Alpine touring boots that respond to PMTS?

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Alpine touring boots that respond to PMTS?

Postby mjjmjj » Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:23 pm

Still enjoying my Head Raptor RD 130's but am looking for an uphill setup to both avoid chairlifts/gondolas and also use for winter climbing approaches and general touring. Normally I ski the heavy West Coast snow but am currently based in the Canadian Rockies. Started nordic skiing last winter which besides being a great workout was an excellent way to keep moving during Covid lockdowns and got me thinking a little more about touring as a way to escape lift lines until the Covid thing settles.

I'm hoping to find a boot that will respond to PMTS but that is reasonably comfortable for day tours. It doesn't need to be super lightweight as long as it walks reasonably well (i.e. should not result in injuries, frostbite etc.!). I've just started trying out boots and to date found the best fit in the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130. It's a 98mm last boot and reasonably low volume. Length is similar to my Raptors and the shell fit seems pretty good. It walks well and is lightweight but that means the plastic is quite thin compared to my Raptors. The flex doesn't quite seem like 130 but at my weight (160 lbs) should be workable. Forward lean isn't as bad as some boots but from memory isn't quite as upright as my Raptors. Without a doubt the thinner plastic will result in less lateral power transfer but this might be a compromise I can live with if more of my day will be walking and climbing than descending.

Another interesting looking boot is the Lange XT3 130 LV alpine touring. Heavier and with more of a downhill focus. Don't know where I can try one locally and I would like the help of a good bootfitter. But I could always travel to find it though not across the border with current restrictions (my Raptor was fitted in Dumont and adjusted at camp, those were the days! ;)

My go-to alpine skis are the Kastle MX78 and Head Rock N Roll with the former getting skied a lot more than the latter. Undecided on my AT setup yet but may add a couple of skis, something light and wider and something that I can use for uphill days at the resort/sidecountry. The latter might be a Blossom White Out with a Salomon Shift which would allow me to also use it in the resort with my Raptors.

OK, I'll leave it that for now.

As always, any and all comments welcome!

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Re: Alpine touring boots that respond to PMTS?

Postby jbotti » Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:16 pm

I am no expert in this area but I have spoken with HH and Diana quite a bit about touring set ups. In general touring boots suck as ski boots and most start at 100mm width (which would make them beyond sloppy for me). The boots you are mentioning are not really touring specific boots but rather options that will work for touring and I would say that if they are lighter and work for you go for it. The Hawx is a 98mm last and the Lange you mention is a 97MM last. Again if you go with a pure touring boot you are starting at 100mm and up from there. You know your foot and if wider could work. As for forward lean, your Head Raptor has considerably more than the Lange's do (16 degrees for the heads and 12 degrees for the Langes). I don't know on the Hawx.

Remember that touring set ups are about compromises. If you want super light and comfy for going up, you are going to have a set up less good for arcing turns. And vice versa, if you want to use a race boot going up (heavy and less comfortable) with a Duke like hybrid alpine binding (that one can skin with) you will have an awesome downhill set up and a less optimal skinning set up. Only you can decide what is best which should take into account how many days per year you tour, how long each uphill leg will be and how important a great downhill setup is for the way down (vs how important is being able to skin comfortably at a fast pace for many hours).

Considering that they ratio in touring is skewed towards skinning (skin for 3 hours to get 10 mins of turns on the downhill) most people that tour a lot go for an optimal setting for skinning and care less about the downhill set up. But again only you can make that decision.

Others may have additional views and/or opinions.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Re: Alpine touring boots that respond to PMTS?

Postby rnordell » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:20 pm

If you can tolerate the extra weight and lack of cuff articulation while touring, you could have tech inserts put in your Raptor boots. I don't think it looks like there is much extra room to combine the CAST tech insert with a canted sole (or sole planing), but maybe there is enough room for a degree of canting. If you need under-boot canting it is probably best to add it under the binding on your touring setup.
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Re: Alpine touring boots that respond to PMTS?

Postby HighAngles » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:47 pm

Another option is to go with Daymakers and then you can use normal alpine boots since they don't need to have a freely articulating upper cuff. Of course this won't be anywhere near being lightweight, but your concerns regarding using a PMTS optimal boot could be take care of.
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