Every so often a company will debut a category-shattering display of engineering that seems to break all kinds of rules, defy stereotypes, and spearhead a new generation of skiing. Behold: the Alien RS. Holding true to the da Vinci mantra that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," the Alien RS is a delightfully simple boot. A stiff carbon-infused Grilamid cuff is mated to a stiff carbon-infused Grilamid lower by way of an unbelievably dexterous pivot that again, defies stereotypes. A Boa closure on the lower shell wraps around your foot to create a secure and precise fit. Racers, say hello to your new everyday boot light enough to sneak in 40,000ft of dawn patrols per week; freeriders, mountaineers, and steep skiers, say hello to your beefy race boot capable of taking you further than ever before.
- Carbon Grilamid LFT Shell and Cuff blend industry-leading power-to-weight ratio with industry-leading price.
- Lower Shell is built around a 3D Lambda Torsion Frame to increase lateral stability and power transfer.
- Speed Cam Lock ski/walk mechanism is reliable, durable, and precise.
- A waterproof, zippered gaiter tempts snow to even try to get into this boot.
- Offset toe lugs promote a more natural walking motion to increase touring efficiency.
|Weight (pair)||1840g 
|Buckles||1 + BOA, Single Throw Speed Cam Lock|
|Boot Sole Length||270mm 
|Binding Compatibility||Tech Only|
|Forward Lean(s)||7°, 9°, 11°, 13°|
|Materials||Carbon Grilamid LFT|
|Liner||Intuition Cross Fit Tour|
|Sole||Vibram UFO RS|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Speed touring, high performance ski mountaineering, exceeding expectations|
|Notes||Grilamid infused with long strands of carbon fiber increase torsional stability and precision. A zippered, waterproof gaiter invites you to use your imagination when accessing lines.|
|Bottom Line||If the Holy Grail was a ski boot.|
|Compare to other Race Boots|
Questions & Reviews
Performance - They are plenty stiff, yes they don't have a very progressive flex but I quickly got used to them and isn't a thought anymore. Skiing powder is not a problem for my daily 100mm ski. And to the chagrin of Scarpa, I can drive my bigger powder ski.
Walk mode- no need to discuss, they are awesome. Hiking is so much less a chore. The ski/walk mode is excellent as is, hate to see it go. I can easily flip open and close with my ski pole. No bending over and messing with buckles and powerstraps. The cord slipping doesn't seem to be an issue for me and I do have it knotted. If you are one who really cranks buckles and power straps, you may not like, but for me, no problem
Durability-zero problems to date. I believe if properly fitted, and I have custom footbeds, you do not need to tighten the BOA much. For the majority of people, the BOA hasn't been an issue. Same with the cord, I don't overtighten and I don't even have any fraying yet. There does seem to be some wear points between the shell and liner. I have been trying to use the patches on the shell and tape to keep ahead of it.
From powder to suncupped summer snow I couldn't expect more from these. And seriously thinking of getting another pair before they become the LT
Had to tie a knot on the dyneema cord, the stopping mechanism kept losing tension.
A few notes:
- Cord closure requires a stopper knot to prevent slipping which makes it difficult to dial in the tension or adjust throughout the day. The knot wears down one section and will probably break the cord eventually, but it looks easy to replace.
- Fit is much narrower than other Scarpa boots. All other Scarpa boots I have tried are way too wide for me but these fit well.
- Booster strap can be installed by drilling a hole in the back of the cuff. This helps the downhill performance a bit. I haven't broken the cuff yet, fingers crossed.
I will attempt to address few of the concerns many people seem to have about this boot. First, “it isn’t going to be warm enough on cold winter days”. In my experience, this boot is adequately warm for most very cold days (single digits F) especially when you are moving fast, and this boot should inspire you to do so. Second, “this boot isn’t going to be durable or reliable”. This boot is like many other ultra-light pieces of gear, I wouldn’t advise wailing on it. I did break my right cuff about an inch above the pivot while skiing one day, luckily Scarpa replaced the cuff for me in a (somewhat) timely fashion.
The Alien RS will become an absolute cult classic of a ski boot. Much like the TLT-6. Its performance greatly outweighs its mass, and I think that is the idea with most of the gear on this site. Get yourself a pair before they are gone. -Scarpa is canning the Alien RS for next season… :(
(Full disclosure: I did not but these boots from skimo.co but I really like this site and I think this is a great place to post and read reviews.)
However, it's also not super reliable in the field. I have broken the boa system a couple times, and while this isn't a deal breaker, it can be annoying to ski and hike with a loose lower, and it is a big pain to put a new cable in. The bolt that goes through the lever is a bit too short and the nylon on the lock nut doesn't quite engage the threads. I've lost the bolt while touring and almost lost it a couple other times when I realized the nut was going. Skiing out without being able to lock the upper boot can be quite grim. Finally, I've had the gaiter start separating near the cuff after only one season. I'm not sure how I'm going to fix that.
As others have mentioned: these boots are narrow and punching them would void the warranty. They are also a bit small and I would size up.
1. Does this boot ski as stiff as 1.0? If not as stiff, is that in a good way (like smoother flex closer to TLT6 vs the stiff brick wall of the 1.0?) or is it just flimsy like the original plastic alien?
2. The 1.0 has a fixed cord that you adjust by re-tying the knot and this boot looks like it has a cam to adjust more easily. When I have climbed vert ice with my 1.0, it seemed to work really well unbuckled but I wonder if the on-the-fly cuff adjustability of this boot would be a benefit climbing ice to get a little more cuff support and decrease calf fatigue?
3. Since this boot seems to have a more conventional liner, do people feel like it walks as well as the 1.0 or does the liner inhibit range of motion somewhat?
4. Lots of comments about durability. . any comment from Scarpa about changes or improvements next season?
1. Scarpa rates them 95 RS and 100 for the 1.0. But they are very different boots, the 1.0 is a Race boot with a stiff carbon cuff. The RS has been much refined from the original Alien to a race light touring boot. Forward flex is not flimsy and is considered by many to have the best downhill performance for a boot this light.
2. The cam is a nice touch, but still recommend tying a knot.
3. Range of motion is still excellent in the RS. New liner does not seem to restrict.
4. No announced changes next year, just adding a size 31.
The lean lock/locking lever screw keeps falling out. I lost one touring and one simply on the approach (hiking with the boots on my pack). I know this is a well documented problem but didn't see a solution mentioned after a quick scan through all the comments. I've about had it--and Scarpa customer service hasn't helped out by sending new screws despite several emails to them. I imagine you guys have a good work-around? Do you just recommend a screw from the hardware store with a locking nut? Any better suggestions? I almost thought I'd just put a ten-penny nail through it and bend it over but there has to be a better-engineered solution. Thanks.
- Boa cable broke. Replaced with a free kit from Boa under warranty, but doing that job is a major PITA. Not something that could likely be done out in the field.
- Ski/Walk lever attachment screw fell out while on a tour. I cobbled together a fix with bits from my repair kit to get home, and then replaced the bolt with the closest approximation from a hardware store once home, but Scarpa used a weird diameter bolt for this, and the replacement is slightly more narrow which leaves a fair amount of slop in the lever pivot.
- Cuff cord broke clean through on a long tour yesterday, rendering the ski/walk mechanism and cuff closure useless. I made an emergency fix with a Voile strap to hold the cuff closed and permit me to ski downhill (sloppily), but now I have to figure out how to replace that darn cord. This also revealed another weakness in the ski/walk lever's design: there is nothing that actually locks the lever into ski mode; there's just a groove in the lever that a metal tab on the boot heel slots into. The two are held together solely by friction from the pivot/attachment bolt. But, if the ski/walk lever is worn around the bolt where it pivots, or that bolt had to be replaced with a slightly sloppier fitting one as in my case, the lever has little friction to hold it in place and can simply fall out of lock mode, which it did about 100 times to me yesterday.
A few notes about fit:
- It is a narrow and low-volume last, unlike other Scarpa boots such as the Maestrale, which is great for me since my feet are shaped liked toothpicks, but people who have normal feet might need some modifications to fit comfortably.
- Sizing runs small. I'm a 27.5 in alpine boots, 28.5 in all other touring boots, and a 29.5 in the Alien RS, which is borderline too small. If I keep these I will get a punch in the toe box to make more room.
- As others have noted, the toe box is oddly shaped and aggressively rounded off. This causes even narrow feet like mine to feel jammed into the sides of the toe box.
- Forward lean is minimal and forces a more upright stance.
If it was more reliable it would be a great option for me, but for now I'm shopping for something that won't break as often, even if it ends up being heavier.
I had the pleasure of using this boot for three days before the cuff broke right above the ankle pivot on the outside of the left boot. The boots were amazing, but broke just from flexing forward skiing normal conditions. I attempted to warranty them and Scarpa denied the claim saying I “Overflexed” the boot. Total BS. I continued to baby them in SkiMo races and just found out the other boot broke in the same place. Such BS.
I don’t understand how people can ride these things and not break them. I’m only 150lbs and I broke both boots just by skiing groomers. (Probably because I’m so freakin fast!). Super pissed at Scarpa for not warrantying them. Can’t say I would recommend them to people.
I have this boot for almost two seasons. Both my Boa cables broke at the end of last season. The first one i got replaced for free by Scarpa, and the second I did myself with a replacement kit... fairly easy. The wire they put in the stock RS is surrounded by a black plastic, and probably a bit thinner... so it is fragile compared to the typical Boa cable (So they told me at the Boulder Scarpa Repair Facility). By replacing it with a Boa cable without the outer plastic, the Boa tends to break less. I haven't had any problems this season, and I think Scarpa hasn't had people complaining about the new wires they replace the stock one with.
I will add that a Boa mechanism is relatively complex compared to other tightening options out there, hence you can expect something more fragile. But it is easy to replace with a simple kit, and the comfort of the adjustable tightness is amazing. In my opinion, this boot is worth it.
Hope that helps.
"We have updated the boa to a metal cable instead of the plastic coated as it is much more durable. The repair we do requires a rivet press, as we replace all of the clips as well. I can send you the parts, but the better fix is to send it in to us. On a rush repair we can have it done in a few days once we receive it."
I am not sure why Scarpa feels the need to replace the clips. Maybe the clips have a tighter radius of curvature and would kink less?....just guessing. I'll see how the repair holds and maybe send boots in at the end of the season for clip replacement, if it still seems appropriate.
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