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Feb 08 2016

1st Look: Scott Superguide Carbon

Scott Super Guide. Mostly unchanged for next year, except the buckles, which can be held open so they don't relock when you're not looking.

2016 Scott Super Guide; mostly unchanged for 2017.

Generally speaking new converts to the world of alpine touring come from the ranks of hard snow chargers where only stiff boots can hold up to such abuse and terminal velocity. However, wild snow comes in many more textures and flavors. With so much more variety, a boot with a progressive flex is preferred to mere stiffness, if only to be able to detect the subtle textures, especially the kind associated with crusty muck. Which is why experienced AT skiers will appreciate Scott’s Super Guide AT boot.

Downhill Chops

The Superguide Carbon has all the classic ingredients you would hope for in an all conditions AT boot. It has plenty of downhill power but compared to other boots (Scarpa Maestrale, Lange XT Free Tour, Tecnica Zero-G, and Dynafit Khion) skied the same day in the same conditions, was softer and more progressive. It was cold, fast, classic Colorado “packed powder.” While forward flex may be more forgiving, laterally the Superguide is solid as a rock thanks to a rigid Grilamid® shell with carbon inserts on the sides. Holding an edge is not issue with the Superguide.

Tour Features

Building upon the Cosmos walk mechanism, the Superguide takes rear cuff range of motion to levels on par with skimo race boots. Perhaps not quite as far, but close enough for non-competitive touring, and well enough to improve your own personal ascent times. The mode switch is a simple lever that flips up to tour, down to lock ‘er down for the down; after all, it is all about the down. ;)

Just flipping the mode switch up without loosening any of the cuff buckles yields quite a range of motion, equal to a Maestrale with its buckles undone. Reset the buckles in the touring hook and you’ll have more range of motion than you’ll normally use, and very little flex resistance too.

Fit

Fitwise the Superguide has a 103.5mm wide last, a definite wide-body boot with plenty of room above the instep to accommodate high volume feet well. With a shim underneath the liner, the SG’s could easily hold a low volume foot sufficiently snug.

The liner is made with Ultralon foam for superior heat molding. The bottom pad is a denser foam to minimize packing down over time. There is a softer flex zone on the liner cuff above the ankles to allow you foot to flex with less resistance.

Although this has nothing to do with fit, there’s another feature of the liner that you’ll appreciate – the use of a Gore-Tex® bladder on the inside to keep your sweaty feet drier on a long tour. Moisture is easily driven through the PTFE laminate, to the outside of the liner where it might condense next to a cold plastic shell, but at least it’s not in contact with your skin, keeping feet warmer too.

Buckles

Nice range of motion for the cuff and it is actually more than show here. What can't be shown, is the flex resistance, which is low.

Nice range of motion for the cuff and it is actually more than show here. What can’t be shown, is the flex resistance, which is low.

How is it that the buckle you just unbuckled rebuckles itself while you’re looking the other way? To counter the magnetic tendency for buckles to reattach themselves these buckles can be cocked open so they can’t reach out and latch on to the ladder. If you remember to take advantage of this not-so-obvious feature you’ll get in and out of your boots much faster.

The top buckle is actually a buckled power strap that threaded through a large eyelette at the top of the cuff. This keeps the powerstrap from rolling up and off the cuff when touring, but when you’re first putting on the boot slows down the process of connecting that top buckle. It’s worth noting, this is not a typical power strap of webbing that can stretch, but is more like hypalon so it doesn’t stretch and is long lasting.

On the lower cuff buckle, there is a wire to keep the hook connected even when loosed. Unfortunately the buckle on the outside of the cuff seems misaligned with the ladder on cuff overlap so that the hook hangs to the side. This wouldn’t be an issue if the buckle could rotate, but it is molded into a set position. It didn’t affect skiing for a few runs, but over time I’d be concerned that it would be prone to breaking.

Conclusion

Overall if you’re looking for a light weight AT boot that doesn’t overcompensate a lack of heft with an excessively rigid cuff then you’ll want to take a moment to let your feet do a walkabout in a pair of Scott Super Guide boots.

Scott
Superguide Carbon
MSRP: $800
Weight/boot: 3 lbs., 3 oz. (1445 g)
Sizes available (mondo): 25.0 – 31.5 (25-25.5, 26-26.5, 27-27.5, etc.)

© 2016
 

  • Ryan

    Can you please expand on “mostly unchanged for 2017″, the caption in the photo? Are there upcoming changes you know of? Thank you.

  • Dostie

    The buckles are improved for 2017 (relative to the current 2016 season).