Alpina Alaska 75 boots

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Bestiole
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby Bestiole » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:24 pm

alaska 75 mm.jpg
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Less than 300 km, first season of use. Both boots.

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lilcliffy
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby lilcliffy » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:19 pm

I wish I could say that I am surprised about this my friend!

There is an awful amount of wear and tear, and torque on that duckbill- whether XC kick and glide or downhill...

That construction is just too weak...

If you like the Alaska I strongly recommend the NNNBC version- I can personally testify to putting 4 seasons on my current pair (~1000kms/season in hilly terrain).

Obviously the NNNBC binding doesn't offer the versatality of the 75mm- but for light-duty BC-XCD skiing NNNBC is more than enough- it is stable, efficient and reliable. The toe-bar may seem a weak connection- compared to the duckbill- but the boot sole is fully engaged in the binding rails when there is any serious torque involved.

IME- It has taken several thousand kms for the NNN toe bar to eventually fail...

I am starting to get a bit suspicious of my current Alaska NNNBC- after 4 seasons the toe bar on one of my boots seems to have a tiny bit of play...I don't think I would a trust them on a multi-day tour anymore...may be time to replace them...

Regardless 300kms is ridiculous...have you sent a complaint to Alpina, and/or the retailer?
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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Bestiole
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby Bestiole » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:04 pm

These are my friend's boots. We bought our pairs at MEC earlier this winter because we knew there was a durability problem with that model and wanted to make sure we would be able to return them if needed. We were hoping that the problem was solved on the new version... apparently not. We met a girl with the same 2017 Alaska boots with a duckbill "separation" and while talking about that with her my friend decided to take a closer look at his own boots just to find out he had the exact same problem but worse. Good thing we were not in the middle of a Parc de la Gaspésie traverse. In addition to the waste of resources it's sad because they were really comfortable and seemed well made... above the sole. At least we had no trouble getting our money back from MEC. I wrote to Alpina more than a week ago, no reply so far and I don't expect any.

Glad to see that you still like your NNNBC after 4 years of use. We were able to find a deal on NNNBC Alaska last weekend (200$). I still have 75 mm Alaska for my S-bound 98 but don't use them very often compared to my other skis on NNNBC so I guess by the time the problem appears on mine they will call it "normal use"... My friend still doesn't know what boots he should get for his Outtabounds on 75mm bindings. Alfa are expensive and the other brands are not well distributed in our area, apart from Rossi and Fischer which are rather uncomfortable and have their own durability issues.

Cannatonic
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby Cannatonic » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:23 pm

this is why I'm always talking about the Crispi Antarctic. To me it seems better than the Alaska in every way, for the same amount of money. The Antarctic are extremely solid and durable with the thick welted sole. The leather conforms to your foot over time better, and the ankle has more support.

something seems to have gone wrong with perception, where people feel more comfortable with a machine-made boot in pretty colors versus the black-leather welted sole look. Reality couldn't be more the opposite IMO! Glued-on soles are glued on. Not much you can do about it. My current Antarctic probably have 50+ days on them, no signs of breakdown whatsoever, they fit like a comfortable slipper.

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lilcliffy
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby lilcliffy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:58 pm

With you here man! When it comes to a NN-3-pin leather/composite boot, there is no replacement for the Norwegian-welted sole in my opinion and experience. I have seen/read/viewed evidence of EVERY current-model glued 3-pin BC-XCD boot coming apart- after very limited use. And- despite the build quality of Alfa and Crispi- I doubt VERY much that the Svartisen 75mm and the Quest Advance 75mm will prove to be any more durable than the 3-pin offerings from Fischer/Rossi/Alpina.

If I could have tried on a boot like the Antarctic- when I first gave NNNBC a serious try (some 12 years ago)- I probably never would have gone to NNNBC.

In the Canadian market- welted 3-pin boots are INCREDIBLY difficult to find.

The above post mentions MEC, which is an amazing company- precisely because of their excellent customer support and return policy- easy to order, easy to return- if the boot construction fails, they will compensate the customer- even if the manufacturer won't warranty the product. MEC= customer service excellence.

BUT- MEC don't carry Crispi, Alico, or Andrew boots- SUCKY.

I am VERY reluctant to order expensive boots internationally because it so damn expensive to return them if they do not fit! At least one can order boots directly from ANDREW, based on your actual foot measurements. I have a pair of custom-ordered Andrew logging boots- with a welted sole(!)- that are the finest made, most comfortable and durable work boots I have ever owned in more than 20 years of working in the woods- plus you can completely replace the sole!

Unfortunately- despite NAFTA- ordering boots from the US is a serious and expensive problem for Canadians- otherwise, I would try ordering Crispi boots from a US retailer.

The Alico Ski March surplus boots are cheap enough that they were worth the risk! :D

The other thing about your Antartics is that you can actually replace the sole!

My current Alaska NNNBC outsole is getting near the end of its life I suspect (4 seasons; 150 days/season)- the leather and uppers are in excellent shape and are going to outlast the sole.

Even if one could replace a NNNBC sole, it might prove more expensive than completely replacing the boot...
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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bgregoire
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby bgregoire » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:50 am

lilcliffy wrote: I have seen/read/viewed evidence of EVERY current-model glued 3-pin BC-XCD boot coming apart- after very limited use. And- despite the build quality of Alfa and Crispi- I doubt VERY much that the Svartisen 75mm and the Quest Advance 75mm will prove to be any more durable than the 3-pin offerings from Fischer/Rossi/Alpina.


True that, given that the soles of ALL these brands and made by VIBRAM and essentially the same.

Another fact to consider if using older models, say 10 years or more, is you should be expecting the glue binding the vibram sole to the boot so dry up and let go. Great fun on any multiday-trip!

I love my Quest Advance 75mm. They are so comfy out of the box and comfier as time goes, they are slippers. literally. But my next purchases (perhaps in many years as I have a great pair of Norwegian Stitch Alicos too) will definitely by the Crispis (Antarctic). I've got those wooden boot wideners now, so I know I can make them fit!
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

Cannatonic
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Re: Alpina Alaska 75 boots

Postby Cannatonic » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:49 pm

150 days out of a boot is not bad at all, if that's what you get it's not a bad deal. The thinner glued-on NNNBC or 75mm do give you a slight weight savings over the Antarctic. Re-soling the 75mm is great but you need a cobbler you can trust, if they don't have the skills for it the fit will change.

Sadly Andrew Shoes stopped doing direct orders to the US after 2014. Has anyone tried ordering from Canada? You can buy Zenith and Claut through Bogong Sports in Australia, they have a sale over New Year's every year during their summer. It was a little more than $300 shipped. I think the shipping was $60 or $70. I've used the Zenith about 4 times now and I'm very impressed, they completely live up to the hype and reputation. It's all about the leather. After several long skis the leather is conforming to my foot, but there are scarcely any creases developing behind the toes as usually happens. The leather seems extra supple and thick. They're only slightly heavier than the Antarctic too.

That's too bad about Antartic in Canada. The number of retailers selling them in the US dropped last year almost to nothing, but Crispi still lists them on their website. From Canada you might try calling Erik at Telemark Down in NH. If it's possible to get a pair, he can, and the shipping to Canada won't be much worse than within the US. I returned a pair of Crispi Mountain to Erik because they didn't fit and he was very helpful and took care of it quickly.


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