Leather Boot Reviews

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lilcliffy
Posts: 2932
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Leather Boot Reviews

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:21 am

Please post us a photo when you get the Ski March customized.
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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anemic
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:39 pm

Re: Leather Boot Reviews

Post by anemic » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:56 am

Cliffy I greatly appreciate your extensive specific input!!! Thank you!

Click1 or Click 2 for striding? I'm sure I will continue to prefer the looser setting (Click1)

75mm / BCNNN / not all leathers are the same / comparative flex
Thank you for the extensive feedback based on your experience. This is what I was fishing for. So it is clear that if a skier wants the most stiff tele boot in the lighter category, she goes with BC / NNN Svartisen or Alaska. The Alaska 75 may not be the most stiff tele boot, and it may not be the very best striding boot. Sounds like BC/NNN is the best striding platform and it may arguably be the best tele platform as well. Sounds like the Alaska BC/NNN is the best of the breed all around.

The photos of the Alaska 75 and Alaska BC/NNN being hand flexed are instructive (although I wish the hand was in the same position in both demonstrations). That is a lot like what my Merrells look like between Click1 & Click2 (except my heel is even higher than that in Click1).

SkiMarch sounds like it could be one of the best light tele / striding leather 75 mm boots. I'm not seeing a great hue and cry that the Antarctic is better at anything which seems strange given the price. I'm surprised that we have not logged a lot of test reviews of the SkiMarch.

UK Sizing is confusing. I am generally a US 9, EU 42, Mondo 27, unnkown UK. I should probably order a 9 UK which is Mondo 26. My Garmont EnerGs are 26/26.5 I believe but they are strangely sized. My foot is crammed into them, but I recently heat molded my liners and that helped tons.

I cannot wait to get back into the snow season so I can play around with descending in Click2 mode. I have decided that I will be a minimalist approach XCD skier. Skinniest fastest skis that will do the job (Eon 195cm waxers). Fastest skins when applicable (mohair strip skins - fast!). LIGHTEST boots that will do the job. I may already be where I need to be with my old leather Merrells - just need to test the Click2 theory on snow - and the forecast is awful for the near term and all the way out! Just as well. I'm in a life.place where I don't need to spend money right now.

Altai Kom Nils
I thought Nils was all about XCD on 75mm leathers, for either of his current designs Hok or Kom. That is interesting that you might think about driving the Kom with BC/NNN. I agree that is a cool thought. 7# / pair though (edit: I did not look closely enough at the weights to see if I am comparing single ski versus pair weights, not sure about that either way. Deserves closer look.). Objectives are significantly lighter. I've always had a thing for those Koms too. I love that such cool choices are out there for us.
Last edited by anemic on Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Call it Nordic Freeride





MikeK

Re: Leather Boot Reviews

Post by MikeK » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:08 pm

Generally UK is one size lower than US i.e. a US 10 would be a UK 9, but it's not always that easy. Sometimes it's more like a half size. Try to figure out the Euro size if you can and use that. Alico most likely has a Euro size chart for those boots... might be tough to find, but I'd contact them directly.

The Eon is a fine ski to use with NNN-BC and a light boot like the Alaska. It will bring out the best of that ski all around IME. It works with 3 pin too, but will not be as fun for XC. One could ski that with plastic, and thus want to keep the flexibility of pins, but personally, I think it is overkill. If you have no plans of skiing steep groomers, that setup will do well. The only area I'm not crazy about it is on ice or in tight, steepish terrain. It just is not maneuverable enough. Like all the XCD skis, I find it skittish on hard stuff. Soft boots don't help that.

In response to Gareth's comments about the Svartisen BC: True, I only have a couple skis on this boot (It's my newest boot but actually not my go-to boot either), so it may soften up a bit. But my recollection is it feels stiffer than the Alaska did when new. The ankle support is the real bonus though. It's absolutely perfect. Not too stiff and restricting, but enough to really help controlling the skis.

Also Re: the Svartisen BC. It's a real leather boot, not synthetic - it has the composite cuff and buckles, but under that is all leather. It's Goretex. It's super light. It's easily available in the US via Telemarkdown/Fey Brothers. The only thing that sucks about it is the stock insert and the laces. Other than that it is worth every penny.

I moved this to the main forum because it is a discussion about reviewing boots and not a boot review.





MikeK

Re: Leather Boot Reviews

Post by MikeK » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:04 pm

anemic wrote:. I'm in a life.place where I don't need to spend money right now.
I missed this initially and may be in direct conflict with what I posted.

Listen, I'm not a salesman, I'm an engineer. I get no freebies. Everything I buy and write about I do with my own money and do so to the best of my knowledge to help fill in the dearth of information that previously existed. Luckily when I started doing this, other people followed, so now a lot of information exists and maybe a lot of it is hand-waving and subjectivity, but it is what it is.

I will say this though - if you like this hobby (I won't call it sport because there is no competition), don't sell yourself short. I'm not here to tell you materialistic crap will fill some void in you and make your life better. It won't. But the experiences will. When I think about, what is $300 in the grand scheme of things? Nothing... don't mean jack. If I can spend that and have a ski setup that is giving me what I want everytime I go out, there is no way to value that. I'm not telling you you need buy the latest and greatest ski all the time, but if you have part of the setup you like, and you are part way there, don't stop... go all the way. Trust me, it's better. I've skied on old junk (and some of it is better than new junk) and what I have now, and I definitely have better experience with what I have now.

Just food for thought...





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Cannatonic
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Re: Leather Boot Reviews

Post by Cannatonic » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:33 pm

>>>SkiMarch sounds like it could be one of the best light tele / striding leather 75 mm boots. I'm not seeing a great hue and cry that the Antarctic is better at anything which seems strange given the price. I'm surprised that we have not logged a lot of test reviews of the SkiMarch.

The two boots are totally different - Antarctic is like the Alaska, just a little bit stiffer & more supportive. The Ski March is way stiffer & heavier than Antarctic, the 75mm sole and midsole don't flex as much. Antarctic can function well as simple XC boots on light XCD skis, the Ski March would be heavy clunkers in comparison. But the Antarctic will twist when trying to turn heavy skis, the Ski March won't.

The quality and durability of the Antarctic is off the chart. The Alico are similar, just cheap because they're military surplus, the British government probably paid 75% the cost of the boots! Absolutely anyone that wants to 3-pin tele should get a pair.
"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)





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anemic
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:39 pm

Re: Leather Boot Reviews

Post by anemic » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:42 pm

Cool compare and contrast exercise Cannatonic! Thank you


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Call it Nordic Freeride





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lilcliffy
Posts: 2932
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Leather Boot Reviews

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:38 pm

anemic wrote:Cliffy I greatly appreciate your extensive specific input!!! Thank you!
You are very welcome my friend- and I very much appreciate your perspective and input- and your tolerance for my inability to be concise when it comes to my first crack at writing anything.... :oops:
Click1 or Click 2 for striding? I'm sure I will continue to prefer the looser setting (Click1)
Cool- but I challenge you to play with this a bit- XC ski with more and less binding resistance and see what you notice- even try it with one foot with more resistance than the other. My limited experience is that I get significantly more stability and power when striding if there is some resistance- not enough resistance to prevent a full range of striding motion- but enough resistance to transfer force downwards into the ski. Play with it a bit- I am interested in whether you notice a difference. At the other end of the spectrum is XC skiing with a free-pivot binding- although one can of course XC ski with a free-pivot binding- without any resistance there is no binding resistance augmenting the downward Nordic kick...
I have decided that I will be a minimalist approach XCD skier. Skinniest fastest skis that will do the job (Eon 195cm waxers). Fastest skins when applicable (mohair strip skins - fast!). LIGHTEST boots that will do the job.
As much as I also love downhill power and speed- what you are describing is truly my passion in Nordic skiing.
Altai Kom Nils
I thought Nils was all about XCD on 75mm leathers, for either of his current designs Hok or Kom. That is interesting that you might think about driving the Kom with BC/NNN. I agree that is a cool thought. 7# / pair though (edit: I did not look closely enough at the weights to see if I am comparing single ski versus pair weights, not sure about that either way. Deserves closer look.). Objectives are significantly lighter. I've always had a thing for those Koms too. I love that such cool choices are out there for us.
I wasn't actually considering the Kom with NNNBC- I never really have actually. I would love to test it- but they are big heavy skis- I think too much for any NNNBC boot that I am aware of. Nils actually recommends a boot at least as powerful as the the T4/Excursion class for the Kom (The word is that he even questions if the 174cm Kom is too much ski for these light-duty plastic boots...). I know that Nils often uses the T4 on the 145cm Hok as well for downhill skiing the steep, tight, and deep. I would very much like to try this- but at this point I prefer the ease and flexibility of NNNBC on my Hoks- I can quickly get in and out of the binding, and I can quickly switch skis with another NNNBCer on a multi-generational, heavy-laden tour! :D

I have always assumed I would go with 75mm-3pin on a ski as big as the Kom. I have lent out my old XCD 10th Mtns and Guides- for the longterm. Now that I have satisfied my distance-oriented XCD obsession- over the next year, I am looking to upgrade my steep and deep, touring for turns kit- with T4, and a leather boot (hoping it is the Ski March), and 3pin cable, or the hardwire...The current contenders for the steep and deep ski are the Vector BC, the Kom, the S-Bound 125, and NOW the Objective BC. The specs and LJ's testimony on the Objective kind of blow my mind...If I can effectively downhill ski with NNNBC on the Objective- then, I don't need 75mm at all in the backcountry. When the snow is not ideal for the Objective+NNNBC- I will just choose a narrower ski.

I have a feeling that from an xcD perspective- using NNNBC- the Objective BC and the Nansen/Skog are probably the perfect two-ski BC quiver... :!: :?:
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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anemic
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:39 pm

Re: Leather Boot Reviews

Post by anemic » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:45 am

Quick update! I finally received 3 maybe 4 inches of snow, enough to cover my favorite local hilly golf course on my rock skis (Karhu XCD GT 190 or 195 cm, wax base). I got to ski again! Rejoice!

Today instead of the mohair strips I added more full length kickwax to the buildup that LoveJohnny had started. It was 17 degrees F so I used green, twice, corked in. It was a fun ride! I definitely covered more ground that I do with the mohair strips - which is more fun! I glided downhills more freely. I broke loose at a lower speed, and the glide lasted longer. Not by a lot, but enough that it's all more fun. I was even able to ascend adequately using the switchback method. Perhaps not as much grip as mohair of course, but adequate! The kick from the wax was more than adequate for k&g - great kick.

The other big trial today was the Click1 Click2 theory. I had wondered if my old leather flopper boots were completely clapped out - FAR more flexible than my wife's new leather boots. They are my only leathers (lifetime) so I have no benchmarks for feel. Final results? Click2 does WONDERS for the turning capability of the system! It removes tons of slop which allows me to confidently get into the tele position and link turns. In Click1, I had a very loose out of control flailing feeling that saps confidence. Click2 feels like it should for the descent. It's an easy simple "transition." So, I'm no longer wondering about my boots! They are FINE.

How about kick & glide in Click2? Nope. It gives my boots a hateful bound up feeling and wrecked my heels pretty quickly (heel blisters). So, back to Click1 for amazing k&g, Click2 for any turns. What a fun rig my rock skis are. So versatile. So highly capable to do many things. I'd love to put my backpack on and do an overnighter on them. I wish we had a few more inches in the forecast! I touched bottom 3 times. The good news is, I'm not worried about it with my old skis. They are still amazing tools, but if I had my new Eons and touched bottom, I would be sad. With the rock skis, I am not sad at all! I'm using the skis for their intended purpose and it's a beautiful thing.
Call it Nordic Freeride





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lowangle al
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Re: Leather Boot Reviews

Post by lowangle al » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:14 am

Anemic I tried the one click on my HWs without the heel throw and you are right they tour better. I was always reluctant to do it because I was afraid it might effect the pin holes.

Have you considered getting your boots resoled? It will make a world of difference in stiffness and dh performance.





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anemic
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Re: Leather Boot Reviews

Post by anemic » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:21 pm

Al, I'm thrilled to hear that - thanks! Amazing that I stumbled on that on my first ski excursion as a middle schooler in the 1970s on my 201 cm woodies. All the clicks created toe pinch in my blue adidas high tops! I back it off to Click1 and thus alleviated the problem.

I have waxed my leather boots with Biwell. I hope that doesn't preclude my cobbler from resoling these fine boots one day! Thanks for the resole tip. I have wondered about this.
Call it Nordic Freeride





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