As always, our “Fit” sections will never replace the usefulness of the advice of an experienced bootfitter, nor are they designed to do so. The fit of any boot is the deciding factor and everyone’s feet are different, so we highly, highly recommend visiting a bootfitter before settling on a boot.
With that said, the main difference between the fit of the S/Max and S/Pro Alpha comes down to the instep. Salomon says that the “Heel-Instep Perimeter” is the same between the two boots, but the S/Pro Alpha’s interior last extends 3 mm higher near the toe, at the end of the overlapping section above the forefoot, creating a less aggressive downward angle of the shell and consequently creating more space above the instep.
Overall, the S/Pro Alpha still feels like a pretty low-volume boot; the instep height is far and away the most noticeable difference between it and the S/Max. The S/Pro Alpha also doesn’t feel quite as low-volume through the ankle, forefoot, or toe box, but those differences are much more subtle. Another noteworthy difference is that the S/Pro Alpha is considerably easier to get on / off, vs. the S/Max, especially if you’ve got a higher instep. Compared to the Tecnica Mach1 LV, the S/Pro Alpha feels roomier above the instep and through the midfoot, though fairly similar around the toe box and ankle. Compared to the Atomic Hawx Ultra, the S/Pro Alpha again has a slightly higher instep and is a touch higher-volume throughout, but otherwise feels fairly similar / in the same class.
Of course, a trusted bootfitter is the only way to figure out if the S/Pro Alpha will fit your feet. What we’ll say for now is that we expect that a wider range of skiers / foot types will be able to potentially get a good fit in the S/Pro Alpha than the S/Max, due to the less restrictive instep height, but the folks with very low-instep, “L-shaped” feet who loved the S/Max because of its low instep may need to have some work done by a bootfitter to achieve a similarly locked-down fit in the S/Pro Alpha.