and price point would be nice to know as well. This is quite a change from the standard soft boot. Ride has the “CAT” tech which allows adjustability in the calf zone for womens boots so this isn’t too far off from that. I like the keen style toe box too. What is the stiffness rating?
Looks very similar to the Ride CAT system, so similar I´d assume 32 makes Ride boots or vice versa. I wouldn´t be too surprised if that´s the case, Jeremy knows it and still claims “first walk mode for soft boot” because Jones also had pretty bold claim about being in the forefront in manufacturing splits from two indenpendent halves, instead of cutting a solid board. My first split, a Duotone MTX 168 from early 2000´s had a cap construction on the halves. Haven´t Voile splitboards been cap like, always? Also this year Jones is claiming first ever splitboard skins made of 100% mohair, well, the skins on the Duotone were 100% Mohair 🙂 How about just cutting the BS marketing?
I have 164 Solution, the ride is nice, that´s what I care about on a snowboard and I´ll probably get the skins also for big approaches. So I´m not bashing Jeremy´s products in general, but the nonsense blah blah marketing is kinda annoying..
Btw, to be of any real use, the articulation point has to be a lot lower than that to work properly. So I´d just say it´s not engineered for walk mode, it´s just taken off the shelf and branded as such, pretty poor IMO. Maybe the 2nd gen will more engineered. The feeling when I first time pulled my rear leg forward on an AT setup was quite enlightening, you´re not lifting the ski with the front part of your hip and front thigh like on non-walk mode boot, but you actually can pull the ski forwards instead of lifting up, as there´s no restriction to extend ones ankle.
The new boots look pretty cool! But whats with boa inside and traditional lacing on the out? Im not a huge fan of regular laces anymore… I remember my first pair of “snowboard” boots from the late 80’s. They had regular laces then! But the solid toe box sounds sweet for kicking steps. Overall pretty cool but not a huge step forward for those of us whom prefer soft boots to tour in. Still waiting on a company to make them…
I honestly like the looks of the new Deeluxe XVe way more than the 32 offering. Im pretty fed up with my older XVs, but the new ones are finally fixing some of the problems.
The 32s look like a bitch to lace and zip up with snow on them, no real (semi-auto) crampon compatibility, standard “vibram” snowboard boot sole that will fall apart pretty fast, over-engineered walk mode that looks to only provide a few more degrees of freedom while reducing the control you have over the skis in split mode.
The Deeluxes walk mode is simpler, and looks like it extends further down the back of the boot, they have real mountaineering soles, and since they’ve redesigned the heel welt, the footprint looks like its pretty reduced as well.
The walk modes on these are a band-aid fix. Why do snowboard boots even have a stiff flex to the rear when we have highbacks?
I just got a pair of these in the mail, but I’ll be sending them back. They are really expensive and I feel like I paid for a bunch of gimmicks.
First, in disclosure, the boots had a very tight fit so I didn’t spend much time wearing them. But rather than exchange for a bigger size, I will get my money back and try the Fitwell or the Spark.
The ‘walk mode’ is a roughly 3″ by 6″ panel on the back of the boot that snugs against the boot with a boa system lace. The panel penetrates both the boot lining and the shell, so that when it’s loose you can see all the way through to your leg. When snugged up, there’s a hairline crack all the way around it. To me, the idea of having a hairline crack all the way through the liner is at odds with the built-in gator at the front of the boot. So one of those things (or both) are at best just gimmicks. At their worst, they could be pretty problematic.
I can see foresee struggling with the gator and getting no extra moisture protection, since all boots have a gusseted tongue anyway. I can foresee the fit between the walk-mode panel getting worse and worse as the boot wears in and the boot getting leakier as a result. I’m not sure that the walk-mode buys you much since it is not much help when you are in bindings, skinning and when walking it’s not clear that it’s an improvement over simply loosening your boot laces. The panel is on the back of your leg so it helps you point your toe down maybe more than it helps you flex forward. Maybe convenient for for long downhill hikes? (Which do suck in stiff boots.) I also feel like the walk-mode cut out defeats the traditional laces. For example, the back of the boot liner is cut out, so the interior lacing system doesn’t tighten above the ankle. Likewise it’s not clear to me the effect on the upper laces of the outer shell, to have that cut out section.
Anyway, it is too big of a risk for me, so I’m sending mine back. If someone else is more up for the experience I would love to hear how these boots worked in the wild and held up over a season.
I haven’t had my hands on the 32s but there are a couple of conclusions that I wouldn’t jump to just yet.
The built in gaiter should help still since I find snow builds up on the laces above the instep and melts there. It still seeps through the gussets and freezes up the laces. I agree that the gaiter seems gimmicky but I wouldn’t dismiss it as useless just because there is another hole through the shell at the heel.
If the walk mode allows you to point your toes then it is a huge improvement in soft boots. It might now seem like much but like you said, walking downhill will be a lot better and it doesn’t have to be a steep hill either. The other noticeable maneuver that benefits from rearward flex is kickturns. They are much easier when you can get your weight over the the tail of the ski to make the turn. Karakoram and Spark are both offering highbacks that go to a negative lean position for skinning so you shouldn’t have issues taking advantage of that new range of motion.
I’ve had the standard Vibram snowboard outsole on a handful of Burton boots and haven’t had a problem with them. I put in a handful of days on a snowmobile last year in some older boots that I had more or less retired and the sole held up better than expected. I don’t think splitboarding is any tougher on soles than sleds are.
My issue with the walk-mode panel is that it goes through both the shell *and* the liner, so the crack penetrates all the way through and the liner can’t be tightened above the ankle. And my concern about wear isn’t the sole, which looks really bomber actually, but the fit of the walk-mode panel once the boot starts to break in. As for the ‘gator’ it really only protects the laces. The price paid for that is that you have to fiddle with the gator.
I’d be interested in hearing anyone’s experience with similar walk-mode construction, if any other boots do the same thing. I’m old enough to remember the rear-entry ski boot trend of the 80’s and how it died away because of the effect on performance. This reminds me a little of that.
Sorry, my Vibram comment was in reply to FrankH’s comment on Vibram snowboard soles.
I agree about the trade-offs on the gaiter, small benefit for some extra hassle. I’ve avoided mountaineering boots with super-gaiters for the same reason.
My current boots are AT ski boots so they also have a gap between the lower shell and the cuff at about the ankle level but I don’t think it will break in or break down ever. Hopefully the 32 solution to rearward range of motion will turn out to be bomber but I share your concern about longevity. A soft boot with better range of motion is the holy grail of split boots.
I Received my 32 MTB boots and they are amazing! They are much lighter than I expected. The Vibram sole is solid. The walk-mode work well on snow and while you have you foot in the bindings. Super easy to use! I saw the Fitwell and Deeluxe XV velcro version. I believe that the velcro will not hold long in the snow after a few season. The Jones BOA is well designed and won’t get loose or break after a season. I understand some negative point about the walk-mode to be compare to reentry boots from the 80’s… Not really. The liner have lateral support to have a stiffer lateral boot will walking. Something that we don’t have in a regular snowboard boot. If the liner would be one piece it will break the back support while walking. I think that’s why t. The liner is Intuition foam and the shell have a great wrap cage to tight the laces. The gather is super stretchy and cover well the laces. the boot weight about 900gm, it’s pretty light for a boot that tech with Vibram sole. This is the first year of the MTB boot with Jones and 32. It can only get better with the 32 technology and the design by Jones.
If the boot breaks mid-season I will let you guys know.
I haven’t tried these boots out yet but my thoughts are that even if this “walk mode” does in fact help to increase your stride, they are still soft boots. which mean 1. they still don’t have great lateral stiffness to help with sidehilling. 2. the extra range of motion you get is very minimal (not worth the added cost) 3. like all soft boots they’ll break down fast and become noodles (I enjoy a stiffer boot. but after 50 days they are usually very soft) 4. Still much heavier then a A/T hard boot like the TLT6. Once his contract is up with 32 i’ll put money down that he’ll be moving to a hard boot setup. think TLT6. or a variation of that boot or similar but now marketed as a splitboard specific boot.
I highly doubt that Jeremy jones is riding soft boots because of a new contract with 32. He was on soft boots before he was with 32. I think it’s just his style. If his soft boots get too soft after 20 days I would bet he would just get a new pair.
I have been interested in experimenting with a hard boot setup but I am not interested in having to buy a ski boot that I would have to modify to make ride well. I think I will wait until someone makes a splitboard specific hard boot before I go down that rabbit hole.
FWIW, and not to start a boot kerfuffle, I am a soft boot die-hard in bounds. But my unmodified AT boots (Scarpa Aliens) are actually softer than my “soft” boots (Flow Talons). For splitting my AT boots are vastly lighter, softer flexing, more compact, longer striding, faster transitioning and stronger sidehilling than my “soft” boots.