski glove product which helps a bit at -20C but nice to know what else could be considered.
It’s not really the “tongue” but the pleated bit of the gaiter that covers the tongue. In the very first pic of the review you can see a blurry white mark on the gaiter of the left boot just below the topmost Boa lace. That bit tends to poke out when the cuff is open or the boa is really loose and needs to be be tucked back in when tightening everything down. (Or not. I often just ignore it.)
Is it actually a 104 mm last? I also see 100mm listed in the review. That would be far too wide for me, but I know a lot of people who find the similar atomic/la Sportiva options too narrow that could like this.
I’m also curious about the gaiter. How high does it go, what’s the durability like?
Also how well would the boa cinch down on a lower instep? This often an issue compared to options that have a buckle instead of boa when it comes to locking the heel.
Folks at Fischer just confirmed the last at 100mm. It says 104 on their website, but that appears to be a typo.
Aren’t stated last widths usually for the reference size, typically 26? If so 104mm could be the correct width for a size 28.
The gaiter extends about halfway up the cuff about equal in height to the bottom of the power strap. It’s made from hypalon or similar coated heavy nylon. I’ve seen a bit of delam and fraying of the upper part (where my liner’d foot enters and exits) after about 100 days, but no issues at all with the gaiter separating from the lower shell or leaking or tearing.
I have a high instep so can’t comment on specific fit for someone with a lower instep, but for me I get excellent heel hold.
in your summary you have a typo: should be “pared down” not “paired down”
I have a season on a pair of Travers Carbons and I really like them. I previously was using Scarpa F1s. The transitions are much easier/quicker than the F1, they are lighter, and the ROM is way better. I agree the gaiter-tuck in is annoying, but for short laps you can leave the BOA tight without loosing too much mobility. I initially was quite disappointed in the downhill performance, but adding the velcro spoilers made all the difference.
I have found the Scarpa Alien RS and F1 LT hype curious as these are equivalent or better and have been on the market for longer.
I have the F1s and was pondering whether the Travers might be a fit for my more paddle like feet. Ive had to shave off the layer under my insole’s forefoot to give my toes more headspace on the F1s ( 27.5 mondo), and they do feel a bit too snug. BUt the F1s are supposed to be 101 – 102mm wide. So, I;m concerned about the narrower ( 100mm stated in most websites?) last of the Travers CS. Any thoughts on that? Thanks
I don’t have any idea what a ‘Somatec’ stance is but are your legs crossed in that picture?
My Alien RS size 29 is 1000 grams. Not sure which boot skis better but Alien RS has one motion ski/walk switch and is more than 10% lighter compared to Fisher Traverese.
Just for comparison , my F-1 (not LT) , size 28.5 weigh 1403 grams each.. A very comfortable and warm boot, that I have skied day tours and a hut trip.
Wailer 99s, and Orb Freebirds ski well with this boot.
This is my favorite boot. I’ve skied in regular Aliens, then F1, then Alien RS in the last several years, so I prefers a lightweight boot. I use this boot with cho oyu and la sportiva vapor nano and speed 84 skis, for reference, mostly the vapor nano lately. I’m on my 50s, and ski on the mellow side.
I was in the Alien RS for two seasons before, and loved it, but it was just too narrow and was causing me foot problems despite multiple shell punches. I loved the boot in every other way but the fit just didn’t work, so I had to let it go.
I’ve been in this boot for a little over a year (had the carbon cuff version and then when that was warrantied, switched to the CS). The last is substantially wider than the RS and fits my kind of mid width foot very well. It’s also a little longer than the same sized Scarpa boots I have been in, so if you are crammed for room front to back or side to side in one of the lighter Scarpa boots, this is a good option. It the most comfortable boot I have ever owned. I have not had to punch the shell, and the liner feels just a little warmer than then RS (colder than F1).
It is plenty of boot for soft snow mellow skiing in my vapor nano, and adequate in the spring on hard snow on my speed 84s. A little more fiddly to transition than RS, but no breakable string to worry about. It works very well for me. I will stock up if this boot ever goes away!
I probably have 150 days on mine. This is the boot’s 4th season. So not a surprise when the gaiter started peeling away from the lower shell recently. Duct tape, electrical tape, shoe goo; none work as a repair. Any suggestions from other Travers owners out there? VTVOLK does capture the boot’s strengths in his review. I highly recommend them. The sole offset aligns a skier’s legs such that it’s easier to keep your skis pointed straight, and lessens the torque on your knees. My 64 yo knees appreciate it. I do find the cut away sole (to show off the carbon underneath?) to be cold though, even with a wool footbed under the liner.
I figured out the answers to my own questions, so I thought I would share. Super Glue, applied liberally and carefully, reattached the gaiter to the lower shell. The glue also worked to reinforce the bellows where the steel cable laces cross them and wear the bellows thin. My wife’s suggestion of peanut oil was the perfect cleaner to remove duct tape glue from the shell from previous repair attempts. The peanut oil also eliminated all the squeaking between the upper and lower shells, and seems to be the perfect thing to make the boots look like new too. I wonder if it might also prevent snow buildup on ski tops?
Just a comment to the weight printed on the boot.
The weight is always related to the sample size of 26.5. Therefore it´s normal that your 28.5 boot is slightly heavier.
I have the CC model and I concurr with this review. I am sad I need to send it back to Fischer. Any news of the new CC model?
Finally a proper review of this boot. I was looking all over and ended up buying them “blind. But I have not been unhappy, quite the contrary. Great boot, skis surprisingly well! The step-in issues mentioned I have noticed, apart from the use of classical toe insert (noe quickstep or other fancy stuff) might it be the somatec stance throwing me off?
For 100mm last they are surprisingly wide, much wider than my old TLT5s and TLT6s. I had to add an extra inner sole (not for width, but to get the boa tight enough). Plenty warm for being such a swelte boot. I love the clean design. Looking forward to spring and long tours in these!
Did anyone have any info on a new version?
2 seasons with well over 300 k vert on mine. Quite possibly the single best piece of ski gear i have ever purchased (and no in don’t work in the ski industry)
Better ski-ability than my Backland Carbons, and TL’s and less fuss. Liners easy to take out and dry. Only boot i have owned that has yet to take on the dorito funk. 2 small gripes, inner gaiter has to be pulled up nicely to avoid pressure points. Palau liners wearing very thin in the heel; but no worse than other liners after this mileage. Never been cold in them, and always marvel at how much fun they are to ski on all of my boards. Vulcan is the only other boot i loved this much but quite a lot heaver and less uphill friendly. Bravo Fischer.
The f1lt has more room – particularly in the forefoot. The fischer transalp was the most comfortable boot i ever had on my foot….didn’t ski worth a damn but i wasn’t on the carbon version or the stiff version back then….I have looked for a boot to replace the tlt6 since i was able to find a new pair after the tlt6p was gone….the f1lt skis better and tours nearly as well …..doesn’t fit as well as the transalp for me or this boot (which also isn’t as good as the Transalp fit wise….) i hope to have to buy these someday….because i hope there is a better skiing more comfy boot than the LT – for me. if there isn’t tho we are good – it doesn’t need to be better than this. We r there.
I’m looking at these as a possible replacement for my Scarpa F1s ( not the LT). I have paddle shaped feet, and while the F1s dont have “pointy” toeboxes. the whole front section of the boot is a tad snug as my feet are (when standing up) 103mm, and the Scarpas are supposedly 101-102mm. Ive even had to shave down the F1 insolfe from the ball of the foot to toe aread to give my toes more headroom. What are the Fischer Travers boot last widths in a 27.5/28 and their fit in the toebox area like – if you have transitioned from f1s? Thanks
I ski both F1 and Travers, mostly Travers because it is lighter and a better fit for my feet. I ski in the 27.5 Travers and 27.0 F1. The Travers is just a little longer front to back and the toe box “feels” very slightly roomier to me anyway. Also very slightly wider in the midfoot to me. I prefer the Travers fit but it’s overall pretty similar to F1 on my feet.
I bought Fischer Travers and Scarpa F1 (Red F80) last season really cheap to possibly upgrade my old trusted TLT6 CR Performance (carbon cuff). I was looking mainly for ice climbing capable ski boots for general ski mountaineering. Although I have not tested them on steep ice, both Travers and F1 felt confident on low angle but where crampons were needed. I’m attributing that to BOA closure system. Travers probably climb like old plastic double mountaineering boots or better on ice climbs. I’ve climbed WI-5 ice on TLT6 (in Japan) and it was horrendous with just one buckle on the bottom not holding my feet adequately. My wife and I climbed and skied a bunch of the central and southern Oregon volcanos last spring including Mt. Shasta (ok it’s in CA). I mainly used Fischer Travers and they worked great. As mentioned in above reviews, they feel really light and the free range of ankle motion is amazing (F1 does not have as much free movement due to its integrated tongue, probably F1 LT would be similar to Travers). I really think separating the cuff release and the forward-lean lock is a better idea (comparing to TLT) unless you are just skimo racing, especially for skinning up technical/icey traverse. I concur with the main review that Fischer Travers fits wider and/or high volume feet comparing to F1 or TLT6. Contrary to the review the stock liner feels wimpy (thinner and spongy). I just purchased Maestrale liners (Intuition) to try with Travers. They might solidify the whole package.
Fischer recently announced the new Transalp boot line. They look pretty sweet, though a bit heavier than the Travers and a more complicated transition. The Transalp Pro will be 1280 gr, they say. They have both main cuff buckle and a quick disconnect power strap.
Tim: we’re actually heading to a little press outing for this boot tomorrow. Will hopefully have some thoughts together on it by next week.
Does anyone know the forward lean(s) of this boot?
FYI: Backcountry has these for 25% off right now… 🙂
And thanks for a great review. Can’t wait to ski these with my EEE feet.
This boot is without a close second in my view the biggest tech advance it AT skiing in my career. It’s the best ski mountaineering / altitude ski boot I’ve ever used. Walks, climbs, and skis like I never imagined an AT boot ever could. . And you can even drive in them. Lol!
Though for “driving” the car w/ these I always choose the “walk” mode…
I’m using Traverse T/S with Fischer Transalp 90 and I’m happy with it. Do you think can be used with biggest waist ski or, as far as I red, 85-90 is right choice?
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