2015-2016 Fischer TransAlp Vacuum TS Boot

Cy Whitling reviews the Fischer TransAlp Vacuum TS for Blister Gear Review,
Fischer TransAlp Vacuum TS

Fischer TransAlp Vacuum TS

Size Tested: 26.5

Sizes Available: 23.5-30.5

Stated BSL (26.5): 303 mm

Stated Last: 97-107 mm (Heat Moldable)

Stated Range of Motion: 53°

Stated Weight (26.5) : 1620 g per boot

Blister’s Measured Weight per Boot:

• Shells, no liners: 1324 & 1331 grams
• Liners, no footbeds: 260 & 275 grams
• Shells + Liners: 1584 & 1660 grams

MSRP: $800

Test Locations: Canterbury Club Fields, NZ; Fairy Lake, MT; Teton Pass, Togwotee Pass & Grand Targhee, WY; Jumbo Pass, BC

Skis Used: 186 cm Volkl BMT 109; 189 cm K2 Shreditor 112; 184 cm ON3P Steeple 102; 185 cm Kitten Factory All Mountain; 184 cm Kitten Factory Toors Lite; 186 cm Revision Subtraction

Bindings Used: G3 Ion, Marker Kingpin 13, Dynafit Speed Turn

Days Tested: ~40

Blister’s Jonathan Ellsworth, Will Brown, and Charley Bradley have all raved about Fischer’s Vacuum Fit system, going so far as to call it “game changing.” So when Fischer debuted the TransAlp Vacuum TS, a touring boot that utilizes this same technology, we were very interested. The TransAlp is also available in a slightly lighter “Vacuum TS Lite” version

Jonathan Ellsworth and I have both toured in the TransAlp, so we’ll do our best to locate this boot on the AT spectrum, looking at fit; hiking / touring performance (including range of motion); downhill performance; weight; and durability. Jonathan will be weighing in with some comparisons to other options available right now, while I’ll be touching on longer-term durability and performance across a range of conditions.

But first, we’ll look at some of the specific features of the boot.

Construction / Design

While it’s not quite as simple as the Fischer Travers I reviewed earlier, the TransAlp is still a relatively simple boot.


The TransAlps’ top two buckles close to the outside, while the toe buckle is reversed, so that it stays out of harm’s way.

Cy Whitling reviews the Fischer TransAlp Vacuum TS for Blister Gear Review,
Cy Whitling in the Fischer TransAlp Vacuum TS, Togwotee Pass WY. (photo by Meaghann Gaffney)

Initially, I was a little worried since the TransAlps’ buckles are pretty thin and light, and I expected their durability to suffer. But I haven’t had any issues after about 40 days in these, and I’m generally pretty hard on buckles. The toothed track on one top buckle did come loose and started to wiggle, but I torqued it back down and it’s been fine since.

Walk Mode

The TransAlps’ walk mode is easy to switch, though if I’m wearing heavy gloves, I have to take them off to manipulate it. On days where snow is really sticking to the boot, it can clog with snow pretty easily, but it’s never been a huge issue—I’ve always been able to clean it quickly with a ski pole.

I’ve also never had a problem with the walk mode only partially locking, or coming unlocked while skiing.

While the TransAlp doesn’t have the running-shoe-like walk mode and range of motion of something like the Fischer Travers or Atomic Backland Carbon, I’ve found it more than adequate for most touring situations. I do sometimes feel some resistance on longer, flat approaches, and it doesn’t pivot as easily as either of those boots mentioned above. But on the skin track I haven’t found myself desperately longing for more range of motion.


The TransAlps’ soles are heavily treaded, and while mine have definitely seen some wear, and are a little chewed up, I haven’t had any issues with them delaminating or losing any big chunks of rubber—something that some other AT boots are prone to. That’s a good thing, since like many AT boots in this category, the TransAlp’s soles are non-replaceable.

Crampon Compatibility

Unlike the Fischer Travers Carbon, the TransAlps are compatible with the stock toe bails on my Black Diamond Sabertooth crampons. However, with the larger aftermarket bail that I had to order for the Travers Carbon, the Sabertooths fit much more snugly and securely on the TransAlp as well.


I’ve split my time in the TransAlp between the stock liner and an Intuition Powerwrap. Initially, I used the Powerwrap since the stock liner did not play nicely with my foot. And while it doesn’t walk as well as the stock liner, I found that it did help stiffen the boot up for descents. (The stock liner of the TransAlp is very soft and unstructured — softer than the Salomon MTN Explore’s stock liner, and even softer than the Salomon MTN Lab’s stock liner. However it is much stiffer than something like the Fischer Travers’ liner.)

After getting some custom Superfeet insoles made, I was able to switch back to the stock liner, and I found that the better range of motion, and the ability to tighten the liner down around my foot, even while walking outweighed the performance benefits I was getting from the Powerwrap, so I’m back to using the stock liner for the foreseeable future. Replacing the stock power strap with a Booster Strap helped make up for the loss of downhill performance with the stock liner.

Binding Compatibility & Insert Certification

The TransAlp works with traditional tech bindings (e.g., Dynafit, G3 ION), the Marker Kingpin, and the Dynafit Beast (with an adaptor). It does not feature any quickstep inserts, although its inserts are certified by Dynafit which lends some peace of mind.

NEXT: Fit, Hiking and Touring Performance, Etc.

4 comments on “2015-2016 Fischer TransAlp Vacuum TS Boot”

  1. Does anyone find thr explore to upright. Im am ex racer and would like more forward lean. Any advise would be appreciated

  2. If you’re looking for a more supportive liner that still tours well, definitely take a look at the ProTour liner. Despite the name, its pretty substantial. I stopped using Powerwraps when I left full alpine boots.

    • Good note. I’ve actually spent a fair bit of time in the Pro Tour liner, while it is more substantial than the stock liner, and does walk better than the Powerwraps, I’ve found that my feet are just more comfortable in an overlap liner, and the Powerwraps work very well with my high instep and arch, even without any foot bed.

      In use I haven’t found my Powerwraps to restrict my ROM too much, although I do use my softest, most broken-in pair in my touring boots.

      Again, the whole liner thing does come down to what feels best on your foot, and if you can make a Pro Tour liner work for you feet that’s a great way to beef up this boot without sacrificing so much walkability.

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