We trade show reported on the La Sportiva Spitfire a while ago, but waited for a production version to give a hard look. The size 28, BSL 307, pair we have here at HQ might be slightly large for me, but I’ll mold the liners today and report back. I’m frequently between sizes in backcountry skiing boots. Correct length (about 28) is often too wide in the heel and lower leg areas, while the next BSL down is almost always too short for me without some punching. The Spitfire lower shell and cuff are both made from the excellent Grilamid plastic so they’re not easy to customize, but it can be done. We’ll see what size I and other testers end up with in the field. Meanwhile, here are the nuts and bolts.
First, let’s talk about how these shoes are purposed. At 44 ounces (1246 gr) per boot, mondo 28, Spitfire is a light ski boot. In terms of feel they’re surprisingly stiff. This probably due to a carbon fiber rib that incorporates the lean lock as well as the prevalent use of Grilamid. Conversely, the shell tongue is articulated with what appears to be a soft urethane hinge that provides virtually no support in alpine mode. In other words, you’re getting all your downhill beef in this boot from the shell cuff. Consequently, we’re not talking progressive flex — but again, result is most probably good control for a boot with this lack of mass. Indeed, considering how light these are and how well the shell articulates, you could call this a race boot that tours, or a touring boot that races?
Spitfire is innovative, light and easy to operate. Super stiffness/weight ratio, short BSL for a given size (mondo 28 is only 307 mm long, that’s more than a centimeter shorter than some other backcountry skiing boots of the same size). We’re not sure the shorter sole is 100% DIN compatible for frame bindings, but why anyone would use this boot in anything but a tech binding is the question. Shell has a major amount of sole rocker. That makes it easy to walk but can result in a problematic interior fit. Sportiva mitigates this with a fairly flat internal boot board which doubles as an insulating layer. If you’re shopping for a high efficiency ski touring boot, in the modern sense, keep Spitfire on your list.
Total weight for one boot, mondo 28 BSL 307: 44 oz, 1246 gr.
Weight for one boot SHELL, same size, 37.2 oz 1054 gr.
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.