For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

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Stephen
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For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

Post by Stephen » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:28 am

Woodserson, in terms of buying boots, I found the Guards at varuste.net for less than the Skarvets would have cost me at REI. Of course I lost the one year return option with REI.

I tried the Alaskas and found them too narrow.
The size (LENGTH) of the Alaskas and all the Alfa boots seemed very similar (I was a 47 in all of them).
I tried all of the boots you mentioned, except the Wyoming, which I would assume would be similar to the Alaska (like all the Alfa boots are somewhat similar).

It was a while ago, but I remember my feet having the sense that they were going to get the fit and comfort that I was willing to pay for. The Kikut felt “ok,”, the Skarvet felt pretty nice, and the Guards felt the best.

The heel pocket on the Guards felt the most well engineered. Less slip when I tried to force heel lift, firmer fit, just nice. The leather in the Guard and Skarvet felt more plush than the Kikut. The Kikut was more of a Honda, and the Guard more a Lexus — or whatever your car analogy would be. Except for the break at the toes, the Guard just gave me a better feeling (and, it was only on one foot that it was slightly uncomfortable). Of course, YMMV...
(I am hoping that I might be able to train the leather to spread out a little where it is breaking — not sure on that one. Also considered using a leather conditioner to soften leather — any recommendations on that one?

You can see the difference in how the Guard and the Skarvet break at the toes in the pictures below, where I have the Guard on one foot, and the Skarvet on the other. I think the comfort of the toe break is going to be unique to each foot.
On the Skarvet, you can also see how the rubber toe guard forces the leather to flex at one spot. I was concerned that this forced hinge point would eventually cause the leather (and leather / rubber bond) to fail at that point. Of course, the toe has to hinge SOME place, so maybe that would happen on any boot, regardless.
You can also see how the full rand on the Guard reduces flexibility at the toe hinge, and causes more flex in a smaller area.

I also noticed that the lacing hooks on the Guard are closer to each other (I mean left to right, not up and down). Don’t know if that is significant. And the lacing cutout and hooks extend further down, towards the toes on the Guards.
Also, the lacing system is different on the Guards, with two locking hooks at the ankle, which I think would make it easier to leave the toes lose for warmth and comfort, while allowing the ankle to be tighter for control, and maybe leave the cuff looser for K&G comfort.
In terms of stiffness, they both seemed similar. Putting them “on edge,” I had no sense that I could roll my ankle in either the Guard or Skarvet (didn’t test Kikut that way).

The Guard is slightly lighter.
I don’t sense that the guard is a stiffer boot — my sense is that it is a more well engineered boot, more like a step up in quality. Even thought Alfa does give the Guard a one dot higher stiffness rating.

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My feet, for reference...
image 9.JPG
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Guard and Skarvet, side by side — notice wider lacing pattern on Skarvet...
image.JPG
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Guard and Skarvet, side by side...
- On Guards (back) 4th and 6th hooks (from bottom) are locking;
- On Skarvet (front), 5th hook locks...
image 2.JPG
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Guard and Skarvet, side by side...
image 4.JPG
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On edge
image 5.JPG
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Toe break...
image 6.JPG
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Toe break...
image 7.JPG
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Toe break...
image 8.JPG

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Woodserson
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Ski style: Bumps, trees, and steeps and long woodsy XC tours
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Re: For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

Post by Woodserson » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:30 am

Stephen, thank you!

That gratuitous photo of your feet could be your avatar... just sayin'!

For those wondering, I'm looking for a warm BC boot that can do lots of flat miles with less of a XCD focus than the Alaskas, I'm looking for a softer BC-XC boot. I usually use my Rossi X-10's for this, but they bunch my socks a little weird and they are getting long in the tooth and will soon need replacing. $ is tight so I am not too interested in ordering the Guards and getting into gnarly return issues.

My concerns: 1. I have narrow heel and am most worried about heel lift... 2. how the toe box crunches. My Antarctics have ended up quite dusty as the toe box hits the top of my knuckles just right on one of the boots. Tres annoying!

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Leo Tasker
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Re: For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

Post by Leo Tasker » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:15 am

Hi Woods, I've also got narrow heels, normally go for Rossignol track boots, and the Alfa Skarvet are working pretty well for me. If you get the new version with the external plastic heel cup (not the older Quest Advance) you can heat it gently and squeeze it in to give a tighter grip around the Achilles. Definitely a better fit for me that the Alpina Alaskas that I tried! The Alfa Guard felt like it had more volume, the Skarvet was a snugger fit on the sides and top which you can kind of see in the photos that Stephen posted. Hope that helps!
Cheers, Leo

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lilcliffy
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Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
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Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
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Re: For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:13 pm

The Alfa Guard definitely has a softer sole flex than the Alaska BC.

The Guard is ultralight, smooth flexing, has a most excellent lacing system and is very warm, comfy and supportive- I love this boot.

I have small-volume feet, narrow ankles and heels.
The foam inserts in the achilles-ankle section of the Guard are wonderful- providing a snug, supportive and comfy fit- similar to the Alaska. (MUCH, MUCH better than Crispi's heel-murdering Svartisen...)
The Guard is a LARGE volume boot- I get a perfect fit with my thick wool Chennabaree Winterwarmer insoles and Darntough Mountaineering socks- they are unwearable for my low-volume feet without that combination.
Very expensive but highly recommended.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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Woodserson
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Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XC: Asnes Gamme 54, Classy Woodies
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Alaska
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Re: For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

Post by Woodserson » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:59 pm

No 47 Guards in stock in Finland. I've ordered Skarvets and Kikuts from REI. And some other stuff. And wow the bill. There will be returns.

The Kikuts are the lightest out of the bunch.

Remember I'm looking for a decent K&G boot primarily, for BC touring but not necessarily touring for turns, but some turns will be inevitable. I use my 75mm boots for that mostly. :o

The Alfa site has a nice video of Gamme skiing on Skarvets FTs and NNNBC fwiw


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Woodserson
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, and steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XC: Asnes Gamme 54, Classy Woodies
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Alaska
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Re: For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

Post by Woodserson » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:06 pm

And Tom M has two nice informative videos also on the Skarvet




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Woodserson
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Ski style: Bumps, trees, and steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XC: Asnes Gamme 54, Classy Woodies
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Alaska
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Re: For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

Post by Woodserson » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:18 pm

Not to mention the amazing review page

https://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2145

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lilcliffy
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Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
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Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
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Re: For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:04 pm

Cool video of Gamme on the new FT62!

Stephen-
Do you have low-volume feet?
Looking at your photos of flexing those Alfa boots- it at least appears that you could do with taking up some more volume in either of those boots- especially the Guard.
What are you using for an insole?
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

Stephen
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Re: For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

Post by Stephen » Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:01 am

lilcliffy wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:04 pm
Cool video of Gamme on the new FT62!

Stephen-
Do you have low-volume feet?
Looking at your photos of flexing those Alfa boots- it at least appears that you could do with taking up some more volume in either of those boots- especially the Guard.
What are you using for an insole?
Low volume feet...
Isn't that sort of a personal question?
:lol:
But seriously, I had never come across the concept of foot volume until now.
I just knew I had a wide forefoot that was always hard to find width for.
So I did a bit of research and I think I may actually have a low volume foot, as well as a high arch.
Feet look weird, but here it is (I think that without actual details for comparison, people talking about how a boot fits their foot is of limited value).
IMG_5079.jpg
Gareth, when I took all those pictures of the boots, the boots had the OEM insole. Since then, I have purchased the Chenna Baree Ortho-natural insoles, but have not paid attention to whether that filled out the volume of the boot. I could also try a little heavier sock, but too heavy starts to reduce the width too much and squeezes my foot.
Gareth, thanks for noticing that and pointing it out -- that might help smooth out the way the toe breaks when I bend my foot. Do you have any other suggestions for filling out the volume in my boots?

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Woodserson
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Re: For Woodserson because I can’t figure out how to put a picture in a PM!

Post by Woodserson » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:11 pm

Is there a consistency issue with Alfa boots? Someone throw me a bone here.

It's like an explosion of NNNBC boots in this house right now.

I have the Kikut advance and the Skarvet Advance in the house. No Guard.

They are both 47. The boot says 47euro 14US which is weird, 47 is usually 13, but whatever. The boot sole itself is exactly the same length as the Alaska 47. All three boots are the same length, exterior dimensions.

The Kikut is effing HUGE. I can easily slide two fingers behind my heel running along the longitudinal axis of the boot.
The Skarvet fits like the Alaska! I am wearing a low cushion sock and my feet take up all available space!

What the hell!?

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