Alien Rando Race Boot – Gear Tidbit from Scarpa

Post by blogger | February 28, 2011      

Hey all you Wildsnowers, I was out getting the goods for the last seven days and am trying my darnedest to whip up a trip report to break our rather lengthy string of gear posts. Meanwhile, I just had to get these slick photos of Scarpa Alien up where we could all enjoy and discuss. More, words from a Scarpa representative with the details. Jury is of course still out, way out, since we’ve not been able to give these boots any sort of Wildsnowing. So please be aware we present this as a first-look, not a review or test (really, just a continuation of our trade show coverage as the Hagan post below is as well).

Alien 1.0 backcountry skiing and rando race boot by Scarpa.

Alien 1.0 backcountry skiing and rando race boot by Scarpa. Click to enlarge.

From Scarpa representative, lightly edited by staff editing team: One attention grabbing feature of Scarpa Alien ski boots is an external closure that uses the Boa lacing system. This offers super easy and quick adjustment, and yields a glove-like fit – the Boa wraps the lower boot around your foot in a form-fitting precise way. It is a perfect application for this technology. SCARPA worked with Boa and has patented (SCARPA’s patent) the unique, tool-less replaceable eyelets.

There are two boots: Alien 1.0 and the Alien.

Alien 1.0 is the lighter of the two boots, employing carbon-fiber construction. It’s what a lot of the top racers on the rando circuit are now using (even though this boot hits the market officially for F11, SCARPA has had this boot on many of its racers this and last season).

Alien 1.0 is 680 grams per boot, or 1 pound, 7.98 ounces. That makes it, near as we can tell, the lightest rando boot out there besides the two full carbon fiber boots (and they are not very much lighter), but more importantly we feel that it’s the highest performing one. That’s evidenced by the fact that, like I said, it’s being used by many of the top-winning rando racers right now. The Ski Mountaineering World Championships happened last weekend in Claut, Italy, and the top-finishing men’s and women’s racing teams were on this boot.

It worth noting that we feel the fact that the Alien 1.0 boot uses a lot of carbon fiber technology but isn’t completely made of carbon fiber is an important design consideration, because this kind of hybrid construction has some distinct performance advantages over full carbon boots. The Alien 1.0 has a carbon fiber cuff, but the lower part of the boot is made with a carbon core insert on the inside, surrounded by select polyamides construction (this is a light and strong material but can be made significantly stiffer than an equivalent Pebax boot). This is very important, we feel, because it keeps the boot light, but it still retains a nice, progressive flex needed for dynamic skiing (feels like a ski boot, not nearly totally rigid like a full carbon boot).

Finally, it’s worth noting that the “A-Light” quick-release walk/ski mode lever in this boot is by far the best ever developed by SCARPA. It is really precise and easy to use, super light, and ultra quick to transition between modes, since one lever controls both loosening the cuff and changing ski/walk modes. It’s the metal frame piece you see in the photos.

Alien 1.0 will retail in North America for $1,799.

Alien is the same boot without the carbon cuff and carbon insert. It weighs 890 grams per boot, or 1 pound, 15.39 ounces. That’s 109 grams lighter than SCARPA’s current F1 Carbon! But instead of being a $1600 boot, the Alien will retail for $799.

Even though SCARPA didn’t show this boot at OR and SIA (official unveiling was at ISPO in Europe, which happened the week after OR and SIA), they will be unveiling this boot in North America for Fall 2011 at a limited number of specialty dealers that specialize in rando racing gear.

Alien non-carbon version is still something to behold.

Alien non-carbon version is still something to behold. Click to enlarge.

Official Scarpa PDF


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


84 Responses to “Alien Rando Race Boot – Gear Tidbit from Scarpa”

  1. boz February 28th, 2011 7:48 pm

    just when i thought my TLT5 p’s were nice and light!

  2. Pete Anzalone February 28th, 2011 7:57 pm

    Looks great but retailing “in North America for $1,799.” Wow, I bought my car for less.

  3. Scott Nelson February 28th, 2011 7:59 pm

    Wow, if I could reincarnate myself into a superfit 25yr old I might think about these boots. It looks strictly like a racing boot though, not as somewhat all around as an F1. The BOA system looks interesting, but shoestrings (even though they’re probably kevlar) on the outside of a ski boot? Really like how the rear throw is designed to keep the cuff adjustment as is (unlike the F1 which always slips, at least on mine), that might be worth the $800 price tag right there. Pretty cool looking over all.

  4. KDog February 28th, 2011 8:31 pm

    Put the BOA system in the liners of other Scarpa boots!

    I have always wanted a BOA type system for the liner laces on my touring boots as the cam style pulls are prone to working loose or never tightening at all. Worthless really.

    I have even considered putting BD liners in just to get the BOA, but really like my Intuitions.

  5. Greg Moellmer February 28th, 2011 8:33 pm

    Those boots are going to fill up with snow. I know they’re designed for racing which happens on mostly packed snow, but a lot of people, like me, just want light boots for fast tours. Hopefully they’ll make a good full boot gator for these.

  6. Jim February 28th, 2011 9:09 pm

    Terminator! Reminds me a bit of my first lace up leather boots. The more things change…the more they stay the same.

  7. Jacob February 28th, 2011 9:14 pm

    A vast majority of the BOA systems are actually small metal cables (aircraft grade stainless steel according to their website) so not very likely to break. I’ve had one of their folks tell me that they will repair/replace any boa system that breaks, and they have one person who works part time as their repair/reception person who actually fixes them, and they supposedly had over 5 million lace systems out in the wide world this fall. Of course that is potentially just a fluff statement :roll:, but they do look super strong.

  8. brian p. harder February 28th, 2011 9:20 pm

    I think Greg M. brings up a good point. Seems to me I heard Johnny B. complaining of his F1 Carbons filling with snow. Not cool. I think it sneaks in the back. Still pretty sexy though.

  9. Tom February 28th, 2011 10:19 pm

    Those boots look hot.

    On the .pdf attachment that Lou posted you can see that there is in fact a gaiter made by scarpa for the boot. Problem solved.

  10. Lou February 28th, 2011 10:27 pm

    I have to say, they do look terrific in terms of appearance design. Really compelling, in my opinion.

  11. teton skiier February 28th, 2011 9:36 pm

    can’t wait to get my hands on a pair. I have carbon f1s now and use them for all non-alpine ski days. I even skiied the Grand Teton with my carbon boots. Aliens, TLT5s–the future of at ski boots. I have been thinking of making a pair of lycra gaiters for powder days… So far have not had a problem with wet liners…

  12. Mark W February 28th, 2011 11:18 pm

    The evolution continues to amaze. Now, if I were simply made of money!!!

  13. aviator February 28th, 2011 11:34 pm

    for more info on alien see the comments from these last weeks in the dyna evo thread:
    -euro prices (cheaper)
    -bsl lengths
    -more photos
    -some comparison to evo, gignoux

  14. Mike Traslin March 1st, 2011 12:36 am

    Oh Boy! I rando race once in a while….Triathalon meets ski mountaineering!

  15. aviator March 1st, 2011 12:49 am

    Both Dynafit and Scarpa want us to believe that the Evo and Alien are comparable to the Gignoux or somehow superior.

    Let’s have a li’l reality check here. Bear with me.

    They might be comparable to La Sportiva but NOT the gignoux.
    Comparisons I have read puts Scarpa f1 carbon as “really soft”, La Sportiva, Evo and Alien as stiffer and Gignoux still totally in a class of it’s own, a LOT stiffer.

    Plastic no matter what (some random pieces of “carbon core”?) will never compare to the stiffness of carbon fiber .

    The main reason they chose a plastic lower is not all this bs they are feeding us.
    It’s because it is so much easier and cheaper to mold plastic than lay up carbon. It’s one thing to produce a simple shape like an upper cuff in carbon in a simple autoclave, But to lay up a complex shape like a boot lower in one piece is a completely different story.

    The truth about the gignoux is that it is very cheap for what you actually get. Dynafit and Scarpa can not scale it up. They can’t get that skilled hands on labour at a price and quality they can afford even if they wanted to make a full carbon boot..

    And all that talk about how fragile the full carbon boots are. One major advantage of epoxy/carbon fiber is how extremely repairable it is.
    This means you can repair them yourself for years with epoxy and glass or carbon fiber when the warranty is over.

    These molded ultra thin, ultra hard polyamides Dynafit and Scarpa are using now will be VERY brittle and have no fiber weave holding it together structurally. They will crack. All ultra light gear break.
    I would like to see how they will be repaired when they crack. Epoxy doesn’t bond well to these plastics. I have a feeling they won’t be repaired at all, they will be replaced under warranty (they are extremely cheap remember) and when that is over, well then there is no way you can repair them yourself without a LOT of major trouble and added weight.

    What does it mean when Dynafit AFTER going public with the EVO weight has to back peddle and add some material to beef them up?

    And to claim that the gignoux 444 @550g in a 27.5 is “not very much lighter” than alien @680g in a 27 is really a bit rich.

    Never mind the bollocks.

    Oh, BTW, did I tell yall I have a pair of Gignoux on their way …. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  16. marcello March 1st, 2011 2:03 am

    i have seen them in real life,. I am not into that kind of boots but they are impressive nonetheless. they are stupidly light.

  17. Pablo March 1st, 2011 4:07 am

    Aviator, Mucho of that you’re talking about it´s true, but there are also other factors to consider .

    It’s pretty nice to have the posibility to repair Carbon fibers made boots, but the rules in Skimo competitions are changing in the direction of forbidding the DIY modifications in the hardgoods as skis, bindings and specially boots.
    Tha’s because, in the name of lightness, people is risking too much and to prevent injuries and accidents.

    A DIY reparation will look good, but you haven’t the security that it will work good.
    If a carbon boot breaks, and you repair it, you can’t have the confidence that it will not break again but easily in the worst moment.
    I can’t imagine someone repairing himself his Carbon motorbike helmet after a breakage… Can U?

    Materials like grilamid, used in the dynafits Evo and TLT5 shells is way more elastic than carbon and more indifferent to temp changes than PU or Pebax. So I think its a good Idea to use it in the shell to prevent breakages, and give a more comfortable and less vibrating feel to the boots.
    All with the best resistance-weight-price ratio.

    Apologies for my bad english!
    Pablo from Spain.

  18. Pablo March 1st, 2011 4:27 am

    The materials discussion is interesant but ther is other discussion that attracts me also.

    Both Evo and Alien have take off the metatarsal flex of the F1’s and DyNAs…
    everyone I know with a F1 says that flex is simply fantastic but now?

    Here is a new discussion: metatarsal flex or not? and why?

  19. Christian March 1st, 2011 4:35 am

    I can very well see that I could do some carbon fiber repairs, as I have done that on my windsurfing boards. It is not uncommon to repair boards that have broken in two. That said, I am not sure I would repair my carbon bike…so I guess it depends on what was broken.

  20. aviator March 1st, 2011 5:56 am

    @pablo, maybe you have some points,

    Especially about the comfort and less vibration.
    But we are talking about race gear here. No pain no gain.
    If you want ultra stiff you have to accept the vibrations.
    Or go up a size, put a thicker liner and sole in there and you are still ultra light quite ultra stiff but much more comfortable. And warm.

    And no, I would not try to repair a carbon helmet. I would throw it away.
    However boots are not helmets. Boats, surfboards, kayaks, paddles, car parts, even skis, bike parts, masts, keels, oars, paddles, they are probably better examples. People repair them all the time.
    If you have some experience with epoxy/glassfiber and or can follow some instructions it is easy. it is not brain surgery, the repair will be strong. The difference between a pro and an amateur is more the weight and how good it looks, not the strength of the repair.
    And the important part was not the DIY aspect, you can easily find someone you know that can do it cheaply. There are custom car people and boat builders and others everywhere, doing carbon fiber work.

    As i understand it, carbon boots often do not break catastrophically from nowhere, they often develop small cracks first, if you catch them early, repairing them is much easier.

    Modifs are not repairs, there is a difference. I do not think the ISMF rules say anything about repairs even at the WC races. Please correct me if I’m wrong. And even if it was completely forbidden to do any boot repairs yourself, they can be repaired professionally cheaply by gignoux and merelli, and if that is too expensive (shipping maybe if you are not at the races where they are), there is life in these boots after races, for training and touring, My point still stands, a full carbon boot can probably have a longer life than a a thin stiff polyamide ultra light lower boot which will die sooner or later. Well, time will tell.

    Of course everything is more elastic than carbon fiber, but everything is also much WEAKER than carbon fiber.
    And it has to be either or with these polyamides, they are not magic, they are either stiff OR elastic, and if they are elastic they are also soft. They can’t be both stiff and elastic, they really can’t.

    The tlt5 do not really apply, as I understand it the plastic there is a quite a LOT thicker than in the Evo and the Alien.

    And even if the plastic shell is elastic and soft, since it is thin it will still be breaking because there is no fiber cloth inside holding it together.
    It’s like a concrete wall without any rebar inside if you compare it to carbon fiber which would be a wall shock full of rebar.
    That’s the problem with molded plastic, it’s weak if it’s not elastic, soft, thick and heavy enough. As I said, molded plastic is only good for one thing, and that is cheap production. In every other way, it is inferior.

    Small scale hand made stuff skillfully made without compromise with the best materials possible like carbon fiber and titanium is the very best we can get.
    Big scale factory produced stuff with cheaper inferior materials like polyamides and aluminium can be good, but not the very best there is. There is too much compromise.
    No worshipping at the dynafit and scarpa altar can change that. Let’s not pretend.

  21. aviator March 1st, 2011 6:24 am

    metatarsal flex, it makes the boot softer and heavier, it’s not worth the price.

    The positive effects you feel in a normal f1 is more in your head than in your boot.
    A really soft and old f1 where you actually get an old skool leather boot flex are way too soft for it’s weight.

    most people I’ve seen reviewing the old dyna/tlt5 say they cannot feel any flex when going flat and up, and some say they can feel it making the boot softer on the down.

    getting a full xc stride on the flat parts is all about ultra wide cuff rotation angle and ultra light boot weight

  22. Jason March 1st, 2011 9:26 am

    It’s an unrelated question but, what happened to the Porta Hut project?

  23. Pablo March 1st, 2011 10:30 am

    I totally agree with U about the metatarsal flex, it was just the discussion i have with some friends, he he!

    About the material discusion I think a boot can be comparable to ahelmet, imaging a suddenly brakage when you’re climbing or descending a steep chute…

    I thik Scarpa is going in the right direccion mixing materials, to get the best of both.

    Interesant discussion!

  24. Jonathan Shefftz March 1st, 2011 10:33 am

    Interesting about the repair prospects for cf. Although the F1 Carbon on the Team Crested Butte blog (“Day 2 in Pictures” all the way at the bottom) looks hopeless!
    Aviator, how long was the lead time on your PG boots?

  25. wick March 1st, 2011 11:05 am

    Can’t wait to get on them! I saw a bunch of Euro athletes of them at the Ski Mountaineering World Champs last week….living in the US I’m psyched to actually see the lower cuff made of “plastic” as it would be a painful (time & money) experience to have to send a full carbon PG boot back to France for repairs after blowing them up on a boot back….

  26. aviator March 1st, 2011 11:32 am

    Lead time is 0, they are second hand. 😀
    I’ll get them in a few days.
    Any ski gear I buy is almost always unseen, untested, nonreturnable, from private sellers abroad…
    Most often heavily used.
    Makes things interesting but VERY cheap.
    And of course you grow as a human being as you put your trust in unknown foreigners! :mrgreen:
    No way I’d buy $1800 boots brand new, no sir.

  27. Tay March 1st, 2011 11:33 am

    There wouldn’t be more than $100 worth of carbon between those boots . The price difference between these two models is staggering. Since cuff moulds are needed for both, the cost of production cancels each other out. Carbon lay up is time intensive and reasonably costly (though the 2×2 twill weave they have used is one of the cheapest and interestingly softer/ flexible carbon weaves available), but a $1000 difference? I don’t think so. Dynafit at least comes close with the price between the TLT5 Performance and the Mountain.

  28. aviator March 1st, 2011 11:54 am

    @ tay, I agree

    the scarpa alien 1.0 and the dynafit evo are way overpriced
    considering what you are getting compared to gignoux and la sportiva

    and yes, with carbon fiber it’s the labour cost not the actual material that’s so damn expensive

  29. Snorkel March 1st, 2011 12:11 pm

    While I am all for the lightweight evolution of gear, the prices seem crazy. If I was wealthy I can see having carbon boots, skis, trick tech bindings, etc. However the $1000 price difference in boots buys a lot of skiing! If I had an extra $1800 laying around to spend on skiing I’d probably be going to Chamonix to go tour in my existing $700 boots.

    Either way this is pretty neat stuff. I also work a lot with composites, repairing composites is quite easy, it is the fabrication from scratch that is difficult and labor intensive. I don’t think these boots will get a whole lot cheaper unless molding and vacuum bagging technology gets simpler and cheaper.

  30. aviator March 1st, 2011 12:13 pm


    Actually that crested butte cf cuff damage is exactly the kind of thing I mean is quite easy to fix in epoxy and carbon or glass fiber, but in polyamide plastic it would be game over or maybe a VERY ugly and heavy repair.

    everybody, to get into what carbon fiber can and cannot take and what can and cannot be repaired y’all seriously need to look at offshore sailing, like the Volvo, the Vendee, and the Mini Transat.
    the forces of skiing is quite ridiculous in comparison

  31. Tay March 1st, 2011 12:52 pm

    I sent Lou a photo of these boots several weeks ago and was hoping that they would put them into production since Scarpa traditionally fit me very well. Now I couldn’t care less. Paying for a new product is one thing, but having them try and bedazzle you with a bit of carbon and slap a ridiculous mark up over a similar product is another.

  32. boz March 1st, 2011 2:28 pm

    The price difference may not be worth the difference for the Difference in weight, However it may be worth the difference in performance. Look no further than the tlt5 mountains vs the Tlt5 Performance. OR carbon Road bike to aluminum
    Also these boots are so specialized for racing, and world cup level racing to boot. in any other sport elite level World champion gear is crazy expensive if its even available. If you are racing at that level, and looking for any edge you can then you just except the price.

    I think that the big question is when does light be come just that to light. I personally feel that ski touring is in its infancy (yes i know huge in Europe people have been getting after it for years and years). But Its just now starting to get to the point were people are asking allot out of there gear. No longer are people willing to compromise much with there gear. I remeber when I started Touring and ski mountaineering, gear failed all the time. It was un heard of to not have a total skin failure or a binding break, this kind of things are no longer the norm but rather the exception. I have had a skin fail me in over 2 years. Mountain biking went through the same thing and now you have 6 inch bikes that climb and descend very well that weigh 30lbs or less and they are also very reliable. But this didn’t happen over night, First Full suspension bikes were heavy and they didn’t pedal well at all, then they got real light and a little to fragile, and now it seems that designers have discovered the happy medium. But they also realized that weight alone wasn’t the only issue no matter the weight the bike still had to perform . But it took some time. I see this happening with ski boots bindings and skis. Touring boots got heavy but started to ski well, Now they are getting very light and still ski well, but how durable are they, Truth is no one really knows. Its amazing that Dynafit managed to get the magic recipe right on there first try.

    I think its great that Companies like Dynafit and Scarpa are pushing the envelope. Its very easy and some what safe from a business point of View to just keep making what works and change them just enough each year (colour graphics, new carbon spoiler, different liners etc) so that people will continue to buy your product. The recipe for a 1500-1700gram boot that skis well is fairy easy to fallow these days. Its hard to take a leap and build an all new product. I think that its interesting that with the Tech patents expired there are now so many different copies out there but not one new idea for something that might actually be much better all around.

  33. gtrantow March 1st, 2011 3:01 pm

    The trickle down should be amazing. We can safetly bet that Scarpa’s BC boots will keep dropping weight, gain the BOA and stiffness.

  34. Lee Lau March 1st, 2011 3:22 pm


    You make probably the best point here. This is not necessarily the future; look on it as pushing boundaries by Scarpa (and also Dynafit).

    I know this might be a controversial view and I’m somewhat guilty of hypocrisy since I write gear-pusher articles but the question of whether this light and stiff and bling a boot is necessary is a highly individual question. I see many people who would benefit from decent gear. Conversely I don’t doubt that many people (the readers of this blog are no exception) put too much emphasis on equipment.

    Inveighing against Scarpa or Dynafit or Widgetco for markups or gear that is too expensive is disingenuous. If you don’t think it’s worth it (TO YOU – emphasis added) then vote with your wallet and don’t buy it.

    But I know this is all just discussion and what would a topic about a boot that hardly anyone’s skied or fondled or even touched be without some discussion.

  35. boz March 1st, 2011 3:43 pm

    personally I could care less about the alien 1.0, what does interest me is what will come from boots like the aliens or Evos or TLT5 performances for that matter. What will some one else do to make them better And more affordable.

  36. JMski March 1st, 2011 9:05 pm

    The Dynafit TLT5p 30.5 that I tried was just too small. Great boot for those who have dainty feet though. Too bad Dynafit doesn’t make another shell size larger than they do.
    I see the Scarpa Alien PDF shows sizes only up to a 30. Come on Scarpa, show us big footed folks some love.

  37. David Aldous March 1st, 2011 9:19 pm

    If they are using pebax or another thermoplastic it can be welded like a kayak is repaired. I’ve repaired edge damage on Scarpa and BD boots with a lighter. Granted a full on crack would be more complicated but I don’t think the repair would be that bulky or heavy even on a bigger failure.
    Some of the price difference could be due to the significantly lower volumes of boots being produced for these high end race models. I agree the prices are still really high.

  38. brian p. harder March 1st, 2011 11:09 pm

    Has anyone else seen tongue failure in the TLT 5 Performance where the stiffer lower plastic is joined with the more flexible upper? I’m not talking about the removable tongue. Seems like a failure waiting to happen now that I look at it and easy to miss if you don’t. Check yours out.

    I just noticed mine are cracking here after 7 weeks of good usage. It does not look like an easy fix. Any ideas?

    I will send this to Dynafit with pictures and report back.

  39. aviator March 1st, 2011 11:25 pm

    the polyamide in these boots is much stiffer and thinner than pebax.
    NOT lighter repairable in my opinion
    and welding plastic is exactly what I meant by very difficult and ugly compared to working with epoxy

  40. Federico March 2nd, 2011 3:42 am

    Aviator… can I ask you one thing? how many times did you broke and needed to repair your plastic touring or ski boots? … so the big difference of using a lower shell in carbon or plastic is that if you hit a rock or hit your own boots with crampons the carbon shell will damage and most probably crack after a while… and trust me, being a lower shell a structural element having huge forces while skiing a resin reparation will not hold for a long time… it’s not a kayak …
    The plastic shell of the Evo will not break, very simple.. .and if some issue will occur… you never now… Dynafit will change your boot with a new one… warranty and trustability of a brand…
    And this is not happening with the other carbon boots you buy second hand or from an artisan… if you brake them it’s just your problem.

    One more question … why do you think pro alpine skier doesn’t use carbon fiber boots? … you know the budgets on that segments when you sponsor guys like Bode Miller etc… are pretty high and to develop a full carbon super stiff boot for them will not be a problem …
    But the main research to reach the top performances in downhill are on the right flex and rebound and fit precision/customization individual for any athletes/weight and discipline…
    And don’t think the pro athletes boots are way stiffer that what you buy on the shop, you might be very surprised to check the boots some SUPER powerfull athletes are using for slalom… they are pretty soft compared with the power they have and super elastic.
    A full stiff structure, especially on ski mountaineering races where the snow condition are most of the time TERRIBLE with huge bumps, holes and ice requires boots which are able to absorb and drive the skis not full stiff stuff just exploding in case of big impacts.
    Check out by yourself at every single WC race how many guys are going to the end by foot with broken stuff…

    As regards the price discussion … I know you might not be interested in that but companies like Dynafit and Scarpa are selling through a retailer chain which has to take margin… that how business work … Gignoux is an artisan selling directly online his nice products and without intermediate… that’s where the big difference come from.
    And it’s pretty senseless to complain about that… I’m sure you’ve been buying a nice pair of Nike or other shoes for 120/150$ once in your life time with a production cost of 15$ without complaining about that.
    That’s the cost to keep companies alive and allowing them to invest in new research and new products and nobody is forced to spend this amounts to buy those products… just get something else if it’s too much, very simple 🙂

  41. Lou March 2nd, 2011 8:02 am

    Brian, I’ve been wondering about that failure point. I’ll keep an eye on mine. I think the “tongue hinge” you speak of might crack more easily if bent in cold temps for entry and exit of boot. During actual skiing, it doesn’t get stressed much. I’d actually rather have some sort of mechanical hinge there as I still find that getting into and out of the boots is a bit of finger nipping adventure due to the springy tongue and cuff flaps. My TLT5Ps are working great, BTW. I’ve been in them now for at least 15 big days. Yesterday did a long flat walk to get to a peak (shucks, the snowmobile got stuck) and I did find the advantage of the metatarsal bend (not that I’d have to have it, but it was nice.)

  42. Lou March 2nd, 2011 8:26 am

    Fede, thanks for the comment, sorry it got held in moderation for some unknown reason. I corrected some spelling for you as I didn’t want that to get in the way of your communication. Excellent point about the Nikes. Lou

  43. Kyle March 2nd, 2011 10:31 am

    Brian, yup same cracks on mine. (tlt mountain)

    one started with 6 days of skiing, the other after about 12. the first one almost went half way across, i stop drilled it to keep the tongue from cracking right off.

    trying to decide what to do, i can definetly return them, but it may be hard to get replacements this year?

  44. aviator March 2nd, 2011 10:44 am


    What gets me going here is all the propaganda.
    Make more claims like the Alien or the Evo is “the lightest”, “it’s the highest performing”, and keep going on and on why tired old, easy, inexpensive plastic molding is “new”, “exciting” and “research” and superior to full carbon and I will bite. I promise. 😀

    No, I haven’t had the honor yet to break an evo or an alien, will you let me? :mrgreen:
    Seriously, there is nothing else out there yet as thin and fragile as they will be.

    I was not talking about resin only repairs that will break. Where did you get that from?
    A good repair with added glass or carbon twill will not break. Done correctly there is no reason why it should be weaker than before. If you want, you can make the repair stronger than before.
    That’s the magic of using resin + fiber.

    Gignoux warranty and service is second to none from what I heard?
    I read a lot of euro blogs and forums, no one has ever had any complaints about his customer care that I’ve seen?
    They are out at the races making repairs, helping people even after warranty is up.
    If I buy the Evo, will you be at the races repairing/replacing my boots while I wait? And after the warranty period, will Dynafit help me with my cracks?

    Can I ask YOU something in return? Why did you have to add more material to the Evo?
    And why are people discussing the much beefier tlt5 starting to crack in this very thread? 8)

    Alpine skiers do not need light weight boots. If they did they would be made in carbon, trust me. Design and construction in carbon is very complex, it takes not only budget, but also time and know how. If you can use other heavier materials that you know better, why bother.
    Show me anywhere, any sport, any professional application where gear needs to be extremely light, stiff, strong and carbon is NOT used?
    It’s everywhere. I’m sorry but in reality, the ski gear industry is far BEHIND other sports, NOT at the forefront of technology.

    Maybe you should get the Evo on the podium in the big races before claiming “the evo will not break”?
    The racers that ski in full carbon boots are also the ones winning and to do that they are skiing faster and more aggressive than others, hence they will break their gear, no matter what they are made of and who made them.
    Up until the gignoux boots came along race boots were way too soft and too heavy, the tlt4, the f1, even the f1 carbon.
    Gignoux came up with the solution, stiff enough, light enough.
    The winners at the races are in gignoux boots, even if sometimes they are sprayed bright green. :mrgreen:

    And why are there NO Gignoux owners complaining anywhere if they are so bad? 😯 Instead, they praise them and they buy several pairs and they continue to use them no matter what.

    You go ahead and keep selling through retailers, but that is not why the two Alien models have a $1000 price difference and I think we all know that.

    And WHY would I buy Nike when I can buy Mizuno and get VALUE for my money?

    And Lou, please help me with my english!

  45. brian harder March 2nd, 2011 12:38 pm

    Update…I heard back from Dynafit on the TLT problem. They are aware of the issue and have some sort of repair kit to send me. They will also do it if I send them the boots but obviously that’s not ideal.

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

    BTW, does anyone have any experience with this “kit”?

  46. Lou March 2nd, 2011 4:22 pm

    Brian, I spoke with an insider about the repair kit. Sounds like it’s a bit involved… installing will make a good blog post for you!

  47. Lou March 2nd, 2011 8:39 pm

    Bump, for Aviator’s last comment that got held in moderation, probably for it being as long as an article in New Yorker Magazine (grin). And Aviator, please be nice to our industry folks. They’ll go away if we’re too sarcastic or make too many innuendos about things like price. Please stick to facts if you can.

    I’d also add that there is no reason ski touring isn’t as high performance a sport as cycling, and a sport that requires incredibly high-tech gear. Companies will design and sell top end boots just as you can find top end bicycles. Prices will reflect. Buyer has the choice to purchase or not. A cool situation in my opinion…since I remember the days when we had all of two or three choices in AT boots, total, and they all skied like sneakers.

  48. aviator March 2nd, 2011 9:18 pm

    Ok, I’ll play nice. and I’ll write shorter.

    But fede did say in that tlt5 thread he expect us to speak freely, no less.
    And he said he will do the same.
    I really appreciate you being here Fede, and I really appreciate your posts!
    You’re one of the good guys, even if you’re working for the evil empire. :mrgreen:

    It’s just sometimes the blatant lies from the big propaganda ministries being taken at face value on here kinda gets to me.
    Especially when it’s combined with the big guys trying to steal credit and bash the little “artisans” who came up with all their “new technology” and “research” in the first place.

    Sorry, I’ll shut up now, and I’ll be nicer, been hogging the thread for too long already.

  49. Bar Barrique March 2nd, 2011 10:33 pm

    “I remember the days when we had all of two or three choices in AT boots, and, they all skied like sneakers.”
    Yeah; now we have an amazing assortment of gear, and, the trickle down effect from Rando Racing is giving recreational skiers ever lighter boots. The “old days” were fun, but I like the new gear.

  50. Federico March 3rd, 2011 2:06 am

    I answered qucikly already about the inner tongue failure on the TLT5 post , check it out

    Just to explain quickly it’s a very stupid failure due to some dirt got during the stitching process of the upper part of the inner tongue before the over injection of the lower part…. sounds stupid but this dirt prevent the perfect bonding of the two materials and consequently a crack my appear… If it has to happen it will happen in the first days of use so if you didn’t got one it will not come in the future… of course we are talking of a very limited amount of cases, to be precise 0,2% of the total TLT5 sold 😉
    The crack on the lower tongue gives no problem on the boots performance (that tongue has the only function of water protector), so just place some tape until the end of the season and send them back to salewa north america for a lower shells change.

  51. Federico March 3rd, 2011 2:18 am

    … … aviator… believe it or not full carbon alpine boots has been realized and tested since 15years… but they simply didn’t worked for sking on a performance way… the impossibility to have a fit adaptation and the non progressive flex made it performing much less than plastic shells.

    As regards your comment about not being on podium of races have you haver thought that mould sizes doesn’t come out of trees? … wait next season and you’ll see.

    Nobody is “”stealing credit and bash the little artisans””” I love the XP444 and I think it’s the state of art on its cathegory… I’m just trying to explain the reasons behind some certain choices which differently from your thought are not due to economic reasons or in-ability of developing technolgies…
    On this point companies like Scarpa and Dynafit are leading the innovations since 20 years!… and they both will do it for much more many years!.

  52. Simon05 March 3rd, 2011 8:35 am

    I feel we are now entering the times when equipment is becoming so light and more fragile that it a case of ‘pay your money and take your chances’ .

    People will always say that for this kind of big money the kit should last and last well. But if the average athlete, guy on the street, is able to purchase world class sports kit, from whatever sport, then they should understand that this equipment is designed to be used by the worlds best and these guys generally don’t have to save their money to buy this kit or to replace it when it breaks. The same goes for cycling where I now see club cyclists using lightweight (the brand) wheels costing thousands of euros to ride weekend club races. Not really what they are designed for so these guys must be aware that this kit does and will break. Formula 1 race components and sometimes whole cars often only last one race and at a huge cost, hence the average guy doesn’t drive or use this technology. So as I said ‘pay your money and take your chance’.

    I have just read that Javier Martin of Spain broke a new DYNA evo in the worlds individual race (2nd hand unconfirmed info) You won’t here too much about it as I am sure he had a new pair ready for his next race.

    Hautes Alpes

  53. Lou March 3rd, 2011 9:12 am

    Simon, look at cycling. My wife bought an expensive carbon road bike quite a while ago, and rides it tons of miles because she bike commutes. She did not “pay her money and take her chances” but instead shopped with care and bought a bike that is known to hold up fine. Some gear might wear faster than other, some might break, but making and selling gear that wears out fast or breaks is not a trend I can see, and I’ve been watching this stuff for years. Some gear has always broken, some holds up. Early adopters get to find out which is which for us. If you wait a season to shop, you can sort it all out.

    Now, your point about equipment that’s designed to be used by the world’s best is another thing entirely. Again, the example of cycling. Who knows how long an actual Olympic Time Trial bicycle is built to last, and do we really care? If it’s not already, same thing will soon go for World Cup randonee race gear, which will be customized and lightened to the point where perhaps it IS only good for ONE race. The concepts and design of such gear will filter down to us, but using the exact same gear for hundreds of days of ski touring would be ridiculous, and if it breaks during a race after who-knows-what customizations, who cares?

    More importantly, we need to pay attention to things like Brian’s TLT5 tongue breaking off, or the breakage of Fritschi to units…

  54. Pablo March 3rd, 2011 9:22 am

    Bravisimo Federico!!
    Gracie mille per tutte queste innovacione!
    un saluto dalla Spagna!

    (Excuse me people here I’m just giving thanks and felicitations in Italian to Fede)

  55. Federico March 3rd, 2011 9:34 am

    Simon, Javier is our offical tester and he was testing during a race on its own risk a super prototypal new plastic material knowing that 90% it would have been broken! …

  56. Lou March 3rd, 2011 9:40 am

    Exactly. What breaks during a top race is of no concern, as we have no idea what that gear really is. What’s important is what breaks or holds up in normal day-to-day use, and blogs such as this serve as a forum where folks can learn about such.

  57. Simon05 March 3rd, 2011 9:40 am

    Sorry Lou, I maybe did not make my point well. I was refering to cutting edge kit, Gignouxs, Sportivas, Merrelis etc, and that if you want to buy this kind of kit then you have to realise that for all the advantages it gives users must be aware that they wiil have to compromise on robustness and price.

  58. Lou March 3rd, 2011 10:02 am

    Ok Simon, if that’s your point then so be it. But I disagree. First, ANY gear includes compromise and adjustments for exact use. So really, in that sense your point is moot. Beyond that, first-year products may compromise in directions the consumer is not aware of, or the maker does not intend. In that case, yes, perhaps more compromise than one expects or knows…

    Simon, if you refer to specifically cutting edge AT boots, then perhaps your point is more solid, as the boots seem to be going through a period of rapid development and competition between makers. Thus, if buying first-season versions of these products, consumers may encounter design or manufacturing flaws which will generally be corrected in the next manufacturing run. Lean locks in first generation Black Diamond boots being a good example of this. Perhaps the broken tongue Brian experienced is another example.

    Another point (which I think Fede made a while ago), is exactly how many days of use should we expect an AT boot to hold up for, and how do we define when an AT boot is worn out? Sure, makers could produce a boot that lasted 1,000 days, but would we want to carry the weight of that boot? Should it last 500 days? 400 days? 2 days?

    In other words, makers have to set a target on how durable their boot is in terms of how many average days of use it will last. Some users will exceed that target within a year, other users may never even approach the target. Thus, one has to be aware that when a heavy user of a product experiences wear or breakage, that doesn’t necessarily mean the product is bad or defective. With a nod to Fede, I feel this is a weakness of websites and blogs, as we do sometimes report on breakage and wear that is on the outside envelope of a given products design and engineering parameters — and thus perhaps sometimes give a false impression of a product’s quality.

    As a publisher and editor, I take care about the above and actually do NOT publish every wear and possible defect report that comes in. (Unlike some other bloggers and forum contributors, who regard any such report as a click party they’re happy to throw). I’m really really careful about this, though I don’t claim anything near perfection in our choices of what to publish and what not.

  59. Cam March 3rd, 2011 11:15 am

    full carbon Alpine boots (minus the TPU sole) do exist and are still being raced.

  60. Federico March 3rd, 2011 11:21 am

    Good point Lou! … It’s always a big risk…
    Nowdays with internet if one bindings used in a totally wrong way brakes looks like it’s the end of the world… even after 20+ years of use on the most dangerouse condition of the planet… which by the way are not skiing full speed with huge skis on the resorts… but skiing on technical mountain terrain lines in no falling zones… that you’ve climbed first by yourself … that’s what the dynafit binding system and boots like the TLT5 Performance have been designed for 😉

    And boots like the DyNA evo and the Scarpa Alien or similar have been designed for ski mountaineering races and are not ment to last forever and ski like a pair of nordica dobberman 150 ….

  61. aviator March 3rd, 2011 11:25 am

    I’m with you on this, if you buy elite level ultra light gear made for racing, you have to understand what you are doing and assume some damn responsibility. Having said that, when you commute or tour with your race gear, you are not gonna beat the crap out of the gear like the athletes on the podium do. Your race gear will not break down every other day, simply because you are not racing.

    Me buying old and used Gignoux boots is a good example of this. I realize they will break like all ultra light gear does but I have a reasonable understanding of how to deal with that. And yes I will tour in them A LOT more than i will race in them, just like Michael Silitch and many others do.

    Many people discuss gear failure like it’s the end of the world and like it’s not supposed to happen, ever. And also only seem to worry about how to deal with problems under warranty. I don’t get it. The warranty period is the first short non problematic period in the life of gear. To me, how to deal with gear failure AFTER warranty is what I want to worry about.

  62. Simon05 March 3rd, 2011 11:43 am

    Aviator, thanks, I was checking my post to see if I’d written them in French as they seemed to be taken in the wrong way by Lou.

    Yes I agree with you on the Gignouxs, if your buying them used and your in North America (I assume you are??) then your right to think of ways of keeping them on the road yourself. One thing to consider and maybe be prepared for is the fact that with some Gignouxs, more the older Xp500, is you have to be prepared to have a left and right specific ski. It was sometimes common with the older boots and I know one guy who has also had a new pair of 444’s this season who has to have his bindings positioned for a left/right specific ski. Its due to slight differences with the position of the front binding pin holes. The guy with the 444’s got round it as he has Plum bindings and the toe pins are adjustable.

    Good luck with them and be careful when on rocky boot packs. Enjoy the lightness 😀

  63. Lou March 3rd, 2011 11:52 am

    Simon, apologies if I didn’t quite get your points. Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger on that, as I’ve written plenty of stuff that was mis-interpreted. Question is, when that happens, is it due to the reader or the writer? Probably both, to be fair. Lou

  64. Peter K March 3rd, 2011 12:53 pm

    I think the TLT5 hit the right price point, and I’m sure if you removed the tongue and the powerstrap, you could get close to the weight of the original DyNA based on claimed weights. And the plastic Alien is pretty close to the weight of the F1 Carbon! LaSportiva has some sub 1kg plastic boots coming out as well. If a TLT5 w/0 acti-flex is on the way, I’m sure that it will be very light as well! Point is, if you are willing to gain a couple hundred grams or wait (and do some training to get faster while you wait), you can save LOTS of money.

    I have heard reports of huge variance in the weight of the F1 Carbon, which is sad as people got tricked into spending large sums of money and I sure hope that these “claimed” weights that everyone is getting excited about are somewhat accurate or that the marketing people take the time to update the weight in a TIMELY manner if production changes. Racers are always going to want to spend money to get the lightest stuff possible. But just as this technology will eventually trickle down into recreational gear, it will also trickle down into 2nd tier race gear.

    It will be interesting to see how this stuff holds up. Will it be F.R.O (for racing only?). I sure hope that disposable boots are not in the future!

  65. dominik March 3rd, 2011 1:23 pm

    This what you have mentioned about right and left ski is not the problem of handmade boots only. 2 years ago I had to describe my ski as a LEFT and RIGHT to couple it correctly with brand new zzeros and older dynafit tlt boots. I heard the same stories about F1 and others with “inserts”. It’s nothing unusual 🙂

  66. Lou March 3rd, 2011 1:33 pm

    I feel that production retail ski boots should have tech fittings aligned within 1 mm or so of each other (based on where heel of boot falls when toe is in binding), or should be returned. There is no ISO/DIN standard for tech fitting configuration, though there is an informal voluntary industry standard now that Dynafit shared, since their bindings get blamed even when the boots are at fault and they wanted other makers to get their act together. My recollection is the voluntary standard allows 2 mm, but I could be mistaken.

  67. Maki March 3rd, 2011 1:45 pm

    Lou, what breakage od Fritschi toe units are you speaking of? Did you mean the Marker or the new Eagles and FRs are breaking too?

  68. Lou March 3rd, 2011 2:00 pm

    Everything breaks.

    Fritschi bindings sometimes crack and eventually break at the metal part that attaches pivot to ski. Toe unit sometimes breaks off. Marker Dukes were breaking at the Pivot, Marker Tour sometimes same. Dynafit toe base sometimes breaks. Naxo broke. Silvretta Pure broke. Did I leave anything out?

    Don’t panic

    Like I said, everything breaks. Just trying to come up with some examples. Perhaps should not have mentioned specific brands, but since everything breaks that seemed fair.

  69. Simon05 March 3rd, 2011 2:49 pm

    Hey Lou, no problem. Your correct, it is easy to sit and read the posts, then get all fired to write a reply, it all seems great in your mind as you write it but sometimes not so good on reflection. Is it the reader or the writer, a very good point indeed.

  70. Maki March 3rd, 2011 2:56 pm

    No panic here.

    But since sometimes a new product sports design flaws that causes a higher than normal failure rate I was wondering if there was something odd in the new Diamir’s toe pivot.

  71. Lou March 3rd, 2011 3:02 pm

    Maki, no. Nothing I know of in the new Diamir. If anything it’s stronger.

  72. Pablo March 3rd, 2011 5:40 pm

    I’m with you Lou.
    Everything breaks.
    Everyone of us have heard at someone that has broke his stuff.
    When some one has afailure in his stuff always talk about it but we don’t hear at every one that had that stuff without any failure.

    I think I wrote this badly but hope you can understand me.

  73. See March 3rd, 2011 9:28 pm

    Greetings All,

    A couple of questions:

    Federico, when skiing in icy no fall zones, do you lock your toes?

    Aviator, do you plan on using your full carbon boots for multi-day trips? If so, do you have a method for making epoxy repairs at low temperatures?

    I like carbon stuff as much or more than the next person, but ski boot lowers seems to me to be pushing it durability-wise (note Simon’s comment regarding rocky boot packs).



  74. Federico March 4th, 2011 2:20 am

    Ciao See…. well …. like most of people do yes… if it’s steep, narrow and iced, where most of the times I had to ski sliding on a side (don’t know how that technique is called in english) … also because when I do the most challenging and long distance ski tour I use a very light set up with racing bindings… those bindings can’t be adjusted on the side heel release so it’s better to keep the toe locked on those… if you want the lightest stuff there is always a compromise to accept in safety, also on bindings…
    This is just what I and lots of other people do… don’t take it as a suggestion 😉

    If I’m skiing on a more normal setup on nice snow condition and faster where I want to have fun and feel safe that my knees will not brake if I fall I use normal FT bindings and un-locked toe to have the full safety release…

  75. See March 4th, 2011 9:04 am

    Thanks Federico for the thoughtful and direct answer to my question.

    I won’t take it as a suggestion, but I do appreciate the information.



  76. Jonathan Shefftz March 25th, 2011 3:32 pm

    Looks like Crispi has unveiled the final version of its plastic/cf hybrid Enigma (which had a couple prototype pics last year):

  77. galdos April 11th, 2011 12:24 am

    I would like to know the weight difference between the lower part of the plastic version (without the carbon insert “carbon core technology”) and the lower part of the carbon version (without the cuff). Do we have any rigidity difference only if we consider the lower ?
    May be, the lower part has 50grs more but the same rigidity… that would be grate. You can make your home-made carbon cuff and for only 850usd (799 of the Alien + 50 for the construction of the cuff) you can have the Alien 1.0 + 50grs (or even around 30gr, because the cuff in carbon of the Alien 1.0 is too thick!!! so we have some gr for nothing… that’s the case in the actual f1 Carbon). My cuff in carbon for my f1 is some grams lighter than the original one, and no problems for instance!

  78. aviator April 11th, 2011 7:28 am

    @ galdos
    sure you can build anything you want, cheaper, better even?, but you can’t race in modded boots, they have to be untouched…

    I’m quite sure the cheap alien don’t have the same carbon reinforcements in the lower

  79. galdos April 11th, 2011 8:55 am

    I do not only use my boots for race! and if you are not in the first 10… you can use them without problem.

    I know that the cheap alien does not have the carbon reinforcement… the question is:
    – which is the weight difference of the lower part between the Alien and Alien 1.0
    – there is any rigidity difference? (if the Alien has more plastic than the Alien 1.0, it could have the same rigidity)

  80. Jonathan Shefftz May 9th, 2011 11:47 am

    New cf race boot from KinaLab — unfortunately the only available picture is from pretty far away, and the website is just a teaser for now.
    Also seems like the lots of info on youtube for the Crispi Enigma, but entirely in Italian.

  81. Simon May 9th, 2011 12:00 pm

    Some info here on the kinalab boots

    But more interesting is the Pierre Gignoux ultimate pack:

    the bindings are mind blowingly light. May sell my 2 pairs of F1 carbons, my car and a few internal organs to fund these.

  82. Lou May 9th, 2011 12:05 pm

    The carbon bindings are incredibly cool.

  83. karnicar November 21st, 2011 11:07 am

    hello guys!
    can anybody tell me about sizes of the scarpa alien in mm. I know that 27.0 is 287 mm, but what about other numbers of boot??
    thanks for answer

  84. Mårten November 23rd, 2011 12:28 am

    I have a Alien 1.0 sales samples in my hand and they are 296 in 28. Super tight 28. And the weight is 760 for left foot and 775 for right foot. Maybe the production ones are lighter?

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