Salomon S/Pro Alpha 130 EL

Model Year
2022-2023
Category
All-Mountain Traditional
Last Width
98
Flex Index
130
Price (MSRP)
$799.00USD

Testers loved the new fit and performance elements in Salomon's all-new S/Pro Alpha 130 EL (there are so many!) and had virtually zero complaints outside of those about yet another arcane boot naming structure and some testers' resistence to its very Smurfy blue. Several testers called this the best Salomon they've ever tested and virtually all of them applauded the S/Pro Alpha's arrival as an improvement over the previous S/Max narrows--and we thought those were pretty great too! The Alpha's highest score (a 4.80 out of a perfect 5.00) was awarded in the Anatomical Fit & Initial Feel parameter, which points out one of our testers' favorite aspects of this newly classic Salomon--the dialed fit.

Yes, testers also said the performance was top tier within this most competitive group of skilled descenders (4.60 for all performance metrics) but they all spent more time talking about the new fit map of the S/Pro Alpha. Most noticeably, the fit over the midfoot and through the instep is improved--taller, with better shaping over the midfoot bump (cuneiform bones) area with a new adjustable-customizable tongue and an instep buckle that has been moved closer to the throat of the boot and is also adjustable in its mounting position. Testers unanimously praised the design tweak for its simultaneous ability to offload pressure over the top of the foot while sucking the heel deeper back into its rearward anchor position. One tester felt that the instep buckle collided too much with the lower cuff buckle while closing up the overlaps but with some practice the buckling was not an issue of concern, the rest said. There is more vertical space over the toes, which most testers liked for warmth and free wiggling, though others felt they wanted to add a pad to the top of the liner to prevent unwanted rearward shifts--easily accomplished with a bootfitter's help. Testers agreed that the cuff fit was slender, tall and slightly more upright than the group average, and therefore its off-the-rack fit favored the longer-legged and those with lower-volume calves. Testers reminded that Custom Shell HD molding does treat the thicker calf well.

Stance-wise, testers were impressed with how this new narrow sat the fence between Frontside category piste power and an All-Mountain, more off-piste oriented neutral stance set-up. The lateral angles put the ski ever so slightly on an inside edge but not so much as to lock-up edge feathering or prevent a more surfy approach to terrain. Testers point out that the return to an adjustable lateral cuff mechanism (buh-bye Dual Pivot, we won't miss ya) on the Alpha makes quick stance angle adjustment a snap and will get most skiers where they want to be side-to-side without any other fuss. The fore-aft set-up is on the upright end of the spectrum, and shorter testers mentioned getting pushed back on their heels a bit. Testers point out that Custom Shell HD molding can offer some subtle stance angle customization, or a skier could employ a small spoiler between liner and cuff behind the calf to solve this issue.

So, the EL in the boot's name (BTW, Alpha means narrow S/Pro, HV means wide S/Pro, S/Pro sans prefix or suffix means medium) indicates Expert Line, which means that the buckles and cuff fasteners are all removable rather than riveted and that the power strap is an elasticized cam-buckle job, along with a tongue that can be adjusted for position and is also able to be dismantled in order to achieve some additional fit tweaks over the top of the foot. We think those features are all cool. Just EL? We say, El mejor!

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
22.5-30.5
Hike Mode 
No
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
120, 110, 100
Cantology Compatible 
No
Total Avg Score 
4.60
Shell/Cuff/Tongue 
polyurethane/polyurethane (Custom Shell HD shell and cuff)
Anatomical Fit and Initial Feel 
4.80
Dynamic Balance 
4.60
Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support 
4.60
Quickness, Steering & Feel 
4.60
Convenience, Warmth & Features 
4.40
Tech Compatible 
No

Kudos

  • “Nice enveloped grip around my entire foot. Overall comfort is high, and it's my opinion that with the liner molded most of my hot spots would be fine without any shell work. The feel and control of my foot is excellent. The moment I started to slide on snow the precision and total foot contact was perfect. Very positive edge grip due to an outboard or bowlegged stance coupled with a tight fit on the navicular. The best quality of this boot is its precision and quickness in edge turnover. I like the Booster style power strap, and although there is not any breakthrough technology the features are classic and work well.” -- Jim Schaffner
  • “Nice heel hold. Ankle pockets feel great. The liner has nice feel, can't feel the seams. Quick feel--much faster edge to edge than the previous generation narrow. Powerful boot with excellent feedback--you really feel the snow underneath you. Salomon has created an excellent new, narrow generation of the S/Pro range. Excellent boot for a skinny lower leg. ” -- Pat Sullivan
  • “Strong stable and smooth with a comfy fit, not harsh. Surprisingly warm for being so snug. I love the blue! ” -- Jeff Rich
  • “Great contact throughout once you're in it. Positive experience in any turn shape--solid feel underfoot. Overall comfort is stellar. ” -- Erik Korman
  • “This is probably the best-fitting Solomon boot I've ever put on. Awesome wrap of the foot and easy edge transition makes this an all-day-performance daily driver. Happy to see that they put the cuff alignment feature back in the boot and got rid of all the dual-injection plastic seams. ” -- Charlie Bradley
  • “Feels awesome on first fit impression--so far, it's a strong--feeling boot. Great new features for Salomon: new tongue design with Velcro placement, new bilateral adjustable and asymmetric cuff hinge, with a smoother flex. Strong and direct to the edge. Better be on your game, must be driven--no Uber riders! Nice light boot that is super quick and very predictable to edge. Salomon's newest design is a no-nonsense, well thought-out winner. Best of test for me! ” -- Jack Rafferty
  • “Fits great, skis great--awesome new boot from Salomon.” -- Mark Elling
  • “Tight in all the right spots and locked-in on the forefoot. Looks a lot different than most boots. Fit is tight on forefoot but not squishing top of foot or instep. Don't know if I liked its instep fit more or just liked the fact that they experimented and changed the placement of the midfoot buckle--great innovation. Solid feeling boot on snow. ” -- Stacy Crumpler
  • “Love the new buckle placement. Fits my foot much better than the old one. Solid Salomon! This S/Pro is the most powerful yet. "Snake eyes in heaven...be quick or be dead" (Iron Maiden). No problems here--unless you don't like blue. ” -- Dallas Goldsmith
  • “Could be a good boot for someone with a higher arch and instep but still wants to get into a 98mm last boot for the tight fit elsewhere. ” -- Jim Morris
  • “Salomon really nailed it with this new boot--the shape is incredible, grabs your foot everywhere without being too tight anywhere and had a little extra room in the toes just for wiggling. Buckle it tighter if you need to but it's all good.” -- Kevin Gabriel

Caveats

  • “Tight in the calf--tall cuff has a stove pipe feel.” -- Pat Sullivan
  • “Not easy entry and exit. The adjustable position midfoot buckle is cool but hangs up on the lower cuff buckle.” -- Erik Korman

This boot available at...

Portland, OR
Taos Ski Valley, NM
Westwood, NJ
Houston, TX
Westborough, MA

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