Testers were taken with the washable 3D Platinum Tour liner which they said was thicker and more comfortable than typically found in this category but without creating a bulky feel. One tester said, surprisingly plush and comfortable liner--so different from any boot before in the category. A washable option for the BC sweat sponge was universally applauded by bootfitters on the team, who said that it might become requirement for working on boots that come in from elsewhere for any potential remolding. Testers felt the liner and shell worked in tandem to produce a nicely medium width fit tension throughout the lower and upper though testers mentioned that the cable laced lower buckle was difficult to vary tension over different parts of the foot.
Testers were blown away by the uphill capability of the Backland XTD, praising its long, natural stride and lightweight feel underfoot. They liked the straightforward release and lock of the touring mode lever and thought the Stretch Guard 360 weather proof gusset worked as billed to ease entry and seal the deal as it related to wetter conditions (which we had some of during testing). Testers were less impressed with the cuff's flex feel which a few described as "hinge-y" and collapsible on aggressive descending. Lighter weight testers and those with a lighter touch on the snow didn't report these issues.
Testers put both the BC style rockered sole version (Skywalk touring norm sole) available in the 115-flex to the test alongside the softer 105-flex version with an integrated, molded-in GripWalk sole (Skywalk GripWalk sole) to see how things might shake out. Other than the obviously softer flex feel (which didn't help this test team) of the 105 and a step-down to a Velcro power strap in the softer version, testers found few glaring differences--however, the molded GripWalk outsole was a hit with the test team for its obvious convenience of compatibility with a variety of different bindings. Testers didn't suggest that this model would be a great on-area descender on a GripWalk alpine binding--but it could be done!