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BEST DOWNHILL SKI BOOTS OF 2019-2020

Regardless of your capacity level, an agreeable boot is a flat out need. Nothing ruins a decent powder day quicker than cold or agonizing feet, and sick fitting boots additionally risk not appropriately moving vitality to your skis and accordingly hurting your exhibition. In the midst of this fate and unhappiness, notwithstanding, is the welcome news that ski boots have never been more foot-accommodating than they are today. Most new boots have adjustable liners and some even accompany heat-adaptable shells. The following are our picks for the best downhill ski boots of 2019-2020. For more data, see our correlation table and purchasing counsel beneath the picks. To finish your elevated unit, look at our articles on the best all-mountain skis and ski ties.

Best Overall Downhill Ski Boot
1. Lange RX 120 ($600)
Last: 97 or 100mm (narrow or medium width)
Flex: 120 (advanced skiers)
Other flexes: 100, 130
What we like: Successful all-mountain adaptation of a downhill racing boot.
What we don’t: Steep price tag.

For cutting edge skiers searching for a definitive in execution and solace, we like the excellent RX 120 from Lange. Propelled by their race-reared RS boots, which is apparent in the amazing position, brawny four clasps, and significant power tie, the Lange is a firm, forceful boot that reacts absolutely to little sources of info. Additionally, its fit and adaptable shell is well-regarded among bootfitters, and the solace of the included liner is choice. On the whole, it's a great form that will make requesting skiers very cheerful, from previous racers to genuine up-and-comers and pretty much everybody in the middle.

The RX adds all-mountain pizazz to its declining execution with swappable soles for climbing, in spite of the fact that we'd want to see a walk/climb mode for sidecountry investigating. Be that as it may, in the event that you can manage the cost of the $600 sticker price, it's the genuine article. For heavier skiers and those that truly prefer to tear it, the Lange RX is accessible in a 130 flex and a 130 Low Volume adaptation with a 97mm width. Also, you can step down in solidness to the Lange RX 100 too.

A Close Second
2. Tecnica Mach1 130 ($700)
Last: 98, 100, or 103mm (narrow, medium, wide widths)
Flex: 130 (advanced skiers)
Other flexes: 110, 120
What we like: Top-end fit customization and comfort.
What we don’t: Like the Lange above, it's a big investment.

A lot of brands tout fit customization as a key feature of their boots, but few go as far as Tecnica. Their Mach1 boots are a great case in point. Built to match the anatomical shape of your foot as well as anything else on the market, you get a highly customizable liner and their tough but reasonably light polyether shell that can be punched, grinded, and all-around manipulated by a bootfitter.

The alpine performance of the Mach1 is no slouch either, with a natural stance and excellent power transfer in either the 130 or 120 stiffness models that can give the Lange RX a run for its money. Overall, both the Tecnica and Lange are fantastic all-around builds, and a decision between the two should come down to fit. Thanks to a greater market emphasis on medium and high-volume boots, the Mach1 130 is offered in a low-volume (98mm), medium (100mm), or high-volume last (103mm).

Best Downhill Boot for Intermediates
3. Salomon S/Pro 100 ($550)
Salomon S/Pro 100 ski bootLast: 100mm (medium width)
Flex: 100 (intermediate/advanced skiers)
Other flexes: 80, 120, 130
What we like: Lots of thoughtful upgrades from the old X Pro.
What we don’t: Fairly pricey considering the flex rating.

Salomon has replaced the extremely popular X Pro line for 2019-2020 with the S/Pro. It’s always a risky move to revamp such a big-time seller, but we think they’ve pulled it off nicely. The new S/Pro is more comfortable with a seamless liner (it’s smooth even around the toes), gets an uptick in performance with better power transfer from the thinner Coreframe shell, and is noticeably lighter weight, which translates to better control for an intermediate rider. Price has gone up $50, but it’s hard to complain considering the S/Pro’s upgrades.

Importantly, Salomon retained much of what we loved about the old X Pro 100. You still get a highly customizable, heat-moldable shell, the flex is smooth and predictable, and the plush liner holds your feet comfortably in place. Further, build quality looks to be up to the French brand’s typical standards, so we don’t have any concerns for now about longevity. The 100-flex version should match well for anyone from ambitious beginners to advancing intermediates, but powerful or expert skiers will want to step up to the S/Pro 120 or 130. Finally, those prone to cold feet should consider the Custom Heat variation of the S/Pro, which includes a built-in heated liner.
See the Men's Salomon S/Pro 100  See the Women's Salomon S/Pro 90



Best Boot For Hard-to-Fit Feet
4. Dalbello Panterra 120 I.D. ($550)
Dalbello Panterra 120 ski bootLast: 100-102mm (variable fit and medium width)
Flex: 120 (advanced skiers)
Other flexes: 130
What we like: Supremely supportive with an adaptable liner.
What we don’t: Fit technology isn’t a universal fix for narrow feet.

A great boot for skiers that cover all of the mountain, the Panterra is made with a slick three-piece shell. The lower portion is super stiff for superior power transfer and a slightly more forgiving upper flexes smoothly when you tuck it and go. The upgraded I.D. liners are a real treat: comfortable, light, and resistant to packing out, they land in that ideal space of warmth and support.

Should you not have the option or not want to spring for a bootfitter, the liner and shell are designed to give a custom fit without any of the after-the-purchase work. Contour 4 Technology means the low-volume performance liner is given a little extra breathing space between liner and shell around the toes, and heel and bend in the foot and ankle. Further, the buckle across the toes allows you to adjust the last width between 100mm and 102mm. The result for most folks with normal-sized feet is a snug fit that doesn’t pinch at the usual pain points. And at $550, it undercuts some of the 120-flex competition quite nicely.
See the Men's Dalbello Panterra 120 I.D.  See the Women's Dalbello Panterra 95 W



Best Hybrid Downhill/Backcountry Boot
5. Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 ($800)
Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 ski bootLast: 98mm (narrow width)
Flex: 130 (advanced skiers)
Other flexes: 100, 120
What we like: A great crossover option for resort and backcountry use.
What we don’t: Expensive (although cheaper than buying two pairs of boots).

A quick glance at the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD reveals that this is no ordinary downhill boot. The slim shape, large walk/ride lever, and tech binding-compatible inserts at the toe are built for backcountry adventure. But what earns the Atomic a spot on this list is its versatile nature—if you split your time between touring and the resort, this is one of the best options yet. The Hawx is very lightweight and flexes freely while hiking but is planted and impressively solid for railing a groomer.

As with any product that aims to balance conflicting priorities—in this case it’s weight and stiffness—there are some downsides. Race-oriented downhillers likely will want a sturdier ride, and while the boot is very light and offers competitive range of motion, we’d still take a boot like the Scarpa Maestrale RS for touring exclusively. But if you’re investing in a single boot to do it all, the Hawx Ultra XTD deserves a serious look.
See the Men's Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130  See the Women's Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 115


Best of the Rest
6. Nordica Speedmachine 100 ($400)
Nordica Speedmachine 100 ski bootLast: 100mm (medium width)
Flex: 100 (intermediate skiers)
Other flexes: 110, 120, 130
What we like: Excellent fit customization, comfort, and value.
What we don’t: Not a high-performance piece.

Nordica boots are known for comfort, and the Speedmachine 100 is no exception. This all-mountain boot has a wallet-friendly price of $400, but includes a cushy, warm liner filled with PrimaLoft insulation and offering fantastic fit customization. Using their proprietary infrared lamp and suction cup system, the liner, shell, and even some of the hardware pieces can be molded by a Nordica bootfitter. And with four sturdy buckles and a smooth flex, the Speedmachine 100 makes a great option for lightweight or intermediate skiers.

The Speedmachine’s affordable price does have a mild impact on performance. Within the 100-flex category, the mid-range Nordica is a fine alternative to the Salomon S/Pro above, although skiers who get out a lot may appreciate the Salomon’s upgraded, long-lasting liner. But comfort shouldn’t be an issue with the Speemachine, and we really like that Nordica has recognized that a highly customizable shell has real appeal even for casual skiers.
See the Men's Nordica Speedmachine 100  See the Women's Nordica Speedmachine 85



7. K2 Recon 120 ($500)
K2 Recon 120 ski bootLast: 98 or 100mm (narrow or medium width)
Flex: 120 (advanced skiers)
Other flexes: 100, 130
What we like: Lightweight and a great value.
What we don’t: Unproven long-term durability.

K2’s Recon technically replaces the outgoing Sypne, but it’s a whole different animal. This all-mountain boot has been designed from the ground up to trim weight wherever possible. The result is impressive: the Recon weighs more than one pound less per boot than the top-rated Lange RX 120 above. It’s true that an ultralight design isn’t as important for downhill use as in the backcountry, but the Recon has a very nimble feel on the slopes that’s relatively easy to control. And at a true 120 flex, it’s still plenty strong for most skiers when powering through high-speed turns.

Priced at $500, the Recon 120 undercuts most of its direct competition by $100 or more (the 130-flex version is equally competitive at $600). From a performance standpoint, you don’t give up a lot—expert-level skiers likely will want to stick with the Lange for its premium feel, but most should find little to complain about. The main question mark is long-term durability, and given the extent of the weight trimming, it’s safe to assume it won’t be a standout in the area. But the Recon nails the fun factor, and its excellent price and low weight make it an intriguing resort option.
See the Men's K2 Recon 120  See the Women's K2 Anthem 100



8. Head Raptor 140S RS ($800)
Head Raptor 140RS ski bootsLast: 94, 96, or 98mm (narrow width)
Flex: 140 (adjustable)
Other flexes: 90, 120
What we like: Race-level feel and adjustable flex.
What we don’t: Snug fit is best for narrow feet and serious riders.

The 120 and 130 flex boots above should do the trick for most aggressive riders, but super strong skiers or those with a racing background may be left wanting more. If this sounds like you, the Head Raptor 140S RS deserves a serious look. This boot packs an extremely rigid 140 flex, top-tier power transfer and feel, and a very snug fit (96mm last for the 26.5 size). In addition, its liner is just thick enough to offer decent protection and comfort while not compromising performance, and the buckles, power strap, and shell all have a quality feel. All told, the Raptor 140S RS is a fantastic boot for hard-charging, on-piste skiers.

While the steep price and sky-high flex push the Raptor into the racing category, it’s a surprisingly versatile design. With a few simple adjustments, the boot can be run at either 120 or 130 flex, giving it a more forgiving character. It’s still not as comfortable when exploring the sidecountry or the bumps as the all-mountain designs above, but the softer flex option is a nice feature. Head also makes the Raptor RS in 90 and 120 flex versions, although the 140 model takes full advantage of the boot’s potential.
See the Men's Head Raptor 140 RS  See the Women's Head Raptor 110 RS


9. Tecnica Cochise 110 DYN ($550)
Tecnica Cochise 110 DYNLast: 99mm (medium width)
Flex: 110 (intermediate skiers)
Other flexes: 120, 130
What we like: Good price considering its hybrid design.
What we don’t: A little soft and flexy for a hard charger.

Prized by bootfitters for being both comfortable and customizable, the Tecnica Cochise 110 DYN is a great all-around value at $550. This lightweight, medium-stiff boot pairs well with an all-mountain ski like the Salomon QST 99 that isn’t overly rigid but excels just about everywhere on the mountain. And for those who like to venture into the sidecountry, the Cochise’s smooth-operating walk/tour mode features competitive range of motion at 42 degrees.

Among hybrid resort/backcountry boots, the Cochise hits a good balance of on- and off-piste performance. It falls short of the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD above in tour mode and can’t put the power down like the Lange XT Free below, but it easily undercuts them both in price. In the end, the Cochise 110 is a great match for intermediate-level riders that spend most of their time at the resort but want to hit the skin track a few times each winter.
See the Men's Tecnica Cochise 110 DYN  See the Women's Tecnica Cochise 95 DYN



10. Fischer RC4 Curv 120 ($750)
Fischer RC4 Curv 120 ski bootLast: 97mm (narrow width)
Flex: 120 (advanced skiers)
Other flexes: 110, 130, 140
What we like: Awesome Fischer downhill performance.
What we don’t: Premium Fischer price.

Fischer’s RC4 Curv 120 shares its name with the brand’s hyper-aggressive downhill ski, so its high-speed intentions are very clear. This boot is all about pro-level power and control: it’s made with a very solid shell, strong 120 flex (a 140-flex design is available), and narrow 97-millimeter last. But comfort hasn’t been forgotten, and the RC4 has an anatomical liner and is compatible with Fischer’s Vacuum Full Fit heat-molding system.

Skiers looking for a versatile all-mountain boot likely will prefer one of the options above over the RC4 Curv. The Fischer’s high performance ceiling makes it heavy and unforgiving on sidecountry hikes, and it requires a very capable pilot to truly enjoy the ride. Further, the $750 price tag is expensive considering its flex and on-trail focus. But the RC4 is a no-compromise design for those that intend to spend their season carving at full tilt. For a more balanced option from Fischer with a walk mode and roomier fit, check out their new Ranger One 120.
See the Fischer RC4 Curv 120



11. Rossignol Alltrack 90 ($350)
Rossignol Alltrack 90 ski boot_0Last: 102mm (wide width)
Flex: 90 (intermediate skiers)
Other flexes: 110, 120
What we like: A nice hybrid boot for downhill and hiking.
What we don’t: Not a standout in any one category.

Rossignol’s Alltrack line of boots is extensive and popular among skiers for doing just about everything well. We’ve picked the Alltrack 90 here, which is a nice option for intermediate skiers who stick mostly in bounds but may venture to other parts of the mountain on occasion. Rossignol plays up the walk mode function, which performs decently well but still falls behind the competition in terms of the flex's smoothness on the uphills.

But at the $350 price point, the Alltrack 90 is a solid boot for lighter skiers and those who want to start with short bootpacks without taking the plunge on an expensive pair of specialty boots. And we like the comfort factor, which is cozy on the foot and lightly insulated for added warmth. For more flex options, the Alltrack series has two other models (110 and 120) and the narrower 100mm-width Alltrack Pro line has four (100, 110, 120, and 130).
See the Men's Rossignol Alltrack 90  See the Women's Rossignol Alltrack 70



12. Atomic Hawx Prime 110 S ($500)
Atomic Hawx Prime 110 S ski bootLast: 100mm (medium width)
Flex: 110 (intermediate skiers)
Other flexes: 120, 130
What we like: Light but still very comfortable.
What we don’t: No hike mode to utilize the trimmed-down weight.

The Atomic Hawx Prime has earned a reputation as a go-to choice for skiers with medium-width feet. Revamped last season, they retained that excellent fit but in a new ultralight design. Taking inspiration from their XTD touring model above, the Prime trimmed away about 15 ounces per boot (the number varies a bit based on flex). Importantly, this didn’t involve compromising comfort: the memory foam liner, adjustable forward lean, and strong four-buckle layout are all still there.

As with the K2 Recon above, we’re not sold on the fact that cutting away a ton of weight from the downhill-oriented Hawx Prime S is all that necessary. It’s something you’ll appreciate on a long bootpack, but the Prime doesn’t have a hike mode to really utilize the slimmed-down design. Also, the Atomic is not as good of a value as the K2 above, which offers very similar performance and quality at a $100 discount (comparing 120-flex models). It’s worth noting that Atomic also makes a narrow 98-millimeter version of this boot called the Hawx Ultra S.
See the Men's Atomic Hawx Prime 110 S  See the Women's Atomic Hawx Prime 105 S



13. Lange XT Free 130 ($700)
Lange XT Free ski bootLast: 97 or 100mm (narrow or medium width)
Flex: 130 (advanced skiers)
Other flexes: 120
What we like: Lange comfort and precision with touring capabilities.
What we don’t: Inferior touring performance than the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD above.

The Lange XT Free takes the comfort and performance of the RX above and trims it down for touring use. It’s a great combination for downhill-minded backcountry skiers: the boot is strong enough to be considered a full 130 flex, so you’re not compromising in terms of performance. But flipping it into hike mode gets you surprising climbing capabilities. And the addition of tech inserts on the toe and a lightweight Grilamid shell have only increased XT Free 130’s appeal.

The Lange XT Free and Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD above are direct competitors in the growing segment of all-in-one downhill/backcountry boots. In comparing the two, the Lange is incredibly solid on the downhill, but weighs approximately 13 ounces more per boot and lacks the impressive range of motion and efficiency of the Atomic for touring. For the occasional foray or quick ascent, the Lange isn’t a big compromise, but those that spend a lot of time on the uphill will likely prefer the Atomic. If you need a wider last, however, the Lange is the better option with a 100mm-width model to compliment the low-volume 97mm version (the Hawx Ultra XTD currently is only available in a 98mm last).
See the Men's Lange XT Free 130  See the Women's Lange XT Free 110



14. Full Tilt Classic Pro ($500)
Full Tilt Classic Pro ski bootLast: 99mm (narrow width)
Flex: 8/10 (advanced skiers)
Other flexes: None
What we like: Lightweight and versatile.
What we don’t: Design favors freestyle over all-mountain riding.

Nothing is groundbreaking about the Full Tilt Classic Pro, which is exactly why many people like it. Full Tilt lightly revamped the Classic for 2019-2020—adding the “Pro” to the name in the process—with a stiffer flex, premium Intuition liner, and the addition of metal buckles. All told, the three-piece design is a nice all-around option for advanced skiers with narrow feet. Full Tilt doesn’t use the same flex ratings as other manufacturers, but the Classic Pro gets an 8 out of 10 for fairly stiff flex and good versatility all over the mountain.

The Full Tilt's lightweight materials allow for playfulness over moguls and in the park, but these boots can snap into turns when necessary (it’s right in line with the brand’s freestyle slant). With a $500 price tag, the shell doesn’t have the precise power transfer of some of the options above on hardpack, but the Classic Pro performs reasonably well and is a good value. And we love the simplicity: there just aren’t a lot of moving parts with this boot but it checks all the boxes.
See the Full Tilt Classic Pro



15. Salomon QST Access 90 ($400)
Salomon QST Access 90 ski bootLast: 104mm (wide width)
Flex: 90 (beginner/intermediate skiers)
Other flexes: 70, 80
What we like: The liner is made with a wool hybrid material for warmth.
What we don’t: Not for narrow feet.

The QST Access 90 is a solid beginner to intermediate boot from one of the most well-respected brands in the business. One of our favorite features is the hike/ski switch on the back—when flipped to hike, the lower and upper cuff unlock to allow for normal upright walking, which is handy for schlepping gear from the parking lot or standing in the bar after a long day. The three-buckle design is simple to operate, and the liner is heat-moldable to customize fit before you head out.

The 104mm last width is the widest in the Salomon lineup, and the QST Access 90 is designed to work best with an average calf volume. A step up in terms of stiffness and overall quality from the Nordica Cruise below, this boot should serve progressing beginner and intermediate resort goers quite well. More ambitious riders will probably want to check out Salomon's S/Pro line above.
See the Men's Salomon QST Access 90  See the Women's Salomon QST Access 70



16. Dalbello Il Moro I.D. ($600)
Dalbello II Moro ID ski bootLast: 98mm (narrow width)
Flex: 120 (advanced skiers)
Other flexes: None
What we like: Awesome freeride option.
What we don’t: Dabello’s Panterra is the better all-mountain design.

For a different sort of downhill beast, Dalbello’s Il Moro I.D. is built for aggressive freeriders that hunt out big jumps, drops, and features all over the hill. In contrast to the boots above, the Dalbello allows for extra lateral flex and even includes a “Landing Board” to help take the sting out of a hard impact. And despite the focus on off-piste adventuring, the Il Moro is plenty responsive, sharing the same three-piece shell technology as the Dalbello Panterra above.

Unlike the Panterra, however, the Il Moro isn’t a top choice for standard all-mountain use. The boot’s specialized construction and three-buckle layout emphasizes shock absorption and isn’t as steady carving a hard or icy corner. But for the right skier—the Il Moro I.D. is a popular choice for pro freeriders—this is an awesome boot.
See the Dalbello Il Moro I.D.



17. Nordica Cruise 70 ($200)
Nordica Cruise 70 ski bootLast: 104mm (wide width)
Flex: 70 (beginner skiers)
Other flexes: 90, 120
What we like: Flexible, comfortable, and cheap.
What we don’t: Too wide for most; low performance ceiling.

Not everyone requires a rigid boot that’s been designed to extract every last ounce of performance. Some folks just want to head to the slopes and cruise down their favorite green or blue run time and again, hence the aptly named Nordica Cruise 70. With a roomy 104-millimeter last and super-forgiving flex, it’s about as cushy as any skiing experience out there. And Nordica has incorporated other beginner-friendly touches like a wide opening at the top to make the Cruise easier to take off at the end of the day.

We don’t recommend the Nordica Cruise 70, however, for anyone with narrow feet or those that love carving down the hill. Even skiers just starting out that are planning to spend a lot of time on the mountain may want to upgrade to a boot like the Rossignol Alltrack 90, so they don’t outgrow its limited capabilities (Nordica also makes the Cruise in a 90-flex version). But at $200, the Cruise 70 is an affordable and comfy way to get started.
See the Men's Nordica Cruise 70  See the Women's Nordica Cruise 65

Downhill Ski Boot Buying Advice
Boot Flex and Performance
Ski Boot Sizing
Boot Liners
Heat-Moldable Liners
Buckles and Strap Systems
Boot Soles
Ski Boot Weight
Walk/Hike Modes
Hybrid Downhill/Backcountry Boots
Boot Warmth and Ski Socks
Choosing Skis and Bindings

Boot Flex and Performance
A great place to start your boot search is choosing the proper flex. Nearly every downhill boot on the market (the Full Tilt Classic Pro is one exception) is given a flex index number ranging from approximately 60 to 140. Lower numbers are softer, have more give, and are more comfortable, making them ideal for beginner skiers. We cover a couple of our favorite entry-level models on this list, but for a complete look at the best options, check out our ski boots for beginners article. Moving up in stiffness to intermediate and advanced models gets you a boot that isn't as cushy but more efficiently transfers your inputs to the bindings and skis. Less energy is wasted in flexing the boot forward and the response is instantaneous. A preferred stiffness also correlates with your body weight, which is why women’s boots have a lower flex rating relative to performance. Below are general recommendations; there are ranges within ranges but this paints a good picture.

Men’s Flex Ratings

Beginner 60-80
Intermediate 80-110
Advanced 110+
Women’s Flex Ratings

Beginner 50-65
Intermediate 65-85
Advanced 85+
Downhill Boots (Mission Ridge)
Strong and advanced skiers should choose a boot with a high flex rating
Ski Boot Sizing
Ski boot sizing is one of the most difficult things to hone in online. It’s not as simple as taking your shoe size and matching it to a Mondo size (ski boot sizing nomenclature) on a chart. The length, width, volume, and underfoot profile need to be dialed in for a boot to be “the one.” As a result, we recommend getting to a local shop to get sized. If this is not an option, find a reputable online retailer that allows for returns and order a couple sizes with the expectation that they probably won’t fit exactly as you may expect. For a good baseline level of knowledge, here are the most common boot sizing terminology and considerations:

Mondo
Both men’s and women’s ski boots are listed in unisex Mondo (or Mondopoint) sizing: the length of your foot measured in centimeters. You can measure your foot by tracing its outline on a piece of paper or marking the bottom of the heel and top of the toes. If your foot measures 30 centimeters in length, your Mondo size is 30. Getting measured in a ski shop is preferred, but this is a rough way to do it at home.

Every manufacturer or retailer provides a sizing chart that matches shoe sizes to ski boot sizes, but your actual Mondo size may be a size or two smaller than what you see on the chart. This is because tight fit is recommended with ski boots. Ski boot liners are made of foam and will mold to your feet over time, so it’s best to start with a very snug fit and wear them in.

Last
Footbed width, referred to as last, is another important specification for ski boots. This measurement is based on the width of the forefoot and listed in millimeters. Most manufacturers make ski boots with varying lasts to accommodate those with narrow, average, and wide feet. And some models, including the Lange RX 120, are made with multiple last options. It’s important to get this part of the fit right because side-to-side motion is a given when descending a hill, and a boot that’s too loose around the sides of your feet will negatively affect performance.

Narrow: 96-98mm
Average: 100-102mm
Wide: 103mm+
For those with narrow feet or looking for performance boots with a more precise fit, look in the 97-98mm range. Average lasts are around 100-102 mm wide for men and 99-100mm wide for women. Those work well for most skiers with normal width feet. For folks with wide feet, there can be some challenges in finding the right pair. But there are a growing number of boots made in 103mm or wider lasts, including the Tecnica Mach1 HV.
Ski boots (last)
The standard width version of the Lange RX 120 comes with a 100mm last

Replaceable Footbeds/Insoles
No matter how well you do in selecting the proper fit, you still may experience discomfort during a full day of skiing. That’s where the final piece of the fit puzzle comes in: replaceable insoles. Most downhill ski boot liners have a removable insole, much like a hiking boot. Swapping these out for a quality aftermarket insole that better matches your foot profile can really make a difference. New insoles can provide better arch support, more or less volume, and a heel cup that better locks your feet in place. Good aftermarket insoles can be found from brands like Superfeet and SOLE.

Another alternative is getting a custom footbed from a bootfitter (which requires getting fit in-person). This is an expensive process but can be worthwhile for those with stubbornly shaped feet or who ski a ton each year. You can call your local ski shop and ask if they make custom footbeds.


Boot Liners
Most all-mountain ski boots are made up of two independent pieces: a hard plastic outer shell that provides structure and strength and a removable liner that delivers comfort, support and insulation. The liner is filled with varying amounts of foam, depending on the type of skiing the boot is intended for. It’s not always the best idea to get the most plush and cushiest liner (beginners and comfort-oriented skiers are an exception). The softer foam will not hold your foot and shin as well while carving, and it may not mold as well to your feet over time.

Supportive but comfortable is the preferred place to be for most intermediate and advanced skiers. As we mention above, your liner will conform to your feet, so don’t be too concerned if it feels snug at first (but make sure it’s not overly restricting or that your toes aren't smooshed against the hard-sided shell.).

Heat-Moldable Liners
Heat-moldable liners can be custom fit to your feet in a ski shop that has the necessary equipment (styles and equipment can vary between boot brands). This is a nice way to get the liner to fit your feet right out of the box, but isn’t mandatory for many folks. You can get much of the same fitting accomplished just by wearing the liners around the house or in a few early season ski days. That being said, it's a useful tool that helps dial in comfort quickly and effectively.


Buckles and Strap Systems
To start, it’s helpful to know that buckles and strap designs do not vary dramatically between brands. The buckle systems on most downhill ski boots follow a similar methodology: two buckles across the foot, one at the bend near the ankle and another along the shin. Look for buckles made mostly with aluminum for greater durability (plastic is cheaper but a bit more prone to breaking). Some boots try and cut some weight by removing the buckle at the ankle, but for downhill purposes when total boot weight isn’t as important, we find it well worth having the more supportive four aluminum buckle design.

The tie at the highest point of the boot close to the sleeve is another significant bit of the structure. In some cases alluded to as the power tie, it keeps that top part pleasantly secured set up to assistance draw out the full execution capability of your boots—and at a lower weight and more solace than including a fifth clasp. Having a full compliment of clasps just as a quality power tie likewise helps in truly dialing in the fit, which can make obliging fluctuating sizes of legs and calves that a lot simpler.


Boot Soles

Boot soles are entirely standard toll for elevated set-ups. They should be what's called DIN-evaluated, which basically implies they can discharge appropriately from a declining restricting should you take a grievous tumble. They likewise share a typical shape that fits any declining official, recorded as ISO 5355. Resort-just skiers ought to maintain a strategic distance from boots that have a rockered sole and are recorded as being good with AT (visiting) ties. These are for boondocks set-ups and won't work with numerous standard downhill ties (multi-standard ties are winding up increasingly ordinary, be that as it may).

In your hunt, you definitely will keep running into some snow capped boots that have been set up to suit both AT and downhill ties, including the amazing Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD above. In case you're keen on getting in to skiing both and attempting to set aside some cash, you can get a boot with a removable/replaceable sole, for example, the Rossignol Alltrack. Yet, remember that this boot isn't upgraded for tough travel. It's overwhelming and doesn't rotate as normally while strolling. Multi-reason apparatus can be fun, however it's regularly worth the additional mixture to get a subsequent boot or premium model like the Atomic or Lange XT Free that have been explicitly intended for boondocks use.

Ski Boot Weight

Up to this point, the heaviness of a declining ski boot was to a great extent overlooked (it's frequently not in any case recorded as a spec on numerous retailer sites). In any case, with the sensational development in boondocks and sidecountry skiing—and an expanded focus on weight when all is said in done in the open air gear world—we're beginning to see a similar lightweight center stream down to the hotel showcase.

For 2019-2020, the K2 Recon and Atomic Hawx Prime are a few prime instances of structures that gauge about a pound not exactly their ancestors (on account of the Atomic, from roughly 4 pounds 12 ounces to 3 pounds 14 ounces). The advantages of lighter footwear for tough travel and bootpacking are self-evident: you have less weight to move with each progression. Be that as it may, in any event, for those riding the chairlift, it encourages make it simpler to control your skis in tight spaces like knocks and trees. The central issue imprint is how a lot of cutting weight will effect long haul strength. Previously, lighter boots have required more upkeep and every so often have had issues with the liners pressing out too rapidly. In any case, if the most recent group of backwoods boots are a sign, the new downhill models ideally will have long life expectancies.

Walk/Hike Mode: Gimmicky or Worthwhile?

You'll see various downhill boots that tout a walk or climb mode. In all actuality, these modes are best appreciated in the trek from the vehicle to the hotel, as they don't have the fundamental scope of movement and flex to be really agreeable when strolling long separations. Also, downhill-engaged boots are heavier than devoted boondocks and randonee boots. It's not all terrible news, and the walk highlight has its interests for people that basically ski downhill however need the alternative to do some light cleaning or climbing. Simply stay away in the event that you have to spend anything else than a couple of minutes heading tough. Special cases to this standard incorporate hybrid boondocks/resort boot structures like the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD and Lange XT Free.

Ski boots (climb ski mode)

Exchanging into climb mode on the Rossignol Alltrack

Half and half Downhill/Backcountry Boots

Its a well known fact that boondocks skiing is on the ascent, and numerous downhillers are including an elevated visiting set-up to their quiver. To help make things simpler, there are a developing number of hybrid pieces that perform well on both hotel days and keeping in mind that visiting. In the boot world, choices incorporate the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 and Lange XT Free 130. Both have durable 130-flex appraisals to fly down groomers, yet are light enough and highlight a visit mode with great scope of movement for boondocks trips. Nonetheless, on the off chance that you intend to utilize them basically at the retreat, there are a few trade offs to know about. The lightweight development is recognizably less exact when cutting on hardpack, and the flex isn't as smooth as a boot like the declining just Lange RX. Be that as it may, they're as yet an entirely decent alternative for those hoping to buy just one sets of boots.

Boot Warmth and Ski Socks

Current ski socks mirror the upgrades made in boot liner innovation. You never again need a thick, rock solid sock, and the market is currently loaded with cut down alternatives. Present day boots are better protectors and unmistakably progressively agreeable, which all indicates an increasingly charming background. The best socks are either merino fleece or engineered, and in the event that you can swing the additional cost, the fleece choice is our favored kind for smell counteractive action and temperature guideline. For a full rundown of choices, see our article on the best ski socks.

Picking the Right Skis and Bindings

Boots are an incredible spot to begin in gathering your ski unit. For one, it ideally implies you get the pair that wind up fitting you best. It likewise should help control the remainder of your purchasing contemplations. On the off chance that you pick a propelled boot, you should choose a correspondingly forceful authoritative and ski that can help convey the presentation the boot is prepared to do. A hardened boot moves control productively as long as the authoritative and ski are equipped for reacting to those sources of info. To help get you appropriately equipped, our picks for the best all-mountain skis and ski ties are sorted out along these lines as boots, separated by capacity level and landscape.

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