Big brother Salomon helped Arc'teryx get their idea off the ground last year, but now big bro is running with it. The X-Alp series boots have three dimensional mobility in the cuff during walk mode. This is game changer in very technical terrain as well as comfort for the very casual tour. The Explore is the more forgiving of the two models, both in stiffness and on the wallet.
The 3D walk mode is achieved with a split cuff that gives 23 degrees of outward motion and 12 inwards. A more mobile ankle allows more precise footholds while the skis are on the back in technical terrain and more range of motion to nail a tricky kickturn. The idea is to be more like a shoe on the uphill and still achieve Salomon worthy performance on the down.
We think the Explore model should be checked out by more than just the techy ski mountaineer. An ice mission in a remote snow field may provide a reason for a climber to take thise as their only shoe. The hard-booting split boarder that is missing that shoe like feel of a snowboard boot for the walking part of things should give these a look. Come try on the X-Alp range of motion and decide if that 3D articulation is right for you!
|Forward Lean||14 degrees|
|Cuff Articulation||75 degrees (35 lateral)|
|Buckles||2 Buckle with Power strap|
|Binding Compatibility||Tech, AT|
|Manufactuer Warranty||2 years|