Hagan does no marketing- and as a result, it's easy to overlook their outstanding offerings. Which is a shame because they make some of the best, simplest, most affordable skimo gear out there, these boots included!
If you want to summarize the review, just read this- beef boot performance with skimo simplicity and weight. If you've been hesitant to get into a lighterweight, <1200g boot because of fear of giving up performance, this is a good option for you. Don't let the lack of carbon fool you, these boots are stiff, and ski much more like an overlap alpine boot. Comparably stiff if not stiffer than the TLT6 with tongue (definitely not LESS stiff), but with a more natural and progressive flex. The simple walk/ski mechanism is easy to use, and makes transitions a literal flip of a switch (or two if you loosen the cuff buckle during touring.) The boot has a very natural, progressive flex- the most similar boot out there IMO is the F1 Evo, but this boot has a more natural feeling flex to it and is simpler.
The simplicity was the biggest appeal of this boot for me- after 5 seasons in TLT5/6, I was tired of the fiddly tongues and ultra-lock switches and just wanted to flip something on my boot and ski. This meets that criteria very well.
Why not 5 stars? Two reasons- first, the ski/walk switch interferes with many crampon levers, or at least has the potential to so much that I would not feel comfortable trusting my life to it. I switched to the the Grivel ski-matics, which work well and for which there are no problems. Camp race 290s would work well too, or any crampon without a heel lever.
The other reason for 4 stars is that there is a *slight* increase in touring resistance vs. something like the TLT5/6. This is because you flex the plastic tongue with each step. It really is slight, but you will notice it. But a worthwhile tradeoff vs having to fiddle with tongues to get this sort of performance, which really is great. And I spend most of my time in zero-resistance race boots.
I didn't even notice the lack of power strap, which is NOT true of other boots like the TLT. Really.
So if you've been wanting to go light but are worried you'll miss the big boot performance, I think this is the boot for you. I am super stoked to finish off the spring with them!
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