Fischer's smooth entry into lightweight alpine touring boots.
March 2017 update at the bottom.
Finally, true touring boots that shave off a ton of weight and boast tour-centric features. For the past two seasons I've exclusively skied in the Transalp TS Lite boot which served its purpose as I was transitioning from an alpine background. That boot still has a place in my quiver but for 75% of the touring I do, something lighter would have been more desirable.
While sock weight on this boot is around 980g, my 29.5s weigh in at 1200g. This is fine though since it's still 500g lighter per boot than my Transalp TS Lites. It's a significant difference and means my legs will be more fresh on the descents, longer tours, and they can fit the CAMP 290 Race Crampon since the boot sole length is 316mm.
With the Darn Tough RFL Ski Sock, I'm able to slide right into these out of the box with zero discomfort. They are 100x more comfortable than my La Sportiva Cyborg Race boots and the Boa dial system genuinely works to snug the foot in place. The last is on par with the Transalps but you lose the vacuum fit. I need to log a few big days to determine if these will need work but so far so good. Also, the beefy power strap is a welcomed addition to a lightweight touring boot.
Fischer lists 80º range of motion while in uphill mode which I can verify. They feel good with the Boa dialed in a bit and the top buckle undone. The sole of the boot has a nice grip on rocks and we'll see how they wear over time. I've done a couple 700' approaches walking in them without discomfort.
The boots are still fairly soft compared to traditional alpine boots but I'd rather have the softer flex than no flex. It's comparable to the Transalp TS Lite boot but a bit flexes differently as the shape of the boot is different. It's hard to explain and I'll edit this once I've logged a few days on groomers. The carbon sole is supposed to do a better job at transferring power which can be difficult with tech bindings. Stay tuned.
Overall Initial Impression
I've been waiting for these boots for a full year so this is more of a sigh of relief than excitement. They will allow me to replace my Transalp TS Lites with the Transalp Pros which is important because I've been wanting a stiffer boot since I ski with a powerful alpine technique. The Boa lace system lives up to the hype and the weight is right where a touring boot should be. There are two unanswered questions though - how will my feet feel after a full day's or multi-day tour, and how do they ski on groomers. Look for a midwinter update with these answers.
*February Update* Since I had logged a ton of hiking miles in these boots I had to get the area outside of my little toe punched out. I did get some irritation that was the result of a 3 mile hike down a hiking trail followed by another consecutive week of touring 5 hour days! A few weeks later, zero issues and the only thing to break on the boot is the little loop attached to the ski lockout lever which is a non-issue.