Report from Outdoor Retailer: La Sportiva will boast new or substantially versioned boot models beginning fall 2017. Synchro is a stiffer “125 flex” iteration of venerable Spectre (will continue), with the intriguing 2 piece tongue release system pictured below. Women’s version is the Shadow. On the lightweight ski touring side, their new Sideral 2.1 (women’s Starlet 2.1), Raceborg and Sytron continue the evolution of Sportiva’s flagship 2-buckle offerings. Improved buckles and various changes in shell thickness are said to make all their boots ski better while giving you uphill performance.
Snynchro claimed weight in 27.5 is 1550 grams. Excellent for the freeride touring category. (We see no reason why with modern materials and engineering there really need be any ski touring boot heavier than about one kilo per foot, and we expect to see the freeride offerings continue to lose mass as carbon and other composite wizardry is used ever more wisely).
Another newish is an upgraded Spitfire model, their “crossover” boot that works for ski mountaineering racing or general uber-light touring. An external one-motion lean lock mode changer continues as the Spitfire claim to fame, along with Trab TR2 binding compatibility. Nice boot. We’d like to see _all_ Sportiva boots use external lean locks. 2019?
Dropping down the weight scale, the men’s and women’s boot “Sytron” is just one step heavier than a full-on skimo race boot (their pricy carbon Stratos and new Raceborg). Anything with the suffix “tron” has to be exceptional, right?
All Sportiva boots for next season have a subtle improvement to the “Fast Lock” buckles that’ll make them easier to disengage. We like the Fast Locks, but they do have a funny way of getting caught in their anchors once in a while. Sounds like that little annoyance is history.
Interestingly, Sportiva worked with Trab to build their own “S4” tech insert — a clone of the Dynafit “Quick Step” feature. We are not fans of this as the extended height of the insert gets in the way of having enough sole rubber. What is more, easy entry can encourage novices to click in when they’ve got ice clogging their boot inserts, leading to brief moments of flight with somewhat immediate and surprising landings that may help their orthopedic surgeon afford a chalet in Davos.
List of what’ll be available in Sportiva boots next season (2017-2018):
– Stratos Hi-Cube (existing, thousands of dollars, elite race boot, has S4 tech fittings.)
– Raceborg (new, replaces Syborg, same tech at Stratos only scaffo is Grilamid, has S4 tech fittings.)
– Sytron (new, closer to a race boot than a touring boot, carbon reinforced plastic cuff, has S4 tech fittings.)
– Spitfire 2.1 (newish, claimed 90 flex, touring or citizen racing, regular tech fittings.)
– Sideral & Starlet, 2.1 (lightweight touring boot in the one-kilo class)
– Synchro & Shadow (entirely new, flagship freeride touring, 4 buckle class)
– Spectre & Sparkle, 2.1 (existing, freeride touring, slightly lighter and softer than Synchro)
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.