I felt like a private investigator or detective at Outdoor Retailer a few weeks ago, hunting down the Stratos, a new full carbon fiber rando race boot offered from La Sportiva next year. My phone buzzed with it’s late arrival to the trade show and I was ushered into a cramped closet full of cardboard boxes for viewing. The Stratos I saw was in it’s purest from. No liner, no “tech fittings”, no buckles, no rubber sole and no ski/walk lever. Funny thing is, it was still very impressive (and feather light) without all of these things.
I erased all of the background image with Photoshop in this image, so you
can really appreciate the refined carbon construction of the Stratos.
Unlike the Scarpa F1 Carbon and Dynafit DyNA boots, the La Sportiva Stratos will be more akin to the XP 500 by Pierre Gignoux and will be full carbon construction. Garnering experience acquired from making carbon skis, Dino Marelli is the master-mind behind the Stratos and his experience working with carbon shows with smooth angles and sexy curves in the Stratos. The official PDF for the Stratos lists no less that 30 features, but weight is no doubt the most attractive. Others include 6 different forward lean settings and titanium rivets. The Stratos will be offered with two different liners, with the “race plus” being lighter (and thinner) than the “race” version. With the “race plus” liner, the Stratos will come in at about 638 grams (490gr, shell only)…the lightest of all four of these new race boot offerings. Priced at $1400, it will be competitive with the other race-ready boots.
- La Sportiva Stratos– 638 grams (with “race-plus” liner, 490gr shell only)
- Pierre Gignoux XP 500- 503 grams (without liner)
- Scarpa F1 Carbon– 831 grams
- Dynafit DyNA– 920 grams
Some of you out there may be wondering why all of a sudden there seems to be a push for manufactures to produce these high priced, race-ready rando boots. Though the sport of ski mountaineering racing is no doubt getting more popular here in the states and overseas, the reason is that rumor has it race officials will soon no longer accept modified boots in sanctioned races. Leaving racers to use what comes off the shelves. But with boots like the Stratos out there, I don’t think there will be many complaints.