2019-2020 La Sportiva Spectre 2.0

Cuff Height

The Spectre’s cuff (on the size 26.5 shell) is about 2 cm higher in the back than the 26.5 MTN Explore, and a touch over 4 cm higher on the tongue. That may not sound like a lot, but I sure noticed the additional height. The Spectre 2.0 just felt more locked in higher up on my leg, and dissipated impacts over my whole shin better. Part of that is also due to the fact that the highest of the Spectre’s four buckles is higher than the MTN Explore’s top buckle and thus locks the upper shell down better.

Flex Pattern

The Spectre 2.0’s flex felt like it absorbed impacts better than the Explore’s. Yes, it’s softer, and I felt that lack of precision driving bigger skis like the 184 cm Bibby Tour. But in variable snow, the Spectre 2.0 did a better job absorbing chatter instead of transmitting it straight from the ski. It gave me a quieter, more pain-free ride at the expense of a touch of power. That’s a trade I’m happy to make, especially when I’m driving narrower skis, or skiing in more variable terrain.

Salomon MTN Explore vs. the Sportiva Spectre 2.0

When I was locating the MTN Explore among various touring boots, I wrote this:
“In terms of weight, the MTN Explore sits between more all-round touring boots like the Zero G and MTN Lab on the one side, and the uphill-oriented boots for the skinny pants crowd. There aren’t a lot of other boots out there like it.”

I went on to say that the MTN Explore’s combination of a sub-130 flex and a very good walk mode is a good fit for a lot of backcountry skiers.

And I would say the same thing about the Spectre 2.0. It’s just a touch heavier than the MTN Explore, walks as well or better, and has a higher cuff and a more forgiving flex for the descent. And while the Spectre 2.0’s buckle system is a little weird, I got used to it pretty quickly, and those who want four-buckle security in the backcountry will appreciate it.

Cy Whitling reviews the La Sportiva Spectre 2.0 for Blister Gear Review
Cy Whitling in the La Sportiva Spectre 2.0.

As a one-boot-quiver for the backcountry skier who needs an easy-walking boot for long tours, but who still wants to be able to drive bigger skis, drop bigger airs, and ski variable snow, boots like the MTN Explore and Spectre 2.0 are a great choice. And if you value cuff height over a little extra stiffness (as I do), the Spectre 2.0 gets the edge.

Bottom Line

The La Sportiva Spectre 2.0 occupies a very versatile niche in the current landscape of touring boots. It’s light enough and has good enough range of motion for long days in the backcountry, but is stiff enough with a comfortable ride quality that suits it well to bigger skis and terrain. While the buckle system is a bit odd and takes some getting used to, the Spectre 2.0 is a very capable boot that should appeal to a wide range of skiers.

10 comments on “2019-2020 La Sportiva Spectre 2.0”

  1. I think this review should be amended to say that at time of writing, there were 4 other (men’s) boots currently in production that are compatible with the TR2 “out of the box”.

    La Sportiva: Spitfire 2.0, Sideral 2.0
    Scarpa: Spirit TR2, Spirit RS

    This is also a really perplexing read since the conclusion is that the reviewer likes the Spectre 2.0 more than the MTN Explore, yet every mention makes it seem like the Solly boot is better?

    • Good catch, updated.

      As far as the Spectre 2.0 vs. the Explore. Neither is “better” per se – they have different biases. The fit of the Spectre 2.0 is better for my feet, and I also happen to prefer the Spectre’s cuff height, as I mention in the review.

  2. I have been looking at both the Spectre 2.0 and the S/lab MTN lab
    The spectre look more like touring boot then the s/lab
    Trying to read between the lines spectre may be slightly better for the up and slightly lighter ? Can be cold ?
    The s/lab maybe slightly better for the down and warmer ?

    Any input ?

  3. does anybody have problem with Spectr 2.0
    My one gives strange movement and sound of cuff while in ski mode, when trying to lean back or push back side of the boot? is it normal or it will break completely at the end ?

  4. Spitfire 2.0 has the same problem with low instep and surprisingly narrow space around BOF for claimed 102 last (I ski in resorts in Salomon X-Max with 98 mm last with no problems whatsoever). I am wondering if it is feasible to stretch the liner and/or shell to mitigate this problem. I’d hate to part with Spitfires as they are really snug otherwise.

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