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Adding Vibram to alpine boots; anything new?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi all - About a year ago, Don Denver had a thread about embedded teflon/vibram soles for the Lange Banshee. The answers seemed to indicate that adding a Vibram sole makes the boot incompatible with DIN bindings. I'm interested if there's anything similar or new out there for those of us who do a lot of inbounds/sidebounds hiking but don't necessarily want to shift to something like the Factor and a Duke/Baron. 


Specifically, I find that in the same day, sometimes in the same morning, I may want to do some runs with friends or family and then take off for a few hours of hiking to some chutes. That hiking can involve rock bands, exposures where typical alpine boot soles have nearly done me in. But seldom skinning. So I just need a boot that fits me (key issue; Banshees don't) with a bit of rubber in front and back. Currently I have an old touring rig, not suitable in any way for lift served skiing. For that I ski Falcon 10's and Sollie plugs, but want a somewhat softer boot for western snow. Obviously alpine  Sollies remain a possibility but leaning away. Am thinking about Factors, which fit, but also (gasp) intrigued about Kryptons. Which sound perfect for my mission, but obviously are a classic plastic sole alpine boot. 


To make it more complicated, my understanding is that the exchangeable block model AT's out there are not DIN compatible when the Vibram block is in. And they're a pain to swap out, not something you can do on the spur of the moment at the top of the lift. So this is a mark against Factors IMO - what's the point if I can't really make simple use of the swap feature?


Any new ideas about how to make an alpine/DIN compatible boot safer for hiking? Or AT swaps easier? Thanks. 

post #2 of 5

There is not a DIN compatible vibram sole but you don't have to ski a binding that weighs as much as your skis.  I think there are two options.  The new Freeride Pro is an excellent and solid binding with many advantages over the Marker series.  In addition you could look at the Endorphin and other boots like it that have a vibram sole but enough stiffness to ski well.



post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I've looked at several; the BD's seem to fit my foot a lot better than the other brands. Will look at the Freeride Pro although I currently have older F's and am not overly impressed. But the real issue for me is having to switch to a less desirable binding (I already have bad knees) in order to hike.


Back to variant on my question: If I routed out the underside of the toe and heel, leaving the area over the AFD alone, then a bit behind the AFD area, and if I attached some type of rubber sole like Vibram that was a mm or so less thickness as the removed material, why would it not work in DIN fashion? The only forward point of contact would be on the AFD, yes? Which is the same as alpine boots that have a upcanted sole at the toe (obviously flat upper ledge), removing it from contact with the plate, yes? 


Not being argumentative, just trying to understand functionally (not legally) why you can't make a DIN compatible alpine boot with rubber at the front, back, (and middle) as long as you leave the AFD area plastic (and don't use Looks). Missing something obvious, I fear.  

post #4 of 5

I must be missing something obvious here. Why are you not considering the Atomic Tracker (Vibram, 98mm, walk feature) or the Lange RX 100 (Vibram, 100mm solid cuff) Nordica Enforcer (Vibram, 98mm, solid cuff)....?? Among others.


FWIW.......the Lange Vibram blocks can be added easily enough to any boot with solid soles (race boot type) We did a Lange RS 130 and a Lange RP ZA just last week. Of course the toe and heel lugs need to be routed back to std. but it's easy enough if your shop is set up to do that.



post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

See, I told you I was missing something obvious.  Tend to look at brands that have a history of fitting my feet (Sollies, Technicas), ignore ones that don't (Lange, Nordica). I have duck feet (my Falcon 10's were stretched out to 103 by Footloose to give you an idea.). Atomics just off my radar. Thanks. But I will definitely check out the RX100, which with a 100 last may be more promising. Although the block looks a lot like a smoothish hard rubber version of a plastic front, which I would expect for a DIN. Tracker seems ideal, DIN compatible, decent lugs on sole, but from what I can find out, fits narrow feet especially in front. Clearly have to check it out too. 


Attaching the Lang blocks to another brand might be a solution, too. 

Many thanks, will go try on some stuff. 

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