2023 Buyer’s Guide — Part 1

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If fit is key, Dalbello is making it easier to unlock comfort and performance by pre-shaping its Veloce boots in five key places. One is at the ankle area of the liner and four are on the shell (inner side of foot, instep, outside side of foot, outer ankle). These areas are easier to customize and are denoted with textured plastic on the shell. Through the rest of the boot, Dalbello employs bi-injection: harder plastic in the lower boot for control and power transfer and softer plastic in the upper boot for easier entry and exit. From $380; dalbello.it


Dialling in a ski boot to not only fit right, but also feel right, is one of the trickiest things in the ski world. To help, Rossignol is setting skiers up with options. Its Hi-Speed boot comes in three widths, several flexes and includes cant, lean, flex and buckle adjustments. Plus, the liner allows more thermoforming around the ankles, sides and top of the foot, while retaining more structure elsewhere. A higher and farther-forward hinge point, borrowed from race boots, provides more leverage for turning. All the models feature carbon-reinforced polyurethane in the lower shell to maintain stiffness while being flexed. From $480; rossignol.com


Skilled boot fitters have an easy time adjusting for width, heel fit and calf diameter—but the instep is tricky. Salomon designed its new S/Pro Alpha boot around troublesome foot heights. First it used thinner plastic where the shell overlaps across the top of the foot. Then designers spread out the first and second buckles to reduce pressure. This leaves more room for bootfitters to work and Salomon says the placement actually improves heel lock and foothold. The S/Pro Alpha comes with a customizable shell and liner, in men’s and women’s sizing and through a range of flexes from 80 up to 130. $750; salomon.com


The big-footed among us often have to make do with less performance-oriented boots. That’s beginning to change thanks to models like the Atomic Hawx Magma family of boots. Despite a wide 102mm last, it still comes in a 130 flex, has full customization of fit and geometry and uses high-end materials like aluminium buckles, 3M insulation and polyurethane plastic in the shell. Coming in under two kgs per boot, it’s also relatively lightweight. From $350; atomic.com


When one Ski Canada tester first put on the Tecnica Cochise Pro W, one of the stiffest touring-capable women’s boots, she immediately noticed two things. First, that it took some effort to get on. And second, it fit amazingly well. Even before heat-moulding the liner, the fit felt customized, sucking her foot deep into the heel pocket before the four buckles locked it in. So impressed, she didn’t bother to mould the boot at all. A couple of months of skiing later, both in the backcountry and at the resort, she still found the boot hard to get on, but heavenly the rest of the day. On the skin track it’s relatively light and has enough range of motion for unimpeded striding. Curiously, it’s at the resort that it stood out. The grippy sole and walk mode are nice touches for the approach to the lift, and the 120 flex is as stiff as any mass-produced women’s boot. “My foot is locked in place,” she said. “No movement in the boot results in great ski control. I love these boots.” $750; tecnica.com

from Buyer’s Guide 2023 – Vol 51 #12023 Buyer’s Guide

Ryan Stuart
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