Stiffer Boot for Xplore

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Tom M
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:01 pm
Location: Northwest Wyoming USA
Ski style: Skate on Groomed, XCD Off, Backcountry Tele
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by Tom M » Mon Jul 01, 2024 1:45 pm

JohnSKepler wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2024 11:32 am


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.
John, give this a try before you give up on the Free's, especially since you don't have the dreaded toe pinch issue.
41WHS29kSuL._AC_SX679_.jpg
They are available on Amazon for $18

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turnfarmer
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by turnfarmer » Mon Jul 01, 2024 2:51 pm

“ 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.”.

If it is one small spot that needs room ball and ring shoe stretchers work great. If there is plastic in the area it may need some hat from a heat gun first.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... &_osacat=0

If it a friction problem, ENGO works great-

https://goengo.com/



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Stephen
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by Stephen » Mon Jul 01, 2024 3:19 pm

turnfarmer wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2024 2:51 pm
“ 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.”.

If it is one small spot that needs room ball and ring shoe stretchers work great. If there is plastic in the area it may need some hat from a heat gun first.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R ... &_osacat=0

If it a friction problem, ENGO works great-

https://goengo.com/
@JohnSKepler, I was thinking similar.
You’re a clever guy. Seems like you could rig up some sort of mechanical thingy with treaded rod that you could use to press against that one spot with pressure. Leave it in there for a while. Put it out in the sun to get nice and warm.
If you can safely get the plastic in that area to Tg, that would help, but that much heat is risky.

Given the positive fit in all other areas, and if it was me, I would be feeling pretty confident that I could figure out something that would make enough difference to get a good fit.

Not sure about your fit, but you might not want to be adding anything that moves your foot forward, because that could affect other parts of the fit equation.



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lilcliffy
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by lilcliffy » Mon Jul 01, 2024 3:22 pm

Tom M wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2024 1:45 pm
John, give this a try before you give up on the Free's, especially since you don't have the dreaded toe pinch issue.
41WHS29kSuL._AC_SX679_.jpg

They are available on Amazon for $18
👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽
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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lilcliffy
Posts: 4136
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
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Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
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Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by lilcliffy » Mon Jul 01, 2024 3:33 pm

@JohnSKepler
Note-
the standard Lundhags Abisku/Guide has a wider and larger-volume metarsal-toe box vs the Alfa Free-
the Expedition is even roomier inside.
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 » Tue Jul 02, 2024 4:13 pm

Tom M wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2024 1:45 pm
JohnSKepler wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2024 11:32 am


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.
John, give this a try before you give up on the Free's, especially since you don't have the dreaded toe pinch issue.
41WHS29kSuL._AC_SX679_.jpg

They are available on Amazon for $18
Buying socks and shoes if you select one you actually get a pair. The ad doesn't say whether you get just one or if you get a pair when you select one. I want one for each foot so should I order one or order two? Thanks!
Veni, Vidi, Viski



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Tom M
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:01 pm
Location: Northwest Wyoming USA
Ski style: Skate on Groomed, XCD Off, Backcountry Tele
Favorite Skis: Fischer S-Bound 98 Off Trail, Voile V6 BC for Tele
Favorite boots: Currently skiing Alfa Vista, Alfa Free, Scarpa T2
Occupation: Retired
Website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCam0VG ... shelf_id=1

Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by Tom M » Tue Jul 02, 2024 7:54 pm

[/quote]

Buying socks and shoes if you select one you actually get a pair. The ad doesn't say whether you get just one or if you get a pair when you select one. I want one for each foot so should I order one or order two? Thanks!
[/quote]

My Amazon order came as a pair and I wear them under my normal socks on my Alfa Vista's if on a long distance tour. If you are only having problems with one boot, then you probably only need to wear one on the problem foot.



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JohnSKepler
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Occupation: Rocket Scientist

Re: Stiffer Boot for Xplore

Post by JohnSKepler » Mon Jul 08, 2024 1:19 pm

Received a pair of Abisku Explore boots in the mail the other day form Finland. I ordered a size 41. They are as described, heavy, stiff, and well made. And, as described, it is quite difficult pushing my foot through the opening.

They fit extremely well through the ankle and foot. Tight, but not in any one spot. Just uniformly snug. The toe box is massive and I probably have 1/4 to 1/2 inch between the front of my toes and the front of the boot. It's hard to tell with the upper as thick and stiff as it is. They are comfortable for what they are and I think would be very warm. They could definitely accommodate a thicker sock if I wanted to wear one.

I laced them up tight and stepped into a pair of skis. Lateral and torsional stiffness seemed excellent. Much stiffer in both directions than the Alaska, which isn't a comparison as much as a delta. The sole is crazy stiff and provides a good bit of activity with the hard bumper in place. When simulating a telemark stance on both sides I couldn't detect any heel lift at all and they seemed to stay as comfortable as a boot like that is going to. They 'bend' a bit further back than the Free, which I think would help with skiing.

I have no idea if they fit right. The heel hold is, as others have said, very good. I also find the padded tongue really holds my foot and would keep it from sliding forward. There is some roominess in the toe box but I don't know if I could even get my foot into a smaller size. I'm also coming from boots with zero room in the toe box so what seems like a lot might just be more like a normal shoe.

I guess I should ask, what does this boot do as it breaks in? I would imagine the sold softens a little and the lining packs a bit. Is my ankle going to loosen up (I don't want it to) letting my foot slide forward a little. I hate it when that happens. Is the opening going to open up a little as I wear them? I will say that lacing them tight pulls the opening closed across top of the shaft so that there's not much room left between the two sides. If they packed in very much I'd run into trouble with the two sides of the boot touching at the top of the shaft and then it would not be possible to get them any tighter.

Any experience with this boot would be really helpful in deciding if I should order another pair since sometimes you don't know if it fits until it is used as intended and then... too tight or too lose and too late to send them back.
Veni, Vidi, Viski



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lilcliffy
Posts: 4136
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: backcountry Nordic ski touring
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 » Thu Jul 18, 2024 11:09 am

JohnSKepler wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2024 1:19 pm
They fit extremely well through the ankle and foot. Tight, but not in any one spot. Just uniformly snug. The toe box is massive and I probably have 1/4 to 1/2 inch between the front of my toes and the front of the boot. It's hard to tell with the upper as thick and stiff as it is. They are comfortable for what they are and I think would be very warm. They could definitely accommodate a thicker sock if I wanted to wear one.
Interesting↑ Ideally you would have been able to try on both the 40 and 41...
They 'bend' a bit further back than the Free, which I think would help with skiing.
👍🏽
I guess I should ask, what does this boot do as it breaks in?
This is greatly influenced by how you choose to maintain the leather.
I treat the leather of this boot with a water-based leather boot cream- this not only maintains the leather in the long-term, but also "encourages" the leather to conform to your ankle-instep-calf.
(Peronally, I don't really understand the choice of rough-out suede-like treated leather for Lundhags winter boots...And, I have been unable to receive a clear explanation from Lundhags...)
I would imagine the sold softens a little and the lining packs a bit.
Yes and yes.
Is my ankle going to loosen up (I don't want it to) letting my foot slide forward a little.
This has not happened in my case- but, may be influenced by how you choose to treat the leather.
Is the opening going to open up a little as I wear them? I will say that lacing them tight pulls the opening closed across top of the shaft so that there's not much room left between the two sides. If they packed in very much I'd run into trouble with the two sides of the boot touching at the top of the shaft and then it would not be possible to get them any tighter.
This is paticular characteristic of the lower-cut "Guide"/Abisku design-
it has a distinctly large volume collar.
Although I have a relatively thick, muscular calf- the lower cut boot is below my calf muscle and the collar bottoms-out when fully-laced up. And- as the leather breaks in, the collar will conform and this becomes even more of a potential issue. In my case- although my slightly longer left foot might appreciate a size 43- the even larger collar on the 43 would be unusable. This is the primary reason why I get a better fit in the Expedition last- despite the larger volume box.
Any experience with this boot would be really helpful in deciding if I should order another pair since sometimes you don't know if it fits until it is used as intended and then... too tight or too lose and too late to send them back.
With the extra space you describe beyond your toes (in terms of last length)- I am thinking you might get a better fit in a 40...
And- I would be even more confident the Expedition size 40 would fit better than a 41...
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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