Pros: All day comfort, adequate stiffness for backcounty descents
Cons: Not recommended as a daily inbounds driver
The Garmont Adrenalin is a decent touring boot with good, but not excellent, downhill performance. While much lighter than downhill boots, it is slightly on the heavy and stiff side for long tours, but it has enough flexibility to allow long hikes on skins, and is comfortable enough, and has decent tread and shape for boot packing. Its performance downhill is exceptional FOR A TOURING BOOT. In the backcountry, I ski more conservatively anyway because I'm not fond of the idea of taking large risks in inaccessible areas. Besides, when you hike for turns, you want to make the most of them.
For me, the Adrenalin is not a substitute for a high performance alpine boot inbounds. In the resort, we experience cut-up powder, crud, moguls and hard conditions that are unlike what I ski backcountry. These irregularities and just the greater downhill mileage and speed, require that you be able to drive a big ski more powerfully. In the earlier post, I described it more like riding the ski, rather than driving it. Its comfortable, it works well, but its not high performance. As much as I like the Adrenalin in backcountry, I don't believe it is ready for prime-time at the resort, or even in side country with minimal hiking. As soon as skinning or bootpacking are brought into the equation, the result changes, and the Adrenalin becomes the boot of choice.
Conclusion: The Garmont Adrenalin sacrafices some uphill performance in order to be a better downhill boot. It makes some sacrifices in downhill mode as well, but I don't know of a better performing AT boot. Compared to other AT boots, in 2006 this may be the highest performing system available. I found the performance compromises in the downhill aspects of this boot to be too great to make it the only boot I would own or use. Compared to high performance alpine boots, the Adrenalin is clearly outclassed in the downhill mode. Touring in stiff alpine boots is just painful. The Adrenalin is a comfortable wear all day, and a good hiker. I don't expect to be the first to the top of the mountain, and this boot is not for death march tours. It suits my alpine touring needs uphill and downhill, with an acceptable level of performance compromise for backcountry. I do not recommend it as an everyday resort boot unless you expect to do a lot of walking/skinning/hiking, but may be ideal for Ski Patrollers.