Alternatives before buying Alaskas

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John Dee
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Alternatives before buying Alaskas

Post by John Dee » Sat Oct 02, 2021 11:53 am

2nd year of cross country skiing. Quite a few hills on my daily trots, some of them are pretty much one big hill. I want to actually learn to go down them this year.

The mailman just dropped off some Transnordic 66 crown on my doorstep and I haven't gotten up to open them yet. It appears that a lot of stores just got a shipment of Alpina Alaskas, and I plan to drive up to GearX.com storefront to try them on. I worry there could be a lot of people from last year who may suck up inventory fast, or it could go from $249 to $325. Maybe just the consumer node of my brain is being triggered. I know that my current Fischer OTX5 boots won't turn for crap.

The internet concensus is probably right, the Alaskas are great. But I just wonder why a boot has to be so tall and how this really feels to stride in. Is there a different school of thought for "versatile" XC? Does anyone prefer a competitor like Rossi or Ficsher for any reason? Comfort is more important than durability for me.

I'm also a little confused as to how you get a stiffer sole for turning, but still get XC performance. I thought that traditional stiff nordic boots could cause people foot pain for XC skiing. So while they could do turns, they were not that great for XC skiing. How do modern boots achieve both? Are they a compromise for kicking? Will I maybe want a slightly more flexible boot than the Alaska that can still turn?


Completed unlrelated question (Maybe don't read this all at once): I bought the Transnordic 59 Easyskin from France and am kind of wishing I got 200 instead of 195. I'm 5' 11" and my 152 lbs says 195-205 so 200 is the middle ground for me. I thought I'd want to have some maneuverability but I really want to maximize the weird niche that this ski fills, speed on backcountry trails. Or I may just sell and forget about this ski altogether because of metal edges on everday xc skis and dogs.
Last edited by John Dee on Sat Oct 02, 2021 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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John Dee
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Re: Alternatives before buying Alaskas

Post by John Dee » Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:03 pm

(Continuation of first post:)

Boots like the BC1600 and the Alfa guard appeal to me more. But they are more expensive and or harder to find, plus I can't try them on. I will have a different boot for fast flat skiing, so its just for hillier places and sometimes off trail.
Last edited by John Dee on Sat Oct 02, 2021 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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fisheater
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Location: Oakland County, MI
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Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska, Alico Ski March
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Re: Alternatives before buying Alaskas

Post by fisheater » Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:31 pm

I really like my Alaska BC, so much that I picked up an Alaska 75 mm. The Alaska fit me like they are custom made, it doesn’t get better than that. I agree about the high ankle, I don’t need it, but it doesn’t have any negative effect on my striding. The only guy I ski with is 10 years younger than me, he runs all year, and skis on NNN and a performance XC ski. I ski on Gamme and Alaska on NNN-BC. We don’t race, we enjoy skiing together a couple times a year, but you still know. We are pretty equal, but I’m much faster downhill. So I think kick and glide performance is pretty good



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John Dee
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Re: Alternatives before buying Alaskas

Post by John Dee » Sat Oct 02, 2021 8:25 pm

fisheater wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:31 pm
I agree about the high ankle, I don’t need it, but it doesn’t have any negative effect on my striding.
Does it annoy you at all? I'm a comfort freak.



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John Dee
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Re: Alternatives before buying Alaskas

Post by John Dee » Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:16 am

I can backorder Alfa Guards for shy of $300 with shipping from a place called Heavylightstore in Helsinki. I have bought many things from Europe recently and I don't think there is a customs fee.

I have read through all 11 pages of the 2019 review here of Alfa Guard GTX. People were following Alfas chart on their website which generally placed them one EU size lower than normal. I have done this by measuring my feet +1.5cm and it does the same for me, one size lower.

I can also go 45 minutes and try on Alpina Alaskas from a major supplier. I can even wear them around the house and return them if I don't like them. I'll be in that area on Tuesday so I should probably just wait on ordering anything.



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UtahBrian
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Re: Alternatives before buying Alaskas

Post by UtahBrian » Sun Oct 03, 2021 2:22 am

John Dee wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:16 am
1 pages of the 2019 review here of Alfa Guard GTX. People were following Alfas chart on their website which generally placed them one EU size lower than normal. I have done this by measuring my feet +1.5cm and it does the same for me, one size lower.
Does that mean that if I wear a 45 Alpina that I should consider a 46 Alfa or a 44 Alfa? I can't understand if you mean the Alfas are one size smaller at the same number or if we should order them one size smaller (because they run bigger).



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Woodserson
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Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: Alternatives before buying Alaskas

Post by Woodserson » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:17 am

I had some issues with Alfa sizing last year. I went through two? three? boots from different model lines and all the boots fit differently even with the same stamped size. So I was absolutely floating in a 47 from one type-- and by floating I mean I couldn't fill it with thicker socks and thicker liners, and the 47 in the second type was too small and even my thinnest socks didn't help. I don't know what it is. Regardless, voluminous heels in both, which don't work with my narrow heels.

I've found much success with Rossignol (BCX-10) and Alpina Alaska.

A lot will depend on your foot shape.



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John_XCD
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Re: Alternatives before buying Alaskas

Post by John_XCD » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:23 am

I generally wear running shoes and XC race boots in size 46.

Alaskas fit me in size 45. Also have Alfa guards also in size 45 which fit. The guards are higher volume than the alaskas so I have a wool footbed to take up some room.

Both boots are appropriately much stiffer in the mid-sole than an xc race boot. The guard has a softer flex and I prefer it to the Alaska for that reason (actually for striding and skiing downhill). After a bit of break in-- I would not say the Alaska is at all too stiff or uncomfortable in size 45. My wife has a pair of Alaskas in size 38 which are incredibly stiff in the mid-sole to the point they limit xc striding. So I might beware in the smaller sizes. If you have a really small volume foot you might be swimming in the guard.



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Woodserson
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XCD: Asnes FT62, XC: Nansen, E99, Bonna 1800
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Rossignol BCX10
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: Alternatives before buying Alaskas

Post by Woodserson » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:25 am

John Dee wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 11:53 am
I bought the Transnordic 59 Easyskin from France and am kind of wishing I got 200 instead of 195. I'm 5' 11" and my 152 lbs says 195-205 so 200 is the middle ground for me. I thought I'd want to have some maneuverability but I really want to maximize the weird niche that this ski fills, speed on backcountry trails. Or I may just sell and forget about this ski altogether because of metal edges on everday xc skis and dogs.
Ok, so you got the WAX version of this ski. In this category/class ski I usually am skiing 205cm-- I am 6'2" and usually 160lbs. However, I am a very good experienced skier and prefer faster longer skis and can adapt my kick to work when I am right at the weight limit for a ski.

The 200 might be better with more moderate skills but then less maneuverability. But add in lots of hills and downhills and maybe someone with your experience would prefer the 195's. What's really nice about the WAX version however, is that you won't be limited by the drag of the scales. You are going to be able to set how much drag/glide you want on the ski, and if the ski is a little shorter than you would like, you'll be able to shorten the wax pocket and keep some good glide and speed. Don't worry about it until it snows, you ski a lot on it, and then you decide. Until then you are good to go. If you ever go and get a CROWN Fischer ski, go 200 at least.



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John Dee
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Re: Alternatives before buying Alaskas

Post by John Dee » Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:53 am

UtahBrian wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 2:22 am
John Dee wrote:
Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:16 am
1 pages of the 2019 review here of Alfa Guard GTX. People were following Alfas chart on their website which generally placed them one EU size lower than normal. I have done this by measuring my feet +1.5cm and it does the same for me, one size lower.
Does that mean that if I wear a 45 Alpina that I should consider a 46 Alfa or a 44 Alfa? I can't understand if you mean the Alfas are one size smaller at the same number or if we should order them one size smaller (because they run bigger).
Buyers in that thread from maybe a year ago seemed to be using Alfa's chart with success. The chart would typically be one size smaller than normal; if you are a 43, you get a 42. Somebody was having trouble in your size range, maybe half way through the thread.

Someone here in this thread just said that their 45 was true to size. Then another person said different models fit differently. So take it with a grain of salt. I'm just saying what I read in that thread from 1-2 years ago.

Do NOT look at the US sizes because that part of the chart is screwed up. You measure your feet, add 1.5cm, and see what EU size their chart says, per their instruction.



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