The walk mode on the 15/16 XT 130 LV has zero discernible play, and is as solid as any walk mode I’ve ever used when locked into descend mode. They are a little tough to switch in and out of walk/ski mode compared to the Salomon boots I’ve used or the Cochise series, but it still works fine.
They just take a little more muscle to allow the cuff to pop from one mode to the other. A good tip for transitioning between modes is to do it while the boots are buckled, as it’s easier to create the necessary leverage to pop the mechanism into place.
The range of motion, when coupled with an alpine liner like the ZipFit is enough to walk around a parking lot or bar, but for me, they feel like they barely go to vertical. I rarely complain about having a lot of ROM, and generally feel like it’s an issue that gets way more attention than it should. That said, people who truly want to tour in the XT 130 LV might feel like it’s a little restrictive in walk mode even for skinning. The stock liner is a little better in providing rearward ROM than the ZipFit, but it’s not a huge difference.
The Lange XT 130 LV is a great alpine ski boot. The flex is smooth, and is at least as progressive as any boot I’ve used in recent memory. And despite being relatively lightweight, it gives the same damp, suspension-like feel of any great alpine boot.
Alyeska Resort is off to a great start this year, so I’ve had a bunch of fun days in the boots since my time with them in New Zealand. While testing the XT 130 LV, I’ve been on a variety of skis ranging from 85mm underfoot to 119mm, and have spent nights railing icy groomers and skied days fast-lapping Glacier Express skiing full-on, low-density pow. The XT 130 LV’s have been powerful and precise and a lot of fun through all of this.
From a stiffness standpoint, I’ve never thought that I needed more boot, and I’ve felt great control and power laterally and fore-aft. I haven’t used them while skiing with my ~30 lb. guide pack yet, but I don’t doubt that they’ll do great. They are similar in fore-aft stiffness to the Salomon X-Max 130 that I also skied last year, which has a nice flex for most of the skiing I do.
Lange XT 130 LV vs. Tecnica Cochise Pro 130
In our Deep Dive comparison between the XT 130 LV and the Cochise Pro 130 we delved into the more subtle differences in flex between the two boots. Now that I’m home, I’ve been able to compare the boots back-to-back at Alyeska. Since I had been using an Intuition wrap liner in my Cochise Pro 130’s, I decided to ski both boots with the ZipFits to get a more fair comparison between the two shells.
When just comparing stiffness while skiing, both boots are as much as I’ve needed laterally and fore/aft for anything I’ve done so far. But for pure downhill performance, I would give the nod to the Lange for two reasons:
(1) the slightly more damp and more progressive flex of the XT 130 LV does a nice job of smoothly transferring power to skinny skis on firm snow, and soaking up chatter when straightlining late powderday deep chop on fat skis.
(2) The lower, more sensitive feel of the XT. I’m not sure if it’s because the sole blocks of the Cochise bolt on as separate pieces versus the one-piece construction of the XT, but the XT feels closer to the ski and just makes me feel like I’m more in contact. It’s hard to explain, but I like the sensation.
15/16 Lange XT 130 LV vs. the 14/15 Lange XT 130 LV
In comparison to previous versions of the XT 130 LV, all I can say is that I’ve shop flexed the two versions side by side, and while the fit feels the same, the flex and walk mode feel quite different.
On the 14/15 boot, there is notable deformation in the lower shell when flexing the boot, and this translates into a significantly softer-flexing boot despite the 130 flex rating. The true test of this is skiing them back to back which I haven’t done yet, but I’ll be very surprised if the 14/15 has the power of the 15/16. The walk mode of the 14/15 looks different and it also feels quite different in that the older version does have some play when locked into ski mode—even in a brand new pair. I don’t know if the increased play in the older version will be noticeable when skiing, but in my experience with other boots, it probably will.
It’s hard to imagine that I will spend much time touring in the XT 130 LV. I generally tour in lighter boots like the Salomon MTN Lab (1605 grams per boot in a size 27.5) or the Atomic Backland Carbon (1169 grams in a size 27.5). The XT 130 LV weighs 2080g in a size 27.5, which isn’t too bad given their outstanding downhill performance, and their rockered soles and walk mode will be appreciated by those with WTR bindings who find themselves scrambling on rocks and other hard surfaces.
So if you’re looking for boot that skis like an alpine boot but has a walk mode, rubber soles, and a lower-volume fit than the Cochise Pro 130, the XT 130 is probably exactly what you’re looking for.
The Lange XT 130 LV is a superb example of an ‘alpine boot with a walk mode’ (again, see our AT Boots 101 article for more on the various types of walk-mode boots). Of the boots in this category, the XT 130 LV offers the closest thing to excellent and uncompromising downhill performance that we’ve seen so far.