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SCARPA Alien 1.0 Boot

Model: Alien 1.0
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Availability: In Stock
Price: $1798.95
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SCARPA says that never before has anything this lightweight provided this much performance. At Skimo Co, we tend to agree. Liberal use of carbon fiber and a cleverly designed minimalist buckle system allows these boots to cross the finish line at a scant ~750 grams (1lb 10oz) [27]. The racers crossing the line in first place would indicate that it is quite skiable as well.

  • Reliable single throw lock lets you switch between walk and ski modes in a blink.
  • Advanced carbon cuff system works like a backbone, supporting the leg and increasing drive and edge control of your skis.
  • Features a "buckle" system that is actually rope tied to the locking mechanism, making this quite possibly the first zero buckle skimo race boot.
  • The BOA closure system cradles your feet without pressure points, allowing fine tuning of fit on the fly.
  • A thin layer of alien-green polyamide protects the carbon core that wraps your foot, reducing vibration and preventing oft-seen cracks on all-carbon boots that have collided with an edge of a ski or rock.
  • Appropriately named Vibram "UFO" soles feature large grooves to avoid picking up freeloading debris.
  • A relatively wide 99mm last lets the blood circulate, keeping your toes from freezing when it's below zero on race day.
  • Uses the patented Quick Step boot inserts to ease into your race bindings without fuss.
  • Forward lean can be set at either 9 or 13 degrees while enjoying 58 degrees of movement in run mode.
  • Lightweight HRP Intuition overlapping liner securely wraps your leg and is thermomoldable.
  • Optional gaiter prevents snow from wetting your cuff if you take these out on a pow day without your lycra suit.

Alien 1.0 vs Alien

If you can afford it, the Alien 1.0 will give you one of the most advanced boots on the market. If you prefer to spend $1000 on something other than SCARPA's carbon core injection technology, the Alien makes a worthy replacement with a penalty of only 150 grams (5.3 ounces). You might also enjoy the slightly thicker liner, power strap, and trip to Cancun.

-> ounces
754g [27]
Weight (pair) 1508g [27]
Buckles Rope plus BOA, single throw latch
Boot Sole Length 262mm [24]
271mm [25]
279mm [26]
287mm [27]
296mm [28]
305mm [29]
313mm [30]
Binding Compatibility Tech only
Cuff Rotation 58°
Forward Lean(s) 9°, 13°
Specs Verified Yes
Materials Carbon & polyamide shell, carbon cuffs
Liner Race weight HRP Intuition
Sole Vibram UFO
Skimo Co Says
Usage Rando racing
Notes Lower shell combines rigid carbon with a durable polyamide wrapping
Bottom Line Out-of-this-world design to keep the weight down.
Question from JP
Just curious if size/fit is similar between alien vs alien 1.0? Thanks!
Answer from jbo
Hi JP, yes the lower shells are the same shape. The liners are different which can change the feel a bit.
Answer this question:

Question from Kerry
Is the boot sole length the same on Alien and Alien 1.0 for the mondo 30?
Also, how can I get the frayed cable on my Aliens replaced?
Answer from jbo
Hi Kerry, the BSLs are spec'd the same for the two Alien versions. I've noticed sub-mm differences in certain sizes but nothing that required a re-mount. We will have some official cord in the fall; until then you can use some 3mm accessory cord or maybe give SCARPA a ring (303-998-2895).
Answer this question:

Question from John Burkhart
Hey yo Ski Mo .co!

I'm thinking about purchasing a pair of these for my lovely lady, and was wondering about sizing. She is about a US women's 8 and wears a 24.5 Scarpa TX Pro tele boot which fits well. What size do you think would work best for her? I don't think width will be a problem for her in this boot, her foot is pretty similar in width along its length (as opposed to wedge-shaped). Thank you very much. I'm interested in either the Alien or Alien 1.0 for her.
Answer from jbo
Hi John, she would almost certainly be a 25. These run a bit short so that should fit her well. Note it's the same sizing for both the 1.0 and 0.0 versions.
Answer this question:

Question from steve sellers
what's the liner weight for alien? Alien 1?
Answer from jbo
Hi Steve, the Alien size 27 liner is 166 grams (5.9 ounces) and the 1.0 version is 111 grams (3.9 ounces).
Answer this question:

by Randolph R (used product regularly)
Using the Alien 1.0 boots is life changing. When you hear about increased ankle mobility and increased freedom of movement blah blah blah it sounds like hyperbolic marketing tripe - but the 1.0 is the real deal. when I put them on it is hard to tell the difference from my trail running shoes. at 800g these babies are super lite. However, it's when you first get moving on skis that you really feel the difference. Zero ankle/shin resistance is a liberating feeling. It is hard to explain the immediate affect this has - less resistance, greater range of motion, longer strides, faster cadence, more speed, more vertical, more skiing. All of a sudden your blazing past everyone. Also, bootpacking or scrambling on ridges I can move with a lot more speed and confidence than I can in my TLT 5's (which are already pretty awesome) - the Aliens have a sensitive feeling like wearing a sneaker. Now all this isn't necessarily revolutionary. There are a lot of great race boots on the market that feel very similar. However, where the Aliens differ in my perspective is skiability. The carbon cuff on these guys makes for a stiff ride that can handle way more than most people might think to use them for. I would say that these stiffer than my very very very used TLT 5 Pro boots. I have no reservations about skiing at speed or in steep / exposed places with them. It wasn't even a matter of getting used to them, for me the boots were just that confidence inspiring on the downhill. Also - compared to other similar boots on the market with a carbon lower boot, the plastic outer on the Aliens adds a lot of durability. I've been kicking around in the mountains for about two months with these guys now and there are few signs of wear. As other reviews has mentioned the fact that in deeper snow conditions snow finds its way between the gaps between the boot shell and liner creating little ice patches is a bummer. Also a bummer is that Scarpa charges additional dough for their hard to get gators (though skimo.co has them!) - the gators work well enough but I have concerns about their longterm durability. I find most of the time I don't bother with the gators and just go hard. I think the payoff in speed, confidence, and freedom of movement is well worth the relatively minor downsides mentioned elsewhere. I love this boot and think that once you use it you won't want to use anything else. As a note - I use these with the Movement Goldfish-X and I am very happy with the combination for both racing and technical ski mountaineering.
Comment on this review:

by Stano Skintrack (used product a few times)
I did about 7 sessions on the Aliens 1.0 now and I am happy with the boots so far but will update this review once I use them more. They feel (are) a bit larger overall than Dynafit or Pierre Gignoux boots but weight wise they feel great - I have size 28 and they are 746g/boot. Walk mode feels as good as my old first generation Gignoux and cuff feels stiffer in a forward lean than on those Gignoux.

One thing I am still solving is a bit too much vertical space for my foot, but I have this with most ski boots. I put in thicker insoles and that does a fairly good job, and the side benefit is they don't feel as stiff/hard on the bottom of my feet as with just the supplied liner. My personal wish is that manufacturers put more padding on the bottom of their race liners :)
Reply from Stano Skintrack
Forgot something:
I don't know what Scarpa is thinking but they don't include the gaiters with these $1800 boots! They are selling them separate for $80! I am just gonna wait to get them somewhere as a draw prize then ;)
Reply from jbo
Stano, pick a number between 1 and 3. If you guess the one I have written down, you win the prize!
Reply from Stano Skintrack
It must be 2, that's the only number between 1 and 3 :)
No need to do this should I guessed correctly ;)
Reply from jbo
You must have cheated but I will send you a gaiter anyway.
Reply from Stano Skintrack
Jason, thank you very much, it is much appreciated! Maybe don't send, I am coming for Powder Keg so maybe we can spill some beer on them before you present them to me.
Reply from jbo
OK but if you finish between places 1 and 3 in the Powder Keg individual race then I am rescinding the offer. Too suspicious.
Reply from Stano Skintrack
In all humbleness I don't think that will happen this year ;)
Comment on this review:

by Jonathan S (used product regularly)
Overall: Despite some non-race environment inconveniences, fit modification limitations, and potential durability concerns for a Whereveristan mountaineering expedition, the Alien 1.0 rates Five Stars – and only because the website won’t allow fifty or so stars. The ratio of skiability to weight is so seemingly impossibly high that it even validates Scarpa’s alien technology marketing theme.

Background on product familiarity: I bought the Alien 1.0 toward the end of the 2013 season but kept using the Dynafit EVO for short tours, so only a relatively modest 77,600' vertical thus far. I’ve skied them with the Hagan Cirrus on spring and summer snow except for one surprise winter powder outing on the Movement Logic-X, plus a couple times on the Fish-X. (I haven’t used them for extended periods in extremely cold temperatures, plus I always keep moving anyways and find all thermo liners to be warm, so I can’t comment on their insulating properties.)

First, the first impressions out of the box: Actual weight is very close but not quite at spec, since my size 26 is spot-on for the 27 spec. So expect a couple trivial extra ounces for the 27 that only the digital scale will notice. What you will notice is an impressively crafted design with many innovative parts (plus Dynafit’s own “Quick-Step-in” toe inserts). Also notice the substantive user manual with actual useful information (e.g., the BOA adjustment can be disassembled for cleaning).

The fit is accurate for the interior length of my size 26, as I can just barely accommodate (sort of) the toes of my 26.5cm foot, which is therefore only slightly shorter than the 279 bsl. (The bsl changes in 8 and 9mm increments, so the interior length’s relationship to stated mondo size might become skewed a bit the further away you go from my size 26.)

As with any skimo race boot, the fit modification potential is limited. However, the stiff foam bootboard is easily removed, and by playing with the heel height I was able to alleviate some pinching/banging of the lateral side of the back of my heel. The current liner is neither overlap nor tongued, and instead is essentially a pull-on sock with (minimal) padding in key areas. I have not yet tried to heat the liner, and given its thin profile, its moldability is probably modest at best. And after my modest usage so far, my boot guy thought I had already essentially molded them through use. He is also fairly confident in his ability to stretch the problem area in the back of my heel. (Wish us luck!)

The forward lean is adjustable by changing a bolt position. The cuff height matches the Dynafit TLT5/6. In front, the cuff is taller than the TLT5/6 shell, but lower than the TLT5/6 optional external tongue. (The cuff of my 26 boot is shared with the 25; I don’t know if the size 27/28 cuff is even taller.) The cuff leaves a large gap in the back between the lower shell, and a cavernous opening in the front. (The lower shell is sealed up better, although the thick fabric tongue unfortunately overlaps inside the lower shell, i.e., the reverse of the ideal overlap arrangement for sealing out water and snow.) Plan either on using the very nicely designed (and nearly weightless) Alien lycra gaiter, wearing a race suit with an integrated gaiter, or bringing some of the snowpack along with you.

Second impressions, in use: In walk/tour mode, the upper cuff pretty much just disappears. If you are used to a boot with an exceptional range of resistance-free movement like the Dynafit TLT5/6, even then the Alien 1.0 will still shock you. Flip the lever down (which instantly self-aligns), and you’re in for another shock. Maybe too much of a shock – can a three-pound/pair boot really be overly stiff? Unlike Dynafit’s carbon boots, the carbon on the Alien 1.0 upper cuff wraps all the way around, while the inside of the lower shell also wraps your foot in carbon from the cuff rivets out to the heel and forefoot. And the mode switch vertical-throw lever has less than a millimeter of slop. (By contrast, Dynafit has about half a centimeter with its lateral-throw buckle.) That kind of rigidity is outstanding for lateral and rearward support, but is it too much for forward flex? I know one racer who admits to keeping the cord a bit loose to allow a little more give before the cuff locks up on him.

In the field, the BOA system quickly tightens up the lower shell in increments as small or large as you choose. However, when I’ve overcompensated for my low-height foot (although my C-width matches up well with the shell), the placement of the BOA on the tongue (as opposed to off on the side like on my mountain bike shoes) can create pressure. Backing off the tension inevitably entails overshooting and having to dial it back it in – but still very quick, and also very easy even with numb fingers. The upper cuff is all or nothing, so you have to set up your knot length just right by experimenting inside (or in warm weather). With some extra 3mm accessory cord, you could try setting up a system with multiple knot positions if you really wanted different upper cuff tightness options.

Third impressions, for long-term durability: I have about five cumulative hours of off-snow travel in the Alien 1.0, and the rubber soles show only appropriately minor wear, with excellent grip. (This might not seem like much of a hurdle, but that same amount of use on the Dynafit EVO sheared off or heavily damaged 2/3 of the perimeter lugs.) The rivets/pivots connecting the upper and lower shells look very industrial, and seem to be immune from the loosening up over time that has required periodical repressing of the rivets on earlier versions of competitors’ carbon fiber boots. The lower shell’s tongue and BOA system are replaceable, as is the 3mm accessory cord for the upper shell.

The BOA placement on the tongue means the lower shell has no buckles on the side to be caught up in boulders, and the mode switch lever in the rear flips up out of harm’s way. But I have read of two failures over time from normal use (as opposed to collisions). This is not very surprising, given the lever’s slender proportions combined with the rigidity of the all-carbon upper cuff, the rigidity of the partial-carbon lower shell, and the very tight tolerances of the connection between the upper and lower. But as long as the horizontal bar of the lower shell is still intact, a couple Voile straps should suffice for a field repair.
Reply from Jonathan S
"He is also fairly confident in his ability to stretch the problem area in the back of my heel. (Wish us luck!)"
Huge shout out to www.gmolfoot.com for a successful work session this past Friday on my Alien 1.0 boots to stretch the problem area that was causing the heel banging this past spring and summer. Lots of very skilled and *careful* work, but they feel great now. Even better, the shop is right at the base of skinning-friendly Bromley so that I could skin almost literally from the shop door to test it thoroughly.
Reply from John G
Hey Jonathan,

Excellent review - it's nice to hear from people who are actually educated in this category and know exactly what they're talking about! I too am stoked on this boot and it's proven success (barring a couple issues) both on the international racing scene and the adventure skiing front as well.

I had a pair last Fall and loved every thing about them, with the only issuing being very similar to yours it sounds like. The lateral side of my heels have "bumps" (minor Hagland's deformity I think is the medical name), that caused excruciating, blinding-white-hot flashes of pain when skiing aggressively downhill and getting bucked around a little bit. It was okay skiing groomers because you can be much more gentle and balanced, but on the fun stuff when I really need to drive the front the boot more it was insanely painful. I tried every grinding/cutting boot mod I could think of with my boot guy, but none of it worked.

What I needed to do was blow the shell out near the top of the heel where it pinches in, but it was directly on the main lateral plastic support strut that goes rom the pivot to the lower metal "latch bar." Does this make sense, and is this similar to what you and your boot guy had to work out too? I really want to get back in these boots because like you noticed, they ski downhill like frickin' alpine boots - I just can't figure out a solution to try for my fit problem. Mind sharing a little more? Thanks in advance!

John Gaston
Reply from Jonathan S
And here I was thinking that you guys endure excruciating pain only on the up!
Seriously though, sounds like we have (or had, in my case) a very similar problem.
When I told my boot guy the problem, he took a quick look at the shell and could immediately see how it curves in, almost forming a little shelf.
Modifying it while still preserving the exact alignment of the latch bar is definitely the hardest part.
Some pictures (of my left boot) here.
If you local guy can't do it, then try Greg Hoffmann -- he was the big guru out here years ago before he moved to CO, and my guy is his successor at GMOL.
Reply from John G
Wow THANK YOU for the super quick response! Don't be fooled, this sport hurts all of us. I will study these pics and bring them to my guy and see what we can do. Have a good early season! - John
Comment on this review:

by A OK (downright abused product)
I drooled over these for a while before getting them. Once they arrived, I wasn't disappointed. Light as a feather. Stiff as a 2 x 4. They ski awesome, powering little and mid-size (88 mm underfoot) skis just fine. I haven't used them on wider pow planks, yet.

The liner comes out of the boot on your foot. In fact, it's impossible to get your foot out of the liner without taking it out of the boot. Basically, the liner fits like a sock. Thus, I've had no blisters, ever, in these boots.

The walk/ski throw bar is super simple to use and it latches and unlatches without effort. (Just rock your leg forward or back if it doesn't seat instantly.)

Skinning in these boots is a revolutionary experience. Imagine heading uphill, skis attached, in running shoes with an attached cuff that moves - without effort - against your shin, and you're real close. I drive my car (with a clutch) in these without even thinking about it. You've never skied a boot that articulates this well because none has ever existed before. Climbing around on rocks to get to a ski line, they offer as natural a feel as you'd want.

So, skinning and skiing in 'em is great. Here are the problem areas I've found:

The Boa closure doesn't always stay closed for me, it can loosen while skinning up. It never does while skiing tho. Probably, once your ankle is held in place by the cuff, it can't lift on the closure system.

If you use them without a gaiter, your feet will get soaked unless you're on groomers all day. Not cool. Use them with a gaiter.

I've managed to break the walk/ski mode bar. Scarpa replaced this without fuss, and quickly, too.

Since the boot is not offered in half sizes, and I'm a 27.5 in all my other boots, I went with the size 27. Tried on the 28's, and my feet swam in them. So, the 27's feel great all the time, except when I'm booting up hard snow and ice. With the size being a half notch down from my usual, I get toe bang. Enough toe bang to make a mention of it, for sure.

So, four potential problem areas, contrasted with a ski boot that's about as stiff as a pair of downhill boots, and probably lighter than your hiking boots. Nothing in this world is perfect, there are always tradeoffs. I'm still skiing around in these boots. Very happily.
Reply from Jonathan S
A, thanks for the review, and your earlier blog posts were very helpful in my decision to buy a pair.
Just a quick note though on the limitation to full sizes: half sizes are a complete fiction in ski boots. The shells run only in full sizes, and the half-size differential is merely some combination of a thinner/thicker throwaway footbed (which isn't included in the Alien 1.0 anyway) and liner premolding (which disappears with custom molding or just a few days of skiing).
Although I understand the frustration of being in between shell sizes, Scarpa is to be commended for dispensing with the half-size fiction in this model. (BTW, the alpine downhill ski shop that does my boot work stocks all men's boots in full size and all women's boots in half sizes, simply to ease segregation of their inventory.)
Also, my Boa closure has always stayed tight, but the explanation might be that I have it under more tension for my skinny foot?
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