Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

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User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:35 pm

Nordic Touring Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC
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For the Love of a Well-Designed and a Finely-Crafted Leather Boot


I kind of have a thing for Slovenia (I have never been there)-
Coastline, real mountains with snow, small mixed farming, forests, rich culture.
Slovenia also has a very old and renowned forestry culture and practice.
I have wanted to spend some time in Slovenia for a long time.

Why this rambling about Slovenia?

Because this beautiful beloved Nordic touring boot is made in the true Alpina boot factory in Slovenia-

The Alpina Alaska BC.

I love this boot.

Very warm
Waterproof
Supportive
Stiff, supportive midsole, with excellent power-transfer for striding and pressuring skis

These boots were designed by skiers for skiers- skiers that live to charge and stride in the backcountry-
Across the plateau
Up the slope
Over the peak
Down the sidehill
Through the glade
Down the ravine into the valley
Through the valley
Out on to the lake and down the frozen river
And back again!

Sizing
The length of the last in this boot is true to EU sizing.

Length:

My 42EU Alaska is exactly the same length as my:
42 Alfa Guard
42 Crispi Svartisen
42 Crispi Lofoten
42 Rossi BCX6
42 Fischer BCX6
42 Asolo Extreme
42 Scarpa Kinesis

Width:

The Alaska has a medium width-
Wider than the Rossi and Crispi boot lasts-
Narrower than the Alfa-
Similar to all of my Scarpa boots

Volume:

The Alaska has moderate boot volume-
There is a lot of opportunity for dialing in a custom fit.
The Alaska has a larger boot volume than my Crispi boots- but MUCH less than my Alfas.

Summary- Sizing:
If your feet are medium to narrow width- a standard-sized Alaska is going to fit.
If your feet are very wide you will likely have to size-up.
If your feet are both wide and small volume- you will both need to size up and will need a thick insole.

Break in

Wear these boots- a lot.
Wear them in the house.
Play with, and adjust the lacing.
Constantly flex them and practice striding and Telemark stance.
Train the boot to break-in and flex at the ball-of-foot (metatarsus) so that they don’t develop a stiff flex point at the toe box.

Treat the rough out leather with water-based leather boot cream-
Saturate that beautiful absorbent leather-
Treat the flexion and wear points EVERY time you take them off.
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Lacing

A lot has been said online about the lacing on these boots-
As usual the chatter is dominated by the negative-

The lacing on this boot is superb- trust me.
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To enable a custom dialed-in laceup in these superb boots:


Isolate your toe box with a surgeon’s knot after eyelet # 2:

Pass the laces down through the eyelet #1- this will enable a set width on the first eyelet and facilitate clipping in a gaiter.

Pass the laces up through eyelet # 2 and tie a surgeon’s knot-
Tighten the toe box to the desired width-tension.

Isolate the metatarsus-to-instep section:

Pass the laces up through the ball-bearing eyelets #3&4 and, then through the locking cleat-
Tighten the laces to the desired tension and tie a surgeon’s knot.

Optional- tighten down the instep and lock-down the heel:
Pass the laces through the nylon instep eyelets and (optional) tie a surgeon’s knot if you want to crank-down the instep and lock-down the heel (especially if you are experiencing heel-lift) (not a problem for me in this boot- so I don’t need to do it).

Finally- tighten up the top:

Tighten up the top of the boot to the desired tension.
Don’t be afraid to crank right down on the top of this boot-
The instep is cut out to facilitate free striding motion-
If you are experiencing discomfort it is likely a result of tension in the lower part of the boot- make adjustments as required.

………..
I will always be open to trying new touring boots.
But the Alaska BC remains the best of the best in its class in my experience.

Gareth Davies
Aka “lilcliffy”
Jan 6th, 2021
Snow Glade Farm
Stanley, NB
Canada
Last edited by lilcliffy on Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

User avatar
Krakus
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:14 am
Location: Southern Poland
Ski style: many falls
Favorite Skis: Tua Grande Neige :), Asnes Nansen, Salomon XADV89
Favorite boots: Fischer BCX6, BCX675

Re: Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

Post by Krakus » Thu Jan 06, 2022 9:57 pm

Gareth,
Can you compare Alaska with your Fischer BCX6 in terms of width, volume etc.? My boots sofar were these BCX6 42 (older black and gray model https://images.app.goo.gl/CNNQUKZLbvA7avoMA), and they fit me quite tightly, I wear them with a thin sock. I am thinking about Alaskas, and I wonder if I should go also for 42 or rather 43?



User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:12 pm

We have the exact same vintage Fischer BCX6 in size 41, 42 & 43EU.
(I know sounds ridiculous- but my wife is a 40-41 and we have 4 growing children- the oldest of which is a size 47!!)

The width between this boot and the Alaska is close-
The heel of the Fischer is a bit wider.
The Alaska is larger volume for its width.

I am really- ideally- a 42.5 in terms of foot length in a touring/hiking boot.

In certain boots (e.g. Alfa Guard) I have to wear a 42 because of my small-volume foot.

In the Alaska-
We also have size 41, 42, & 43.
I can make the Alaska 43 work- because of its boot volume- with a thick insole- I use it on multi-day tours.
I cannot make the Fischer 43 work- it won't take the thick insole due to the lower volume- I get BAD toe pinch in this boot with a 43.
I can wear the 42 Fischer BCX6- a 42.5 would be better.

My wife has a large volume, medium-width foot- she is a 40 in terms of length- she cannot wear either the 40 or the 41 Fischer BCX6 due to them being too tight (re boot volume).

What are your feet like?
Width?
Volume?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:20 pm

To summarize my blathering-

The Alaska has a very customizable fit- especially once broken in-

If the 42 is a little short- you can easily make the 43 work with insoles, training and lacing.

If your foot is wide or large-volume, you will want the 43 regardless.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



User avatar
Krakus
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:14 am
Location: Southern Poland
Ski style: many falls
Favorite Skis: Tua Grande Neige :), Asnes Nansen, Salomon XADV89
Favorite boots: Fischer BCX6, BCX675

Re: Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

Post by Krakus » Fri Jan 07, 2022 3:02 am

Measuring my foot when standing: 26,3 cm lenght, at the widest point: width 11 cm, circumference 26,5 cm - that is rather wide, large volume, isn't it?



User avatar
Ullrsson
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2021 2:06 am
Location: Alaska
Ski style: Nordic BC
Favorite Skis: Fischer E88, Åsnes Amundsen, SummitCone Vagabond

Re: Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

Post by Ullrsson » Fri Jan 07, 2022 8:24 pm

So, final verdict, I'm assuming you would choose the Alpina Alaska over the Alfa Guard? I have the Alpina 1600s and I'm assuming the last is the same or similar to the Alaska. They mush my toes together more than I like so I've been tempted to get the Alfa Guard while Varuste has them for such a good price.



User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:00 pm

Krakus wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 3:02 am
Measuring my foot when standing: 26,3 cm lenght, at the widest point: width 11 cm, circumference 26,5 cm - that is rather wide, large volume, isn't it?
My longest left foot is 26.5cm long.
I can't seem to find/remember what my other measurments are-
My feet are not wide- they are medium and small volume, and my instep measurement is shorter than my foot length.
Peope with large-volume feet often have an instep measurement that is longer than their foot length, and should use their instep length when sizing footwear.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:00 pm

Ullrsson wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 8:24 pm
So, final verdict, I'm assuming you would choose the Alpina Alaska over the Alfa Guard? I have the Alpina 1600s and I'm assuming the last is the same or similar to the Alaska. They mush my toes together more than I like so I've been tempted to get the Alfa Guard while Varuste has them for such a good price.
What size are your Alpina 1600 BC?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



User avatar
Ullrsson
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2021 2:06 am
Location: Alaska
Ski style: Nordic BC
Favorite Skis: Fischer E88, Åsnes Amundsen, SummitCone Vagabond

Re: Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

Post by Ullrsson » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:17 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:00 pm
What size are your Alpina 1600 BC?
45. Im about 28cm even without socks.



User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: Ski Boot Review- 2021 Alpina Alaska BC

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Jan 07, 2022 10:33 pm

Oh- you said 26.3 above...

If the width-volume of the 1600 is too small- I would either try the size larger in the 1600/Alaska or try a larger-voume boot like the Alfa.

The Alfa is wonderful- softer, even warmer.
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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