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What is the difference between Alpine and Touring Bindings?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yep another dumb newb question.
I have been looking at boots and saw a Nordica that had a warning lable, "Use with touring binding only"! I guess I dont know what that is, is that some sort of cross country type thing or tele?
post #2 of 13
A touring binding could be XC or a telemark binding. The sticker most likely refers to an AT (Alpine Touring/Randonee) Binding. It releases in the heel so you can hike, in a similar motion to XC or telemark bindings. You put skins on the bottom so you don't slide back. Once at the top of the hill you want to ski, the heel locks down so you can ski down "normal" alpine "downhill" style.

Like so...





The most popular AT or Randonee bindings are Fritschis, Naxos, and Dynafits. Dynafit bindings also need boots that are Dynafit compatable.

The reason the boot only works with that type of binding is it is a AT boot. It doesn't have a DIN sole, it probably has a rockered sole so it is easier to walk in if you have a long dry approach or a snowless ridgeline.

The rockered sole won't work with an alpine binding. Some AT boots come with an extra sole (garmont endorphins) that you can swap out to use with your downhill bindings.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
So that is what this is then?
Thank you.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=010
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by spud6414 View Post
So that is what this is then?
Thank you.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA:IT&ih=010
Yes, you can tell it is an AT and not an alpine boot by the lugged Vibram sole. These will not fit in an alpine binding, and if you do jam them in they will not release. Some AT boots now come with changeable heel and toe inserts so you can make them work with AT and alpine bindings, but I would not recommend a boot like that for strictly alpine use.
post #5 of 13
That boot has probably not been produced since 2002 and was part of the Rossi soft series. Not only is it an alpine touring boot, its probably relatively heavy for touring, and low performance due to lack of stiffness and 3-buckle design. I wasn't too impressed with any of the "soft" series and IMO they were a comfort boot discontinued for a good reason...people couldn't ski in them.
post #6 of 13
Yep, I have a pair of Garmont Adrenalines. Great AT boot that you can swap out for alpine soles. However, the boot is nowhere as stiff as my alpine boots and isn't a good substitute at the resort. That's just me though - I like race boot stiffness. I
post #7 of 13
Que:

Like you, I would never consider serious alpine skiing in my AT boots, but on Sunday I skied with a local couple at Telluride that were both on Adrenalines and Fritchi Freerides. We skied very steep terrain off Gold Hill including bumps, crud, trees (sometimes all at the same time) and they did not seem to be having any problems keeping up with those of us on alpine gear. That was their regualar setup, except when they tele. It made me seriously rethink my equipment choices.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Que:

Like you, I would never consider serious alpine skiing in my AT boots, but on Sunday I skied with a local couple at Telluride that were both on Adrenalines and Fritchi Freerides. We skied very steep terrain off Gold Hill including bumps, crud, trees (sometimes all at the same time) and they did not seem to be having any problems keeping up with those of us on alpine gear. That was their regualar setup, except when they tele. It made me seriously rethink my equipment choices.
I hear ya. I actually use an AT binding (Fritchi Freeride Pluses) on the mountain but with my alpine boot - they're the same shell size just need to do a quick toe plate adjustment to switch between the two. Here's my thinking on it. I have been skiing in an alpine race boot for decades. I'm used to the super stiff forward lean of them. To be honest, I think they've made me lazy as I am able to essentially delegate a ton of balance exertion to the boot themselves. The seems especially the case with forward and backward lean. When I ski with my Garmonts I don't have that support and I miss it dearly. I think if I hadn't been hooked on the stiff race boot I would have essentially developed better balance (forward and backward) control and muscle memory. It probably would have made me a better skier. So, aside from starting a religious war on whether stiff alpine race boots actually hamper your progession as a skier, i've been considering the following:

1. Going cold turkey: essentially, shelving my alpine boots for the better part of a season and just using my Adrenalines to get that muscle memory. I'm sure after several days of hitting the slopes I would develop better balance control and pick up where I left off.

2. Switching to a lesser drug: I've been toying around with replacing the adrenaline liners with Intuition Powerwraps or Zipfits and slapping on a beefy booster strap. I doubt i'll end up with race boot stiffness but I will at least improved things so it isn't so big of a change.

As for safety issues with using AT gear on the mountain, I think that lies mainly with the binding. From what i've seen, the latest beefy AT bindings seem to have decent release mechanisms and I no longer worry about them as a safety issue. I've heard people complain of the slop in some of the AT bindings but I haven't noticed it with the Freeride Pluses.

Que
post #9 of 13
Que:

I also occasionally ski my Freeride Pluses with alpine boots, which are Kryptons set up on the soft side, so I'm used to a lot of boot flex. My AT boots are 3-buckle and just don't give me the support for serious on area skiing, but I think some of the new 4-buckle ones are probably close to my Kryptons. Unfortunately, with my big feet it's impossible to demo AT boots. It would be great to have a one boot AT/alpine setup, but at this point I'm afraid I would end up with weak alpine performance and an uncomfortable AT experience.

I have been following some of the threads here and elsewhere on the new beefy AT boots. I've got no problem with the feel or performance of the Freeride Pluses, now I just have to find a boot that'll go both ways without being a compromise. My wife and I just did an area/backcounty trip to Canada and it's a real pain travelling with two pairs of boots and skis.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Yes, you can tell it is an AT and not an alpine boot by the lugged Vibram sole. These will not fit in an alpine binding, and if you do jam them in they will not release. Some AT boots now come with changeable heel and toe inserts so you can make them work with AT and alpine bindings, but I would not recommend a boot like that for strictly alpine use.
I took a bullet in the ankle a few years back, I wouldnt ever consider skiing with a "soft" boot, my bones couldnt take it. I was more curious then anything about them. Thank you for all your input.
post #11 of 13
I had no problems using Adrenalins for the better part of the 2005-2006 season, but when paired with the Freeride AT bindings, it was just too sloppy unless we were touring. In an alpine binding, they were just fine, although they clearly gave up something to the 130 flex Nordica Hot Rods.

BTW, the Rossi boot pointed out in this thread are complete noodles compared to the Adrenalin, which has a flex approaching performance alpine boots.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Que View Post
I hear ya. I actually use an AT binding (Fritchi Freeride Pluses) on the mountain but with my alpine boot - they're the same shell size just need to do a quick toe plate adjustment to switch between the two. Here's my thinking on it. I have been skiing in an alpine race boot for decades. I'm used to the super stiff forward lean of them. To be honest, I think they've made me lazy as I am able to essentially delegate a ton of balance exertion to the boot themselves. The seems especially the case with forward and backward lean. When I ski with my Garmonts I don't have that support and I miss it dearly. I think if I hadn't been hooked on the stiff race boot I would have essentially developed better balance (forward and backward) control and muscle memory. It probably would have made me a better skier. So, aside from starting a religious war on whether stiff alpine race boots actually hamper your progession as a skier, i've been considering the following:

1. Going cold turkey: essentially, shelving my alpine boots for the better part of a season and just using my Adrenalines to get that muscle memory. I'm sure after several days of hitting the slopes I would develop better balance control and pick up where I left off.

2. Switching to a lesser drug: I've been toying around with replacing the adrenaline liners with Intuition Powerwraps or Zipfits and slapping on a beefy booster strap. I doubt i'll end up with race boot stiffness but I will at least improved things so it isn't so big of a change.

As for safety issues with using AT gear on the mountain, I think that lies mainly with the binding. From what i've seen, the latest beefy AT bindings seem to have decent release mechanisms and I no longer worry about them as a safety issue. I've heard people complain of the slop in some of the AT bindings but I haven't noticed it with the Freeride Pluses.

Que
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
I had no problems using Adrenalins for the better part of the 2005-2006 season, but when paired with the Freeride AT bindings, it was just too sloppy unless we were touring. In an alpine binding, they were just fine, although they clearly gave up something to the 130 flex Nordica Hot Rods.

BTW, the Rossi boot pointed out in this thread are complete noodles compared to the Adrenalin, which has a flex approaching performance alpine boots.
Are you using the Freeride Plus, or the original Freerides? The new heel connection on the Pluses really makes a pretty solid conneciton.
post #13 of 13
That was with the older Freerides. I have some Dukes that also don't seem to have the problem of flex, but they are a bit heavier and I miss not being able to just flick the walk mode and adjust the heel elevator with my pole.
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