How practical would it be to use telemark boots for XC touring. I'm thinking about my first pair of free heels, expect most of my *free* time to be spent downhill learning to tele turn but would like to be able to use these to learn uphill skiing and would they be ok for touring? I'm planning to rent ski's for the coming season.
Good touring tele boots are the Scarpa T3, Garmont Excursion, or classic leather boots. The touring plastic boots can be used for downhill but are generally not as durable or stiff as other boots. Additionally, it will take a lot of skill to use these boots for strong tele turns.
If you anticipate mostly downhill skiing then go with the Scarpa T2X or Garmont Synergy or Crispi CXP. The T2X/Synergy/CXP can be used for more vertically oriented touring, but will not be the best choice for flatter long distance tours. These boots will make a great ski area boot for learning the telemark turn.