Notice: SCARPA released a new version of their popular Alien boot, which can be found here.
The SCARPA Alien Boots employs some radical technology to obtain a race weight at a reasonable price. With walkability similar to hiking boots and skiability similar to a heavier kit, the Aliens are quickly becoming a go-to boot for skimo racers and light and fast tourers.
SCARPA designed these with a more comfortable last than other lightweight boots, and used a BOA closure system instead of a buckle in the forefoot. This allows you to get a precise fit over your instep without consulting a boot doctor with a heat gun. The laced upper buckle system is integrated into the walk/ski mode switch so you can transition between uphill and downhill modes in one simple step. Once pointed downhill, the Alien Propulsion Tech frame provides a sturdy platform for driving skis harder than you would think for a 2 pound boot.
- Flexible waterproof sheathing around the ankle helps keep snow off the liner.
- A single-throw buckle so you can switch quickly between walk and ski modes.
- Adjustable forward lean allows you to choose your stance at either 9 or 13 degrees.
- Full 60 degree range of motion in walk mode lets you actually run uphill (or down if the need arises).
- Moldable Intuition liners (166g/5.9oz) wrap securely around your foot with a BOA closure system.
- Vibram "UFO" soles are the perfect ride for Aliens, providing 360 degrees of durable traction on sketchy terrain.
- Secure yet comfortable 99mm of forefoot last.
|Weight (pair)||1804g 
||1 plus BOA, single throw latch|
||Polyamide shell & cuff|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Rando racing, speed touring|
|Notes||Alien 1.0 with no carbon, thicker liner w/ full coverage, and power strap|
|Bottom Line||Optimal blend of price and weight|
|Compare to other Race Boots|
Questions & Reviews
I'm currently touring on 27.5 Maestrale RSs. Do you recommend sizing up to 28 for the Alien?
My Aliens have seen near-daily use for 1.5 seasons and for the most part are still going strong. However, I ended up making a couple modification before I felt truly pleased with their performance.
Most notably, I cut out the "baffle" to improve touring performance. Honestly the baffle is such a terrible solution to the problem of snow getting in your boots. I found it hindered my cuff articulation and reduced the enjoyment of skinning. IMO Scarpa should just include a free pair of their gaiters with purchase of the boots.
Do yourself another favor and ditch the power strap--another terrible design.
I concur with previous reviewers pointing out the latch cord as a weak point in the boot's design. I've broken countless cords and sadly have yet to find a cord that lasts longer than 2 weeks or so. Be prepared and carry a couple extra cords.
I've worn holes in the heels of 2 pairs of liners. This wouldn't hurt so much if they didn't cost over a quarter of the price of the boots.
All this being said, I've been immensely pleased with their ability to tour AND ski. These are the only boots I own, so I ski them with race skis as well as touring skis (Dynafit Cho Oyu) and powder planks (La Sportiva Vapor Floats). Aliens x Cho Oyu has been a great combo. On the Vapor Floats they are admittedly a bit under-powered, but if you latch and cinch the boa tight, you can dance down the pow just fine.
I am wondering if there are any crampons capable of climbing WI2-easy WI4 for use in alpine climbing situations with the Scarpa Aliens? I have a pair of Cassin Blade Runner crampons that I use with mountain boots and I love 'em but they don't cinch tight on the Aliens. Intended usage would be east coast Mt. Washington/Katahdin gully climbing and skiing off. Potentially also some ski routes on Rainier and such.
Durability. The cuff pivot on the Alien is user maintainable. This is a big improvement over boots with just a rivet in this location which just loosens over time introducing slop into your downhill mode. With access to the right equipment you can repress this rivet but that is a huge inconvenience compared to just using a few tools you already have on hand. Other important moving parts on the Alien are also field maintainable like the lock lever pivot. This is all really good stuff. The one durability question mark in my mind is the cord that is part of the cuff locking mechanism. I think carrying a spare is prudent but should say that mine has not broken and I see lots of racers with this boot and have not seen one sidelined by cord snappage. Probably an infrequent problem but one to be prepared for!
Powder protection. My boots are the older model but I have seen the new version has full liner coverage which is pretty unique for a race boot. This makes it a great bet for all day use in fresh powder which can really pack in to more open boot shells like the PDG. Having only seen these I dont know if the extra coverage negatively impacts walk mode. Hopefully someone else can comment on that.
As for the full liner coverage, it is actually an overlap that does not impede the walk mode. At least that I know of, as I've not owned the prior Alien w/o such liner. But I can't imagine it being too much different.
I am looking to buy a pair of Aliens. I have tried on the Alien in Mondo 28 and it is about 3-4mm too short at the front – ie all 5 toes are touching the front of the liner and shell – a little too close for comfort. I have also tried on the Alien in 29 and it just feels a little bit too big. Essentially I am a 28.5 in the Alien which does not exist. Do you have any suggestions? Can I heat mould the 28 to make it bigger by 4mm, or should I put a thick insole in the 29 and wear a thicker sock. Or should I try a different boot altogether?
The Scarpa Alien size 30 is just a little shorter than a Dynafit 30; I had to dremmel out a little in front of Alien. The heal/ankle is wider on the Alien than all Dynafit and older Garmont boots I've used. For my boney heals and ankles, I'm still trying to put the right custom fit pad in place to reduce heal slip and race blisters. It will be well worth the effort of tinkering with custom fit.
The liner is an excellent no non-sense race liner. I put a cork bed in mine, primarily in an attempt to pull my toes away from the end.
I recommend customizing the power strap to prevent it from riding above the cuff and rubbing your shin...easily done with Velcro.
Functionality is great. I thought the locking system looked weird and weak but it is actually very simple, smooth and strong.
Weight - super light...
Comfort - I didn't mold them and did a big summit without any foot problems my first time out - no hot spots even...
I'm a med in foot width. I did fit the TLT 6 without much problem as well but it was a little tighter... I prefer the aliens in shell width...
Flex... I don't know what it is rated but it is pretty stiff and has a power strap. No complaints here...
My boot/stance issue and how these boots helped:
I had a lot of problems find the right boot (imagine that...)... I had a stance issue where I felt very uncomfortable standing in locked position whether locked into skis or just standing on a floor with boots on in locked position... I felt like I was doing a wall sit. My bone structure was awkwardly supporting my body weight while locked in ski mode. I shimmed bindings (toe piece shim 7mm) and messed with foot bed to compensate. I've tried on countless boots, skied in four different brands and even saw a boot fitter... Although I was able to increase the comfort slightly it still was not where I should be... (I haven't skied in an alpine set up yet and have only skied on dynafit Radicals) At the end of the day I am uncomfortable when standing in any AT boots I've tried on in locked position so it is definitely a boot issue...
The Aliens offer a 9 degree lean which is much less than any other touring boot I've found on the market (let me know if there is a lightweight boot with less lean please)... I am in much more of an athletic position in these boots mostly due to the reduced lean (try jumping in ski boots to see how athletic you are in them). I feel more comfortable and it has highly reduced the quad burn i was experiencing when skiing in other boots inlcuding TLT 6, PDG and a pair of Black Diamonds... You may think i'm out of shape or have poor ski form but this is not the case... My body is not structured to be in a forced lean position after not skiing for 17 years and doing many other strength, fitness and sport activities. If this sounds like you then I would highly recommend these boots...
Not quite perfect, but best I've found... so I give 5 stars for price, weight, functionality, and lean!
I would actually prefer a 3 - 6 degree lean boot. I don't understand why touring boots have so much forced lean when locked... If i want lean I will lean...
I was worried about the 4 or 5mm cord and locking device integrity before purchasing... guess what...? on top of Cayambe in Ecuador I went to lock my boot and snap (cord failed)! Luckily I had my ski strap and was aware enough to give it a try (black diamond)... I strapped it around my broken locking system and it held like a champ. Ended up being the best ski decent I've done. Anyhow, quick call to Scarpa and they sent the cord to me a few days later.
Boot are light and stiff. Much better fit for me than TLT6 which I gave a go prior to the Aliens. I highly recommend for price, weight and comfort, but be sure to have a BD ski strap with you which I'm sure you will.
I was wondering if anyone has any idea how the scarp alien fits in comparison to la sportiva. I use a la sportiva boot as my go to backcountry ski boot, but would love to get a pair of aliens for skimo. I am 27.5 in la sportiva. Should I be sizing up from that for Scarpa? I telemark ski on a Scarpa T1, but that boot is fitted really small for resort skiing (26.5). Any insight would be great. Thanks.
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