Alpina BC 1600 Boot

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MicahE
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Re: Alpina BC 1600 Boot

Post by MicahE » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:44 pm

GuillaumeM wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:32 am
I am looking at this shoes also for my girlfriend. Can you give some impressions about the sole? Does it feel stiffer than the Alaska as well? Can you squeeze the shoe/sole with your hands only or do you need to put the shoe on the ground and use your body weight? A stiff sole with torsional rigidity is more important than ankle support (even if ankle support is nice as well).
I'm not in a good position to compare the soles of the 1600 with the Alaskas. The nearest pair of Alaskas are 3.5 hours away from me and it has been close to a month since I tried them on.

The sole of my 1600s feel very stiff to me, granted they have only been skied in once (though I'm heading out with them this weekend). If by "squeeze the shoe/sole" with my hands you mean to flex them at the ball of the foot, I can only barely make any flex with my hands (and I'm fairly strong). I can get very slightly more flex when twisting it along the front back axis. Somewhere along the line I got the impression that all these BC soles are made by the same company and have about the same flex.

In terms of the responses lilcliffy got from the Alpina in 2015, I can't corroborate based on my very limited experience. Handling the Alaskas, I definitely recall me being surprised at how lightweight the ankle support felt. Whereas wearing the 1600s left me with an immediate impression of feeling a lot more solid. I was ready to love the Alaskas and assumed I would buy them based on all the positive reviews. I was going to be OK with the flexy ankle, figuring it'd be nice for K&G skiing, but I got too much of a pinch pain in the front of the ankle. The 1600s felt/feel like a solid hiking boot, that's the best way I can describe it. To me, in the store, the Alaskas felt like a solid hiking shoe with a more flexy portion from the ankle up.

I was skeptical of the fabric lace anchor at the ankle of the Alaskas, in terms of longevity. I was happy to see the 1600s have a locking type metal anchor there and well polished rounded anchors elswhere. I remember though that the snowboard boots that I've worn the past 15 seasons have fabric lace anchors and I haven't had a problem with those.

Really though, it comes down to personal fit and feeling. I think it's worth eating $20 in shipping to try on options to see what feels the best for your girlfriend. This is not a short term purchase unless she decides she doesn't like xc skiing anymore.

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GuillaumeM
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Re: Alpina BC 1600 Boot

Post by GuillaumeM » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:41 am

Thank you for your well explained answer. It seems like a very nice boot giving the price (I can get a pair for 140 euros). I was today in a shop and there is quite a difference between the different shoes in term of flex. So far the Crispi Stetind and the Alaska are the two most powerful boots I have found. All the old Alfa models are very soft. The Guard Advance is nice but has its very own foot style.

I cannot find any bc1600 in shops unfortunately, only online. Might take a chance and see ;)

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lilcliffy
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Re: Alpina BC 1600 Boot

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:23 pm

GuillaumeM wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:41 am
Thank you for your well explained answer. It seems like a very nice boot giving the price (I can get a pair for 140 euros). I was today in a shop and there is quite a difference between the different shoes in term of flex. So far the Crispi Stetind and the Alaska are the two most powerful boots I have found. All the old Alfa models are very soft. The Guard Advance is nice but has its very own foot style.

I cannot find any bc1600 in shops unfortunately, only online. Might take a chance and see ;)
The Guard Advance has a softer sole flex- compared to the Alaska BC. I would rate the Guard as being a bit stiffer than the Svartisen BC.
Is the sole flex of the Stetind similar to the Alaska BC?
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lilcliffy
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Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
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Re: Alpina BC 1600 Boot

Post by lilcliffy » Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:30 pm

MicahE wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:44 pm
Somewhere along the line I got the impression that all these BC soles are made by the same company and have about the same flex.
The NNNBC outsoles are all identical and made by Rottefella.

The stiffness and stability of the boot sole is a result of the materials and design of the midsole. There is a wide range in sole flex between currently available NNNBC boots.

Alpina may well have increased the stiffness of the midsole on the current BC1600.
It certainly sounds like it has a stiffer sole flex than both the Crispi Svartisen BC and the slightly stiffer Alfa Guard Advance.

Very cool. Please keep letting us know how you make out with this boot!
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Cannatonic
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Re: Alpina BC 1600 Boot

Post by Cannatonic » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:41 pm

yes, NNNBC soles are all the same - I find this makes it difficult to get the boots to fit my extra-wide toebox, welted leather 75mm boots are easier to stretch.

I can verify that the Alpina 1600 definitely changed around 5 years ago - and it was an upgrade. The leather on the first version seemed stiff and lower quality - it almost looked like synthetic leather. It didn't stretch or conform well, and it formed hard creases. The 2nd pair I received, I think from Telemark Down, had very different, thicker, more pliable leather - it looked like the full-grain leather on my Alico and Andrew Shoes boots.
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GuillaumeM
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Re: Alpina BC 1600 Boot

Post by GuillaumeM » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:52 pm

Cannatonic wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:41 pm
yes, NNNBC soles are all the same - I find this makes it difficult to get the boots to fit my extra-wide toebox, welted leather 75mm boots are easier to stretch.

I can verify that the Alpina 1600 definitely changed around 5 years ago - and it was an upgrade. The leather on the first version seemed stiff and lower quality - it almost looked like synthetic leather. It didn't stretch or conform well, and it formed hard creases. The 2nd pair I received, I think from Telemark Down, had very different, thicker, more pliable leather - it looked like the full-grain leather on my Alico and Andrew Shoes boots.
I am getting more and more curious about this boot. I found an old Alpina web page describing the Alpina BC 1600 as their most powerful BC boot. The page does not exist anymore but as you can see on the screenshot you can get a part of the text.

"Alpina BC 1600. Our most powerful leather backcountry boot for the BC system. Fantastic leather quality. Upper in one piece and minimal of seams. Very stable and good go-comfort. Leather in "polstringen på toppen" (the part around the ankle I think) and in "pløsa" (under the laces). Sympatex membran and Thinsulate isolasjon..." (Sorry for my limited English)

I am not sure which version it is relevant for but it might be the new one and it is quite disturbing. I wonder if this version is more oriented toward the Norwegian market. Worth emailing Alpina about their newest version.
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bgregoire
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Re: Alpina BC 1600 Boot

Post by bgregoire » Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:45 pm

GuillaumeM wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:52 pm
I am not sure which version it is relevant for but it might be the new one and it is quite disturbing. I wonder if this version is more oriented toward the Norwegian market. Worth emailing Alpina about their newest version.
What are you disturbed about???

Hey, i've been hunting down the better nordic backcountry boot models for years now. I've seen, handled and tried most of them.

All the better boots manufacturers still in production (Alfa, Crispi, Alpina, Lundhags) have a much stronger presence in Scandinavia than in North America. Us NAns have been and still are to some extent largely limited to Fisher, Rossignol and Salomon (with some Alpina and very little Alfa in the last couple years). Notice how all the brands I identified in the first set are primarily boot manufacturers while those major boots brands easily available in NA make skis first and foremost...and some boots to go with them (not their expertise).

So yeah. Us NAns are NOT at the center of the world when it comes to nordic backcountry skiing. Scandinavia, especially Norway, is where its at.

So that ad you found, I am willing to bet its OLD (before the arrival of the Alaska). I came across a pair of Alpina 1600s for sale as used rental gear in Abisko Sweden around 2014. BUT I had never seen a pair new for sale there that year or since. The Alaskas were fresh on the scene bat in 2013-4.

The Alpina 1600...Its a good boot. Its super similar to both Crispi Stetind and the Alfa Skarvet (I would choose either or first before the 1600s if I needed a pair). But man, that Alaksa has a taller upper, its fully laced. Its nicely designed too.

Keep in mind a stiffer boot is not alway better in NNN-BC. You need some decent support, but the tele-technique is different with a binding like that, and it requires more finesse. I won't get into the details cause it drive me to sleep.

IDK. Yeah the 1600s if you can get them for cheap and don't want to spend. But there are a look of nicer options around too.
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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MicahE
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Re: Alpina BC 1600 Boot

Post by MicahE » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:34 pm

In the end, I think we can all agree that "the fit is the fashion". It's better to focus on the fit/feel (as long as it performs as needed) than where it sits in a companies line-up or against other boots that carry a brand that a person feels like they prefer.

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MicahE
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Re: Alpina BC 1600 Boot

Post by MicahE » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:03 pm

For what it's worth, I emailed customer service this question...

"I live in the USA and I have tried on both the Alaskas and the 1600s and ultimately bought the 1600s because they fit my foot better and felt much more sturdy/supportive. I am part of a community of telemark/xc skiers and wonder why the 1600s are not available in the USA. I was only able to order them through a vendor who shipped them out from Europe.

Also, can you comment on the intended difference between the two boots? As in, what role does each have in your line-up?"


And they replied with...

"In the USA we have a large success with the Alaska models (nnn & 75mm) and retailers (our primary audience) have expressed little interest in the 1600 even though it is a great boot.

The end user is the same for each model. Again another reason we don't carry both as we'd be splitting business."


Not really a complete answer but this is what I got from them.

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GuillaumeM
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Re: Alpina BC 1600 Boot

Post by GuillaumeM » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:11 am

I ordered the boot for my girlfriend and just received it yesterday. Out of the box it looks like a very promising boot.

It uses a 3.0 mm full grain leather (my Stetind have a 2.4-2.6) and a kevlar reinforced toe-box. The sole flex is stiffer than both the Stetind and the Alaska (out of the box, let's see how it goes on the long run), very close to the BCX6 and the Sydpolen. The ankle support looks also better than the Stetind, the Alaska and the Sydpolen.

According to my girlfriend, there is good volume in the boot and I would think it is close to Alfa shoes. I think the boot is mainly developed for the scandinavian market. Despite the stiffness she said the boot was comfortable, thanks to the cushioning and the Thinsulate liner, so I don't think that blisters will be an issue.

Here in Scandinavia you find the boot for a price between 140-200 USD, which is great. I will let you know about her impressions after testing it on skis (next planned trip for Easter).

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