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.
That’s pretty sweet looking. Pretty pricey too, but I guess if you’re racing world cup it’s worth it. I wish they’d combine Dynafit “tech” fittings with some of their mountaineering boots to make an ice climbing/mountaineering boot that you could at least do approaches with using Dynafit mounted skis.
Why are you still so interested in this stuff, Steve? I thought you were retiring from your rando racing career.
I saw these at ISPO last week….feather lite indeed, but not the prettiest girl at the prom…should grabbed a pic…I could have auctioned it off to you or Lou!
will these give me the edge? I think that what it will take to bat guido
Todd…I think you need more than boots to catch Guido! 😉
Gringo…might not be the prettiest girl…but she sure is skinny!
Patrico…I will always be a gear junkie. If I can free up more time in my life…I would love to get back into rando racing. It’s just right now I don’t have the time to train as much as I would like to be competitive. I do like the idea o having “tech fittings” in mountaineering boots. Probably would add at least $100 to the price of them.
I’m always vaguely off topic…
But those logos look really well done. It looks like those are silkscreened or otherwise printed onto the pre-epoxied fiber, then glued and ‘claved and cleaned up. Which would be super awesome.
I think it is staggaringly lame just how foolish the sticker-logos are on Scarpa boots. If you’re going to bother with putting your logo on something, you should at least plan on it lasting more than a week or so.
And re: you and patrico, I’ve been wondering just what it would take for me to put some tech inserts onto my Makalu’s. Another option might be to make an aluminum plate with tech inserts, and a toe/heel bale. It would be the anathema of the whole boot-as-plate concept, but would get you to approaches without a Silv 404.
You might be on to something there Sam! Kind of like a AT Tech crampon. 💡
[…] can’t get here soon enough as I should be receiving in the mail a pair of the La Sportiva Stratos boots! I’m so excited to get out in these boots a few times this week to test them out before […]