Forums Boots Lightest softboot with crampon heel welt?
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  • #818489
    24 Posts

    Hi there,
    Im looking for a new pair of light soft boots which is compatible with semi-auto crampon, ie with the heel welt and Vibram sole or similar. A “toe welt” which the Northwave Domain CR has would be a huge bonus of course, but they dont state the weight on their homepage like almost everyone else. I find weight quite critical, and want to stay below 1000g for each boot.

    Anyone here knows what would be the lightest option? Is there anything lighter than the Burton Tourist?

    For those curious:
    I received a pair of Burton Tourist today in size 9 (eur 42) where each boot weighs 1044g on the kitchen scale.
    I already have the Burton Imperial in size 9.5 which weighs 919g. It also has Vibram sole but doesnt have the heel welt so its a bit shame to add 120g “only” because of the heel welt. For crampon Im considering the Petzl Irvis Hybrid (550g/pair) og the more aggressive Vasak (ca 950 g/pair).
    For those who want even less weight I had a Burton Ruler on the kitchen scale as well, which weighs in at about 820g!

    Thanks in advance.


    1 Posts

    Hi Trygve,
    For what I know at the moment there is no boot below 1000 gr with Vibram sole and semi-auto crampons compatible. The ones that have this type of sole and are splitboard specific weight around 1500 gr such as Fitwell or Thirty Two which weights more than 1600 gr.
    So heavy that people prefer to switch to hard boots!

    692 Posts

    This is a really good question.

    And for the sake of keeping a SPLITBOARD website, and not just a “hard booter’s website”, I think questions like this are important.

    I’ve weighed quite a number of boots, and Tommaso is right, you can’t find a “real” boot with a Vibram sole and heel welt for under 1,000 grams.

    I just got a pair of the 18-19 Jones MTB’s for prototype testing, and they’re 1,500 grams. Far too heavy in my opinion.

    My Fitwells weight right in at 1,200 grams, and are by far the most capable soft snowboard boot available. I had to add a different liner to get a halfway descent ride mode experience, but they do quite well now.

    The K2 Aspects are also right in at 1,300-1,400 grams, and the Deeluxe boots are in that range as well.

    These weights are for my size, US men’s 9.5.

    Hardboots certainly have very clear advantages in certain applications, however there is still no comparison when it comes to riding very technical, high angle terrain in soft boots (such as spines in AK, or 55 degree hard snow on Mt. Rainier etc.) as well as undulating terrain at high speeds. The benefits are limited to touring and certain crampon work, while a softboot system still offers far more in terms of a “tuned suspension” system for the ankle joint, which is absolutely critical for powerful dynamic snowboarding.

    Boots are the last frontier, that’s for sure…

    797 Posts

    If you “find weight quite critical, and want to stay below 1000g for each boot,” and you want a crampon heel welt, then you need AT boots. There’s no such thing as a light “soft” boot with a heel welt.

    Contrary to Russman’s sweeping statements of opinion as fact, many of us love how those AT boots ride. Mine outperform my softies in all but hard snow conditions, they have a softer, surfier flex than my heavier, stiffer and bulkier “soft”boots, and they are vastly better in the skin track, where one spends 95% of their splitboarding day.


    692 Posts

    Taylor, your comment about AT boots being better in pow sounds a lot like creative justification! Of course flex all depends on the boot…If you’re comparing a brand new pair of Salomon Malamutes, then sure, the AT boots are softer. But look at the new K2 Taro Tomai boot. There’s a reason the industry is still married to softboot technology.

    I fully agree that AT splitboard touring offers very clear and obvious advantages. However, its pretty silly to state that in general, the ride mode is better in AT boots. There needs to be serious innovation to make a fully plastic boot snowboard to the same level as a strap system. Also, to say that your AT system outperforms the strap system in all BUT hard snow conditions… From my experience, its the hard snow conditions where an AT system SHOULD come into its own. For me the reason to use an AT setup would be for long touring approaches, and then high angle crampon work on huge faces where the snow sucks and you’re at high altitude where you really do need to cut the grams.

    797 Posts

    Now that it’s autumn, I’ll resume your education, Russman.

    What you’re failing to understand is the difference between flex and dampness.

    I prefer my AT boots to “soft boots” in soft snow conditions precisely because they have a looser, softer flex and have a more surfy feel than my “soft boots.”

    I prefer “soft boots” in hard snow conditions because they are more damp and transmit less chatter and vibration than do my AT boots.

    My AT boots: flexy, surfy, preferable for me in soft snow conditions. But not damp.

    My “soft boots”: damp, preferable for me in harder snow conditions.

    Given that I ride backcountry for untracked soft snow, and given the overwhelming weight and touring advantages of an AT set up, I usually choose my AT set up for a day of splitboarding. (Duh.)

    If I had to choose one pair of boots for both resort and backcountry riding, it’d be softies, because, again, riding AT boots, which are far less damp, would be rude on hard resort snow.

    As usual, these are just my preferences based on my experience.


    291 Posts

    I already have the Burton Imperial in size 9.5 which weighs 919g. It also has Vibram sole but doesnt have the heel welt

    You could simply use crampons with baskets front and rear and continue using the Imperials.

    (btw: for splitboarding I would only consider lightweight aluminium crampons)

    24 Posts

    Hi, Yes thats what I ended up doing actually. I use the Petzl Irvis Hybrid now on tours where the need for crampon is undertain, and the Petzl Sarken if definitely crampon terrain and «mix». I think at least the latter works very well with rear basket.

    24 Posts

    Thanks for all the reponse guys! Due to very heavy investment for jumping ships to AT system I’ll stay with softboot setup. Of course I see the clear benefits with it during skinning and crampon compatibility for example. However its not superior in every aspect either…like the brackets needed when transitioning to ride mode etc which probably takes another minute when you want to keep up with your Dynafit-friends on skis.
    The Burton Imperial boots with heel basket crampons work just fine and Ive used it on quite technical mountains here in Norway. Good enough.
    The weight of the Fitwell/K2/32 boots though is beyond my understanding…1300-1500 grams?? I dont see any reason for carrying such anchors unless you REALLY need heel delta. And even worse that they hide this info from their webpages.

    Let me know guys if anything lighter than Imperial shows up for the 18/19 season!

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