I’ve not skied the Denali but everone who has says it is a very good ski boot. The fourth buckle could give you better hold around the foot and ankle. If you don’t need Dynafit compatibility then the Denali would be a good choice, if you can still find shops with them in stock.
I have used Denalis for about 5/6 years, they are great boots, so much better than my earlier Dynafits. But, this year I have got a pair of Scarpa Spirit 4. IMO it knocks the socks off the Denali. With the black tongue it is seriously stiff boot perfect for off-piste use and with the the green tongue it is perfect for touring. I found that with the green tongue the overall stiffness/ performance was comparable with the Denali, but a notch or two higher with the black tongue fitted. I have also had Conformable foam injected inners made for my boots and it takes the performance a level higher still. I think this boot will see my skiiing days out. Absolutely the DB’s and it means I can use le tech bindings again without the penalty of soft non-performing boots.
With the idea of getting more into ski mountaineering, I have purchase the Garmont Adrenalins...though they havn’t yet arrived and it’s not too late to make changes. I’d like to be able to ski 50 degree chutes and huck the odd 20+ foot cliff, while also being able to climb and stay out in the backcountry for a couple days. Did I go with the right boot? I was thinking of putting them on some 180 verdicts and fritschis....
Personally I would have thought the Adrenalin would be an ideal boot for that kind of use. Ideal with the Fritschis too. This year’s Adrenalin is pretty much state of the art in stiff touring boots… it is a bit lighter than the newer Endorphin too if you are touring. After that it depends what fits your feet best.
On the horizon Scarpa are bringing out the Hurricane for next season which is pretty much an alpine boot with a tour mode.
FREERANDO BOOTS ....... I wish I had known about these boots before ....! Here’s my initial report.....
Following Davidof’s excellent advice and from reading a lot of the related articles here, I can confirm that I am the proud owner/wearer of a pair of Scarpa Tornados. I got shod by the ‘Smallzookeeper’ at Footworks in Chamonix. Definitely one of the best bootfitters and one to keep a note of. I went without any preconceptions, but with a shortlist of boots to try. The Tornado suited my foot best and after some 5 hours of fitting, thermo liners and tweeking (This on his day off) I can honestly say they were sculpted to my feet.
On the mountain I have now used them for over two weeks of very intensive use and they still fit like a glove - do them up in the morning - undo them in the evening - that’s it..! In my opinion, there is only a very slight performance difference with alpine boots. On steep terrain I sometimes tighten up a little more - probably more so in the afternoons, but they are lighter, warmer and more adaptable than any alpine boot I have worn. I am particularily impressed with the ankle strap which really gets the feet sitting perfectly in the boot.
One thing I would say to any prospective buyers - try out the range of manufacturers and boots and go for the one that fits and suits your feet best, rather than aiming for a particular boot straight away. Most of these freerando boots will deliver high performance, but there are fairly big differences in the various shells and comfort & fit should be the watchword.