All-Mountain Ski Boot for 2007

Is there such a beast...? I am searching for a ski boot which I can use both on and off piste, skinning and walking. In short an All Mountain ski boot. I ski approximately 70% off-piste, 30% on piste and use the new Fritschi Freeride Plus bindings. I am confused by the number of boots which appear to do pretty much the same thing and being a pretty green novice. I would appreciate some advice on what to shortlist.

The Garmont versus Scarpa debate is one thing, but there are a lot of boots in these manufacturers stables. Looking at Garmont the Adrenaline, Dynamite, Endorphine Mg-g-fit, Mega lite, Mega Ride seem to fit the bill. Scarpa has the Denali, F1 Thermo, Spirit 3, Tornado Thermo etc. but how to decide between each boot?

Maybe someone has some links to other places where I can get some more information or reviews. I have found a lot of articles on Pistehors which are very helpful. However some models seem to have changed for this season.

When it comes to boots, I don’t mind spending as long as I get comfort and top quality. I currently have HEAD boots with Comformable liners and sole. These are due for replacement, hence the quest for an all-purpose ski boot for this season.

I have looked on both websites. The slight problem with some manufacturers descriptions IMO, is that they forget to just give the basic information in advance of the marketing blurb. Thats why the Pistehors articles are of such value.

Any guidance will be appreciated.

Posted by on Tuesday, 03 October, 2006 at 06:17 PM

Well that is two votes for the Denali then assuming you can find them. Scarpa claim the Spirit 4 replaces the Denali in their 2007 lineup but if you don’t need the Dynafit inserts (which you don’t) then the Denali seems a better choice.

Yes I do mean Comformable liners when I say thermo liners. Houghty gives the process above where they go in the oven for 10 minutes to soften. Be very careful about fit, some shopkeepers (not boot fitters) will claim a lot. If the boot fits your foot they will personalize the fit. If it doesn’t fit your foot it still won’t fit after moulding although obviously you can get the shell blown out. I know a lot of people who have ended up with badly fitting boots, not something you want for touring.

The French don’t seem as big on boot fitting as we do in the English speaking world. Down here in Grenoble you will find a wide range of ski touring gear. The town is a touring hot-spot but if you ask the shops about fitting they generally give a “gallic shrug” and say it is up to you to decide. Personally I don’t find it that helpful. In the Tarentaise Jean-Sport in Val d’Isere have a good range of touring gear and because they deal with a lot of Brits are probably quite clued up on their needs… but then you could visit Nevada 2. I don’t know anywhere in Bourg SM. Chamonix would also be an obvious choice for a visit.

Posted by davidof on  Thursday, 05 October, 2006  at 10:36 PM

I realise this is probably basic knowledge for you both, but Alpine and Touring kit really exist in parallel universes for someone who isn’t au fait with it. I like to research kit well before buying, but then I use it for years and lose track of market developments. I have got a good grounding now and know what I want, so thanks again. I have a shortlist of boots to get the best fit and which will fit my existing kit.  I think the star in the sky is leading toward Chamonix!

Nevada 2 have apparently closed in Bourg St. Maurice. Pete Garwood had an article on Mysnowsports. I telephoned Franck at the shop up at Tignes Le Lac, Nevada Sports, but he said they didn’t sell touring boots, which I found strange.

I shall contact the zookeeper and hopefully get up there in mid-December to avoid loosing any quality time.

The zookeeper is Steve, a bootfitter who runs Footworks in Chamonix (7, place Edmond Désailloud, Tel: +33 (0)4 50 53 46 52). Near the Aiguille du Midi cable car - Ed.

Posted by  on  Friday, 06 October, 2006  at 09:16 AM

Hi Bernard, also try Andy from Anything Technical up in Kendal. These guys really know there stuff!
you can get him on . All the best, houghty

Posted by  on  Saturday, 07 October, 2006  at 05:50 PM

Hi Bernard,

I was in exactly your predicament last year, did loads of research and also went for the Scarpa Denali TT. I felt the Garmonts and Scarpa Tornado were too heavy and leant too much towards downhill sking. I only got to Tour on the Denali’s twice but found them fantastic going up and down. They are not as stiff as a typical race type boot but perfectly stiff enough. I’d have no hesitation in recomending them. I only hope you can find some!
cheers Martin

Posted by  on  Wednesday, 11 October, 2006  at 09:12 PM

Here’s a more specific question.  It seems that the choice of an all mountain boot would be between the Scarpa Denali TT and the 2007 Spirit 3.  Which is a better buy?  The Spirit 3 is Dynafit compatable, but the Denali has four buckles.  What are some other comparisons between these two options?

Posted by  on  Tuesday, 07 November, 2006  at 07:18 AM
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