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Tell me about small AT boots

KathrynC

Certified Ski Diva
#1
I need to replace my AT boots. New boots need to be compatible with pin bindings. Ideally I want to be in a 22 shell, but many AT boots aren't made smaller than a 23. To compound the problem, there are only a handful of bootfitters with a range of AT boots in the UK, and most don't carry stock in my size because they can't get rid of it. I have found one friendly bootfitter who is willing to order stock for me, but as it is a hassle for him I am trying to do some homework first. Although my feet are small, they are quite wide and I have a high instep.

Current candidates:

Scarpa Gea. Smallest size is 23 with 22.5 shell. My current boots are Scarpa and are this size, so this seems like an option to try. The fit of my current boots is not perfect even after lots of input from a fitter - they are a little long and a little tight over the instep - but they are functional. Boot fitter suggested the Gea might be easier to modify than my old Divas.

Atomic Backland. The only true AT boot I have found that is actually available down to a 22 (although I think the shell on those might be 22.5). I know nothing about how they fit though - does anyone know how they are for width/volume? Can anyone confirm whether Atomic shell sizes are full or half sizes?

Scott Celeste. Smallest size is 23.5 with 23 liner. I am informed that these would probably be a good match for width and volume. Boot fitter wants to try them. I am sceptical - I suspect they will be too big.

Dalbello Lupo. These are freeride/tour boots and are slightly heavier than what I am looking for, but they do go all the way down to a 21. Again, I don't know what they are like for fit - any comments on width/volume?

So, are there any options I have overlooked? I don't want to try too many at 23.5 as I know from experience that these are usually too big. The Celeste is only in there because the boot fitter is keen. Anything else that I have missed at 22.5/22? Any comments on the fit of the Backland or the Lupo? Thanks for any input!
 

elemmac

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Dalbello Lupo. These are freeride/tour boots and are slightly heavier than what I am looking for, but they do go all the way down to a 21. Again, I don't know what they are like for fit - any comments on width/volume?
They're a beefy version of a tour boot, IMO. Narrow heel. I'd say "medium-ish" width, and a medium to high in-step. The instep is the one area that they're a bit too big on me, I crank down the middle buckle quite a bit, but I have a fairly average to low instep. I'm working on trying different fixes (bontex shims, heel lifts, etc.) to take up some of that volume. They also fit short (or at least shorter than my Nordicas in the same size, 23.5). Overall I've been really happy with them, and get happier each time I wear them.

Here's one of the best reviews around for them...https://www.bootfitters.com/reviews/2017-18-dalbello-lupo-ax-110-w#full-review
 

KathrynC

Certified Ski Diva
#3
They're a beefy version of a tour boot, IMO. Narrow heel. I'd say "medium-ish" width, and a medium to high in-step. The instep is the one area that they're a bit too big on me, I crank down the middle buckle quite a bit, but I have a fairly average to low instep. I'm working on trying different fixes (bontex shims, heel lifts, etc.) to take up some of that volume. They also fit short (or at least shorter than my Nordicas in the same size, 23.5). Overall I've been really happy with them, and get happier each time I wear them.

Here's one of the best reviews around for them...https://www.bootfitters.com/reviews/2017-18-dalbello-lupo-ax-110-w#full-review
Thanks. I am after a boot for multi-day tours in the Alps, so 'beefy' isn't really what I want. They do look like a really good option for day tours and local exploration though. Maybe I'll have to buy two pairs! Thanks for the info on width/volume. I had a vague feeling that Dalbello boots were narrow/low volume but from what you say, it sounds like I was wrong. In my Divas (and most other boots I have owned), I have to leave the instep buckle undone unless I am on something super steep or in very grabby snow - I can't tolerate it for longer than half an hour or so if I do it up.
 

MrsPlow

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
In case this is of any help - I have the Scott Celeste III in 25, and thinking of selling as they're a bit roomy for downhill. I have to crank the buckles right down to stop my feet feeling as though they're swimming. I tried on the 24 and my toes were jammed into the front of the boot. My alpine boots are 24.5 and I don't even do the lower buckles up at all on those, so I thought I might get away with the 25. For reference, I've got a moderately wide foot, narrow ankle, fairly average arch.

Super comfy, light boot though on the uphill - I wish I liked them more for downhill as I felt like I could hike all day in them right out of the box...
 

KathrynC

Certified Ski Diva
#5
In case this is of any help - I have the Scott Celeste III in 25, and thinking of selling as they're a bit roomy for downhill. I have to crank the buckles right down to stop my feet feeling as though they're swimming. I tried on the 24 and my toes were jammed into the front of the boot. My alpine boots are 24.5 and I don't even do the lower buckles up at all on those, so I thought I might get away with the 25. For reference, I've got a moderately wide foot, narrow ankle, fairly average arch.

Super comfy, light boot though on the uphill - I wish I liked them more for downhill as I felt like I could hike all day in them right out of the box...
Thanks for the information. Yeah, the volume sounds amazing - I have never had a boot that hasn't been tight across the instep. I am pretty sure they will be too big though and I probably wouldn't try them except the boot fitter thinks it is worth a shot. Maybe he has some trick up his sleeve that I don't know about! I hope so! It would be bliss to have a boot that doesn't put too much pressure on my instep!
 

elemmac

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
Thanks. I am after a boot for multi-day tours in the Alps, so 'beefy' isn't really what I want. They do look like a really good option for day tours and local exploration though. Maybe I'll have to buy two pairs!
Yea, I use them for day hikes and local exploration...they definitely err on the high side as far as weight goes for touring specific, but they’re also much lighter than any hybrid type boot. Might be worth the little extra weight if you can try them and they fit, especially because they’re one of the few that make a true 21/22 in a touring boot.
 

former-boarder

Diva in Training
#7
Oh, I feel your pain! I have small, wide feet, too, though I don't think my instep is particularly high.

Scarpa has a couple of boots that come in a size 22 shell: Freedom and F1. I believe it's a true 22 shell because they sell a size 21.5.

I've got the Freedoms in size 21.5, but if you're doing long multi-day tours, they're probably too heavy. I bought them used on eBay, mostly to gauge the fit of Scarpa, since I'm in the same boat as you as far as buying boots locally. The Dynafits that I have in size 22.5 are both too long and too narrow, not a good combo for touring.

The F1 is lighter, so that might be an option.
 

KathrynC

Certified Ski Diva
#8
@elemmac Yes, I am definitely going to have a look at them! If they fit, a little extra weight might be worth the trade-off. And, it will make me fitter, right?!

@former-boarder Aaagh - that's actually even more annoying. If I look at scarpa.co.uk, they list the smallest size for the Freedom and the F1 as 22.5 (23 shell), but scarpa.com lists the smallest size for those boots as 21.5 (22 shell). I guess the smallest size isn't imported here? Maybe I need to come boot shopping in the US!
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
I measure 23.5 and am in a 23 Scott Celeste II and 22.5 alpine boot. I needed to go into the Scott because I’ve a really wide forefoot and no one would blow out the Scarpa Gea for me. I haven’t had issues with the length, and obviously bootfitting is personal. I’m really happy with them both up and down.
 

KathrynC

Certified Ski Diva
#10
I measure 23.5 and am in a 23 Scott Celeste II and 22.5 alpine boot. I needed to go into the Scott because I’ve a really wide forefoot and no one would blow out the Scarpa Gea for me. I haven’t had issues with the length, and obviously bootfitting is personal. I’m really happy with them both up and down.
Thanks - yes the width and volume sound like just what I need, but as I measure 22 I suspect the Celeste is just going to be too big as the size 23 is a 23.5 shell with a 23 liner. My issues are with volume more than width - usually by the end of the season I have pins and needles in the tops of my feet that last until July, even skiing with the buckles mostly undone!
 

former-boarder

Diva in Training
#11
Aaagh - that's actually even more annoying. If I look at scarpa.co.uk, they list the smallest size for the Freedom and the F1 as 22.5 (23 shell), but scarpa.com lists the smallest size for those boots as 21.5 (22 shell). I guess the smallest size isn't imported here? Maybe I need to come boot shopping in the US!
Well, that *is* annoying! Scarpa's an Italian brand, so maybe a boot shopping/ski holiday in Italy? Or France?

I looked at the specs on the Atomic Backland, as it was a boot suggested to me for having small sizes, but it's listed as being narrow (I think 99 width), which would never work for me.
 

KathrynC

Certified Ski Diva
#12
Well, that *is* annoying! Scarpa's an Italian brand, so maybe a boot shopping/ski holiday in Italy? Or France?

I looked at the specs on the Atomic Backland, as it was a boot suggested to me for having small sizes, but it's listed as being narrow (I think 99 width), which would never work for me.
Ok - that's a shame as it seems to be the only true touring boot available that small - most of the others are more freeride orientated. I guess I'll probably try it anyway. The shell on the Backland is moldable so that might help a little, although I won't hold my hopes too high.

The problem with boot shopping in Europe is that I generally don't want to spend several hours with a boot fitter when I could be on the slopes! It is worth considering though - I know a good boot fitter in Chamonix who might be able to help me out.
 

WaterGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
Scarpa F1 was redesigned this year could be a good option for you- not sure why you can't get it it the smaller 21.5 /22 size, that is frustrating.

Roxa (Italian) has several touring options in a true 22

Atomic Hawk Ultra XTD might be an option, it comes in a 22, DD has the alpine model and it is wider in the forefoot, but not sure how the instep would work for you.

Dynafit Hoji pro Tour - I don't see a BSL listed on this -- a friend did get these and did have to size up - they offer in a 22 - but not sure if it shares a shell w/ a 23.
 

KathrynC

Certified Ski Diva
#14
Scarpa F1 was redesigned this year could be a good option for you- not sure why you can't get it it the smaller 21.5 /22 size, that is frustrating.

Roxa (Italian) has several touring options in a true 22

Atomic Hawk Ultra XTD might be an option, it comes in a 22, DD has the alpine model and it is wider in the forefoot, but not sure how the instep would work for you.

Dynafit Hoji pro Tour - I don't see a BSL listed on this -- a friend did get these and did have to size up - they offer in a 22 - but not sure if it shares a shell w/ a 23.

Thanks for the new options! I hadn't even heard of Roxa, although a quick Google tells me that the only UK distributors are online retailers. I'll take a closer look at the Dynafit and the Hawk XTD.

Regarding the Scarpa sizing, I will have a chat with the boot fitter and see if he can talk to his rep. I have had reps import climbing shoes for me in smaller sizes than are usually available in the UK in the past so it might be possible here too. Unfortunately for climbing shoes, I usually have to buy them unless they are defective, so I would have to be pretty sure, but it is worth discussing.
 

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