PIN FOR ALPINE SKI BOOTS
These boots were made for walking. Just about every brand now makes an alpine-style boot with an easy-walking rubber sole and tech binding inserts for skinning uphill. The metal grooves at the heel and twin metal dimples at the toe allow a pin-style tech binding to hold onto the boot. As pin-style bindings have grown in popularity in recent years, so has the demand for compatible boots—especially boots optimized for going down, rather than the soft and light backcountry-specific variety. This year several new “resort-optimized” but touring-ready boots join a class that encompasses just about every boot brand. They’re typically full-height, four-buckle boots with stiffness in line with other downhill boots. But they’re also lighter, have a walk mode that allows for dramatic fore-and-aft motion and, of course, grippy soles to make walking easier.