With every new version of Lange's XT freeride boot, our test team has affirmed that it has always been the most real boot like of the category. That remains the same with the newest iteration, the XT3, along with a few improvements. The all-new shell and cuff mold brings a cleaner, more anatomical fit match that's properly padded with a Dual 3D full-thermo Ultralon liner. Testers loved the close-wrapping fit of the XT3 130 LV--tight like a narrow should be, with an open toebox for comfy, warm touring. Testers also said, finally, to the fact that the XT3 actually tours more like a BC boot, now with much-improved cuff range of motion, especially in forward rotation which has never been the XT's strong suit in the past.
Testers were pleasantly surprised to find the LV meant what it said--low volume! The fit is evenly close but avoids feeling constrictive and maintains enough height over the midfoot and into the instep to keep blood flowing to the toes. The XT3 130's shell is thin shelled Dual Core polyurethane, making bootfitters' mods super easy and permanent. The cuff is made of Lyftran polypropylene, so not as easily modified but testers didn't find the inside ankle pockets abusive at all, so punches won't be needed there so often. The flex feel is a firm 130, testers agreed, and a few thought the shin fit a bit flat, or bulky against the tibia, though after some wear time this improved and most felt a good liner molding job would eradicate that gripe. Testers had a few complaints about the way the Dual 3D Full Ultralon liner tended to crumple-down upon entry and hang on the heel when exiting--they planned to retest after liner molding and a few considered using the laces and going plug-boot-style for entry and exit as a work around.
For the weight and the mobility features here you won't do any better for a solid descender. Testers continue to praise the Lange-family stance angles found in the XT3 130 LV—slightly upright but with enough travel of flex to move through the downhill power band and find dynamic balance turn to turn. Some of our team had the chance to also test the XT3 140 Pro Model and were left scratching their heads as to why that model comes with an extra fat rear spoiler, dumping all who tried it into an over-flexed stance. The Dual Core Light Lyftran polypropylene cuff proved surprisingly strong on edge, testers agreed, who easily found a stable platform through funky snow during a few early Spring tours. Testers unanimously gave the new cuff release mechanism and newfound touring range of motion enthusiastic thumbs up--finally, they said.
In addition to a full-thermo Ultralon liner, new and easy to actuate Active Power V-Lock cuff release, rockered GripWalk soles and Dynafit-certified tech fittings, the XT3 130 LV also sports grippy mid-arch cladding for secure scrambling and boot-packing, along with a 40mm Velcro power strap (the 140 Pro Model has a cam lock strap). The new Snow Seal weatherproof gasket works well for keeping the boot dry inside, but testers noticed it had a tendency to jam with the shell overlap while initially buckling up, so suggested users take care to ensure the overlap is properly gliding shut before cranking buckles.
“Best fitting, best skiing and (by far) the best touring version of the XT boots yet. The 130 flex is solid—no reason to go to the 140 Pro Model unless you want a few less grams and a cam lock power strap.” -- Mark Elling
“Lange made huge strides with the new XT3 130. By incorporating the Dual Core injection polyurethane shell with an improved hike mechanism the boot gained range of motion for hiking/skinning AND skis like a real alpine boot! The flex feel is very similar to the RX/RS 130's. Truly a boot that goes up as well as it goes down. ” -- Charlie Bradley