Pros: Great fit for a fat forefoot and narrow heal, Stiff, Excellent control, Walk 10-12 miles without a blister in walk mode
Cons: Not the best for Salsa Dancing, Toe piece material weak in 2009 - Improved this year, Improved liner facilitates boot entry
I love my 2009 Lange Super Blasters so much that I bought another 27.5 Mondo 320 BSL pair this 2010-2011 year. These things rule. I have a fat forefoot and instep area combined with a pretty high arch and a narrow heel. The 102mm last Langes were the answer to my fat foot prayers.
I did throw some green superfeet in the boots. Due to several foot injuries -sufing, wading, downhill skateboarding - my right instep is a bit bigger than the left. No problem, after 15- 20 instep crushing days last spring, after which my boots had no more liner to pack out, I took the boots on May 30th, 2010 to master bootfitter Corty Lawrenceat Footloose in Mammoth. A little liner removal and a micro-grind and presto, comfort skiing and control. Thank you Cody, and thank you Sierra Jim for sending me in the right direction. AHHH.
My old Koflachs were good, but these are perfect IMHO. The 120 flex is plenty for me. The fit and flex combo allows great control through a long carve or smashing cut up crud. They are by no means soft and the fit is very tight, but they never hurt.
After a few ski hikes in 2009-2010 season, and then several hike/skins in them this year 2011 starting in November I realized that the Super Blaster Hike/Walk function is a reliable design and ergonomic and upright when in the hike/walk mode. Push the lower calf buckle forward to hike/walk and loosen the top buckle to walk comfortably upright. If you are going to skin, you can loosen the calf buckles, but keep them in closed position or you'll be sorry. The boot is such a solid fit/design for me, that I bought this year's model in April.
If you are looking for an Alpine boot that can moonlight as an A/T, look no further. Going off the backside/slackside at Alta or for a ski hike/skin in the Eastern Sierra with the Blasta may be heavier, but the Super Blasters will more than make up for their A/T super heavyweight status when you click in for the slide.
I wouldn't have taken the time to write this review, but I was so impressed by these boots on July 6th, 2011 when they carried my 210lbs, pack, gear, etc, 7,100 feet up Shasta in comfort. The boots were solid for 11.6 miles hiked, cramponed, and skinned at a leisurely pace without a single blister or residual soreness in the feet. Awesome. The 11 mile ride down (14,100 to 6,800 ft el.) was heavenly from the summit to Bunny Flats.
The Super Blasters transmitted everything with precision though my Dukes and Blizzard Altas (yeah they are heavy, and fast, and stable). The Blasters took me from perfect cornfields, to manky mashys, to heavy scary slurpee slush, weird wet-slide snow snowballs that got bigger when you carved them out of the slope and rolled down the fall line where you might ski if not paying attention, on through suncuped hillocks, and dirty forest snow. Those freakish snowballs would get cut out by the carve at around 18"-36" diameter and grow on the way down to 36"-48" in diameter! These July afternoon creatures occurred at elevations from 11k down to around 9.5 K. The snowballs were spooky, but the Blasters had me confident in control and comfort from the first uphill a.m. trudge, untill clicking out of the bindings at Everett Highway. Dodging trundling snowballs to holding an edge in no-fall ice is not a problem in Lange Super Blasters.
They rip on the downhill for anyone who can't get into a 97,98,100m last boot. If your foot is narrow in the heal and wide in the front, the Blasters may work .
The 09-10 Super Blaster heal and toe grip material was called Gecko Grip, the toe pieces were torn up completely after 1 or 2 hikes in the San Gabriels last year, and Lange replaced the pieces for me with a hard plastic material grip that works fine. The 10-11 model has an improved material and tread pattern on the toe and heal pieces marketed as "Ultra Grip."
The "ManFur" liner on 09-10 is warm and comfortable, but it too has been improved in the 2010-2011 Blaster with the addition of a piece of faux leather (vinyl) in the back (achilles/rear calf) which allows the heal to slide into the boot much easier than into the straight "ManFur" liner.
FWIW, the Lange Super Blasters are great for any ski hike and short tour while making no compromises during agressive resort sking.
Make sure you take them to an experienced Bootfitter to dial these or any boots in for the greatest comfort and performance.