2016-2017 Lange XT 130 Freetour LV


I only spent part of one day skinning in these boots, and got about what I expected from them. The walk mode is very solid in downhill mode and has developed zero play for downhill skiing, but it does not provide a lot of rearward ROM when compared with any of the other touring boots I’ve used recently.

I cannot feel any difference between the walk mode on the 15/16 XT 130 and the Freetour. The boots are a little tough to pop into “Walk” mode, so I found it best to do this before unbuckling the upper cuff.

I have had no difficulty popping them back into “Ski” mode, but this is also best done after re-buckling the upper cuff to get a little more leverage on it.

For my skinning technique, the ROM of the Freetour isn’t a deal breaker for long days of touring, since I tend to skin with a relatively short stride. For long, flat approaches, or for those who prefer a long stride while touring, the ROM may be a limiting factor.
Of note: Lange’s version of a “flex zone” in the Achilles area of the stock liner is labeled “Motion Control,” and it does seem to provide a little more rearward ROM than my ZipFits or an Intuition liner.

Tech Fittings

The Freetour features Dynafit-certified tech fittings. Overall, I think it’s a good thing that Dynafit is providing certification for other brands of boots. This standardization of tech fitting dimensions should help prevent the kinds of binding boot / interface issues that have resulted in inconsistent release and performance issues in the past.

Sole Blocks / WTR

In my review of the 15/16 XT 130, I noted that I was not a big fan of the WTR sole blocks that were included with the boots, since those sole blocks make the boots compatible only with WTR bindings. Fortunately, the 15/16 XT 130’s came with alpine-style ISO 5355 sole blocks, thus making the boots compatible with any alpine binding on the market.

The 16/17 Freetour comes only with the WTR sole blocks, so they are not designed to be used with any bindings that aren’t WTR compatible. As a result, I can’t use the Freetour with any ski setups that have a Marker Jester binding or older Look Pivot.

Paul Forward reviews the Lange XT 130 Freetour for Blister Gear Review.
Paul Forward in the Lange XT 130 Freetour, Chugach Powder Guides, AK. (photo by Adam Clark)

When we emailed Lange about the availability of alpine sole blocks for the Freetour, they responded that “XT Freetour meets ISO 9523 (Alpine Touring) and WTR standards only. When you put pins in the toe of the boot, it no longer meets the Alpine standard – ISO 5355. I have to assume any manufacturers or shops that are putting pin boots into an Alpine binding are either comfortable taking this risk, misinformed, or are ignoring ISO standards.”

This is frustrating to me, since after months of using both the XT 130s and the XT Freetour boots with both the ISO 5355 alpine soles and the WTR sole blocks, I don’t see any significant benefit to the WTR soles. They still don’t walk, crampon, climb, or rock scramble as well as the short, weight-saving, rockered soles of dedicated AT boots.

(And BTW, I did try to throw the alpine sole blocks of the 15/16 XT 130 on to the Freetour, but the hole pattern doesn’t work with the Freetour.)

The Freetour’s WTR sole blocks are also a little wider, have a little thicker rubber (and are consequently a bit heavier), and are a little more rockered than the ISO 5355 sole blocks, but in my experience, the real-world difference between lightly treaded ISO 5355 alpine soles (as seen on so many “freeride” boots on the market) and WTR soles is minimal when clamoring around on snowmachines, rocks, and helicopter skids. I do have one ski partner who prefers the WTR soles for sled skiing, but even he would be fine just skiing in lightly-rubberized ISO 5355 soles all season.

The bummer here is that the XT 130 Freetour could easily be a one-boot quiver for skiers who want a relatively lightweight, full-on alpine boot that can still tour in tech bindings. I know quite a few people who would find this appealing, but many of them will be disappointed to find that they’ll have to ditch their current bindings, purchase WTR-compatible bindings, and redrill their alpine skis in order to use the Freetour.


Overall, the XT 130 Freetour has held up well. As some of my ski clients like to remind me, I frequently ski with my lower buckles open and flopping around, and I haven’t yet damaged the buckle or the shells.

The only issue I’ve noticed is a small ding in the heel of one boot near the binding interface point. I don’t remember striking anything with my heels, and it looks like it happened just clicking into the binding.

Paul Forward reviews the Lange XT 130 Freetour for Blister Gear Review.
Lange XT 130 Freetour heel gash

I’ve owned a lot of alpine boots and have never put a ding in them like this, so it does seem a bit odd. But I don’t think it will affect the retention or safety of the binding interface.

Bottom Line

For years, manufacturers have claimed that their tech-compatible boots ski and fit “just like an alpine boot.” Boots like the Tecnica Cochise series have been a great step in that direction, and aside from the higher-volume fit, the MTN Lab is a great touring boot that is plenty stiff but lacks the same progressive flex and fit of the best alpine boots.

The Lange XT 130 Freetour LV is the first boot I’ve used that really does combine a lower volume fit with a smooth, progressive flex and tech binding compatibility. If this is what you’re looking for—and if you’re willing to carry a couple hundred extra grams per foot compared to dedicated touring boots like the Salomon MTN Lab or Dynafit Vulcan, and don’t mind being limited to WTR alpine bindings—then the XT 130 Freetour may be the best boot out there.


19 comments on “2016-2017 Lange XT 130 Freetour LV”

  1. Hey Paul,

    Care to comment on the temperature sensitivity of the plastic? I have 2015 Lange RX130 LV and find the variability of flex between above freezing and below freezing to be extremely annoying – on spring days the boot collapses like crazy and has zero rebound (I can watch the lower shell bulge/bellow while skiing on warm days and it makes my feet really tired/hurt), whereas when it’s in the teens and below it’s extremely stiff to the point of almost needing to remove flex bolts.

    By comparison the Griliamid Touring boots I’ve owned don’t seem to retain similar flex pattern regardless of temperature (Vulcans, Mercury) – is the new XT the same in that regard?

  2. Great review as always.

    I’m on bd factor mx130.

    Had a lot of work to accommodate my 103 sized feet so I’m reluctant to change boots, but I heard good things about the langes.

    How do the boots compare as far as skiing?

  3. Fantastic review,

    You mentioned the MTN Lab early on in the review, but then didn’t mention it again. Can you do a more in-depth comparison between the two boots? I’m looking at picking up a true AT boot over the summer (currently using the 2013-14 Lange XT 130 LV) and it would be a huge help.


  4. The Grilamid can’t deal with the pressure of a non-pin heel piece. My kingpins have dug into my Grilamid Vulcans to the point where the little friction wheels on the heel piece now “seat” into position. I stepped into a pair of Dukes that were set up too big and now have a pair of permanent scars just like you describe. It’s very soft plastic! Looks like a great boot, I would love to not need to bring those Vulcan tongues everywhere with me.

  5. Blister crew, it would be cool to see an in-depth look at the DIN standard, WTR, and the touring norm. I have seen a ton of commentary from your reviewers about boot interfaces and toe pieces but no technical exploration about why this evolution has happened or how it impacts skiers.

    There are technicians and industry experts out there who are qualified to talk about Paul’s concerns. It would be cool to see you work with some engineers instead of delivering passing commentary on the technology.

    • Hey, Jimmy – we’re leaving Tuesday for New Zealand, and taking 2 pairs of QST Pro 130s with us. We’ll be posting flash reviews on the boot while we’re down there, so if you need info ASAP, become a Blister member and you’ll get access to those flash reviews. You’l also be able to email us directly if you’re still trying to decide between the QST and some other boots. Thanks.

  6. How do the lasts compare between the MTN Lab and this? People have told me the Lab feels wider than a 98mm last, and my favourite boot is an RS130 (fits like a glove), with no other truly well-fitting touring boot options – is the freetour the AT equivalent (materials differences aside)?

  7. Hi, thanks for your review.
    I wear the lange freetour xt 130 lv boot now for two days.
    I used the boot with a marke barron binding.
    The fit is pretty well and similar to the lange rs and normal xt. I also love the flex!

    But the the quality of the shell material sucks!
    I clicked onetime a little bit skewed in the binding and have the same ding in the heel an also a small one on the front.
    I think the the shell material on the heel and front is to soft!
    I dont think that the boot long works if i have after two days so large dings. I’m to know what happened when i will use the boot on a tour with climbing and rock sections.
    I never had the same issue in other lange boots!

    I hope lange works on it an make a recall program for the lower shell!
    Without this issues the lange xt freetour could be one of the best boot for touring and freeriding.

  8. Hi, another great review.

    How does Lange XT 130 Freetour LV compare to Tecnica Zero G Gude? in fit (heel and volume of instep) na flex?


  9. Paul,

    Following up on Nekaj’s comment- I’m having some severe durability issues in the same areas as Nekaj and you. My toe and heel plastic is practically disintegrating and was wondering if you had any follow up on the durability. I didn’t have any issues with my Look Pivot 14s, but recently hopped on a pair of demo skis using Look 12 Demo bindings and my boots are near retirement after 20 some days. Hopefully Lange responds to my correspondence.

    I also might have an early production version and therefore could be the cause. Strange regardless.

    As always, great review. Love these boots. Highly recommend.

  10. I have been skiing in Nordica Dobermann Pro 130’s for the last ten years. I have never been able to give up the feel of a race boot. The Lange XT freetour give you 95% of the performance while managing to both be comfortable and warm by comparison. If you leave the cuff on the last buckles the range of motion is quite good and doesn’t bother me at all. Even the 100 last is still a performance fit. Very impressive boot.

  11. Hi Paul,
    So I’ve red reviews you guys have on Lange lineup and what I come up with is that XT 130 Freetour does not compromise downhill performance compared to regular XT LV, and XT LV is pretty much RS. So I get significant gain in comfort (less weight, walk mode, touring capabilities) for very little if any performance loss across the entire Lange range of boots? Is that correct?
    I’m considering Rossignol Hero World Cup SI 130 which I believe is a clone of Lange RS 130. I can have it very cheap, like 150$ brand new 2016 model (not many agresive, powerful skiers where I live). Is it really Lange RS 130 rebranded? Rossi and Lange shell are virtually the same side by side except the color. Only the liners are different from what I can see.
    But this new “lightweight” options are now making me reconsider things…
    Am I heading into the right direction with this? :D


  12. Interesting comments. For me Lange have come close buuuuut not quite there. Maybe its just me but im a relatively light skier (72KG) but pretty aggressive. I have the Kingpins on a Carbon Katana & these super light Freetours. They are great but 130 flex? not really. i would sacrifice some of the weight gain for stiffening up the boot for when youre really gunning it. My normal alpine kit has been Katanas since they were first introduced and Lange boots ( Banshees etc) and was hoping this would be my everyday set up regardless. Skied them as such this season and concur with other comments that flex changes dramatically with temperature and the new plastic used ( i forget the name) give a progressive flex but too much of it in more testing conditions & terrain. I put a Surefoot custom liner in which helped stiffen a bit. Stiffen it up and maybe fractionally higher boot and it would be the perfect tour boot AND everyday alpine option.

  13. Hello skiing Lange RS 130 for a long time, I wanted the equivalent with inserts for riding strong skis in medium to short tour. I bought the XT 130 freetour lv and am disappointed. The shoe is more straight than my RS130 and my Maestrales RS (1) used at 20°. Besides, the flex is progressive, but too progressive without stop point before my ankle. In compression, the hoof deforms too much near the ankle.
    Obviously, the shape of my little thick foot has to be a problem in this shoe, but I am downright disappointed by this shoe, I’m skiing much better my Maestrale RS(1) supposed to be to be less successful. I bought leXT130 freetour for nothing.

Leave a Comment