In the last two years we saw many new products and developments in the field of boots and bindings. For this season many new bindings were released. Dynafit brought its Radical 2.0 and the TLT Superlite. Marker came with the Kingpin and Fritschi gave us the updated black Vipec. Also the G3 ION must be summerized under this new generation of pin bindings. The Kingpin, the Radical 2.0 and the Vipec are ISO normed under ISO Standard 13992. They offer unmatched safety levels that are 100% comparable to a standard alpine binding. But also regarding stability those bindings exeed what has been on the market before.
Of course for Season 1617 there could not be much news regarding bindings, since it usually takes a few years to develop and test such a product. But never the less, the cutting edge brands presented new boots that will open up new possibilities to skiers and alpinists.
This is not a final list nor did we pay the same amount of attention to every boot. That does not mean the boot might not be the perfect match to your needs and feet.
Arcteryx Procline Boot
I would like to start with the Arcteryx Procline Boot since I think it is among the most sophisticated of them all. The basic idea behind the Procline is to close the gap between a classic alpine climbing boot and a ski touring boot. It addresses the need of alpinists for having only one boot instead of two (one for skiing and one for climbing).
The revolutionary new feature is the vertically AND laterally flexible upper cuff that provides a full range of motion while walking and climbing, very similar to an alpine boot. But also when skinning uphill, it takes away pressure from the knee especially in long traverses. It also brings a larger part of the skin on the snow. The horizontal shift of the two cuff parts are visible in the image on the left.
The lower shell has a very low cut to provide agility and ankle flexibility for alpine ascents like a state of the art mountaineering boot would do. The orange part of the boot is made out of a very stable and durable Grilamid. The Procline Carbon as in the Picture has a combinded Cabrbon-Grilamid Cuff.
To keep snow from entering the boot an abrasion and puncture resistant high density cordura with waterproof PVC coating closes from the toes up to the shin and makes the Procline also the first ski boot with a full coverage gaiter.
When it comes to used materials only the best was chosen for the Procline Boot. The lower shell is made of Grilamid to provide support and durability while being light. The carbon fibre in the cuff is over-injected with a 30% carbon charged Grilamid and adds rigidity for optimized power transfer. The rear plate (spoiler) uses a Grilamid with 60% fiberglass and some extra carbon. It provides rigidity, support and response while skiing.
Remarkable is also the the lower buckle system which is centrally positioned to avoid exposure. It has a hybrid function of locking the heel as well the mid foot over a sophisticated cable system. The power strap on top works without velcro but uses a camlock system for less abrasion and faster handling.
The Procline Carbon Lite weighs 1.190 grams in size 27,5. The only difference to the all black Procline Lite is the used material in the cuff. Instead of pure carbon it is a 30% carbon fibre charged Grilamid. The weight is the same. The Procline womens lite is yellow and weighs 1060 grams in 25.5. It is built as the Procline Lite.
Arcteryx did not choose the original Dynafit Inserts since the „blind step in“ inserts are too big on the outside, as Federico Sbrissa (left), the boot engineer told us. To be able to put a reasonable amount of Vibram Rubber on the boot, Arcteryx had to choose inserts with less outside surface that are still Dynafit approved though.
We found the Procline indeed a very interesting boot. It’s walking comfort is unmatched. It is surely not the stiffest boot on the market. We would say it is less stiff then the Atomic Backland, which of course works with a tongue system. But it is stiffer then the Spectre from La Sportiva. For anyone who wants to do activities between classic skitouring and long alpine climing ascents with technical skiing descents, the Procline will be the weapon of choice.
Forward Lean: 14°
Vertical Rotation: Forward +50° / Backward -25°
Lateral Rotation: 23° Internal, 12°External
Price: It will be Arcteryx like… A nearly 4 digit number.
Dalbello Lupo Carbon Ti
Another interesting boot concept or a further development is the Dalbello Lupo Carbon Ti. One must have come up with the idea to remove the tongue if the boot itself works with a tongue system. The new version works with a carbon cuff. The weight of this boot goes down to 1.7kg. The range of motion is about 60°.
One of the big advantages of this boot is the fact that the tech inserts are in the main shell and not in the removable sole. Together with the exchangeable rubber soles (alpine and touring) you will be able to change from a pin binding to an alpine binding without even changing anything on your boot.
Of course the Lupo Carbon Ti is a hybrid boot for skiers who like it stiff like hell. But if you go fast on a big ski you might look for exactly this feature.
Pricewise also this boot will be rather expensive. Very close to CHF 1000.-
Salomon QST Pro 130
For the new QST Pro 130 Salomon goes a new way. To increase cuff rotation, they skipped the classic overlap construction. In the lower part of the boot they inserted an underlaying tongue that closes the boot but stays very flexible when walking. In the upper part the overlap remains to hold the leg tight. The boot got about 200 Grams lighter than the actual Quest Pro130 but reamains a full on freeride boot. We’re very excited.
Salomon MTN Explore Womens
The same boot as the white MTN Explore but with a different color. For those fast uphill and downhill female skiers who need some violett on their feet.
La Sportiva Spectre
The La Sportiva Spectre 2.0 is an updated version of the actual and very successful Spectre. In general the advantages of the spectre stay the same. It will still be a boot that can switch between skiing ans walking by only flipping one small lever. Even with closed buckles the cuff of the spectre rotates nearly frictionless over about 60 degrees. It’s biggest weakness was maybe the quite soft flex. For the 2.0 version, La Sportiva worked especially on this „problem“. If everything goes right, one of the most amazing touring boots might get even better.
The TLT6 is not dead. He comes in new colors. The big difference to the TLT7 is the closure system. There lower buckle has been taken away. Instead the remaining buckle on the cuff is connected over a cable with the instep. To be able to put the cuff in walk mode, but hold the instep tight, the cuff buckle is built as two buckles in one.
The tongue remains fixed in the TLT7 whicht makes the change between walk and ski much faster.
On top of that the weight of the TLT7 with the CL (custom light) Liner is quite amazin. With less than one Kilogram this boot definitely opens a new world to sporty everyday tourers.
Fischer Travers Carbon
The Travers Carbon comes with a Grilamid shell and a light thermo liner. It will rock about 80 degrees of cuff rotation and hover slightly above a scale: 980 grams.
Tecnica Zero G Pro Guide
The Zero Pro Guide is built on a traditional overlap boot construction. But for this boot Tecnica used a lighter plastic in the sole part of the boot to bring the weight down to only 1545 Grams. Not bad for a „real“ ski boot.