Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

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fisheater

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Re: Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

Postby fisheater » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:53 am

I am using Zamberlan

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=781&p=15838&hilit=Zamberlan#p15838

I am just following Lilcliffy's advice. It is working well for me. Perhaps he will offer some comments

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Re: Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

Postby greatgt » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:06 pm

Mink oil works well but let the oil work in....Just broke a 2 mile trail with some Snowfield 2 leathers on a 215 e99 eropa with tips that hit the moon....Turn....right....Steepest shot.... shot down and as the ski hit it's stride and speed in the below zero snow a feat in itself.....the 99's arced and it was good....But need steeps to do it....Lots of snow on this particular face and with high tipped long skis a breeze....which felt like needles on my face....the breeze....Cold out there...GGT

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Re: Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

Postby lilcliffy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:47 pm

Hey Derrick- great to hear from you again!

Leather boot treatment.
Here's the recnt thread on this site:
http://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.p ... t&start=20

Oil-based treatments do wonders for conditioning and maintaining leather. There are two results of using the oil that may cause problems:
1) It greatly softens the leather- so much so that the boot may become so soft it loses its supportiveness.
2) The oil will impregnate the liner of the boot as well. This is a good thing if the boot has a leather liner- but, if the liner is meant to act as breathable and/or waterproof layer, the oil will impregnate the pores of the liner and cause it to no longer be breathable (= sweaty, wet, cold feet), nor waterproof. Once the liner is impregnated with oil- it is for life.

I do not use oil-based conditioners on leather boots that I want to be supportive (e.g. work boots/logging boots/hiking boots/mountaineering boots/ski boots). I also do not want to destroy the effectiveness of the liner.

Wax-based treatments do not condition and maintain leather- they simply create a waterproof coating. It does work. However, apparently wax reacts with adhesives used to glue and resole boots. So- if you think you would like to resole your boots- DON'T use a wax-based product to waterproof the leather. Some boot cobblers won't even try to resole a boot if they find out it has been treated with wax.

I use water-based leather treatments to condition, maintain and waterproof my leather boots. You can absolutely saturate the leather with the stuff- without over-softening the leather and without ruining the liner. And with the leather regularly conditioned, it almost lasts forever- unless it gets cut.

Anyway- I may seem a bit nerdy and obsessive about this- it is based on 25 years experience- and experiment/research- wearing quality leather boots in the field in all seasons and all climates, as a professional faller, forester/field technician, and backcountry skier. I have spoken to many cobblers and leather boot manufacturers about this as well.

High-quality leather boots with synthetic liners that insulate, breathe and even repell water are the BOMB man. And the way to maintain them is with a water-based treatment.

I worked as faller on the West Coast in the mid-1990s- temperate rainforest. I bought a pair of high-quality, old-school, full grain leather faller's boots, with welted soles. Based on the tradition- I treated them with mink oil- constantly- it turned them into slippers, and my feet were wet for two years straight...
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Re: Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

Postby lilcliffy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:50 pm

The Alico Ski March has a high-quality inner boot with layers of Thinsulate insulation and a Cambrelle breathable layer.

I would not treat this boot with an oil-based treatment- your feet will be cold and wet.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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Re: Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

Postby lilcliffy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:05 pm

lowangle al wrote:I would say that a burly leather boot will ski more like a light plastic boot than it will like a boot like the Alpina Alaska.


I agree with you Al.

There is a huge difference between a leather Telemark boot and a leather XC boot.

The Alaska is a XC boot- period. It may have the appearance of a mountaineering boot in styling- but it is WAAY softer than any leather mountaineering boot I have ever heard of.

My impression is that the same as yours- I interpreted the OP to be trying to decide between a leather Telemark boot, and a flexible plastic Telemark boot (e.g. Excursion/T4).

The Excursion is amazingly soft and flexible for a plastic boot- there have been many leather Telemark boots that are way stiffer than the Excursion!

Over the years I have tried some leather Tele boots that are so stiff, that they are miserable to XC ski in. The Excursion may not offer complete flexible freedom of a true XC boot (like the Alaska), but it is certainly comfortable to XC ski in. The T4- though flexible for a plastic Tele boot- is stiffer and not as comfortable to XC ski in- though I personally prefer the extra downhill stability of the T4 over the Excursion- everything has trade-offs.

If Bob and Derrick are comfortably skiing on skis as wide as the S-Bound 112 and the BC125, with the Ski March- it is most definitely a Tele boot.

I have yet to do more than wear my Ski Marches around the office. I love the powerful flex of the sole- I can already feel the powerful transfer through the ball of my foot into the floor/ski!
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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Re: Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

Postby EvanTrem » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:30 pm

Great info on boot treatment stuff.

I'm excited to try out the Alico March/Annum/Voile Cable setup.
I just picked up Annum 185s from Amazon of all places for $230. So excited to get this setup mounted up and take it out.

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Re: Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

Postby teleclub » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:03 pm

for those UK Army surplus Alico boots, would you say size up or down a half size? I'm usually a UK8.5 and wonder if I should get the 8 or the 9. thanks

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Re: Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

Postby fisheater » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:32 pm

I am a US size 11. I do not have a wide foot, I wear Scarpa T-4's comfortably. I have a pair of hunting boots that are a wide, my wife bought them for me. I can lace them to fit, I put a lot of miles chasing beagles in cedar swamps in those boots. They might have not been the perfect fit, they laced up to fit.
I ordered my Ski March boots one size smaller as recommended, size 10 British. When they arrived as a 10W I was really concerned. Fortunately they come with a thick felt insole. The insole took up the extra volume nicely. Mine fit great, good luck with yours. It certainly is not the ideal ordering boots through the mail.

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Re: Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

Postby Verskis » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:47 pm

I hvae one size too big Ski Marches, and I am happy with that. They are quite narrow (I have UK 10M size, I guess the M means medium width last) and fit me very well even if the toe box is slightly too long.

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Re: Help Me Choose: Burly Leather Boots vs. Soft Plastic Boots

Postby lilcliffy » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:09 pm

The standard conversion is that UK is one size larger than US Men's,

For example my typical size US Men's is a 9- and equivalent UK size should be a size 8- which "should" be a 42EU.

I sometimes need a 9.5US for a boot to fit me properly across the ball of my foot. If I could get ski boots in a 42.5 I think it would be consistently perfect (my Scarpa backpacking and mountaineering boots are 42.5- they fit perfect).

I ordered the size 8UK in the Ski March- they are a touch on the short side with my slightly longer left foot.

HOWEVER- they are huge volume for my poor small volume feet- if I went with a size 9UK they would be so voluminous that my heel would get torn to shreds, and my metatarsus crushed.

I would suggest that they are large volume boots- and perhaps a tad short for their size (i.e a size 9US is usually plenty long for me on the left foot).
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry


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