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Differences between AT Touring boot vs Traditional ski boot

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

What are the strengths-weaknesses of an AT Touring boot over a more traditional ski boot?  If I typically ski front side terrain, should I consider purchase of an AT boot over a traditional boot?

 

If there is a recent thread already on this subject, please provide a link. 

 

Thanks ...

post #2 of 6

Depends on the boot.

 

Many AT boots have an in-bounds bias, and it can probably be argued that the most burly AT boots aren't that well suited to lengthy tours. Case in point; the Dalbello Lupo. Very limited "tour" mode (more like stand mode from what I hear), but very alpine-like performance. Pretty weighty for extended tours too, unless you're a Viking like some people I know that could tour in cement shoes.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, some may find that a boot well suited to touring won't transmit enough power to the ski for hard-charging inbounds skiing.

 

Hopefully somewhere in that spectrum is the boot that will cover most if not all of your needs. Or you could start building your boot quiver...

post #3 of 6
Depends on the boot.

And what you want from it. wink.gif

Why are you asking if you typically ski frontside terrain? Will you be touring? The main advantage of AT boots anymore is having a lugged sole, and maybe the rockered sole. It used to be that the walk mode and comfort were significant reasons for frontside skiers to consider AT boots, but a lot of frontside/DIN compatible boots now have walk mode and/or moldable liners.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm just trying to understand the boot options out there.  I typically ski front side mostly, so not a lot of hiking or walking.  However, the idea of increased comfort and flexibility appeals to me and also, the AT boots just look 'cool' to me ... so I thought to ask what the differences are. 

 

From the comments thus far: the AT boots appear somewhat softer flex, heavier weight and walk mode for touring.  I'm not sure these are for me, so thanks to the ones for their comments and feedback.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Why are you asking if you typically ski frontside terrain?
post #5 of 6
"I'm just trying to understand the boot options out there. I typically ski front side mostly, so not a lot of hiking or walking. However, the idea of increased comfort and flexibility appeals to me and also, the AT boots just look 'cool' to me ... so I thought to ask what the differences are.

From the comments thus far: the AT boots appear somewhat softer flex, heavier weight and walk mode for touring. I'm not sure these are for me, so thanks to the ones for their comments and feedback."


Sorry about the cut and paste... Epic isn't playing well with the iPad at the moment.

Comfort. Like Alpine boots, AT boots come in different shapes and stiffnesses. Some AT boots are stiffer than many alpine boots.

Flexibility. Do you mean 'walk-ability' or flex while skiing? If it's the former and you want walking comfort, there are plenty of DIN sole walk mode 'hike mode' boots out there. If the latter, see my first comment.

AT boots are LIGHTER than alpine boots. Is an AT boot appropriate for resort skiing? Maybe. Hard to say. Most folks I know who ski AT boots exclusively do so because they spend most of their ski days touring and only hit the area on occasion so the cost of two boots doesn't make sense for them. Good enough reason on my book. If one is only area skiing, is there an advantage to AT boots? Unless you ride in a place with a lot of hiking involved, there's no performance advantage at all. I love my AT boots. I've skied and even taught on them, but in no way are the superior in performance to my alpine boots, except for hiking... and après when walk mode becomes beer mode. smile.gif

Look cool? Maybe. Generally AT boots are more expensive. Buy boots for fit and be a happier camper/better skier.
Edited by markojp - 9/20/15 at 10:45pm
post #6 of 6

If you mostly ski frontside and don't go ski touring, then no, you don't want AT boots.

 

If you like softer more flexible boots you can focus on alpine models with a softer flex. If you like the walk mode feature there are a number of alpine boots with walk mode (sometimes called 'sidecountry' boots).  

 

Also important to note: the soles of many AT boots are not compatible with standard alpine bindings.  Some are. So shop carefully if you start down the crazy path of mixing and matching ski gear genres.

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