2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

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lilcliffy
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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by lilcliffy » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:47 am

Hey Johnny,
I need some help figuring out sizing in these boots!
What size did you order? What size are you normally? What size are your standard Alaska BCs?
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Johnny
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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by Johnny » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:59 am

I am really somewhere between 42 and 43...

All my Dr Martens and Rangers boots were always 10.5 or 11. My Birkenstocks were always 43 narrow. My Vibram FiveFingers were always 43. My plastic ski boots were always 27.5-28.

My 42 Alaskas are very tight, even with a thin sock. My 43 Alaskas are a bit large, even with a thick sock. Some other 42 boots are just too small for me. I had no idea about Alfa boots and didn't want to end up with a 400$ boot that I cannot use, so I went for safety and ordered the 43.

As you noticed, they do are cavernous...! The 43 Guards fit quite large even with 2 pairs of socks! I should have ordered size 42 but on the other hand, I kind of really like wearing 2 pairs of socks now, both for warmth and friction reduction. So much that I think I officially became a two-pairs-of-socks guy....

Hope that helps... Let me know if you want me to measure stuff of whatever... 8-)
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lilcliffy
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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by lilcliffy » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:58 am

Fitting footwear and especially boots is a bizarre thing. It would be a lot easier if we were still making homemade skin-fur boots strapped to homemade skis with universal bindings! :idea:

This is wild- in boots that fit me properly- I too am consistently a 42.5EU as well...But- I have never fit a 10.5-11US!! My boots and shoes have always been about a 9US (8.5 in shoes that run big- 9.5 in shoes that run small!!)

Your description of the Alaska is the same as mine. Sounds like my feet are a tad bit shorter than yours as the 42 that I tried on would work for me. I ordered my pair from the US back in 2015- otherwise, I probably would have returned them to MEC for a size 42!

My friend, Rob, ordered a pair of Alfa Kikum, size 44. They were very large volume, but the footbed length seemed right for a 44. He tried on my Alaska 43 and they were too short. As another comparison, Rob can wear my Fischer BXC6 size 43 if he takes out the insole- though they are a bit too small...

Ben's description of the Fischer size 43 and Alfa size 41 having the same sole disturbed me...made me anxious that perhaps an Alfa 41 is acually as big as a Fischer 43?!
But your description with the Guard Advance suggests that the footbed is a 43EU!
Phew!

In the meantime, I have bought a pair of Alfa Kikum/Perform size 41EU for a mere $90US! That boots should give me a good idea of whether a size 42 can work for me. And my 14-year old daughter has begun to wear size 41EU- same as my wife! My daughter is not crazy about the Rossi BCX6 that she is wearing...
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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by Smitty » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:41 pm

Hey Johnny / Ben (and anyone else who has tried on or owns multiple Alfa boots!),

In your experience, how do the various Alfa models fit relative to one another? Would it be safe to assume that the EU 41 Kikut Perform will fit the same as an EU 41 Skarvet Advance will fit the same as an EU 41 Guard?

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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by Johnny » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:20 pm

Ben could help you better than me, as his Alfas are around that size... But since the Kikut, the Q-Advance and the Guard are similar boots with different support levels, I think it's safe to say that the sizing must be very similar too...
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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by fisheater » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:35 pm

I am immune to all this talk about Alfa boots. My new Alaska boots fit like they were custom made for my feet. I have enough Ski equipment, I am immune to this thread. Really, I think ;)

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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by Johnny » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:00 pm

fisheater wrote:I am immune to all this talk about Alfa boots. My new Alaska boots fit like they were custom made for my feet. I have enough Ski equipment, I am immune to this thread. Really, I think ;)
I really admire your strength and tenacity. I am totally Immunodeficient when it comes to high end, world class gear...
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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by bgregoire » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:08 pm

Smitty wrote:Hey Johnny / Ben (and anyone else who has tried on or owns multiple Alfa boots!),

In your experience, how do the various Alfa models fit relative to one another? Would it be safe to assume that the EU 41 Kikut Perform will fit the same as an EU 41 Skarvet Advance will fit the same as an EU 41 Guard?

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My understanding is that the various lasts Alfa used are described as "fits". The last used in a given show in described in the shoe details, for ex.:


"Active Fit
More volume in the forefoot guarantees comfortable and warm feet.The round heel grip helps to minimize the risk of blisters."

"Expedition Fit
A specially developed fit that provides enough space for wool inner boots or two pairs of polar socks."

I'm pretty sure all the backcountry ski boots have the Active fit.

I'm thinking there might be a small variation between the NNN-BC and 75mm last just cause the outer soles are different...but as as whole, sizing should be the same overall.
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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lilcliffy
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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:57 pm

I have a pair of these on my feet as I write this- size 42EU:
20190209_095659.jpg
These were waiting from me when I got back from my morning Gamme 54 speed tour!
I have been wearing them and flexing them for an hour or so.

Some initial impressions/observations:
- these are a true and perfect 42EU in terms of the length of the footbed- identical to the Crispi 42EU that I have.
- these are the widest and largest volume NNNBC boot I have ever had on my feet.
- the quality of the materials and construction is a work of art
- the lacing system is excellent- better than all of the other boots I have (save my Scarpa hiking.mountaineering boots)
- the sole flex is softer- in all dimensions- compared to my VERY used Alaska BC.
- the sole flex is about identical to the Svartisen BC- perhaps a little stiffer.
- the ankle support is about the same as the Alaska- despite the leather upper. The leather upper on the Guard is very soft and thin.
- the Guard has a molded and contoured heel- like the Alaska
- lot of insulation- similar to the Alaska- more than the Svartisen
- the Guard has a foam liner around the upper heel and Achilles- just like the Alaska.


If the Guard is stiffer and more supportive than the Quest Advance/Skarvet BC, then that boot is much softer than I had thought! Glad I waited to buy the Guard.

After putting my thick high-quality wool insole, and my thickest, tight-fitted wool ski socks- the Guard advance fits even my low-volume feet PERFECTLY.

These are the most comfortable ski boots I have perhaps ever had on my feet. Even more comfortable than my VERY comfy Alaskas...

The sole flex is perfect for heavy-duty BC-XCd skiing- out of the box.
Like the Svartisen- I feel that the sole flex is too soft for a brand-new boot...I fear it will become waaaay too soft once the midsole is broken in...

More on this boot once I have put them through their paces!
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by Cannatonic » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:04 pm

Look at the stitching & leather gusset around the tongue - really nice work! some of the nicest ski boot workmanship anywhere is coming out of Alfa & Lundhags in Scandanavia these days. Would love to see Alfa start making a Norwegian welt boot for 3-pin instead of the glue-on model they have now (Greenland). It seems like Italy is the only place doing this type of boot.

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