With the arrival five years ago of the Alltrack Elite LT and Pro LT – for Lightweight Touring – Rossi complemented its Speed (standard 2-piece shells) and Track (similar shells, but with a hike mode) collections by adding a new shell design made for the touring market.
The LT series wasn’t built like the rest of the Rossi line. Rossi has been paring away excess material since the advent of its Alltrack series and it waffle-grid shell. The Alltrack LT shell advances the art of shell wall minimization, plus it’s made from Grilamid to keep the weight down to a svelte 1660g for both the 98mm Alltrack Elite LT and the 100mm Alltrack Pro 120 LT. By dropping the pivot point 6mm and opening up the spine, the upper cuff achieves 50 degrees of ROM in hike mode.
The Alltrack LT’s represent a new branch of hybrids based on backcountry requirements but outfitted with Grip Walk soles so they can be used with (most) Alpine bindings. Four years ago, Rossi added the Alltrack Pro 130 GW to its collection of crossover BC/Alpine boots. It comes ready for anything, as its GripWalk soles are outfitted with Dynafit-certified tech inserts.
Rossi’s Alpine line-up touches all the bases – narrow, medium, wide and extra-wide models for men and women, spanning all recreational flexes from 70 to 130, either with or without a hike mode (HM) – without leaving its home base of classic, 4-buckle, 2-piece, overlap shells. The inclusion of a couple of Alltrack women’s models aside, virtually the entire Rossignol boot collection from last season returns intact this year.
One noteworthy characteristic of the current-era Rossi boots (except the Alltrack LT’s) is a sizing shift that creates more toe room – roughly a half-size-worth – than you’ll find in most other models of the same size. If, say, a 26.5 feels a tad too short in Brand X, you might find a comparable Rossi in the same size to be a perfect fit.
Just last year, Rossignol completely re-imagined its core Alpine models, retaining only the Speed (for men) and Pure (women’s) series names and re-doing everything else. In this instance, “everything” is not marketing hyperbole. The shell, the cuff, the liner, the customization features and even how key components interact were all new.
From a performance standpoint, the pivotal new feature (pun intended) is where the cuff hinge on the Hi-Speed design is located, 1.2cm above the previous location. This may not sound like much, but it’s precisely where the Hero race boots hinge in order to provide race-caliber resistance to forward flex. Without further modification, the typical recreational skier wouldn’t be able to flex a Hi-Speed model in the flex he or she is accustomed to. So, Rossi moved the point of rotation forward a full centimeter, to give the skier a slight leverage advantage. The result is elite reaction to input in a chassis a recreational skier can manage.
The other major move can be best summed up in a single word, “customization.” There are adjustments for forward lean, forward flex, lateral cuff alignment and a heat-molding methodology that gives the bootfitter several options for personalizing the fit. The shell and cuff are every bit as new, using the Dual Core, multi-port injection technology perfected by sister boot brand Lange. By tactically softening the shell material in key zones, Dual Core boots facilitate ease of entry and exit without compromising world-class performance.
If we dive deeper into the details, we find the Hi-Speed stance position is more upright, as a true race boot would be. The shell and cuff have been striated in target zones to limit distortion as these components are exercised during flex. Even the buckles have been redesigned to make them sleeker and thinner.
The Hi-Speed series is available in narrow (98mm), medium (100mm) and wide (102mm) lasts spread across the full spectrum of flex options. The Pure collection provides a comparable range for women.
Given that Rossi recently leaned on Lange to adopt Dual Core injection, one wonders how long it will take Rossignol to introduce a series of high-performance boots based on the well-received design of the new Lange Shadow…