2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Real reviews by real skiers. What a concept! Add your own today. Reviews only please, questions can be posted as replies but new threads looking for opinions should be posted to the main Telemark Talk Forum.
User avatar
kicknglide
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:43 am

Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by kicknglide » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:58 am

I just received the pair of EU46 Alfa Guard Advance GTX boots that I ordered online from Varuste. As many people have said, Alfa's conversion between US and EU sizes is WILDLY incorrect. Read the fit guide, measure your feet and go by that. I am a US size 11 1/2, and measured my feet at a little over 29cm. Adding Alfa's recommended 1.5cm for backcountry use got me perfectly to an EU46 (which says US 13 on the box :lol: ). So far I've only used them to ski a couple laps in deep snow in my yard, and a quick run down the road, but they seem to fit well and are very stiff and light. I'll follow up with more detail after I put a few miles on them.

This is my first NNN BC Boot, I've been using the Solomon XADV (SNS-BC) system on a 210cm waxable Madshus Voss for a number of years and was extremely happy with it (the boots were extremely warm, fairly light, and had impressive ankle support and downhill control). Unfortunately, Solomon stopped producing the binding, so after slightly bending a toe bar in a spectacular crash I was forced to buy new boots AND new bindings. I wanted an Alpina Alaska, but after reading a little too much of this forum and realizing that all the local ski shops were completely sold out of boots in my size (thanks Covid), I figured if I had to order boots sight unseen, I might as well take a risk and order some from Finland. Hopefully it proves to be a good decision. I like them so far.

User avatar
bgregoire
Posts: 1499
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99 & Boundless (98), Åsnes Ingstad, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar

Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by bgregoire » Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:44 am

kicknglide wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:58 am
I just received the pair of EU46 Alfa Guard Advance GTX boots that I ordered online from Varuste. As many people have said, Alfa's conversion between US and EU sizes is WILDLY incorrect. Read the fit guide, measure your feet and go by that. I am a US size 11 1/2, and measured my feet at a little over 29cm. Adding Alfa's recommended 1.5cm for backcountry use got me perfectly to an EU46 (which says US 13 on the box :lol: ). So far I've only used them to ski a couple laps in deep snow in my yard, and a quick run down the road, but they seem to fit well and are very stiff and light. I'll follow up with more detail after I put a few miles on them.

This is my first NNN BC Boot, I've been using the Solomon XADV (SNS-BC) system on a 210cm waxable Madshus Voss for a number of years and was extremely happy with it (the boots were extremely warm, fairly light, and had impressive ankle support and downhill control). Unfortunately, Solomon stopped producing the binding, so after slightly bending a toe bar in a spectacular crash I was forced to buy new boots AND new bindings. I wanted an Alpina Alaska, but after reading a little too much of this forum and realizing that all the local ski shops were completely sold out of boots in my size (thanks Covid), I figured if I had to order boots sight unseen, I might as well take a risk and order some from Finland. Hopefully it proves to be a good decision. I like them so far.
Congratulations on the sizing! That is a risky affair.

Pats yourself on the back. Its OK to read too much on this site, the problem would be if you purchased too much due to reading this site. That is an entirely different level. :lol:
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM





User avatar
kicknglide
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:43 am

Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by kicknglide » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:50 pm

I took the Alfa Guards out for a real spin for the first time last night on my 210cm waxable Madshus Voss (Conditions: +10F, light dusting of fresh cold snow on top of a few-day old base, waxed with Swix Blue Special with a shorter layer of Rex Universal Tar on top). I did about 4 miles of gently rolling multiuse trails, mostly wide somewhat-groomed snowmachine trail with some narrower steeper single-track and a short section of trail-breaking in about a foot of loose snow. Grip with the kick wax was phenomenal, I was able to stride up even the very steepest sections, but it was just a little too grabby in the looser snow which reduced speed and double-poling efficiency.

The Guards fit well, and are definitely a high-volume last. I consider myself to have somewhat wide feet, and there is a substantial amount of space in the toe-box. This bodes well for performance in subzero weather with thicker socks, but makes me think I might want to go with a slightly higher-volume insole like some of the other posters here. My initial impression is that these boots are extremely stiff, causing mild discomfort and slight heel lift when striding. This seemed to improve after skiing a little bit and retightening the laces, so I'm optimistic that once they break in they will have a comfortable flex and the heel lift will go away completely. As it is, the four-mile ski felt great, but if I had done over ten miles I likely would have developed hot spots on my left heel. I'm going to try to take them out for a couple miles every day this week until I have them well broken in, then report back. Overall, construction quality is excellent, and the boots are light, stiff, and warm as advertised (although nowhere near as warm as my old XADV boots. Those were too hot in most conditions and were usable without overboots or toe warmers down past -30F).





Post Reply