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 ADVANCED
AT BOOT RECOMMENDATIONS
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By Mark D.
From Santa Fe
Mar 11, 2010

I am going to upgrade to some new AT boots and the decision is overwhelming...lots of choices. I know that fit is the ultimate decider so I don't want the discussion to focus around that, but I want a fairly hard-charging boot that tours well and will fit into Freeride bindings. I have alpine boots if I am at the resort and want big time performance. THis is for the backcountry where I want to do short to medium tours and ski steep and deep. I have been looking at Methods, Factors, Spirit 4 and Radiums. Any input would be most appreciated.


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Mar 11, 2010
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

i have the Spirit 4s and, with the stiff, black tongues in them, they're pretty solid boots. the only problem i've had w/them is that i have a narrow foot and it's taken some time and creativity to get the boots to fit right. if you have a wide foot, i'd say they're a great choice. if you have a narrow foot, you may want to look at other brands first. or, plan to fill the space with shims, thick footbeds, and thick socks.


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By Mark D.
From Santa Fe
Mar 11, 2010

That is strange...I thought Scarpa was the choice for narrow feet? Maybe my experience is outdated.


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By Frosty Weller
From Colorado
Mar 11, 2010
Desert Tower

Last year I got the Method on some BD Verdicts and the Dynafit TLT Vertical FT binding. F-ing incred.

Light for hiking yet can rip it down. Lift served or not... I skied them at Mary Jane last year a bunch. (Granted, when going super agro in bumps I would get some unwanted releases with the toe, but that was probably because I wasn't diligent enough when cleaning out the pin-holes in the toe before clipping in.)

I am back on heavy duty alpine gear for lift served, but I can't tell ya how happy I am with the Methods and the Dynafit setup... amazing.

Anyway... you wanted a boot recommendation. The Method is what I would recommend if you are more backcountry oriented. If you are planning on primarily lift served and are a pretty aggressive burly skier, go for the Factor.

I have not skied the other boots you mentioned... all great boots. It all really comes down to what fits you the best.


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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Mar 11, 2010

I have Radiums and really like the boot and would defintiely recommend it. Much lower volume than the Scarpa Spirit 4, as Craig mentioned above. Stiff enough, probably around an 80-90 flex of an alpine boot.

I have mine mounted to dynafits on some Line Prophets, it's a light set up. The boots have definitely not held me back in or out of bounds. Touring range of motion is great as well.

I thought the Radium was stiffer than the BD Method. Obviously fit will determine which boot is right for you. I think there is a non-dynafit model of the Radium, but why limit yourself.


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By Mark D.
From Santa Fe
Mar 11, 2010

sounds like everyone likes what they bought...i guess you can't go wrong with any of these boots...just depends on the best fit.


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By Brian Vajda
From Boulder, CO
Mar 11, 2010

Personally, I'd wait until next year when there's going to be an awesome selection of AT boots. BD is actually making touring boot that tour (the Quadrant and Prime), and Scarpa is making some updates. Salomon is coming out with good offerings as well, such as the Pebax Pro (which are already out on limited supply).

I have the Spirit 3s, which are a decent boot but no longer in the 'hard-charging' category. A good boot for touring the pow, but a little underpowered when you are on the harder snow. The black tongues do stiffen the boot up quite a bit, but only in one direction (forward) so the boots end up skiing a little unbalanced (aka still laterally soft). I second the fact that the Spirits have a ton of room in the forefoot.

Finally, I would really recommend dynafit bindings. You get so much more control out of the ski than Freerides.


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By Mark D.
From Santa Fe
Mar 11, 2010

I debated long and hard between Dynafit and Freeride. I think Dynafit will be my next binding but I still wanted something that could go resort with my alpine boots and bc with some power to hit whatever snow I find. Sort of a one quiver setup (though I do tele).
I could wait till next season, but I could probably get a sweet price right now on any of these four boots that will perform very well.
Thanks for the info, though. I will consider it after trying on some boots this weekend.


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