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Atomic Backland Ski Touring Boot - second season

~ Wednesday 7th March 2018

My first impressions of the Atomic Backland Boot were really good. Probably designed by someone who'd had a good look at the old Dynafit TLT 5 and 6, it seemed to offer the same light weight, great skinning comfort, a proper crampon toe-lug, stiff enough to ski a medium ski, and a big plus in the amazing heat-formable shell - it's still the best-fitting boot I've ever had straight out of the shop (I have very wide feet and every other boot has to go back several times for shell work)

A big weakness of the TLT boot was the ankle pivot. After 2 seasons mine developed a lot of play in the joint as the metal slowly wore away the cuff material and there was really nothing you could do about it. Atomic seemed to have seen this and used a plastic bush - the "Frictionless Pivot" - hoping to avoid wear on the cuff, and with the option of replacing the bushes. After only one season however, my boots have a fair bit of play.

Luckily the ever-helpful La-Haut in Sion were able to find me some new pivots (plus new cables and velcro straps, which had also fallen to bits!) The pivot comes apart with a 16mm socket and a Torx T25 bit and the new bits go in easily enough.

Tighten everything up and....

Still a fair bit of play. It looks like, despite the bushes, the cuff material still wears away, meaning the outer bush now moves in the cuff. Oh well...

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