Alpina has created a boot that is even lighter and stiffer with a couple of new wrinkles. The 2013 Alpina ESK Pro has a sole with a ramp in the midsole that sets the heel 5mm lower than the toe. This is like the wedges that both Salomon and Rottefella have for their skate ski bindings. The toe is higher than the heel. It is a bit like Earth Shoes making a world cup level skate boot. Some skiers have found that they feel the wedge helps move the ski forward a tiny amount with each stride, especially climbing. I have tried the wedge and after a couple days, did not notice it. I did no objective testing to see if helped me ski faster. But the Alpina ESK Pro will have the wedge effect built into the boot. That way, a skier can step onto any NIS binding or even a R3 binding and have the wedge effect.