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2nd Look: Lange XT 130 LV

Lange XT 130 LV, Blister Gear ReviewBoot: 2012-2013 Lange XT LV

Stated Flex Rating: 130

Stated Last: 97mm

Boot Sole Length: 316mm (at 27.5)

Skier: 6’2”, 205 lbs., athletic, technically proficient, fast and fluid skier.

Foot: Size 10.5/11 street shoe (278mm actual length); C+ width (105mm width, weighted); high instep; low-volume heel, ankle, and lower calf.

My regular ski boots: 27.5 Head Raptor RD 130 (95mm last) with several punches for width in the instep and metatarsal heads.

Conditions tested: Virgin snow, sun affect, wind affect, chalk, firm. Basically everything.

Duration of test: 15 days

Introduction

The Lange RS, RX, and XT are now Lange’s top family of boots, outside of their World Cup plug boots.

The RS is presented as Lange’s race-style boot, the RX is positioned as the all-mountain boot, and the XT is presented as the freeride boot because it has a walk mode (though I look at the XT as an alpine boot with walk mode).

All of these boots from Lange are their top consumer boots. While this review is specific to the Lange XT, it should provide useful information about the fit and flex and construction of all of these boots.

Lasts and Models

The RS, RX, and XT all share the same molds for their internal lasts, so they all fit the same, but they’re marketed differently.

The RS is offered stock in the 97mm last, and also in a “high-volume” 100mm last.

The RX and XT are offered stock in the 100mm last (i.e., the RS high-volume last), and also in a “low-volume” 97mm last (i.e. the RS last), which is what I tested.

Both the RX and XT have replaceable toe and heel soles, which is nice if you boot-pack on rocks. The RS is built with the firmest boot board, meaning it transmits more sensation into your feet; only the XT boot features a walk mode.

Ryan Caspar directly compared the XT to the RX in his review of the Lange XT, though it should be noted that he was in a slightly different boot (i.e. an early run) than I was (i.e. production). The boots that I reviewed have a small change to the walk mode: the pin is slightly longer and thus takes up more free movement in the system. I also skied a prototype boot for two days last spring with the same walk mode as Ryan’s, and in very warm spring conditions. I have modified my stance on the XT a bit now that I am in a production boot—at cold temperatures—and I understand the differences in materials and design more completely.

It is my hypothesis that part of Ryan’s comments in his XT review stem from the differences in plastics used between the Lange RS, RX, and XT boots, so I will go into detail below about how these materials work and why they might have been chosen.

Plastics

Each of the different boots (RX, RS, XT) uses different plastics in different locations.

The Lange RS uses opaque poly-ether (PE) in its upper and lower.

Lange RS 130, Blister Gear Review

Lange RS: PE upper and lower.

 

The Lange RX uses translucent PE in its lower and opaque poly-urethane (PU) its upper.

Lange RX 130, Blister Gear Review

Lange RX: PE lower, PU upper.

 

Conversely, the Lange XT uses translucent PE in its upper and opaque PU in its lower.

Lange XT 130 LV, Blister Gear Review

Lange XT: PE upper, PU lower.

 

This is important because these plastics bend and flex differently, and therefore all three of these boots feel a little different on snow while skiing.

In boot construction, opaque plastics are more dense, and are therefore stiffer and have more rebound than the translucent versions. PU is also more sensitive to cold temperatures, meaning that while PE and PU have a similar stiffness around freezing, as temperatures drop from there, PU gets stiffer quicker than PE.

So the fact that the Lange RS is constructed entirely from opaque PE speaks to Lange’s positioning the boot in the “race” category—the RS will be the snappiest and most responsive boot of the family, but will also transmit the most feedback into the skier’s feet.

The Lange RX has a PE lower and PU upper, which means that the forward flex is pretty similar to the RS because the stiffness is primarily controlled by the upper cuff. The lower PE shell of the RX makes the boot slightly more forgiving and smoother in the feet. Adding to this feeling is a softer boot board, which gives the RX its “all-mountain” classification.

The Lange XT, however, is built with a translucent PE upper cuff and opaque PU lower, and mated to the softer boot board of the RX. This is an interesting choice, as the translucent PE upper cuff yields a bit softer flex than the opaque PU from the RS and RX.

The opaque PU lower of the Lange XT combined with the boot bed does a nice job of offering a sporty feel and feedback without feeling quite as harsh as the RS when skiing off-edge, at speed, through variable snow.

 

  1. Joel January 15, 2013 Reply

    Can you comment on how the XT compares to the Dynafit Titan in fit and performance? Any guess as to why they didn’t include tech fittings?

    • Author
      marshal February 14, 2013 Reply

      hi joel.

      The Lange skis significantly more tlike an alpine boot than the Titan. much more lateral rigidity. the fit in the forefoot is different. the Lange is abit wider and more relaxed. the fit around the ankle and lower leg is fairly similar however.

      no tech bindings of course.

      Hope that helps?

      -marshal

  2. dan February 13, 2013 Reply

    Is it true that snow gets in to these boots?? Have have you ever experienced such a thing on them??… I’m also amazed that these boots were able to fit you nicely. I too have a wide feet, med-to-high instep, high arch, but low volume in the heel area.. I’m seriously thinking about getting these boots till i read that some ppl have experienced snow getting into their boots.. Please let me know

    • Author
      marshal February 14, 2013 Reply

      hi dan,

      i have not had any issue with snow getting into the lower with the LV, but have at a super mild level with a pair of RX’s (same lower shell) that i have.

      hopefully that helps?

  3. Dan Kash February 14, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for the reply Marshal. I’m really thinking about getting the RX 130 LV boots and given that we have a very similar foot (high arch, high instep, wide feel but low volume heel area) I was relieved that the last on these bad boys weren’t too tight for you. Im assuming I gotta punch the sixth toe area in the shell and get the liner thermo adjusted. I’m debating between the RX and the Demon 130 (which has a last of 100mm).. Any thoughts comparing the two? I also read on teton that the leak issue can be fixed by using some tape. I was wondering if that remedy worked for you or not. Your feedback is really appreciated. Thanks again

    • Author
      marshal February 14, 2013 Reply

      Dan-

      when i say “snow gets in” i mean like 20 individual very small individual flakes. it certainly does not matter in terms of making my foot cold or wet. when the snow is heavier, larger flakes, wet, etc, no snow gets in. i don’t see doing anything to the shells being needed, at least for me.

      that is not to say that other folks might not have a different issue, but my guess is they have low-voume feet and need to really buckle-down on the lower 2 buckles to get the boot to compress the foot, and when doing so that opens seams. with the boot lightly buckled on the first ladder, there appears to be good seal.

      hope that helps?

      -m

  4. Dan Kash February 14, 2013 Reply

    Yaa that’s exactly what I assumed too. I tought maybe they don’t buckle down the first two buckles tight enough with respect to their foot shape. Glad to find out that’s the case with the leak issue… Which one of the two between the RX and XT do you find more responsive or that you like more?? ( I think I read that you found a little less rebound with the XT).. Also have you tried the Technica Demon 130?… Btw Thanks for all the great feedback and all these great reviews. The ski community really owes you guys a lot. You guys are awesome! Your reviews really give a great insight into the particular gear and gives a comprehensive, in depth overview. And given that some of these boots or skis are not available at local ski shops (which is the case here with these boots with me) and that they have to be ordered online, your reviews are really indispensable before ordering anything. So, Thank you

    • Author
      marshal February 14, 2013 Reply

      dan-

      I can’t say the above for sure is the cause, but just my guess as to it!

      anyhow, the demon is in essence the same boot as the Cochise, at least in terms of shape. it will be roomier in the ankle and lower tib-fi, with a slightly tighter/pointier toe-box. I would compare the fit of the 27.5 Lange RS/RX/XT to a 26.5 Cochise/demon/etc IF you put a few punches width at the 6th toe met-head and big-toe of the Tecnica boots. the 27.5 tecnicas are defiantly higher volume all around.

      cheers!

  5. Dan Kash February 14, 2013 Reply

    Right on Marshal! Done! I’m gonna get either the XT or the RX. Technica Demon is out. If I go with Technica I’m afraid I’ll have the same issues I have now with my Technica Dragon. My heel comes up (a lot sometimes) so I think Lange’s low volume heel pocket is better for me. I also have a wide toe box and my first three toes (from left to right on my right foot) are almost the same height, which means again Lange would be a major plus for me. I just gotta figure out RX or XT. But I’m leaning more towards RX

  6. Ian March 15, 2013 Reply

    Marshall, have you tried the Salmon Quest Max 120 or any boot in that family? Debating between those and the XT-130 LV and the Cochise 120, although I think the cochise would be a little big since they are 100 mm last and the other two are 98/97mm lasts.

    • Author
      marshal March 15, 2013 Reply

      Ian, the last width is the measurement at the metatarsal heads within the boot. this measurement is basically useless in terms of a fit parameter, as it has nothing to do with toe box volume, instep height ankle pocket, heel pocket, upper cuff, etc.

      if you read my cochise light review, the cochise family fits like a low volume race boot if you downsize (not sure if that is what you are after or not, but it does). I actually had to put LESS work into a downsized cochise 26.5 than a true sized 27.5 head raptor race boot, just FWIW.

      if you do not downsize the cochise, the quest max is likely the highest volume boot all around. the cochise would be next, and the XT would be only very slightly lower volume, but all are on the high end of volume, and these 3 are probably the highest volume 97/98mm boots on the market IMO.

      not sure if that helps or not, but simply put, the met head width basically means nothing.

      cheers!

  7. George March 22, 2013 Reply

    Marshal,
    Nice write up on the Lange family of boots. I’m running the RX130’s with Intuition Powerwraps. As was the case with the stock liner, I am finding the boot too stiff, and have removed both rivets. Flex still seems too stiff.

    You said that the upper cuff controls the stiffness…What would you do if you were me? Start cutting V-notches in the lower shell? Purchase the RX120 if I can’t get the boot soft enough?

    • Author
      Marshal March 22, 2013 Reply

      hi george,

      upper cuff dominates the LATERAL stiffness of the boot.

      in terms of “softening” the boot, there are a lot of options, depending on what you are after…

      the rivets on the spine control how much leverage the upper cuff has relative to the lower cuff (and by extension, your leg). a higher rivet, the more the leverage the lower cuff has, and the harder it is for your leg to bend the spine. this however also reduces the rebound the boot has, as you are reducing the spring effect of the spine in returning to shape.

      you can trim down the front folds of the lower cuff, this gives you more leverage to bend into the boot initially. typically, this would be seen as making the boot more “progressive”. softer initially, but not softer deeper into the flex of the boot.

      from there, you can create/deepen “v” or “pie” cuts on the sides of the lower. this will allow the lower boot to bend more easily, and in essence softens the boot’s overall flex (but does not change its initial flex). depending on how deep you go w/ the pie-cut, you can potentially effect other things with the boot as well.

      not sure what you are after, but the rx130 is pretty linear. i would personally trim down the front folds of the cuff first to make it more progressive, and go from there.

      hope that helps.

  8. George March 22, 2013 Reply

    I just can’t flex the boot.
    Came off of skiing the Titan for 2 seasons as my ONLY boot.
    Now, I’m just using it for long bootpacks (Teton Pass) or skinning.

    So, I think trimming the lower cuff first, which will help initial flex (maybe adding a rear spoiler to help me get forward).

    Then I may need to start deepening the cuts on the side of the lower cuff.

    I’ll talk with my bootfitter.

    Thanks so much, Marshal.

    I learned a lot from this article and your response to my questions.

    Didn’t appreciate that the upper cuff dictates lateral stiffness (I do feel the increased lateral stiffness in the RX130 compared to the Titan).

    Thanks!

    George

  9. Brian September 20, 2013 Reply

    Marshal

    Thanks for the great write up on the Lange XT 130. Currently I have an older model Lange Banshee Pro which is in need of replacement. The boot currently fits nicely in the foot, but I have skinny legs and use eliminators to fill up space as well as my booster straps.

    I am considering moving to another Lange, such as the XT 130 but am also considering a “downsized” Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro.

    My question is regarding rear and front cuff height. I skied Dyanafit Titan Ultralights for 1 season and I felt the front plastic cuff was MUCH too low. I like the plastic height of my currently Langes. Can you comment on the front/rear upper cuff height of both the Cochise and XT130?

    Thanks

    • Author
      Marshal September 25, 2013 Reply

      hey brian,

      i don’t have a cochise here to compare, but the RX/XT/RS cuffs are all normal cuff-height, and for sure notably taller than a titan. the cochise is a touch shorter than these, but i can’t say how it would measure vs. a titan.

      not really helpful, but hopefully a little bit!

      -m

      • Brian September 26, 2013 Reply

        Thanks – it does help a little bit. I just want to stay away from a really low cuff like the titan.

  10. Dan September 25, 2013 Reply

    Just wanted to give an update. Thanks to Marshal I ended up getting the RX 130 (L.V). I got some Zipfit liners in them as well and man I all I gotta tell you is that I became a beast overnight.. Given the shape of my feet, these were the best boots for them and I’m so glad I listened to Marshal’s recommendations and that I read his review. Whoever is in the market for new boots (or skis.) should definitely do some research here on Blister and read the reviews. By far the most reliable and unbiased reviews you can come across… I must point out that given that I have a very low volume heel pocket, O’C at Inkline in SLC still had to some shell molding and put some orthotics in the liners.

  11. Andy December 27, 2013 Reply

    Great review Marshall! I am getting XT 120 and have a question about the liner: does it need to be cooked(molded) the first day I get the boots? Bootfitter in the store said that liner will mold to your foot after a few days of skiiing. I wanted to hear your opinion and possible benefits and drawbacks of molding the liner (e.g.does it deteriate faster).

    Thanks!
    Andy

    • Author
      marshal December 30, 2013 Reply

      cooking the stock liner just makes the liner bearable the first couple days. the liner self-shapes, but requires a handful of days to get there.

      if you cook a liner and the boot is too sloppy after, you got either the wrong boot or wrong size. so, if you are in the wrong size boot, don’t cook it. but expect it to become sloppy eventually.

      honestly, if you can ski a boot comfortably without cooking the liner, its probably the wrong size boot in the first place, as the liner will “pack out” or “break in”, depending on your point of view, substantially.

      hope that helps?

  12. Aaron December 28, 2013 Reply

    Has Lange changed anything on the XT 130 for this season?

    • Author
      marshal December 30, 2013 Reply

      nope, same boot!

  13. Andy December 31, 2013 Reply

    Good info, thank you Marshal! How much time is usually needed for the initial break-in of the boot?

  14. Scott L January 18, 2014 Reply

    How would this boot compare to the SX series of boots.
    You said the entire line is quite similar in many aspects. Obviously no walk mode in that boot and a wider last. It is similar to the RX series i its material make up PE/PU Shell/Upper.

    I found the fore foot/instep fit well with a tight heel pocket that may need very slight work. Not sur eif I want the shop to cook the liner (Thermo fit 3) of see how they do after a couple of days. Any advice on that front?

  15. Curt March 12, 2014 Reply

    Hi Marshal,

    I have a 280 mm long low volume foot (bony club with hardly any meat, and narrow as hell). I picked up a pair of Lange XT 130 LVs on sale in 27.5 (length was fine) and went to a boot fitter to get an opinion. He told me the Dynafit Vulcan would be a better starting point stating it was a much lower volume shell (especially over the instep) than the Lange XT 130 LV. Are you familiar with the Dynafit Vulcan and can you provide a comparison of shell volume between boots? Thanks.

    • Author
      marshal March 13, 2014 Reply

      it fits very very very very differently. you would really have to try them on. they fit like they are from different planets. the vulcan is very narrow thru the medial forefoot, with a pointy toe-box. it is still, however, pretty high volume in the ankle and cuff.

      the vulcan skis like a stiff AT boot — low cuff, strange buckle arrangement, weird flex pattern. the XT skis like a neutered alpine boot. softer flex, not a lot of rebound, but like an alpine boot regardless.

      they also are not compatible with the same bindings, other than a duke/baron/tour… so not sure your plan there?

  16. Curt March 13, 2014 Reply

    Hi Marshal, The purpose of this boot is to replace my Fischer Progressor 120 as my lift area boot but with the added feature of side country capability, as my lift area skis are now equipped with Marker Dukes. My backcountry set up is something entirely different (Volkl Nunataq, Maestrale RS, Plum Yaks). From your description of the Vulcan, I am thinking I might want to stay with the Lange or one of the other alpine boot hybrids (lower volume shell from another manufacturer perhaps?). I tried the Cochise Pro and was swimming in that thing. Perhaps I should just try to make the Lange work. It wasn’t that bad a fit. Any suggestions?

    • Author
      marshal March 14, 2014 Reply

      gotcha curt,

      my suggestion would be to bring your old packed out progressor liners in there and try both boots on with those… since you know that liner already.

      the progressor is pretty similar to stiffness and fit to the lange, in round numbers. the progressor is rivetless like the lange xt.

  17. Curt March 31, 2014 Reply

    Hi Marshal, If the Lange XT LV is among the highest volume 97-98 mm lasted boots, which alpine boots with walk mode are among the lowest volume 97-98 mm lasted boots? As always, your reviews and comments are quite helpful.

  18. Florian September 24, 2014 Reply

    Hi Marshal,
    Im thinking about buying the Lange XT 130 or the Salomon Quest Max BC 120 but can´t really decide.
    Have you skied both of them yet? What are the differences regarding the skiing performance?
    Would be very helpful if you could compare these two boots.
    Thanks…
    Btw. thanks for all these awesome reviews! Helped me a lot finding a new pow ski in the last season. Ended up with a pair of Line Opus and love them!

    • Author
      marshal September 26, 2014 Reply

      hi florian, i am sorry to say i have not tried on or skied the quest boots. my apologies.

  19. Marcel October 31, 2014 Reply

    hey Marshal

    does the women’s version of RX and XT also share the same mold in the lower shell providing the exact same fit?

    Wife recently was fitted on a XT 90, but I’m trying to get her on a RX 110 or last years RX 100 since she doesn’t care for the walk mode and local fitters don’t have any of the RX in her size.

  20. Travis November 13, 2014 Reply

    I Just picked up a pair of these on kijiji brand new for 175 bucks and love them! I am a 10.5 inch foot and that transfers to a 26.5 boot. After wearing them around the house and adjusting the buckles, they formed like a glove. Im excited to get these on the hill and grip and rip. paired with experience 88 skis.

  21. Nick January 15, 2015 Reply

    I have been using my RX 130s for touring for a couple years. When hiking up, I usually buckle down the bottom two buckles to secure my foot, and completely unbuckle the two upper buckles and power strap to allow for my lower leg to walk more naturally. However, this produces a lot of rubbing and blisters around my ankle and upper heal. Should the walk-mode in the XTs reduce this kind of discomfort and blistering? I am assuming that I wouldn’t have to completely unbuckle the upper buckles while hiking in the XTs, thus securing my ankles a bit better and preventing rubbing.

    Thanks for your input. Awesome review.

  22. Jaakko February 23, 2015 Reply

    Hi Marshal,

    Thanks for the good review. One question: is the ankle/heel part of the boot the same (narrowish) both in the low volume 97 mm and the 100 mm version of the boot?

    I have a big problem with heel retention (narrow ankle), together with really wide feet. So I would think that if the heel area is the same in both boots the 100 mm version would work better for me.

    Traditionally Langes have fit me really well in the heel area – in the widest part of the foot some have fit well also (green Banshee Pros were perfect out of the box), and some have been painfully narrow.

    Judging from this video the 2016 model might actually have some improvements that I might want to wait for – what´s your impression, worth the wait?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1noAA-BRnY&feature=em-subs_digest

  23. Andy March 13, 2015 Reply

    I have 8 days on the RX130 LV, and they are awesome. A great combination of lateral stiffness while still being compliant in bumps and rough terrain. LOVE the grippy soles! I removed one screw to soften them slightly but thinking of replacing it. (BTW, Loctite those suckers. One backed out twice!)

    One question: the one local shop I trust for boot fitting is telling me not to thermo-fit the liner. They say the open cell foam will pack out more quickly if heated as opposed to the closed cell in a Power Wrap liner. I don’t have any particular fit issue so I’m fine leaving them alone. Any input on this??

    • marshal March 16, 2015 Reply

      thanks andy, heat molding a liner is to address fit issues, so if you don’t have any, no reason to heat it up! don’t fix what isn’t broken…

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