Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

AT boots at the resort?

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
User avatar
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 9:01 pm
Location: Denver, CO

AT boots at the resort?

Postby swoodyut » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:30 pm

So, I need new ski boots. Badly. I only started skiing when I moved here, which was a couple of years ago. I'm at the point where I'm starting to pick my way down the advanced runs, and also not cursing the bumps or variable conditions. I'm comfortable on any and all blue groomers I've come across. I'm a conservative skier, by no means a speed demon but I like the continuous challenge I'm getting by learning something new at my ripe old age (ok I'm not old), and trying to get progressively better.

Problem is, my boots have never been comfortable. Far from it. In fact, I hate my current boots so much I threaten to switch to boarding every time I have to put them on. But that would be a major investment at this point. I have to unbuckle the boots on the lifts for a little relief between runs, and if the first run or two is long it's agony just getting down. I bought them during SNIAGRAB with zero research, just went with what the sales guy told me would get me on down the hill for a reasonable price. I know a lot more now. I'm ready to trash the 'ole bricks.

Thing is, I can see myself eventually wanting to get into backcountry touring. I've started learning about avalanche safety, and I miss nature during the winter - since to me, sitting on a lift and drinking hot cocoa at the bottom of a hill with thousands of other people is NOT nature. I'm hoping a few more seasons really pushing myself at the resort will give me enough skills to take on some gentler backcountry stuff. Are my expectations in line with reality?

All that being said - would it be ridiculous of me to purchase AT boots now, vs downhill boots now and AT in the future? I'm thinking if I'm going to go ahead and drop coin now, may as well spend it on something that will fit future needs as well. In my research it appears that I can get AT boots that are compatible with both touring (dynafit) bindings and downhill bindings. I'm also attracted to the fact that they're so much lighter and most seem to have a 'walk' feature.

So, your opinion please - spend the money now on AT boots only to use them at resorts for the next couple of years (and risk looking ridiculous) or buy cheaper downhill boots now and wait and see?

Oh, and if I'm using incorrect terminology or what have you, please correct me. I know enough to sometimes sound knowledgeable, and sometimes just sound like a poser.

Thanks all!

User avatar
Posts: 242
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:55 pm
Location: Henderson, CO

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby martynda » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:41 pm

The big difference between AT boots and alpine boots is lighter weight and a bit of a sacrifice in stiffness. Some of the newer boots on the market really don't sacrifice stiffness all that much. I do almost all of my resort skiing in some BD Methods and they are stiffer than my "old" Nordica Beast alpine boots. BD is coming out with a new line of boots for next season, so you might get some very good prices for Methods or Factors now.

Regardless of which boot you get, fit is the biggest thing. Go to a store and try on boots, when you hit right one, you'll know.

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby pioletski » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:55 pm

swoodyut wrote:I know enough to sometimes sound knowledgeable, and sometimes just sound like a poser.


In my observation, it's the posers who sound the most knowledgeable... or at least the most self-assured...

Martynda is right on, pay more attention to the fit than anything else. Where performance is concerned, there is now a lot of overlap between AT boots and alpine ski boots, unless you are into racing etc. You will notice a lot of ski patrollers wearing AT boots, for instance. Since you're looking for one boot to cover both bases, and it sounds like you want this to last you a few years, I would recommend demoing as many boots as you can before you buy so you can find something you really like.
The greater danger, for most of us, is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low, and we reach it.
- Michelangelo

User avatar
Posts: 1517
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:54 pm
Location: Littleton, CO

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby Cruiser » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:00 pm

AT boots aren't too bad in-bounds. Generally I'd prefer to be on my alpine boots at the resort because they're heavier, more damp, and more supportive than the AT's. But there are occassions when I feel like skiing one of my AT rigs at the resort and I find that I just have to change my technique a bit to accomodate the different setup. Generally I don't carve as hard on the groomed and I restrain my speed a bit more on hardpack in the AT's than I do in my alpine boots. Otherwise it's not too big a deal.

If I were in your position I'd spend the warmer months combing the sales for a really comfortable and supportive pair of AT boots that have interchangeable sole blocks that will accomodate a regular alpine binding. You have to remember that most AT boots won't release properly from most alpine bindings so it is imperative that you seek out a pair of boots that have the interchangeable soles.

Check out the good folks at the Wilderness Exchange. They regulary have good prices on AT boots and I've always found the staff to be very hepful and knowedgeable.
Where ever you are... There you are.

User avatar
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:47 pm
Location: Arvada, CO

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby Agapeman » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:07 pm

I ski at resorts all the time with my Garmont Endorphins. They have interchangeable soles (At or downhill) but I haven't ever changed to the downhill sole, since I ski with my backcountry skis. You won't look out of place, most people don't even know the difference to notice. There are a million different options, but if you go with a heat moldable liner you will love the comfort. Newer AT boots are very comparable to downhill boots in performance, at least for me but don't overestimate the weight or walk mode, you will still feel like you have a ski boot on when you are walking, a bit lighter but still stiff.

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby Bean » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:11 pm

My Factors are my only boots right now. I know someone who skis the resort with Spirit 4s and dynafits, though she probably doesn't need the support or impact resistance I do (largely due to weight, partly due to me exploding at random times). It's certainly possible to happily get by with only AT boots.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

http://throughpolarizedeyes.com

User avatar
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:49 pm
Location: 81201

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby rolo tomassi » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:29 pm

Get the AT boots now.
Many ski patrollers I know patrol 100 days a year in nothing but AT boots. I ski in 3 buckle At boots at the resort and on 14ers (or the three that i skied this year).
On dynafits.
And I am not light and I ski aggressively.

Make sure whatever boots you get are Dynafit or "tech" compatible so you can keep your options open

User avatar
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 9:01 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby swoodyut » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:31 pm

All, thanks so much for the feedback. I'm glad the instinct to look at AT boots isn't crazy. I'd love to just pull the trigger on a purchase tonight or tomorrow so I can enjoy my April/May skiing, but I'll take the advice to shop around for more than a day. This is going to be a treat to myself, and I'll definitely look at Intuition liners and make sure I only go with a boot I'm 100% happy with.

So here's the list of attributes I need to consider:

Fit/Comfort - above all, it will be glorious to have less or no pain when I ski
Intuition liners (these are heat-moldable, right? Are there any others to consider?)
Dynafit or 'tech' compatible
Interchangeable soles

Am I missing anything?

A few more questions:

1. I noticed a line of boots, Scarpa I believe, that have vibram soles. Sounds like it would be a nice-to-have when hiking without skis, but is this something that's awesome enough to be a consideration right now? Is this an option that other makers might adopt and add as an interchangeable sole?

2. Any particular places to start looking? I have on my list Bent Gate, Colorado Ski & Golf, Wilderness Exchange, Christy's Sports, Boulder Ski Deals. Looks like Sierra Trading Post and Backcountry have good sales going right now, but if I'm able to buy a boot locally from anyone that gives me good service I will.

3. Someone once told me that not many places will rent you boots only. But I want to see how the boots feel with my current skis, is it bad form to ask the staff to adjust my bindings to the boot if they need it? I would think if the Mondo sizing is the same it wouldn't be an issue, but it wouldn't blow my mind to hear that my current boots are the wrong size to begin with.

I think that's about it for now. Once again, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, and I'm all ears for any other advice.

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby drex27 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:45 pm

Do NOT go to CO Ski & Golf. They (at least in Aurora) have started charging for boot fittings ($50 per hour if I recall) regardless of whether you buy the boots or not. I know enough to fit a pair of boots myself and they wouldn't even bring me out a few pairs to try on myself without charging. I've had too many problems to list with that place.

Try boots on to find a decent fit and match what you are looking for. Find them online for cheap (you can find previous year's models of alpine boots for ridiculous prices) and use those savings to get the full package at Larry's bootfitters in Boulder.

User avatar
Posts: 1823
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 9:30 pm
Location: Golden

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby Carl » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:50 pm

drex27 wrote:Do NOT go to CO Ski & Golf. They (at least in Aurora) have started charging for boot fittings ($50 per hour if I recall) regardless of whether you buy the boots or not. I know enough to fit a pair of boots myself and they wouldn't even bring me out a few pairs to try on myself without charging. I've had too many problems to list with that place.


That's pretty wild. Doesn't Vail own CO Ski & Golf. Kinda makes sense.

I've never felt a need to go (or send friends to) anywhere other than Bent Gate or Larry's for AT boots.

User avatar
Posts: 2258
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:36 pm
Location: Lakewood, CO

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby rijaca » Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:03 pm

Wesley wrote:
drex27 wrote:Do NOT go to CO Ski & Golf. They (at least in Aurora) have started charging for boot fittings ($50 per hour if I recall) regardless of whether you buy the boots or not. I know enough to fit a pair of boots myself and they wouldn't even bring me out a few pairs to try on myself without charging. I've had too many problems to list with that place.


That's pretty wild. Doesn't Vail own CO Ski & Golf. Kinda makes sense.

I've never felt a need to go (or send friends to) anywhere other than Bent Gate or Larry's for AT boots.


Colorado Ski and Golf is owned by Sports Authority.
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

User avatar
Posts: 1823
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 9:30 pm
Location: Golden

Re: AT boots at the resort?

Postby Carl » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:44 pm

rijaca wrote:
Wesley wrote: Doesn't Vail own CO Ski & Golf. Kinda makes sense.


Colorado Ski and Golf is owned by Sports Authority.


You sure about that?

I'm fairly certain Colorado Ski and Golf is owned by Specialty Sports Venture. And Vail Resorts owns 70% of Specialty Sports Venture.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests