Ditch the tongue.
The S/Lab X-Alp Ski Boot is an ultralight alpine touring boot straight out of Salomon's lab of gram-counting ski geeks who found out that a good ski boot doesn't necessarily need a tongue or full cuff to ski well. Salomon achieved this tongue-less design by adding carbon to the cuff and making the spine completely out of carbon. As a result, the X-Alp checks in around two pounds per boot, and this model is the stiffest option available in the X-Alp series, making this boot a great choice for backcountry skiers who want to tour far and still have a decent downhill ride.
Another benefit of the X-Alp's unique design is the impressive walk mode. Unlike most touring boots, the X-Alp rotates laterally for a more natural stride on the skintrack. There are a couple ski boots with similar designs to this boot, and the major difference is that this gaiter doesn't have a zipper to solidify coverage from snow. The gaiter also features a thermo-moldable liner to provide a customized fit after a simple heating process.
- Minimalist alpine touring boot for seriously adventurous skiing
- Carbon spine and cuff make this the stiffest X-Alp boot
- Precise 98mm last reduces weight and increases downhill performance
- Walk mode allows lateral rotations as well as forward
- Thermo-moldable liner without zipper ensures weather protection
- Non-zip, mid-size gaiter assures full protection from elements
- Contagrip rubber sole with tech-compatible inserts
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have ~100k ft vert on these. Needless to say these things go uphill unbelievably well, as expected. The range of motion compares to a running shoe. Shockingly, they actually ski very well. I'm an ex-D1 alpiner and really enjoy ripping turns in these! Solid flex pattern, stiff laterally. 4 stars because the durability of the "accessories" is questionable - I ripped through the booster strap after just a few uses.
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