2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

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jyw5
Posts: 255
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:52 am

Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by jyw5 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:19 pm

I liked those so much I bought 4 pairs of each. Thickest ones for my Alfa Guard Adv. and winter warmers for my Alfa Quest core.

I have hand washed the soles and lay them out to dry and used a boot dryer to dry the boots separately. Then apply wax to the leather.

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Stephen
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:49 am
Ski style: Aspirational
Favorite Skis: Gamme (210), Ingstad (205), Objective BC (178)
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance
Occupation: Beyond

Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by Stephen » Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:06 pm

I’m curious what to use on the boot leather?

Alfa has a nice write-up on their website about boot care, but I don’t remember anything specific on products.

https://www.alfaoutdoor.com/service-cen ... in-leather

Alfa does say:
Boots with Gore-Tex® waterproof technology must be treated with a dedicated impregnation. Do not use care products with a high fat content on full grain leather, as it reduces the breathability and can cause clammy feet.
I have heard the one about what not to use, but apparently, there is some mis-information out there about what products not to use, because Alfa addresses that by saying:
Furthermore, the well-known myth regarding not using silicon based care products on Gore-Tex® boots is unfounded.”





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bgregoire
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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 » Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:03 pm

Stephen wrote:I’m curious what to use on the boot leather?

Alfa has a nice write-up on their website about boot care, but I don’t remember anything specific on products.

https://www.alfaoutdoor.com/service-cen ... in-leather

Alfa does say:
Boots with Gore-Tex[emoji2400] waterproof technology must be treated with a dedicated impregnation. Do not use care products with a high fat content on full grain leather, as it reduces the breathability and can cause clammy feet.
I have heard the one about what not to use, but apparently, there is some mis-information out there about what products not to use, because Alfa addresses that by saying:
Furthermore, the well-known myth regarding not using silicon based care products on Gore-Tex[emoji2400] boots is unfounded.”
Zimberlan boot care


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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





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jyw5
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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by jyw5 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:11 am

Stephen wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:06 pm
I’m curious what to use on the boot leather?

Alfa has a nice write-up on their website about boot care, but I don’t remember anything specific on products.

https://www.alfaoutdoor.com/service-cen ... in-leather

Alfa does say:
Boots with Gore-Tex® waterproof technology must be treated with a dedicated impregnation. Do not use care products with a high fat content on full grain leather, as it reduces the breathability and can cause clammy feet.
I have heard the one about what not to use, but apparently, there is some mis-information out there about what products not to use, because Alfa addresses that by saying:
Furthermore, the well-known myth regarding not using silicon based care products on Gore-Tex® boots is unfounded.”

Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Natural Oil Beeswax Formula (4oz)


It works, easy to apply and cheap.





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JesseH
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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by JesseH » Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:55 pm

Hi Johnny and all. New to this forum, but have already found a trove of info... Particularly in my search for a new pair of boots! I am currently debating the Aplina Alaska BC vs the Alfa Guard Advance GTX reviewed here. My questions for the forum:

1) Sizing: The Alaska BC's fit me great in a 41. Snug, but not too tight in the toes. I have a pretty wide fore-foot, basically a hobbit foot, but the AK's lace up great and I feel an amazing wrap. Wondering if the Guard Advance GTX in a 41 might also be a possible sizing win before I buy a pair, have them not fit and have to fork for sending them back to Europe!

For context/comparison as I've been trying on boots to try and whittle it down: My last (and first) pair of BCXC boots were 41 Rossi BCX6, which fit fine as well but turned into a sloppy synthetic mess after a season. I've also tried on the Crispi Svartisen bc in 40 and 41; the 40 was snug, almost too snug, but in the 41 my foot was swimming and I had to cinch the heck out of the laces. I've been able to try on the ALFA Kikut Perform GTX in a 42; definitely too big; and the Alfa Skarvet Advance in a 40 (they didn't have a 41 to try unfortunately...). The Skarvet in a 40 is definitely snug but doable. Possibly too short in the toes, where I was touching a bit, but I wasn't in my ski socks, and I sweat a LOT, so I run thin socks. The rest felt like solid gold, and I can tell from the construction and full grain that what was originally said about these Alfa's could really be true...

I've read talk on here about the Alfa Guard Advance sizing being bigger in the toe box than the Alfa Skaravet. But I've also heard that comparison reversed! I would consider going for a 41 Alfa Guard, because I know the leather will break in everywhere except the plastic toe and heel bumper— and having the toe pressure equal cold toes would be a killer. But by the same logic, I wouldn't want the rest of the fit to break down and get loose and sloppy, ruining the majority of the boot fit. Thoughts?

2) Use/function: I am new to BCXC, last season being my first, but have been on snow, first downhill skis, then snowboarding (professionally, in Whistler), for almost 3 decades. I switched to BCXC because of a brain injury: basically I can't fall down or else I risk aggravating some pretty life-altering symptoms. I live in Vermont and I am (trying!) to ski mostly flat/rolling terrain. I attempted some tele-style turns in last year and while I got away with most of it, the few times I didn't cost me months of reocovery from brain injury symptoms. Not to be repeated.

So, boot-wise I am looking for the most supportive setup possible this side of a plastic boot, in order to help me maintain control, and if needed, engage edge to edge with some alpine-style turns or just a good old pizza wedge if I do end up going downhill. Not out to tele, really. And I have chronic arthritis in one ankle (another snowboard leftover) that I addressed with a lace-up ankle brace in the Rossi boots that I am hoping to cut out of the equation with either of these new boots.

So, I've heard a lot about both of these boots and their benefits, but the Guard is being hailed as an amazing touring boot with downhill/ankle support benefits...

I'd appreciate any feedback on what I'm thinking through here! Thank you all!





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John_XCD
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Location: SLC, UT
Ski style: Powdery aspen glades
Favorite Skis: S-98, ObjectiveBC, Breidablikk, XC race skis
Favorite boots: Alaska+Guard Adv NNNBC

Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by John_XCD » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:35 am

I have both Alaska NNNBC and Alfa Guard.

I wear EUR 46 95% of the time (trail runners, alpina xc ski boots) and most shoes tend to fit my feet relatively well. I tried on the Alaska at REI and ended up downsizing to 45 which fits really well. A little heel lift issue early on that resolved with breaking in. I also ordered the guards in 45 this year from Varuste. They feel a touch small initially but once laced up, they have much more room in the forefoot and toe box. This felt problematic at first, but has gotten better with a little bit of break in-- I can really crank the laces down and get a decent fit up front. I have to stop and tighten them after skiing for a bit (which I also had to do when Alaskas were new). I'm getting more happy with the fit as they break in, but still thinking about an insole or at least thicker socks.

Both boots are really great for what they are. Warm and dry. They guard is lighter and has a notably softer flex at the toes (read: more comfortable and efficient kick and glide, potentially also easier for NNNBC telemark but this is a matter of technique) while retaining similar support at the ankle (Alaska probably a bit superior in this regard). It's also easier to lace.

Overall, I think they are quite similar. If you can try Alaskas and find a comfortable size (or order from REI and return if needed), I would go that way rather than risk the fit of Guards and be unable to return.





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Stephen
Posts: 328
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Ski style: Aspirational
Favorite Skis: Gamme (210), Ingstad (205), Objective BC (178)
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance
Occupation: Beyond

Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by Stephen » Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:26 am

If you hadn’t said “Hobbit foot,” I might have passed on making a reply, but you did.
That would be me, also.
Maybe not to the extreme, but it is continually challenging to find footwear with enough room in the toe box for my toes to be happy.
I tried the Kikut, Skarvet, and Alaska in 46 (correction, size 47).
They all fit fine.
I found the Alaska to feel narrower in the ball of the foot and toe box — too narrow for me.
I did as much research as I could.
I called Alfa, in Norway, and asked questions.
I liked the Skarvet ok, and especially liked the REI 1 year Return policy.
But in the end, the siren song and promised bliss of the Guards won out, and I rolled the dice on an order from Varuste.
For me, it worked out.
Full disclosure: I have not skied them yet.
But of all the boots, they feel the most comfortable, and seem the best suited for what I want.
Lighter and wider ball and forefoot than the Alaska.
More detailed and fitted construction than the Skarvet.
If money is not a critical concern, and you are not thrilled with anything you have tried so far, I would recommend taking a chance on the Guards.
Absolute worst case, maybe you’re out $50 or $100 to return them, or sell at a loss.
Not the end of the world.
Best case, you will be REALLY happy with them.
Good luck either way!
12/9/20 — Edit
I said size 46, but meant 47.
I used the Alfa Measuring instructions, which indicated a 47 and that worked for me.
Last edited by Stephen on Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.





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Underdog
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Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by Underdog » Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:17 pm

Steven, did you end up finding the best fit in the size 46 Guards?





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Stephen
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:49 am
Ski style: Aspirational
Favorite Skis: Gamme (210), Ingstad (205), Objective BC (178)
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance
Occupation: Beyond

Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by Stephen » Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:38 am

Underdog wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 8:17 pm
Steven, did you end up finding the best fit in the size 46 Guards?
I said size 46, but meant 47.
I used the Alfa Measuring instructions, which indicated a 47 and that worked for me.





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Olaf
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Location: Washington State
Ski style: Backyard touring on untracked snow
Favorite Skis: Rossignol Touring LST BC AR, Atomic Rainier, Rossignol Soul 7
Favorite boots: Rossignol X5 NNN, Scarpa T3, Atomic Hawk Prime 120
Occupation: Mechanical Engineer

Re: 2019 ALFA Guard Advance GTX M Boots Review

Post by Olaf » Thu Mar 11, 2021 2:25 am

Alfa uses the same chart for both their men’s and women’s boots. The US size column is in women’s sizes which are numerically 1.5 sizes larger then the equivalent US men’s size. For example a US woman’s size 11 is the same as a US men’s 9.5.

I have pointed this out to Alfa and they have not responded.





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