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

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EvanTrem

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

Postby EvanTrem » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:17 pm

Hey Everybody,

I am currently looking to expand my ski and boot quiver to a more downhill oriented XCD setup.
My Current Setup:
Old waxed Karhu XCD Supreme 207's https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/karhu-xcd-cross-country-telemark-tele-130527243

Garmont Venture 75mm boots. https://www.rei.com/product/715700/garmont-venture-75mm-boots-unisex

Voile 3-Pin Cables


Anyway, I am pretty set on getting some waxless Madshus Epoch/10 Mtn. Tours but I am still maybe considering something wider (Annum/XCD Guide).

My question lies in the boots, I end up skiing my current setup pretty hard and I feel that I am way over-driving my current boots. I am looking for something laterally stiff and supportive where I can still kick and glide when needed. Is there a nice and burly leather boot out there? I feel like the T4/Excursion category will be overkill but maybe that is what I really want. I am also worried about losing that "leather boot feel".

I am located in the Pacific Northwest so I will be using this partially as a light backcountry setup. My main use will actually be skiing on piste. My local XC ski trails (Snoqualmie Pass) are located at the top of a chairlift ride. Generally I will ride up on the lift, ski the groomed trails as well as some backcountry glade skiing, and then when I am bored with that I go ski under the lifts on my XCD setup! I am an advanced telemark skier

What are there in terms of stiffer leather boots that might fit this use? Is there anything like that or should I be looking at plastic boots?

Essentially I want to bridge the gap between my current setup and my full blown resort telemark setup.

THANKS!

Lo-Fi

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

Postby Lo-Fi » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:07 pm

I love it!!!


Image


...Karhu XCD Supreme, 207cm. These are the skis I learned on and skied like crazy in 1988-1993. I broke one ski clean in half skiing bumps on Devil’s River at Mont Tremblant, Quebec. I then got some 203cm Supremes, which seemed so much shorter!

Anyhoo... I have 10th Mountains, and while they might be ok for touring around, I never found them much of a turning ski. If you are touring, looking for turns, then I would say the Guide/Annum are the minimum. For boots, I’d suggest the only plastic that even comes close to leather, are the Excursions (I have t4s too). The Excursions are a good match for the Guides and beyond, but touring technique is closer to a shuffle than classic kick & glide.

This might be a useful comparison. First video is with Alaska Alpinas on 10th Mountains. Second is on the same trail descent with my Excursions and Guides - so much easier turny turns.





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lilcliffy

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

Postby lilcliffy » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:41 pm

Lo-Fi- man- awesome stuff as always!!

I have both the XCD 10th Mtn/Epoch and the XCD Guide/Annum with both NNNBC and 3-pin-cable bindings on all four ( :oops: ) of these setups...

Personally- I am not a huge fan of either of these skis on hard/dense/icy and/or groomed snow- I love them on soft BC snow.

However- leather boots!

The only manufactures that I am aware of that are still making leather Telemark boots with the support you are looking for are Alico and Andrew. Current Crispi leather Nordic boots are XC boots (e.g. Antarctic)- even the Svartisen is a really a XC boot with a bit of extra support from the skate-boot-borrowed plastic hinged cuff. Of course there is always used leather Telemark boots as well.

I have a pair of Alico Ski March (review in the review board) that I have yet to put through their paces. Reports suggest that the Ski March has the flex and support of a leather Telemark boot- compared to the Antarctic which is really a leather BC-XC boot.

I know that you can custom order boots from Andrew- don't know about Alico.

And- I agree with Lo-Fi- the Excursion is the softest-flexing plastic Tele boot I have ever tried.

The leather Garmont Venture you have is a soft XC boot isn't it?
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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fisheater

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

Postby fisheater » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:48 pm

LoFi, 1988 was WBP, way before plastic. Sounds like you ripped pretty well on leather! I bring that up because i am able to ski my Sbound 112's as well with my stiff leather boot as I can with my T-4. The ski is a nice ski, and it turns well, however it is an a backcountry ski. It is not made for resort ice, and the ski is more of a limiting factor than the boots. My boot is an Alico Ski March. It is plenty of boot for an Epoch or an Annum if you prefer leather.
There is a review of these boots in the review forum area. I am not sure how much softer the Excursion is over the T-4, I understand it is noticeable. I still do not believe it offers the freedom of leather, and I know I do not have difficulty turning Annum class skis and I would not call myself an expert telemarker. I certainly was an expert alpine skier years ago, but not an expert telemarker.

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EvanTrem

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

Postby EvanTrem » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:10 am

Wow, awesome videos LoFi! I can really see the difference between the 10th Mountains and the Guides. The Karhu Supremes are a great ski, perfect for groomed trails and getting a little crazy in the trees! Mine are the exact same vintage as the ones in the picture, probably just about as old as I am and starting to show their age.

The Garmont Ventures that I have are really only a soft leather XC boot. you can see that the leather is so thin that it really doesn't provide much in the way of resistance or lateral stability. I am VERY interested in seeing if I can wrangle some Alico Ski March boots. Any ideas on where I can order them?

It looks like my idea setup is probably going to be Annums/Guides with the Alico boots.

Side note, I have skied the old Garmont Libero two buckle plastic boots in the past, does anyone know how they compare to the Excursion? Those were meant to be a lightweight tele boot but they seemed pretty beefy for XCD stuff.

Thanks everyone! This has been amazingly helpful.

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EvanTrem

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

Postby EvanTrem » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:00 am

Wow, it looks like Annums in my size are only $240 from Telemark Pyrenees. With the extra Voile bindings I already have and the Alico March Boots I could assemble a whole new kit for around $300!

https://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/ski/madshus-annum-ski-2018

https://www.ebay.com/itm/British-Army-Military-Nordic-March-Ski-Boots-Alico-Various-Sizes-New/232520022422?hash=item362345f996:m:mPBlYOp50X6qkRkbcVja-kw

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ddg

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

Postby ddg » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:49 am

I second the Alico boots. I first tried T4s but they were way too stiff for my skiing. I bought the Alicos from GI Joe Army Stores, shipped directly to Canada, without problem. Keep in mind the sizing is UK. I love the Alicos. They are heavy and very stiff, and at least for me, require a slow break in period. They work great with my BC 125s and Voile 3-pins.
Derrick

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lowangle al

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

Postby lowangle al » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:48 am

I'e skied leather Merril Ultras for many years. It's a burley boot without any straps or bukles. I got T4s last season and my impression was that they toured as well as the merrils, maybe even better with the lower cuff and better range of motion. They were probably stiffer in the sole which didn't bother me on the tour. They outskied the leather boots on the down and to me maintained that leather boot feel because of the low cuff.

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.

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EvanTrem

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

Postby EvanTrem » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:06 am

Just ordered up a pair of the Alico March Boots from the eBay store mentioned above. $60 shipped for a new pair of boots, what a steal! I think I paid more for my current Garmont boots used at the REI garage sale. Anyway I'm seriously considering snatching up a pair of Annums from Telemark-Pyrenees as well.

Anyone have any tips for breaking in and waterproofing leather boots? I have always just used a layer of Sno-Seal at the beginning of the season.

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ddg

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

Postby ddg » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:21 am

Because they are so stiff initially I am using mink oil or dubbin until they are broken in more. Then I plan to use the sno-seal.
Derrick


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