Alpina Alaska 75 boots

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LoveJohnny
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Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby LoveJohnny » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:38 am

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwsxF_NaKxg[/video]

I can't tell you how much I love the Alpina Alaska 75. Best leathers I have ever tried.

From Backcountry.com:
The Alpina Alaska 75mm Backcountry Boot is bold, strong, no-nonsense, and brutally honest. Honest? Yes, because with an aggressive, rigid flex it will let you know instantly where you stand.

Well, I have to disagree with this. I don't think the Alaskas are strong and aggressive at all. Quite the opposite. They are soft, nice and warm. Maybe more aggressive than the classic XC skier's shoes, but if you're used to good old tele leathers, they will feel soooooo soft, but SO comfortable. The Thinsulate will keep you warm no matter how far you go. There's like no ankle support at all. Even with shoelaces super tight, it's still a very soft boot.

BUT... Funny enough, I get MUCH better control on the Alaskas than I have with my Asolo Extreme leathers. I can't explain why, but the way power is transmitted to the sole gives you great control over any XCD ski. That power-transferring anatomic footbed is really impressive. Seriously, I wouldn't go back. I realized for the first time that a leather boot doesn't have to be super rigid (and uncomfortable) in order to get better control. Alpina's Alaska's 75 are proving this.

I use to put some alpine power straps around my old leathers for more support, since they don't have any clips. But somehow I don't feel it's necessary at all on the Alaskas. If we really think about it, we don't really need ankle support, as the real 3-pin tele technique involves only pressure on BOF. And in a way, this is where the fun really is. If you depend on ankle support and boot stifness for control, you are not learning the real tele turn. You're not learning the real "essence" of telemark. Once you will master this secret wisdom, you will realize how much you knew nothing about skiing. Not only you will now have way more fun, but you will also become a much better skier when you go back on your plastic boots for some carving fun.

I have learned a lot of things with these boots. My downhill technique got much better. I can go anywhere with the Alaskas, powder, hardpack, steeps, bumps. On about any XCD skis. I couldn't do it with any of my old heavy-duty leathers. I always felt that leathers were never stiff enough for my taste. But I was wrong. Stiffness, clips, ankle support and rigidity are not the key. It's all about technique. It's all about finesse in your movement, in your balance. And only a soft boot like the Alaska can teach you this. I can ski almost anything with them. And while I couldn't live without cables around my 3 pin bindings with my old leathers, I just don't feel the need for cables anymore. But then again, it doesn't have much to do with the boots. But only a soft boot can free you from your bad habits... Thank you Alpina...

Did I mention this is THE MOST sexiest looking boot ever? The vintage mountaineer style, and that vintage red... Pure beauty. Never seen any boot as good looking as this one... Be sure to buy a point smaller than usual. They fit very large... Mine are WAY too big for me, even with 2 shims and a heel wedge...

They get a 9 out of 10 score. But that's just because I picked the wrong size... 8-)

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/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"Your heel (and mind) is not really free until you cut the cable..." -Me

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bgregoire
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby bgregoire » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:43 pm

My girlfriend and i did a 700+km nordic ski tour last year with these. I used the NNN version and shed used the 3pi versionn. The fit was awesome. We used glued on supergaiters and vapor barrier socks so they kept dry. My girlfriends boots ended up splitting right above the duckbill and then at the 3pins after approximately 40 days. That might also coincide with a very intense uphill be did. She kept her voile cable bindings at the tightest "click". The NNN version is still intact (while the pre-used bindings had to be changed during our trip)!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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LoveJohnny
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby LoveJohnny » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:54 pm

Coool! Where was that trip, around here in QC?

Did she have any free space between the duckbill and the Voile 3pc? I have the same setup and there's a noticeable leeway between the top of the duckbill and the closed toe box bale, even at the tightest click. The Alaskas duckbills are a bit thinner than my other leathers. It's very problematic for me when I use Voile bindings... They're gonna wear very fast if I don't find a solution... Maybe that's why yours broke too..? Especially after a long trip...

Please let me know if you ever wanna get rid of those NNN Alaskas... 8-)
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"Your heel (and mind) is not really free until you cut the cable..." -Me

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MikeK
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby MikeK » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:09 am

I love these boots, but I'm not sure they are going to last...

I don't have the issue with the duckbill that I know of. I always ski mine on the second detent position.

The thickness doesn't look much different than yours, by eye, so maybe there is a difference between the voile bindings? My bindings are Mountaineers without the cable.

Oddly enough mine are taking a beating from the bail near where the molding comes up into the leather. I took a spill and cut a chunk out of the boot but also there are some nasty wear marks just from extending the boot fully forward during a stride or lunge. I fear that they will fail here eventually.

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LoveJohnny
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby LoveJohnny » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:14 am

Really? Gee, I hope they won't fail, cause they're like the most expensive boots out there... I don't think it would be possible to get support/parts from Alpina... (They are impossible to find here in Eastern Canada...)

Yeah, it's definitely the latest Voile bindings. I have Mountaineers too and older Voile bindings, and it's not a problem. Only the new ones. (Technology again! : )

Glad to see you love the boots as much as I do... Can't wait to put them on again!
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"Your heel (and mind) is not really free until you cut the cable..." -Me

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MikeK
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby MikeK » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:36 pm

It really is a shame because they are so expensive. Also they're aren't a ton of alternatives.

I don't think there is much you can do with the molded sole though. Once it fails, the boot is toast.

I'm going to goo mine up to try to reinforce the areas where it is wearing thin, but someday it will probably go. I'm hoping for a couple seasons before that happens.

Maybe the best thing to do is buy another pair of boots and spread out the wear between them :D

Oh the other good thing is they are back on sale again. I kept running into people last year that would ask me about them and where to get them.

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MikeK
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby MikeK » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:47 pm

Johnny,

This is where I mucked up my boot:

[attachment=0]P3290052.JPG[/attachment]

I believe it caught the bail (the hammer finish zebra looking thing). I have some other marks like this too, but no chunks. Eventually it could separate there.

It's not a big deal to fix, but after a few of these I'm thinking it will be.

Best advice: Don't fall.
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LoveJohnny
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Location: Quebec / Vermont

Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby LoveJohnny » Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:02 pm

Woooaaah, that's pretty bad...! What kind of ravine were you trying to ski?!? :D

Seriously, I wonder how you did that... That's weird... Is your bail sharp or something?

Oh, you have the zebra thing, so you have the latest ones... You don't have any leeway between the bail and the duckbill? The boot is perfectly tight in the binding?
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"Your heel (and mind) is not really free until you cut the cable..." -Me

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MikeK
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby MikeK » Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:07 pm

I wasn't even anything all that steep. Just some soggy-ass heavy snow and lots of trees. I tweaked it pretty good. No idea how it hit the bail like that, didn't realize it until later on that week.

I'm going to measure the thickness of my bill. It actually does look thicker than some of the others I've seen. And yeah it's tight. It fits the same as my older Asolo boots.

I'm wondering if Alpina changed the mold on the later generations.

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MikeK
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby MikeK » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:07 pm

Alaska is definitely thinner on the bill.

I measure roughly 0.6" (15.25mm) on the Alaska. The other boots we have all measure right around 0.7" (17.75mm).

Also double checked my fit in the bindings:

Second detent = loose. The bail is not contacting the bill on the Alaska. I usually ski it like this!!!

Third detent = snug. The bail contacts the bill. This is where I will be skiing these boots from now on.

Ha! Learned something new.

Also I see why my boot is getting tore up. It wasn't from my fall... it's just how the boot is sitting in the binding. I think my sole is a bit wonky compare to the other boots... looks like a slight manufacturing defect in the alignment relative to the bail.


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