Warning: this wasn't a careful, scientific comparison of the Tecnica XT17, the Alu Comp and the Alu Hot, but rather it was me as a consumer trying to go from the XT's which were cold and unhappy boots to something new.
The Alu Comp that I tried on was last year's model vs. the Alu Hot which was this years. I did the same thing I always do - I brought my current boots, the XT's, into the shop to A/B whatever I was trying on. All boots were size 10.5 US or 28.5.
For what it's worth, I also tried on Salomon Courses, Nordica Beasts, and a few others that were completely out of the running.
The Courses were good and stiff, but just a little too boxy fitwise, plus I didn't care for the ankle wrap which I find to be excellent on the Tecnica stuff for my calves and ankles. The Beasts were simply too large in the instep area and I was all the way to the end of the buckles in the store, so you can imagine that they would pack out and I would have nowhere to go fitwise with them.
The Alu Comp was considerably softer flex and much boxier fit than the XT. So then I tried the Alu Hot just for giggles (and mindful of the Skiing boot comparison which listed the Alu as both less spacious and stiffer than the Alu Comp in their comparison). Low and behold, the fit was in fact much tighter, and the boot was considerably stiffer than the Alu Comp. I would say that the numbering system used by Skiing in the boot buyer's guide section was spot on with my experience.
So I emailed Tecnica support because I thought something was amiss. I told them in detail my experience I've just shared above, and I inquired if the current Alu Comp had changed vs. the one I tried on.
There response was brief:
"New this year the Alu comp has a tighter fit in the heel than the Alu." Not very helpful.
So there you have it. Now I've got to get on the snow and hopefully I'll still be happy with my decision.
:[ October 31, 2003, 10:09 AM: Message edited by: Sudsysul ]