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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:14 pm 
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psycho_sw wrote:
Do anyone know how these are compared to the T1s when it coms to size?


T1s have a smaller profile, and probably are slightly shorter for the same size. For me, it's all about having a really agressive outsole, and the XVs and the Fitwell BCs are the only snowboard boots I've seen that offer this type of sole outside of a regular mountaineering boot like the LaSportiva Spantiks.

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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:18 pm 
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So I was in a bar with a rep the other night, and heard this crazy rumor. That the XVs for next year WILL include hard plastic in the toe box to help with kicking steps and front pointing. This would address the one major issue I had with the XVs.

Probably just a rumor, but hey you never know.

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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:52 pm 
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hope so, i have t1 in 28 and today i ordered spark xv 27.5.
Long time ago i was this stoked on a pair boots :D


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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Jefe009 wrote:
JamieD wrote:
So for those that have ridden/worn these Deeluxe XV, what's your impression as an actual mountaineering boot for light climbing?

Speaking of which, I have a wide foot (4D), how are these boots for wide footed people? Thanks


I think you'll be fine, but remember it's a snowboard boot with some features which help with climbing (sole), not a mountaineering boot. Before pulling the trigger I'd highly recommend checking them out in a store in person.

My feeling is that they'd be fine for a wide foot, but again you'll want to do a test fit in person. I have no idea what 4D means. Hope this helps.



Thanks for the info... 4D is just shy of E but still damn wide :D

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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:19 am 
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I picked up a pair of Fitwells this summer around the same time as BGnight. Got the size 295 (US 11), same as in the review above. One of these days I'll post up a more complete review, maybe as soon as that guy who posted on the Fitwell thread resizes that humongous picture that makes it impossible to read. :)

It seems like a great boot, but I definitely have some issues with it. Which brings me to:

tr_nz wrote:
Yeah, for you big hoofed guys, don't discount the Fitwell's eh. Mine are lower external volume/profile than the Salomon's I was riding previously - which were fairly low volume. I tend to avoid wide "wide" boards.

My feet are right on the edge of "too big" for normal waisted boards (US 11), and I can't stand wide boards due to the slower edge-to-edge. And I just don't get these comments about how the Fitwells are lower volume. I feel like we're talking about different boots! Mine are most definitely NOT low volume. They are larger externally than all of my previous boots. Admittedly, I was a Burton whore, and their boots do tend to run shorter for a given size vs many other manufacturers. The Fitwells are 1/2" to 1" longer than all my other same-sized boots. This translates to major toe/heel overhang issues. Where this is really going to be an issue is on the really steep technical stuff... which is the main terrain that I bought these boots for in the first place. I don't think that I can even ride them without doing some modifications to the sole, i.e. grinding/rounding off the sole profile at the toe and heel to alleviate some of the overhang problems.

I also have to move my straps out to the next bigger setting just to strap the boots in. The *only* place where they're narrower than my other boots is at the heel.

It's certainly nothing like the low-volumeness of say the old Koflach Superpipe's (and yeah I have a pair of those), or a real mountaineering boot.

Initially I thought maybe I got the wrong size. BGnight got the next size down (290), which is 3mm shorter. I went over and tried his, and they were definitely too small... and even *those* were bigger than my Burtons!

Another area where it feels like we're talking about different boots is the liner:
richie wrote:
I run 2 sets of liners and to be honest the standard ones are just fine, but because we do get plenty of hard conditions here in NZ a stiffer Intuition liner does the trick for those icy/hardpack days, but if I am doing any hiking and split touring I would use the standard liners for sure. The standard liner is a great campsite/tent option too, I just leave the outers in the tent fly.

I just don't get this. To me, those are the most uncomfortable liners I've ever worn! And what is that sorry excuse for an insole? OK, probably most people are already running custom insoles so I'll let that go (but seriously if you're spending that much money on a boot...). I really wanted to like the liner, because from the outside it does look like it's constructed well, and it does seem like a good walk-around-camp liner compared to many other liners. But the deal-breaker for me is the heel. There is ZERO padding there. Just a hard piece of plastic! WTF? So immediately, just walking around the house I felt like I was getting a blister.

Swapping out the liner for the standard liners in my Burton SLX feels WAAAAY better. I would run that, except the one problem is that as mentioned above, the only place where the Fitwell is actually narrower than my Burtons is the heel, and that makes the heel feel too tight with the Burton liner. So I'll probably end up getting some Intuition liners... which IMO they should come with in the first place. That would be a killer combo!

The other downside is the overall weight of the boot... but that's kind of expected for getting a bombproof outer with a stiff real mountaineering sole. I can deal with that.

Quote:
I have a gut feel its a tad softer flex than the Driver X'x too.

I'd agree with that. I like the flex of these boots. That can also be tweaked by 1) the liner, and 2) how you lace it. There are locking eyelets at the midpoint of the lacing on the outer, so you can lace the top part at a different tightness from the bottom part, and thus adjust how stiff you want the top as far as forward flex.

Quote:
As far as I know this is the only boot made by a bona-fide backcountry boot specialist manufacturer, with the same methods and materials in the same Italian factory as a range of great high performance mountaineering boots from Fitwell.

Now that I'd definitely agree with! The outers on these are bomber as hell. These things look like they will take a beating from scree/talus and hardly look scratched. My other boots would typically get beat to hell from spring approaches on rock/talus/scrambling/volcanic "boot sandpaper". Also, these things are gonna kick steps like a dream compared to any normal snowboard boot. The crampon welt works great, and semi-auto crampons fit well :) and are easy on/off. These will be great for volcano season!

Quote:
I am so stoked with my own Fitwell Backcountry boots I doubt I'll be buying another pair of boots for quite some time, I know it will be a challenge wearing them out!

I soooo want to come to the same conclusion. So many aspects are so close to awesome for me, but the toe/heel drag and liner are real deal-breakers for me so far. Still trying to figure out a solution...


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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:16 am 
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Location: New Zealand
Tonight I setup an apples for apples comparison, my own pair of 280 Fitwell Backcountry vs my own set of 280 Deeluxe Spark. I have never had issues with either in terms of overhang but thats because I have a pretty average foot.

I very carefully measured the 2 boots up and made some interesting observations. I had the boots fitted to a set of my demo medium sized Spark Burner bindings. This is not a definitive test for all sized boots, but its a yardstick comparison. Both boots have been ridden about 15 days each pair in a variety of conditions.

The boots were strapped in firmly and were right back into the heel cup firmly and the soles planted in the baseplates.

The Fitwell seems to be better profile all round.

* the ankle and toe straps fit better, as the Fitwell is not as bulky, for the Deeluxe they needed adjusting longer
* the Fitwell toe sole length is 5mm shorter overhang, and the toe end tip of the sole 5mm higher, so a lot better toe angle clearance
* the Fitwell heel was 5mm shorter overhang length and the same height at the tip of the heel sole, so better heel angles

My very first outing in my Deeluxe's I got a massive blister on my heels, then a blister on a blister, on a 5 day very remote tent based glacier trip, not fun. So far no blisters in the Fitwells. Same socks.

I like both boots, both have their place in freeride / snowboard mountaineering / touring , both models have seen some serious use in NZ last 2 years. The Deeluxe is good bangs for bucks, and if you are looking for a boot with real mountaineering balls then the Fitwell is the one. Both ride well, the Fitwell is a much more durable boot and a better climbing boot.

There are gonna be compromises somewhere, people with larger feet need wide boards thats why they build em right? Not everyone likes wide boards maybe. Where people are going these days, pushing it harder climbing in spots that they need a decent boot for safety reasons alone, yeah you sure can do it on any boot but I'd rather do it with a boot purpose built for crampons with a decent sole on it. A boot that can truely kick steps is prob gonna have a sharper toe on it but the manufacturers of both these boots have put quite a rocker on the sole to counter this and as a result they walk quite well too and typically don't catch heel or toe unless you're riding too narrower a board for you.

As I get more testing done I'll post more, and any reviews I get done will have them posted here too.

cheers
Rich

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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:54 am 
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Location: Salzburg / Austria
For me would be of great interest, how the sole length of the Fitwells compare to a Burton Driver X or a Flow The One.
I wanted to buy a Deeluxe Spark last year, however the longer sole compared to Driver X and The One kept me from buying them.

I've got shoe size 12 and have to ride boards with (at least) 27cm waist therefore. (not many boards available...)
If I rode normal boards, steep sections would be seriously dangerous and carving on groomers wouldn't be possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:14 am 
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Location: New Zealand
Correction, both are 275, not 280 sorry.

Just put the steel rule heel to toe on the sole, measuring it that way the Fitwell is 12mm shorter and has higher rocker in the toe end.

Then as a reference i pulled out my last pair pair of Salomon Brigade which are a 270, and bugger me the sole is 310mm long same as the Deeluxe.

End to end longest sole measurement...
Fitwell 298mm
Deeluxe 310mm
Salomon 310mm

hope this all helps you guys with decision making eh

can someone very carefully measure up a driver-x 275 sole length toe-tip to heel-tip? and give some consideration to the rocker on the sole which also affects clearances

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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 643
Richie,
Thanks for posting your observations, super helpful. For us guys with big feet, it can be more than the sole length involved. Normal snowboard boots have a rocker to the sole, and rounded toe and heel which reduce the amount of toe/heel drag. With the Spark/Fitwell, they have a more squared heel and toe which is great for kicking steps and crampon compatibility, but unfortunately, these features also exacerbates the drag problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:36 pm 
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shredgnar wrote:
With the Spark/Fitwell, they have a more squared heel and toe which is great for kicking steps and crampon compatibility, but unfortunately, these features also exacerbates the drag problem.

That's exactly the problem I'm running into on the Fitwells. The heel isn't quite as much an issue, as it is already ground off at a pretty sharp angle, and I believe could be ground off more w/o any performance issues (I'm probably going to do that). The toe is more of an issue. The sole is rockered, so it comes up away from the ground a bit which helps some, but it also causes that squared off part of the sole to stick out more. I'm considering grinding that back as well... which is a bummer because the sole is so stiff, you could literally stand on the front 1/4" of sole on a tiny rock ledge and be fine.

If I have some time in the next couple days I'll post up some pictures etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Thanks Jimw, what size Fitwells are you rocking?


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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:04 pm 
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Location: East of the Cascades, Wa
Tried a pair of these on at snocon yesterday. They were not as bulky as I expected based on what I have read I thought they would be worse. They look to be pretty tall in the toe area, bit the bulk of the boots seemed within reason for a heavy duty boot.

The fit on them was very good. My foot felt great with no pressure points. I wasn't able to put a ton of leverage on the laces but it was also brand new, I expect the lacing to wear in pretty quick. I normally wear a 9-9.5 but they only had a 10 and if fit just about perfect, will probably order the 10 based off the fit.

I dug the lacing system and it felt pretty even across my ankle/foot and I didn't have any heel lift to speak of. Pretty sick boot and I'm excited to get em

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 Post subject: Re: Just picked up new Spark Deeluxe XVs, first impressions...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:20 am 
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Ok, i got my spark xv on friday. I work as a bootfitter/repair man on the local BC store so i started heat mold my 27.5 to my feet right away. My feet are 273 mm and i use 275 from k2/scarpa/dynafit/salomon/garmont/burton, the deeluxe felt more like 27 or even 26.5, when i measured the liner the outer lenght of it was 278. I had a scarpa intuition liner laying around "27.5" the outer lenght of that was 289 + its a thicker material on the deeluxe liners.
Either way yesterday i tested it with the deeluxe liner 600m vertical ice/hardpack the boot worked awsome whit my crampons "love those stiff soles". On the way down i couldent feel me feet thanks to the boots being to small, but i got a very responsive feel from the boots.
Today i took the same tour but whit the intuition liners in them, AWSOME! Alot better. the ride feel got a bit stiffer most thanks to that the intuition liners are almost 2cm higher then the original liner.

Btw my "lock" for the lower lacing system broke before i had left the store :(
Gonna call deeluxe about this


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