Having recently produced a line of footwear including approach shoes and hiking boots, Arc’teryx is already looking to expand/complete the range. Hence a brand new line of ski touring/mountaineering boots, three years in the making. The Procline boot, available in Fall 2016, is their top of the line boot made for alpinists and ski tourers.
If you have ever stepped foot in a ski touring boot you will know instantly that (compared to alpine ski boots) they are significantly more comfortable to walk around in; the fore and aft movement is greater to allow you to skin uphill in the boots. Lateral movement has always been comparable, however, until now.
Arc’teryx has invented a genius buckling system to solve this issue. By creating a two-piece calf shell, when the buckle is not done up, there is lateral ankle movement. The benefits of this are in the walking and climbing ability, most importantly on traverses on non-flat surfaces. according to the designer you can flex 23 degrees to the outside and 13 degrees to the inside when in walk mode.
With ankle roll in the boot, the ski/skin can make full contact the snow underneath, giving you a much better purchase, and comfortable ‘ride’ on off-angle skinning. This alone is worth the price of the boot. Windswept, icy traverses are will now be much more bearable and safe.
The boot has a water-resistant gaiter rising up from the calf, with a beefy zipper running straight up the middle. No plastic shin cover here, like in an alpine boot. It has a power strap across the top of the shin with a double cam which can be easily unhooked. It was designed to be crampon compatible, for obvious mountaineering reasons, and in a way that they will not pop off mid-use.
You can buy the model with a carbon or polyamide calf shell, the carbon will be 20% stiffer, and more expensive. There are liner options and they are all formable to your foot shape. The Lite liner is 100 grams lighter than the Support liner, which offers up a little more padding. A Vibram sole and toe are also found on these boots.
They will be available in fall of 2016 and should be at the top of any ski mountaineer’s list. I got a chance to test them out in the Whistler backcountry, but you read up on that soon right here on the blog.