Our bootfitter testers were especially excited about the fit changes that Salomon brought to its new, narrow all-mountain boot. The S/Pro Alpha 110 W EL is all-new, but testers still compared it (in favorable ways) to its narrow predecessor S/Max. The loved the way the new Alpha's lower shell, or clog, contoured around the forefoot in an anatomically matched grip on the foot's wide spot, but they really, really loved the new fit over the midfoot and up through the instep. They said the fit over the bony top of the foot is more domed and contoured to match the body, with a nice and open transition through the instep into the cuff. The tongue is both adjustable and customizable, which they appreciated, and the heel and ankle pockets provided true-narrow control without any sacrifice of comfort.
Yes, the women's Alpha skis well, they said, citing its quick-witted transitions arc to arc through a variety of terrain and snow surfaces as its strong suit--lively, quick cruiser was it's call sign, they said, rather than brutish crusher-stomper. Testers felt that the taller, longer legged skier would be best suited to the S/Pro Alpha's tall and upright cuff character for the sake of getting forward, which some felt was a challenge. Testers mentioned that the Custom Shell HD lower and upper boot would serve a skier well in the quest for more personalized stance angles, which we've shown with repeated tests to yield subtle yet performance- and fit-enhancing improvements.
Testers loved the liner feel throughout the shell and cuff and commented that the S/Pro Alpha 110 W EL was one of the easiest boots to get on and off in the category. They unanimously approved of a return to a laterally adjustable cuff (gone here is the non-adjustable Dual Pivot attachment point), and the adjustable mounting position for the shell's instep buckle was a hit, as was its overall shift in placement closer to the throat of the boot which helped avoid top-down pressure over the bony (cuneiform bones) midfoot. The girls wondered why they didn't get a cam buckle power strap like the boys but they didn't complain about the fat 45mm Velcro strap optioned on the 110. A few discerning testers noted the new mono-injected lower shell and praised the move away from the bi-injected Core Frame that had made their navicular heat stretches a little tricky in the past.
Oh, and that EL in the name? Ever Lasting? Even Lovelier? Extra Lusciousness? It's Expert Line, which means the buckles and attachments are removable and the tongue is customizable. Does it ELevate performance? Does it provide more ELegant bootfitting solutions? Maybe. What the EL, we like it.