A noob as to alpine boards but a split boarder at Baker...but a definite convert to Atomic Backland boots (non carbon) for both split riding, solid inbound riding...and only experimenting/exploring alpine boards. The Backlands took abit of tweaking the liners and only heat moulded the shells 1x and no other diy mods to the shells. They fit perfectly like slippers, easy to walk/hike/tour in. It only takes a flip of the heel/cuff lever to go from walking/touring to ride mode; and there is no need to adjust the buckles (at least for moi). Often buckle the boots on in the morning and they stay that way all day...no need to loosen the buckles at lunch (both for BC touring and resort riding). Anyway once I got these boots dialed, have not been tempted to even put on my softies (32 focus boas)....which I loved. The Backlands are lighter, easier to get on/off, slipper comfortable all day...and the PERFORMANCE IS OUTSTANDING!!! Splitty or solid resort board riding is instantly more responsive, assured and confidence enhancing. Within 3 inbound runs on my solid resort boards (non alpines) were cruising groomers at 60+mph which was about 10mph faster than I was doing in the softies. Unfortunately at Baker, we don't have really high speed groomers to really open up the throttle even more.
Back to boots. I think a wider sole/footprint might be interesting...just to get some more sq inches on the snow and wood. However it seems that it would likely add weight. OTOH with at least the Phantoms (split bindings) and using the "One Binding" pucks on solid boards along with the Spark Dyno DH binding plates...a wider boot foot print does not seem needed. Anyway for my purposes...mainly BC splitty, I like the less weight and the small foot print actually works pretty good for kicking and stomping holes in the crusties. As for Backlands, I like a stiff boot, infact part of the reason for going to the Backland was because I could not find a softboot in my size (mondo 24) that was stiff enough. I find riding with out the tongues works just right for forward and lateral flex...actually should try using the tongues for a couple of runs. Just to clarify, I have the non-carbon Backlands (women mondo 24), however now that I've spent a season using these, I don't think there would be much of an issue going to the carbon cuff. Take this all with a shovel of salt when it comes to alpine boards (only got to spend 2 days this past spring on alpine boards with the Backlands).