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Review: Best Ski Boots For Classic Right Now, Part I: Alpina, Atomic, Fischer

Same ground rules as in our review of Skatings boots:

“Best boots” in our glossary are those made for Nordic racing at the highest international level in the last couple of years, give or take. That invariably means carbon sole boots.

Well, almost invariably – it’s true that even at the World Cup level you occasionally get to see a skier or two racing in non-carbon soled boots. Especially in very cold weather. That makes some difference compared to freestyle races where carbon sole is now absolute must-have. But statistically it is rather negligible and certainly not applicable to true WC podium crowd

Technically, we should also be including combi ( a.k.a. skiathlon or pursuit) boots as they ar occasionally being used by some in classic races at the World Cup – but those are rather rare, we don’t have enough info/photos of top stars using them, so we’ll skip that altogether.

We show you

a) what’s currently available in the shops
b) what are the boots the world’s best skiers are currently using
c) what we’ve been told is coming out of the labs very and onto those athletes feet very, very soon. And if we haven’t be told directly – we shan’t speculate.

Again, in alphabetical order:

Alpina was among the first to bring carbon sole into Classic boots and venerable ECL 2.0 are still being widely used by the top World Cup crowd. And of course you could buy them from best retailers & online
Right before Seefeld-2019 Alpina rolled out ECL 3.0. The Slovenian firm’s latest creation are officially the world’s newest, hottest boots as of this moment. Except that they are top athletes- only right now, can’t buy them in your friendly local store yet
Current version of Atomic Carbon Classic is a re-badged version of Salomon S/Race Classic Prolink 18/19. Atomic is not really pushing them hard on the market but they could be found & purchased if you’re a fan of this particular model
Atomic Nordic’s boss Yann Vallet told us recently that his company is almost ready to launch its own, Atomic-developed boots. Note that unlike most of the competitors, Atomic is going with Classic boots first, only then Skating
Fischer had a model switch last year and the differences are rather subtle visually: Terese Johaug here runs in previous generation of Speedmax Classic distinguished by their yellow Rottefella-sourced platform. Natalia Nepryaeva, however, is wearing the latest iteration of the same boots: Speedmax Classic 19/20 have a yellow stripe on their vamps, Fischer logos on heel counter is gone
Different angle: the platform now is Fischer/Rossignol developed IFP.
Less visually obvious but probably more important: boot shaft goes up much higher now, matching that of skating boots in length
Johannes here appears be wearing an unusual hybrid or early prototype: IFP plaform but with Fischer logo on the back/sans yellow stripe on the upper.
You probably could not have “Johannes model”, but less exotic versions of Speedmax Classic, both old and new are widely being sold
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