With the new year comes new product announcements, and there is no question that in the world of skiing right now, the hottest category is the ever-growing alpine touring boot segment.
For a more detailed breakdown of the different types of touring boots (and the bindings they are compatible with), check out our AT Boots and Bindings 101 piece.
Here are a some of the most notable new designs:
Dynafit kind of wrote the book for lightweight AT boots with the TLT5 and 6. For 2017, they build on that legacy with the TLT7.
At first glance, the lack of a toe welt is the most noticeable feature of the new boot. Omitting the welt allowed Dynafit to shave weight and move the pivot point in toward the ball of the foot for more efficient touring.
The TLT7 also features a single buckle / cable system that controls the walk mode, the cuff buckle, and what would usually be the lower midfoot buckle, as well as a redesigned tech fitting that looks like a natural evolution of Dynafit’s quick-step inserts.
The TLT7 will feature a higher-volume fit than the TLT6, but will not be compatible with Dynafit’s Beast bindings, and will require a 36 g/pair adaptor from Dynafit to work with automatic crampons, since it lacks that toe welt.
Dynafit claims that the TLT7 was built with downhill performance in mind, and that it will ski better than the TLT6 series, while still weighing in at a stated 999 grams in a 27.5 for the high-end “Performance” version.
Tecnica Zero G Boot
Tecnica is introducing a completely new “Zero G” line of boots for 16/17. They feature a totally new construction, a new liner, and a new fit that will feature a snugger heel hold with a roomier, 99 mm last.
The Zero G line has a bi-injected construction that employs a different type of plastic for the sole and part of the lower of the boot which is stiffer and stronger by weight than Tecnica’s typical shell material. This allows Tecnica to make this portion of the shell (that doesn’t affect the flex of the boot) thinner and lighter.
The Zero G line will be available in in three flavors: the 130 flex Guide Pro; the 110 flex Guide; and the 105 flex women’s version, with the Pro coming in at a stated 1545 grams in a size 26.5.
(Hmmm, isn’t there some other AT boot that comes in at exactly 1545 grams in a 26.5?)
In addition to the Zero G line of boots, Tecnica has also updated their successful Cochise series with a new liner and buckles, as well as the new bi-injected construction found on the ZeroG.
While the Cochise is still being marketed as a versatile 99mm-lasted, downhill-oriented boot, the 2017 model weigh in around 1850 grams and features an impressive 42-degree range of motion.
Arc’teryx’s new Procline touring boot looks to be a very interesting addition to the lightweight AT boot category.
In addition to their innovative lateral walk mode, the Procline also will feature a built-in zip gaiter, and a stated weight for the size 27.5 of 1190 g in the most expensive “Carbon Lite” version. We’re looking forward to getting into the Procline and comparing it to boots like the Atomic Backland Carbon.
K2 Pinnacle Pro
New for 16/17, K2 has added the 100mm last Pinnacle Pro to their previous Pinnacle line of boots. The Pinnacle Pro still features both tech fittings and din soles, so it should be compatible with just about every binding available.
The Pinnacle Pro will have optional rockered touring soles available, and (most importantly) reportedly shaves 300 grams per boot off the current Pinnacle 130, which would make it much more competitive weight-wise with the current crop of lighter, hard-charging AT boots.
Salomon MTN Explore W
It’s no secret that we’re fans of both the Salomon MTN Lab and its lighter and softer-flexing sibling, the MTN Explore. But for ladies looking for a boot that goes up and down well, the options have been fairly slim..
But there is some potentially good news on the horizon: for 16/17, Salomon is introducing the MTN Explore W, a women’s-specific version of the MTN Explore.
It features a stated 90 flex, and the same layout and construction as the Men’s MTN Explore.
Of course, we don’t hand out “Best New Product” awards from the carpeted floors of convention centers (because that’s still stupid), but we do look forward to getting all of these products on snow and seeing what they can actually do.