I have skied the new Lange XT boot for 30 days. Now, I have a foot that works in Lange boots, from the original Z-R model, so let me get that out of the way first. I like the Lange fit, and I like the 120 flex. The 120 flex on the XT seems a bit more forgiving than my earlier pair of Lange 120 Comp MF from 2005. Yet the flex is consistent, and now that I am used to it, predictable. The main feature on the Lange XT is the walk mode latch on the rear cuff, combined with extra long bales on the top two buckles (silver hook on top buckles in picture).
Putting the boot into walk mode with the power strap and top buckles loosened works to make getting around the base area or around the side-country more comfortable and functional. Taking longer more natural steps with the boots in the walk mode does reduce the effort of getting around. I have started doing ski patrol, and the boots make the patrol duties more comfortable and easier to get done. I also access back-country trails most of which are walk-ups, and I recommend these boots, and will buy them again.
Lange has updated the walk mode latch and stiffened the boot, but the latch on my 1st generation XT boots is working fine so far, and I have grown accustomed to the even progressive flex of the XT and enjoy it. One feature I have not investigated is to use the included laces on the inner liner. These laces appear on most back country alpine touring and telemark boots, so they may be there just to fit in with expectations of back country skiers, but I found no need for them in my use of the boot.
Finally, do make sure to tightly buckle the boot and tighten the power strap fairly aggressively, because if you don’t you will slide around fore and aft on the footbed in these boots. This sliding is probably common to all boots if you try to ski without the buckles tight, but I really noticed it in the XT. I have not put my custom footbeds into the boots, but they might help keep me in place at looser settings.
So, running the boot right out of the box I am happy with it, as it gives me a good deal of my normal gait when the buckles are loose and with the walk mode latch open. I bought these boots on Backcountry.com and got a great price, as they are last year’s boots, but they had my size! I am happy with the purchase for sure.
The sole on the Lange XT has decent “tread” while still conforming to the DIN standard called “ultra grip”, and it is softer than the typical alpine ski boot’s hard plastic, except where the boot touches a ski binding. If you are walking over pavement or pavers a lot, even with the walk mode I recommend a pair of Yaktrax SkiTrax to keep the soles intact. These SkiTrax are great, grippy, and have a rocker built in for a more natural step.
– submitted by Jebb