I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more… Too often when ski touring, but most especially when training, that song gets lodged in my head. Only I sometimes replace “miles” with “feet”, vertical feet, as I hamster up a slope, rip skins, ski down, skin up, repeat.
This winter I walked many of those vertical feet in the La Sportiva Sytron, a lightweight ski mountaineering shoe designed for maximum uphill efficiency but also decent downhill performance. Here’s my take after a long winter of training days.
Perhaps thanks to my German engineer predecessors, I’m intrinsically drawn to models of efficiency particularly when it comes to lightweight gear for moving farther into the mountains. Training is fun and all, but it’s essentially done in the service of being fit for bigger days and longer objectives when snow conditions allow. So I was particularly excited to get my foot into a boot that had similar ambitions — light enough for routine skimo training and rec racing, but substantial enough to take on some big objectives. Enter, the La Sportiva Sytron.
Last spring, Alex Lee gave an initial take on the Sytron. I’ll add to that with a long term view specifically oriented to lighter skiers like myself (I tested the women’s version which is the only women’s specific race-weight boot on the market. The liner is lower volume than the men’s, though the differences are otherwise negligible).