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. The buckles take a little getting used to, but the micro-adjustability is the best I have ever used.
Walk mode is advertised to offer 60-degrees of cuff range and it feels great. The full range is really 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 and on par with the popular Scarpa Meastrale. But the best part is that Spectre offers progressive flex and is not über stiff like many lightweight designs. The cuff is made of Grilamid rather than carbon fiber. Functionally, the Grilamid design maintains a progressive flex better than a carbon cuff. As a result, the boot is powerful without feeling too stiff; it allows your ankles to have a little give and take with the ski, snow and terrain when necessary.
Best of all, the Sportiva Spectre is 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 further dial in volume. 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.