Stiffer Boot for Xplore

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BerryBlossom
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by BerryBlossom » Tue Jun 25, 2024 9:45 pm

Have you considered trying Fischer XC boots? They're known for comfort and support, and you can check them out at REI or Backcountry.com, which offer good return policies. Good luck finding the right pair before the next ski season starts!

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lilcliffy
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Jun 27, 2024 4:50 pm

JohnSKepler wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2024 6:36 pm
The Abisku Explore is available in the US through Varuste. I figured I'd start out with however it matched up with the Alfa Free or the Alpina Alaska XP. What was the consensus on the Abisku Xplore? Did it fit like an Alfa Free or more like a Alpina Alaska? Those are the two boots that I remember comparing it to. And it apparently it has a wide last. I'm really hoping to replace the Free since I wasn't able to do much xcD last year with only the Alaska.
Note that the standard Abisku is the lower-cut and lower-volume (thinner liner) design- same as the Guide BC-
the standard lower-cut Abisku/Guide is similar to the Alaska BC in terms of height and support-
the Alaska XP is lower-cut than the Alaska BC.

The Lundhags "Expedition" design is significantly higher-cut and more supportive- and the interior volume is much larger than the standard Guide/Abisku.

I have-
Alaska XP
Free XP
Abisku Expedition XP
Guide BC

The Guide BC/Abisku are medium-width and larger volume than the Free or Alaska XP.
The Alaska XP is the smallest-volume last I have ever owned- I find them painfully tight- even sized-up!
For reference- I have a medium-width low-volume foot/ankle.

The Abisku/Guide offers more support than the Alaska XP- but, that ain't saying much- the Free is more supportive-
The Expedition is inbetween the Abisku/Guide and the Free.

In terms of support- from lowest to highest:
Alaska XP
Abisku XP
Expedition XP
Free XP

In terms of width- from narrowest to widest:
Alaska XP
Free XP
Abisku XP
Expedition XP

In terms of volume- from smalles to to largest:
Alaska XP
Free XP
Abisku XP
Expedition XP
I haven't found a supplier for the Abisku Expedition though you may be able to order them directly from Lundhags.
Outnorth-
https://www.outnorth.com/int/brands/lun ... 5-FS190919
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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JohnSKepler
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by JohnSKepler » Thu Jun 27, 2024 5:54 pm

@lilcliffy, I recall that you also suffered from heel blisters with the Alfa Free. I tried several mitigations but nothing worked. Did you find a way to keep them from eating your heel? I would love to keep them and use them but unless I can control the blisters...

I also seem to recall some sizing information you suggested for the Abisku Xplore at one point. I wear a 41 in the Free and in the Alaska XP.
Veni, Vidi, Viski



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lilcliffy
Posts: 4133
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Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
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Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad, Combat Nato, Amundsen, Rabb 68; Altai Kom
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska BC; Lundhags Expedition; Alfa Skaget XP; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Jun 28, 2024 7:02 pm

JohnSKepler wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2024 5:54 pm
I recall that you also suffered from heel blisters with the Alfa Free.
No- sorry if I gave you that impression- no heel issues with Alfa Free (did have heel issues with Alfa Guard)- I have metatarsal crushing/pinching issues with the Free- otherwise, the fit is great (as is the similar-lasted Alfa Skaget).
I tried several mitigations but nothing worked. Did you find a way to keep them from eating your heel? I would love to keep them and use them but unless I can control the blisters...

I also seem to recall some sizing information you suggested for the Abisku Xplore at one point. I wear a 41 in the Free and in the Alaska XP.
Ok- so there might be something here...
Do you not have a wide foot?
I simply cannot comprehend how you "fit" in the same size Alaska XP and Free XP!
If you have even a medium-width foot (let alone a wide one!)- and the 41 Alaska XP fits you- then I would suggest your problem with the Free is that it is too large-
I would suggest trying a 40 Free.

The Alaska XP has an unusually small-volume and narrow toe/metarsal box...
For example, while a 42 Alaska XP would be long enough (which is what usually gives me a performance fit- and is the size I wear in the Alaska BC/Crispi/Alfa/Lundhags/Scarpa)- I had to size-up to a 43 to even wear them, and they are still too tight (though they would work if they didnt have a rigid, plastic toe box...).

If you fit in an 41 Alaska XP- and your foot is wide- then I would suggest that you are not a 41EU in terms of length...
I also seem to recall some sizing information you suggested for the Abisku Xplore at one point. I wear a 41 in the Free and in the Alaska XP.
The Lundhags lasts are true to EU sizing.
But, if you find a 41 Alaska XP comfortable, then I would think a 40 Lundhags Expedition...
The 40 standard Abisku/Guide (medium-width) "might" be too narrow for your wide foot- but, again- if the 41 Alaska XP fits you- I cannot see how a 40 Abisku XP would not fit you...

Measure your foot and use Lundhags sizing guide:
https://lundhags.com/eu/guide/boot-guid ... ide-boots2

I used this procedure- and- surprise- got a 42.
I have 4 different Lundhags boots (both field and ski/skate)- they are all 42 and they all fit beautifully.
Hope I am helping you!
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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fisheater
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by fisheater » Sat Jun 29, 2024 3:38 pm

As an observer of this discussion, I keep being drawn back to the same thought. My goal is comfortable and efficient XC performance, with the best possible downhill performance in a leather boot.
TTS bindings have given me a perspective of the advantages of a two pin system. I will give Xplore the advantage over 75 mm utilizing that connection in both downhill and XC modes.
Boot stiffness or lack of stiffness in a leather boot, in the sole, the cuff, and the complete upper and its attachment to the sole, are completely different from plastic boots. I know that isn’t news to anyone.
For me, the cable on 75 mm can make all the difference in leather boot downhill performance. Mostly by improving the longitudinal connection between boot and ski.
However, it would be very nice to not have to mess with a cable. Since the general logic, from both manufacturers and skiers seems to be stiffening the boot by adding material to the leather, is means to achieve more downhill control. I believe adding a stiffer foam liner seems like it may check the boxes, or more accurately strike the right balance between adding support for downhill, while not impeding striding. Boots that crush toes are useless to Telemark skiers. I wouldn’t consider such a design.
Since the Ludhags Expedition already has a felt liner, I would bet a foam liner like the I am linking below may be a nice combination. Certainly dual density closed cell foam would offer greater control over felt?
I will continue to observe. I hope you guys take your time figuring out the ultimate combination of XC and Downhill performance. I really don’t want to make the switch, but ditching the cable would convince me to switch.
Here’s the liner, just over $100 USD
https://intuitionliners.com/product/plug/



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Capercaillie
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by Capercaillie » Sat Jun 29, 2024 9:29 pm

fisheater wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:39 pm
@Capercaillie Did you use a toe cap when you baked your liners? If you did, that’s all I have to offer. If not, and for all other baking novices, myself included. Here is a link to some good instruction and some fitting supplies from Intuition:
https://intuitionliners.com/home-fitting/

BTW @Capercaillie I really think the “Watermelon Boot” is a great idea. I’m surprised more multi-day tourers haven’t adopted it.
I did. It seems that toe box height for the big toe is still a problem, might try again with more padding on top. Plastic double boots don't seem to have this problem, and I suspect leather double boots were also made with taller toe boxes than you find when trying to put a liner into a regular upsized boot.



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fisheater
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Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska, Alico Ski March
Occupation: Construction Manager

Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by fisheater » Sun Jun 30, 2024 9:58 am

Well @Capercaillie that certainly is disappointing.
I wonder if the Ludhags Expedition would have a taller toe box?
I will continue to follow along. I’m happy with the gear I have, but there is room for improvement. I enjoy reading about what is working for others.



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turnfarmer
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by turnfarmer » Sun Jun 30, 2024 4:15 pm

Capercaillie wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2024 9:29 pm
fisheater wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2024 7:39 pm
@Capercaillie Did you use a toe cap when you baked your liners? If you did, that’s all I have to offer. If not, and for all other baking novices, myself included. Here is a link to some good instruction and some fitting supplies from Intuition:
https://intuitionliners.com/home-fitting/

BTW @Capercaillie I really think the “Watermelon Boot” is a great idea. I’m surprised more multi-day tourers haven’t adopted it.
I did. It seems that toe box height for the big toe is still a problem, might try again with more padding on top. Plastic double boots don't seem to have this problem, and I suspect leather double boots were also made with taller toe boxes than you find when trying to put a liner into a regular upsized boot.
I’ve done lots of work on intuition liners in Alpine boots. If you are brave, the mesh can be cut and pulled back revealing the foam underneath. The foam can then be thinned by grinding and the fabric glued back in place with contact cement or just removed completely in that area.



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turnfarmer
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by turnfarmer » Sun Jun 30, 2024 4:18 pm

fisheater wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2024 3:38 pm
As an observer of this discussion, I keep being drawn back to the same thought. My goal is comfortable and efficient XC performance, with the best possible downhill performance in a leather boot.
TTS bindings have given me a perspective of the advantages of a two pin system. I will give Xplore the advantage over 75 mm utilizing that connection in both downhill and XC modes.
Boot stiffness or lack of stiffness in a leather boot, in the sole, the cuff, and the complete upper and its attachment to the sole, are completely different from plastic boots. I know that isn’t news to anyone.
For me, the cable on 75 mm can make all the difference in leather boot downhill performance. Mostly by improving the longitudinal connection between boot and ski.
However, it would be very nice to not have to mess with a cable. Since the general logic, from both manufacturers and skiers seems to be stiffening the boot by adding material to the leather, is means to achieve more downhill control. I believe adding a stiffer foam liner seems like it may check the boxes, or more accurately strike the right balance between adding support for downhill, while not impeding striding. Boots that crush toes are useless to Telemark skiers. I wouldn’t consider such a design.
Since the Ludhags Expedition already has a felt liner, I would bet a foam liner like the I am linking below may be a nice combination. Certainly dual density closed cell foam would offer greater control over felt?
I will continue to observe. I hope you guys take your time figuring out the ultimate combination of XC and Downhill performance. I really don’t want to make the switch, but ditching the cable would convince me to switch.
Here’s the liner, just over $100 USD
https://intuitionliners.com/product/plug/
I think the plug linersi extremely stiff and may not be a good match.

There are also these Palau liners which are very thin and may be more appropriate- https://skimo.co/palau-ultralight-race-liners



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JohnSKepler
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2022 6:31 pm
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Favorite Skis: Voile Objective BC, Rossignol BC 80
Favorite boots: Scarpa F1 Bellows, Alpina Alaska XP
Occupation: Rocket Scientist

Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by JohnSKepler » Mon Jul 01, 2024 11:32 am

lilcliffy wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2024 7:02 pm

I simply cannot comprehend how you "fit" in the same size Alaska XP and Free XP!
If you have even a medium-width foot (let alone a wide one!)- and the 41 Alaska XP fits you- then I would suggest your problem with the Free is that it is too large-
I would suggest trying a 40 Free.

The Alaska XP has an unusually small-volume and narrow toe/metarsal box...
For example, while a 42 Alaska XP would be long enough (which is what usually gives me a performance fit- and is the size I wear in the Alaska BC/Crispi/Alfa/Lundhags/Scarpa)- I had to size-up to a 43 to even wear them, and they are still too tight (though they would work if they didnt have a rigid, plastic toe box...).

If you fit in an 41 Alaska XP- and your foot is wide- then I would suggest that you are not a 41EU in terms of length...
I have usually bought boots that are too large. Before going down this road I read up a lot on boot fitting and ordered multiple sizes of everything. REI sent me a 40, 41, and 42 in the Alaska Alpina. I wore them around the office for a few weeks and kept the 40 because it fit tight. Over time it turned out to be too tight. I sold that boot and found a brand new 41 on eBay for like, $100 and, with a good sock, it fits much better.

I did the same thing with the Free but ordered a 40 and a 41. Again, the 40 was too small in all respects. The 41 fits much better and I don't, in fact, experience any noticeable heel lift in the Free. But, after a few miles there's a spot on the back of my heel that forms a blister. I've felt back there with my finger and the padding in that spot is thin to non-existent. The Free works on my left heel but my right heel is shaped different to the tune of a few millimeters but it is enough. It's super annoying because I don't get the metatarsal toe crush people talk about. Yes, I can feel where the bend is, and it is not as comfortable as the Alaska, but it doesn't cause me problems either.
lilcliffy wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2024 7:02 pm

The Lundhags lasts are true to EU sizing.
But, if you find a 41 Alaska XP comfortable, then I would think a 40 Lundhags Expedition...
The 40 standard Abisku/Guide (medium-width) "might" be too narrow for your wide foot- but, again- if the 41 Alaska XP fits you- I cannot see how a 40 Abisku XP would not fit you...

Measure your foot and use Lundhags sizing guide:
https://lundhags.com/eu/guide/boot-guid ... ide-boots2

I used this procedure- and- surprise- got a 42.
I have 4 different Lundhags boots (both field and ski/skate)- they are all 42 and they all fit beautifully.
Hope I am helping you!
I tried the lundhags chart and it tells me I'm a size 40 but I tried the 40 in the Free and it was too small. I can't remember now what the problem was but I think it was too narrow. I don't have narrow feet but they aren't wide either. I know I am sensitive to width issues, probably from 40+ years of pounding the grass in soccer. I stopped a few years ago and I'm able to tolerate narrowness better than I could before.

Sometimes you run across something that just doesn't fit and that seems to be the case with the Free. It actually fits great. Slightly tight, very comfortable, but that spot on the back of my heel. I may try one more thing. I experimented with this last year and it seemed to help sometimes and to not help at other times. I cut a piece of soft leather to cradle the back of my foot, from base to above the cuff on the boot. I laminate a piece of felt to this and would put it in the back of the boot. I may get a bit more aggressive with this approach and see what happens. I've been thinking of an adapter that would let me use my XC boots on an elliptical machine. Maybe pursue that and see if it reveals anything.

Thanks again for the advice.
Veni, Vidi, Viski



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