Few weeks ago I had a chance to buy a pair of Alpina nordic ski Backcountry boots with a little help from Mr. Joe.We've been in contact about Alpina boots for few years now and I've promissed to reach him when there'll be a chance to get, otherwise not that cheap boots, for a reasonable price. The moment came this year when Alpina (which is close to my home) had buy one take two offer and we jumped at it. He opted for Alpina BC 2250 and I for Alpina Traverse Backcountry ski boot.
Both models are Alpina's top range Backcountry ski boots. What they have in common is that both are made to be used with Rottefella BC NNN bindings such as BC Magnum or BC Manual. Both have insulated inner bootie made from Alpina's proprietary waterproof breathable membrane Alpitex and well know Thinsulate insulation. To close the bootie you just simply tie it up with lovely red shoe laces.
BC 2250 neoprene overshoe folded to show inner boot
Both models have neoprene overshoe to add extra warmth and protection from the elements, which closes with YKK zipper. Zipper on BC 2250 is much stronger and waterproof where as Traverse boot sports lighter non waterproof YKK zipper. Both models have built in gaiter ring to attach your gaiters (word of caution here, gaiter ring failed on my first outing and should be replaced with something stronger).
Neoprene overshoe is much higher on BC 2250 model and feels thicker. Boots have different cuff closure system. Closure on BC 2250 is rugged plastic ring with plastic buckle which can be adjusted to get the best fit and support. Closure on Traverse is simple adjustable Velcro closure. Both neoprene height difference and cuff closure systems can be seen on the above picture.
Another difference is plastic cuff on both models which according to Alpina "assures additional strength, better and stronger lateral support. Upper zone embraces just above the ankle and gives more comfort and better leg support". As you can see on the picture below the cuff on BC 2250 sits higher above the ankle and gives better lateral support to the boot compared to Traverse model.
BC 2250 have different heel fit to Traverse. Once I placed my foot inside BC 2250 I didn't notice any heel lock or heel support from the back of the boot so my heels were lifting up while walking and inside volume at the heel part of the boot was notably voluminous! They have special heel grip system which according to Alpina "enables adjustable foot retention. The top of the heel cup can be modified, which results in an optimal fit of the shoe, greater comfort and functional grip of the foot". Either my very wide feet have rather thin heel or the heel grip system just doesn't work out for me. After trying different settings (you simply pull the pull tab up to reduce heel volume, but it can only be done when you are not wearing your boot) my heels were still lifting up while walking and volume was not that much reduced. I haven't noted any forefoot width difference between the two models, but there is more volume in BC 2250 boot.
Boot flex on both models is same, not too stiff not too bendy and both offer good support. I wasn't happy with BC 2250 fit so I opted for slightly lighter but still very good and functional Traverse model. I am novice nordic skier since this winter and believe they'll be just perfect for that, but so would BC 2250 if they would fit me just a bit better.
If you are looking to get a pair of new nordic Backcountry boots I recommend you look at the two models mentioned.