Fischer launches its newest all-terrain ski boot in fall 2021. But we got on a pair pre-release for a sneak peek. This is what you can expect from the Fischer Transalp.
Backcountry ski boots are a product of compromises. Skiers want a lightweight boot for easy skinning on the uphill. But if downhill performance is a concern (and it is for most backcountry skiers), boots can be too light. If you’ve ever done a randonee race in ultralight skimo boots, you know what I mean!
With the Transalp ski lineup, Fischer pushes the scale toward the lighter end of the touring boot spectrum while providing a solid downhill boot. It falls into a sweet spot: 1,280 g (2.8 pounds) per boot in a size 26.5.
That puts it about a pound lighter than the top-selling SCARPA Maestrale RS, one of my favorite backcountry boots. And at a weight of about 5.6 pounds per pair, it’s about a pound lighter than most downhill-oriented touring boots.
It’s worth noting that Fischer will launch the Transalp in three styles: the Transalp PRO (which I tested), the Transalp Tour and Tour Ws, and the Transalp TS. Those sell for $850, $750, and $650, respectively.
So, how does it perform? I hopped into a pair for a day in Summit County, Colo., to find out.
Fischer Transalp PRO Review: First Look
I must say Fischer got a little lucky when it scheduled its media demo of the Transalp. Even though Colorado’s backcountry conditions were quite sketchy on the test day, the brand found a great area of low-risk terrain with about 8 inches of fresh powder on top of a solid wind slab.
What that means is we were touring hero snow as long as we avoided buried rocks. The photo below captures the smile-inducing tracks of our final lap.
This preface means that I have only had one day on these boots — and that day was in sensational conditions. Given those conditions, the boots worked wonderfully.
I first stepped into the boots at Gore Range Sports in Silverthorne, where we quickly teched our skis before hitting the road. I slipped into a pair of 26.5s and found the fit very comfortable for my average-to-wide foot, no surprise given the 100mm last.
One callout is that the boot does use a built-in gaiter around the lower portion of the liner, and you really need to pop the leg cuff down and away from the liner and lower the gaiter to step in easily.
It’s not a big deal, but it’s part of the process of booting up with this model.
On the skin track, the uphill performance was excellent. The Transalp PRO provided excellent ankle mobility, and the light weight (1,280 g) didn’t bog my legs down. We did five laps with about 500 feet of vertical gain each during the test day, and I felt fresh and energetic to the end.
Transitions were easy to do one-handed. The Transalp uses two buckles and a power strap. I left the lower buckle closed through the tour and loosened the upper buckle and power strap for mobility. To transition to downhill, you just snap the buckle closed, pull the power strap, and snap down the lever in the back. It’s about a 20-second process per boot.
Last, but certainly not least, let’s talk ripping turns in the Transalp PROs. Downhill, the Transalp was barely there. I really didn’t notice it much while jumping quick, short turns, or even when trying to slash some powder for the photographer. I had them strapped to a pair of G3 FINDr 94s, and the combination, riding over several inches of fluffy, blower powder, was pretty much ecstasy — and thus, my problem.
A Light Touring Boot From Fischer
I tend to think it’s great when you barely notice gear. And in the case of the Transalp PRO, they simply worked well. But my test was really easy: Low-angle terrain with blower pow will make most anything feel excellent.
One of our other in-house testers worried that this boot may not have very progressive flex, so that’s something to look for when trying it on. I didn’t notice this in my test and don’t have the boots to ski again, so I’ll be reaching out to her to learn more (and hopefully test more) as the season progresses.
Overall, the Fischer Transalp PRO (and its less-expensive siblings) looks like a very good, light touring boot. If significant distance and uphills are a likely scenario in your touring style, and you’re ready to invest in a lightweight boot, it’s certainly a boot to consider.
The Transalp boot models will hit the market in fall 2021. Learn more here.