Finding the right backcountry ski boot has a lot to do with good fit, but it’s also important to find the right combination of uphill functionality and downhill performance. La Sportiva nailed both in the Spectre alpine touring boot. The La Sportiva Spectre AT boot offers great walkability with the flick of a lever and excellent downhill performance without being uber stiff. It is a true quiver-of-one alpine touring boot.
Weighing in at 6 lbs a pair (size 26), the Spectre is impressively lightweight for a four-buckle touring boot. Some of the weight savings are owed to the unique buckle system, which turns out to be easy to adjust and easy to open. The micro-adjustability of the binding is the best I have ever used. All buckles open wide for unobstructed boot entry and removal, too.
Walk mode is advertised to offer 60-degrees of cuff range and it feels great. The full range is really smooth and not overly dependent on cuff buckle tension. They walk as good or better than any other four-buckle boot I’ve ever used.
On the ski front, they are stiff and powerful enough to run some pretty burly skis at the ski hill during testing, more burly than a Scott Cosmos and on par with the popular Scarpa Meastrale. But the best part is Spectre maintains a degree of progressive flex and are not uber stiff like many carbon fiber cuff designs. The cuff, like many of the light 4-buckle boots on the market, is made of Grilamid but also adds some carbon fiber in the rear spine. Functionally, the Spectre feels powerful without feeling too stiff; it lets your ankles have a little give and take with the ski, snow and terrain when necessary – like they should. There are three forward lean positions from which to choose.
Best of all, they are not a strict narrow Italian fit. In fact, the boot feels great for for my arguably wider than average foot. To help with fit, the boot features an adjustable tongue to dial in volume, too. Obviously, fit is rather subjective, but if the Spectre feels good on your feet, you should give it a try on snow. The La Sportiva Spectre is a true quiver-of-one alpine touring boot.