Testers said that if you're looking for a lighter weight hike mode boot with tech binding compatibility that skis as well as an alpine boot, the 2018 Lange XT Freetour LV should be on your short list. New this year is the ability to swap on grippy alpine (ISO 5355) soles for your on-area alpine set up or roll with the sticky Ultra Grip rockered WTR (Walk to Ride) soles on an A.T., low-tech or WTR binding.
Testers were aligned on the fact that the LV moniker is a little exaggerated—they say it's a roomy-narrow at best, or a nice-tight-medium perhaps. At any rate, average feet shouldn't be scared away by the 97 mm labeling. Testers like the lightweight, cushioned Ultralon liner (full thermo-moldable) and said that the fit was firm enough in control areas without feeling harsh. Testers liked the fairly tall instep fit—good for blood flow and maintaining warm feet while touring, they said. A few testers mentioned an uneven fit against the shin at boot top but most noted that it settled in with some time on snow. Entry to the XT Freetour 130 LV was not a favorite with some testers who found the compliant liner crumpled down around the heel. They mentioned considering using the liner as a lace-up (laces come in the box) for entry as well as for snugging the fit.
For the weight and the mobility features here you won't do much better for a solid descender. Testers liked the Lange-family stance angles here—slightly upright but with enough travel of flex to move through the downhill power band and find dynamic balance turn to turn. The Grilamid lower boot proved surprisingly strong on edge, testers agreed, who easily found a stable platform in the midst of deep carves at speed. A few testers mentioned a jittery, springy feel to the boot's flex character that they found a little unstable in off-piste sorties, but they were of the minority opinion. Testers are somewhat unimpressed with the touring range of motion found here—not great to the rear and fairly limited in forward travel, was the consensus.
In addition to a full-thermo Ultralon liner, removable rear spoiler, easy to actuate Power V-Lock cuff release, rockered WTR soles and Dynafit-certified tech fittings, the XT Freetour 130 LV also sports grippy mid-arch cladding for secure scrambling and boot-packing.
“Having both the alpine DIN and tech compatibility is awesome for the sidecountry user.” -- Andrew Orlich
“Solid power and support—carve, smear, whatever. No problem!” -- Greg Coulter
“Feels like a Lange—stance is dead-on!” -- Scott Blackwell
“Surprisingly strong for a releasable cuff—everything you'd expect from a modern Lange.” -- Charlie Bradley
“Comfortable on the up, powerful and quick on the down—I need to own it!” -- Greg Coulter
“Thanks for the standard sole option. Potent for its weight.” -- Chris Wiberg
“Real nice. Great snow feel. Fun.” -- Brian Elling
“Traditional ski boot feel with exceptional freeski and touring capabilities.” -- Nick Blaylock
“The snappy resilience of this boot has a giggle in every turn!” -- Bob Gleason