Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

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JB TELE
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Location: San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

Post by JB TELE » Thu May 19, 2022 12:46 am

This past season was my first season skiing and I had a miserable time with plastic boots (both tele and AT). It's a long explanation, but I've determined that it's probably impossible for me to ski a rigid plastic boot without extreme pain in the top of my left foot. The muscles up there are just too sensitive and can't handle rigid pressure.

I've decided to fully commit to leather/soft boots next season and I'm looking for advice on the ideal boots, bindings and skis for a beginner. I want a setup that provides the best possible downhill control with a leather boot, even though I'm going to stick to touring around very mellow slopes, even if I'm sacrificing cross country performance to make learning my turns easier. My primary goal is using skis for wilderness travel and I'm ok with only sticking to very mellow terrain for a while and maybe someday skiing moderate terrain very slowly and conservatively. I'm currently in South East Colorado and I plan on only skiing mid winter soft snow conditions and switching over to desert hiking in the spring.

Boots: Right now I own the alpina alaskas which are very comfortable and great for CC, but they are pretty soft. Looking for something more rigid. I have my eyes on the crispi svartens which look great but also the fischer transnordics. What other currently produced options are there? Finding used ones is unlikely because I'm in a small town. I looked often this past season and found nothing. I know that alfa makes some supportive boots but only in rottafella xplore. Should I even bother with them since they don't have a cable? I'm making the assumption that they can't give me the downhill performance that 75mm can.

Skis/Bindings: Right now I own some alpina alaska 102 skis with voile 3 pin cable bindings and some voile hypervector bc skis with voile switchback bindings. The alpinas are great touring on consolidated snow but their skinny underfoot makes me feel really unstable. The hypervectors have been great in plastic boots but possibly too wide for leather boots unless it's powder? Do you think these 2 ski combinations will cover my bases for powder vs consolidated snow or should I be looking at a different set up?
Do the voile switchbacks make sense with leather boots if I'm trying to max out downhill performance?

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greatgt
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Re: Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

Post by greatgt » Thu May 19, 2022 8:56 am

The more flexible the boot the more you can do with it...Ditto on skis......go skinnier.....lighter.....less sidecut.....Your heading toward Nordic Telemark so trash all traces of Alpine stuff and then ski like hell.....You won't believe it!!!!! TM



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stilltryin
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Re: Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

Post by stilltryin » Thu May 19, 2022 10:41 am

I'm focused on your downhill control priority.
Others here have experience with a wider assortment of gear than I do, but I'll share a couple of thoughts anyway.
Regarding plastic boots: If you did not go to a professional boot-fitter and explain your situation, there may still be hope by way of such things as new liners/cooking liners.
Regarding leather: The Alico Blaze are the burliest leather boots that I know of, and they might drive those Vectors, but at some point a burly leather boot might give you the same problem as plastic. (I got my Alicos 25+ years ago, used them to learn at the resort, they still show up on the Alico site, but I'm not sure if that's for real.)
You could try the transnordics to see how they work for you, but I don't know if they will be different enough from the Alaskas. You might also go with a ski that is a bit narrower than your Vectors, such as Fischer 112.
Oh, and don't limit your gear search to your local area.
Hopefully others will chime in.



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connyro
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Re: Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

Post by connyro » Thu May 19, 2022 3:46 pm

greatgt wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 8:56 am
The more flexible the boot the more you can do with it...Ditto on skis......go skinnier.....lighter.....less sidecut.....Your heading toward Nordic Telemark so trash all traces of Alpine stuff and then ski like hell.....You won't believe it!!!!! TM
Sigh. It doesn't seem like the OP is asking about xc skiing. Advising a skier to use xc gear for tele turns in the bc is not only inappropriate but also irresponsible.



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Nick BC
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Re: Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

Post by Nick BC » Thu May 19, 2022 8:56 pm

I’ve found the Alpina Alaska combined with Rottefella Super Telemark Cable to provide pretty good downhill control. Three pins only for k&g and attach the hardwires for the descent. I have them on a pair of Hagan Ride (76 cm underfoot) so wider underfoot than your Alpina 102’s.



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fisheater
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Re: Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

Post by fisheater » Thu May 19, 2022 9:04 pm

I have been looking for just such a set up for quite a few years. I have found what I believe to be exceptional. My skis are Asnes Falketind Xplore 196 cm for my 190 lbs. My boots are Alpina Alaska. My bindings are Rottefella Super Telemark with the cable. The Rotte ST/cable is far superior to Voile designs with a soft boot like the Alaska, or at the very least with the Alaska boot. The FTX offers good kick and glide, is torsionally stiff and gives good edge hold, and offers good support in deep snow. To me it’s performance is far, far beyond Fischer S-Bounds. While the Alpina 75 is a marginal downhill boot in three pins only, in the Rotte ST cable it offer very good downhill performance.
This combination has it’s limits, however at that point I think it’s time for a Objective/Vector and a T-4/T-2
I’ve had an S-112, and an original FT, this new combo outperforms both by a great margin. I can’t say much more than that.



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fisheater
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Re: Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

Post by fisheater » Thu May 19, 2022 9:06 pm

Nick BC wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 8:56 pm
I’ve found the Alpina Alaska combined with Rottefella Super Telemark Cable to provide pretty good downhill control. Three pins only for k&g and attach the hardwires for the descent. I have them on a pair of Hagan Ride (76 cm underfoot) so wider underfoot than your Alpina 102’s.
I can’t agree more Nick. The Alaska with ST cable is a great combination!



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stilltryin
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Re: Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

Post by stilltryin » Fri May 20, 2022 9:44 am

Can the cable/rods be removed/attached w/o taking skis off?
What is the weight difference with the Voile 3-pin cable?



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fisheater
Posts: 1780
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:06 pm
Location: Oakland County, MI
Ski style: All my own, and age doesn't help
Favorite Skis: Gamme 54, Falketind 62, I hope to add a third soon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska, Alico Ski March
Occupation: Construction Manager

Re: Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

Post by fisheater » Fri May 20, 2022 11:47 am

stilltryin wrote:
Fri May 20, 2022 9:44 am
Can the cable/rods be removed/attached w/o taking skis off?
What is the weight difference with the Voile 3-pin cable?
The cable cannot be installed w/o removing the ski. If you mount the binding on a Voile riser, then you can hook to the Voile heel piece. In Michigan where my climbs are not sustained, but I have some interesting downhills, I have just skied with the cables attached. I use very little cable pressure, just enough for the heel piece to click in. The cable is very laterally stiff, it’s engineered differently than the Voile HW. It’s possible to kick and glide without really engaging the springs, but it is not nearly as efficient as the kick and glide w/o the cable connected



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JB TELE
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Re: Leather boot set up with best downhill control?

Post by JB TELE » Fri May 20, 2022 10:38 pm

fisheater wrote:
Fri May 20, 2022 11:47 am
stilltryin wrote:
Fri May 20, 2022 9:44 am
Can the cable/rods be removed/attached w/o taking skis off?
What is the weight difference with the Voile 3-pin cable?
The cable cannot be installed w/o removing the ski. If you mount the binding on a Voile riser, then you can hook to the Voile heel piece. In Michigan where my climbs are not sustained, but I have some interesting downhills, I have just skied with the cables attached. I use very little cable pressure, just enough for the heel piece to click in. The cable is very laterally stiff, it’s engineered differently than the Voile HW. It’s possible to kick and glide without really engaging the springs, but it is not nearly as efficient as the kick and glide w/o the cable connected
I have the voile traverse bindings on my alpinas which have the heel riser with the lip. I can hook the cables behind that heel piece. Can you not do that with the regular voile 3 pin bidnings? (no heel riser) Honestly if I had to remove the skis and take the cable off every time, that would drive me crazy.



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