There must be a batch problem with this boot. A number of good reviews and a number of bad ones. For the pair I bought, Alpina deserve to be admonished. Here are the faults:
(1) They leak like a sieve around the toe area - wet toes are guaranteed.
(2) The box toe construction presses hard onto the toes delivering punishing blisters after only short trips
(3) Too flexible in its construction to be a backcountry boot - insufficient transfer of power from 'knee-to-ski' when attempting turns downhill, especially in icy conditions.
(4) The lacing system needs re-work:
(i) The laces have no flex, which prevents a truly snug fit that is essential for a ski boot.
(ii) The upper hook laces bend under strain and the lower lace holders do not grip the lace as you tighten, meaning you need to re-tension the lace several times as you pull excess lace through each hole. A 'D' ring lace system would have been better.
I am returning these boots.
Alpina need to conduct some quality assurance testing on their boots and see if there is a concern with their manufacturing process. The boot may simply require re-design, which is probably the case.
Thankyou to Backcountry for your generous return policy. I will now shop for a better boot.