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Any compatibility between AT boots and Alpine bindings?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

OK, I have messed around with AT for a few years using some very used stuff I picked up cheap, or borrowed. I am looking toward upgrading. Here's the deal: I do an increasing amount of hiking to sidebounds terrain. But not a bunch of actual skinning so far. (That will increase only if I go for much lighter equipment overall.) Two years ago, I nearly bought it trying to navigate some rock bands wearing Alpine boots. Decided hiking required AT with some actual rubber and a walk mode. OTOH, I am not fond of AT bindings, although my experience is limited to Fritschi's and a few runs on a Duke. Former felt wobbly, latter was solid but massive, didn't like stand height or total weight. And neither seem very safe for knees; they're waay back to the future in terms of design. (Realize limitations of something you can walk in, just sayin') So I'm thinking how great it would be to have a boot I can hike in but my existing alpine setups. Not to mention cheaper than buying out a shop. 


So it's time to do something really stupid and futile. My questions:


1) Can any AT boots be used with the full Vibram soles in Alpine bindings? I know they're not officially recommended, assume that is because the AFD won't work so well with the sole and/or the toe height is off. But has anyone tried this? And survived? 


2) If I go with a heavier replaceable toe/heel block design, like the Factor etc., will the AT (rather than DIN) setup work in an Alpine binding? (Idea here is that it has more plastic on the sole and a fairly flat toe.)


I have a feeling I'm gonna be stuck with a Duke/Baron/whatever and hybrid AT boot, but hoping otherwise. 



post #2 of 6

Better off asking this in backcountry, by my experience is:


The Vibram sole is non DIN compliant and will compromise the release of the boot in a standard alpine binding.  Non-tech (AKA Dynafit) AT bindings have a height adjustable ADF to cope with this.


Re stack height, there is not a lot of difference between the Fritchi Freeride and the Duke/Baron.  The Duke/Baron is more solid and I’m comfortable skiing this combination inbounds with a DIN compliant boot sole (some/most AT boots have interchangeable soles). 


If you don’t need mega DIN settings, look at the Marker Tour 12, same functionality as the Duke/Baron, but much lighter (DIN only goes to 12).


On the ascent (skinning), Freerides have a much sweeter climbing bar and tour mode can be engaged/disengaged on the fly.  The Duke/Baron requires you to get out of the binding.  Both suffer from Frankenstride.


Alternative is to look at Dynafit (or G3’s version), much lighter, low stack height, solid connection, but requires compatible boots which cannot be used in alpine bindings.

post #3 of 6

There is a thread on TGR looking at AT (non-DIN) boots in alpine bindings. In summary, the release is totally unpredictable.

post #4 of 6

Most AT boots require a binding with adjustable toe height, so.... no.


However, it has been in vogue for years in JH to run Salomon 916 bindings with traditional AT boots with lug/rocker soles.  This is especially popular with ski patrollers .  I see it all the time.


EDIT: Salomon 916 bindings have adjustable toe height.

post #5 of 6

There are a few AT boots with Vibram soles that have changeable heel and toe plates that make them DIN compatible. They put that feature on their heaviest duty boot model to allow you to use them for alpine area or AT skiing.  I did a quick search and found: Garmont Endorphin. Black Diamond Factor, and Dynafit Titan TF-X.

post #6 of 6

I can't find any pictures, but PJ Dewey at Racestock has Vibram lifters for your alpine boots.

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