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Atomic Explorer 50s- make 'em work or alternatives?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have been looking for a tall 75mm leather sole boot with edging power to stand up to icy sidehills and a thinner sole (less than 20mm) that would fit into Voile mountaineer bindings and most other 75mm three-pins smaller than the super-heavy-duty Rottefellas. I was also looking for a high-volume fit.

The Atomic Explorer 50 seemed to fit the bill, sorry, with a 16mm sole, two ratcheting buckles, and a lace-up lower:

First, they are taller than they look. There is a lot of bulk above the ankle, maybe needed maybe no. Fit is reasonable. There is a lot of room above my instep with the stock lacing pattern. The bellows fit right at the ball of the foot, fortunately for me as I cannot imagine what I would do if it didn't.

About those bellows. I'm still scratching my head over those. They are more rigid than the lower boot between the cuff and the bellows, so I have to ask what the point is? That is mostly rhetorical, I have specific questions below.

1) Is there a high-volume fit boot with a tall cuff for ice edging that I should look at instead? Other boots I've tried: Alico doubles (not tall enough), Rossi X9s (too long, not tall enough), Alpina Telelites (fit just right but heavy and too thick a sole).

2) If I try to make these work I will have to reduce the volume at the cuff junction and above the forefoot tunnels somehow. The stock footbed is atypically sturdy but inadequate. I think I can do some volume reduction with a tighter lacing, but is there a footbed out there that would work for this boot? I am thinking of something like an alpine Instaprint except with a flexible forefoot. Is it possible to have a flexible AND moldable forefoot?
post #2 of 10
Not too many people ask about boots for three pin bindings anymore. Take me back. My old three pin set up was originally a simple one layer leather boot from Norway ( Naronas if I remember right) with a thick vibram sole, which I ground down to fit into first 79 MM, and later 75 mm bindings. We would then screw and glue a plate to the sole with holes drilled for the three pins made from lumber banding. The only metal we had handy that would outlast the pins. It worked great. I thought I was in heaven when I finally got a pair of heavy leather Fabiano double boots. Heavier but warmer for those extended Montana winter treks. They did twist out sometimes in extreme situations that our home variety never did though. Takes me back.

I'm not familiar with this boot but if this boot is the best you can find now for your purposes I would make a molded pad for over your instep that could be placed in your socks to take up the extra volume. For the cuff, you could tape some thin padding around it on the inside maybe or if there is a liner, on the outside of the liner.

The bellows is designed to give and take the punishment of the boot bending over the ball of the toes as you drop into a tele position or in your stride on the trail. The softness behind this should be for ankle flex. The two serve different purposes.

For a footbed you may want to look at the 50.00 1/2 hard footbed at www.moszkito.com. I have used these for about five years now in my ski boots but they are designed to be used in shoes/boots with flexible soles.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you RicB.

I'm not trying to be a stick in the mud or a retro curmudgeon. It's just hard to justify new clonky boots and four new sets of bindings at the same time.

DIY smiley plates, very nice.

So the bellows is for durability? I'll take that.

Not quite clear on how the instep pad is going to work, it sounds like I'll have to provide for boot tongue scrunching and for the bellows both?

I am going to re-lace and drop in the moszkitos first, before padding anything. $50 oof, that's almost one set of bindings there.
post #4 of 10
Well to allow flex over the ball of the foot and do it durably I should say. I have no problem with the old bindings. We skied all over hell and back, up mountain and down with little to no problems on the old 79's and 75's. There was a ten year span of time when I could count on the fingers of both hands how many times I clicked into my alpine gear. "Bolt em ons" as we used to call em. I still have all my old gear. I may remount it to an old light pair of "modern" skis someday and have some fun.

The instep pad is a process, and I have some info on it if you would like to see it. You could try an after market comformable or superfeet footbed and save a few bucks. With the moszkito one there are 72 different sizes so a good match to your foot is doable. Enjoy!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Process? Sure. Backchannel?
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Update: soft footbeds arrived.

My heel is now further up, which is a good thing.

The boot is stiffer from the ankle crotch to the bellows, which is a good thing.

I can feel the bellows flexing better, which is a good thing.

This opened up a ton of room from the ball of the foot forward. I'm going to pad that a little bit.

That should do the trick. I did a quick 6 miles with them last night with no sore spots.
post #7 of 10
How much do thoe boots weigh compared to a Scarpa T2X with comfy thermo liners? (Weight: 1570 grams (Size 27); 3lbs 7oz)
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
They feel quite a bit lighter, but the 16mm duckbill was key.

I'll see about getting you exact numbers.
post #9 of 10
Sorry, just skimmed the thread. BC NNN type bindings & boots are nicer for touring (but not for turns) and now, if tele is part of the mix, you can get a tele binding with free pivot for less resistance than a 3-pin or conventional cable for touring and turns....or a light weight cable, ie Riva for 'Rugged Touring', among others. This allows fewer skis, bindings and boots to do more things.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
985 g each, size 8
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