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Old 01-10-2018, 02:22 PM   #23
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 164
Wow, old post revived.
I can update a bit. I was never able to get my Bates Tora Bora boots repaired locally and have been using Asolo AFS Guides. The plastic shell makes a very big difference compared to leather boots. Once again, front to back stability is minimal due to the fact that these are meant for mountaineering, not skiing. However the lateral stability is the real advantage of the plastic shell boots for their ability to set an edge.
I don't have a lot of experience with other plastic shell mountaineering boots, but these seem to be on the softer side. The old standby Scarpa INvernos are much stiffer.

The Asolo boots I have also came with a liner that has a "power strap" which I think gives an additional advantage. Unfortunately, because of my duck feet, I am using a boot that is 2 sizes larger than I need which adds quite a bit of slop so it's hard to tell how well a perfect fit boot would perform.

There is an interesting alternative that I recently acquired, but haven't yet tried. Apex alpine ski boots are a 2 part system that uses super comfy snowboard boots with a plastic frame for alpine control. If only they would have used a welted inner boot you could carry the frame in your pack on the way up and then buckle in for the down.

Also going to try a pair of Salewa guides that I got this summer to replace the Tora Bora boots. This is a separate topic, but for those looking for wide mountaineering boots there are VERY few options that I have found and most discontinued now:

Montrail Olympus
Bates Tora Bora
Salewa Guide and Vertical
Kenetrek Mountain Insulated and non-insulated.
And there was a Mad Rock or Kayland boot I came across, but can't seem to be able to find again.

That seems to be it in the entire history of fully welted, auto-crampon compatible boots. These are the only ones ever offered in a separate "wide" version.

BTW, the last pair of ski boots I bought new were the Denali TT's that I hated. That was over 10 years ago. Every pair I have now came from Craigslist or ebay. These types of boots tend to get purchased by people with big ambitions then used once or twice. So the quality is typically very high. Don't think I paid over $100 for any of these.

I love the Silvretta bindings as they are the only thing I have found that accepts any kind of boot (from alpine racing to leather mountaineering, AT, Tele, etc) and offers DIN release and the choice between free heel and locked heel. Of course, they are also discontinued. All good things must come to an end.

Quick diversion, There is a type of waterski boot/binding system that seems to use the silvretta ez-go hardware although no mention of the brand is made. hmmmm.....
MrKawfey is offline   Reply With Quote