This season, expect some of the most comfortable, performance-oriented boots ever.
More on alpine ski boots: Getting the Right Fit
R U X-PERIENCE – D?
Roxa launches its 100mm-lasted X-Perience freeski series with the tour-ready X-Ride and X-Face, and the stiffer alpine-centric X-Turn. Made solid for big-mountain descents, these three-piece, three- and four-buckle boots all offer interchangeable anti-skid soles that switch between touring and alpine norms without affecting the tech inserts, a walk/ride mode offering plus or minus 20 degrees of movement, an anti-shock heel, improved step-in comfort via an asymmetric tongue and optimized ankle fit. Intuition liners ensure optimal fit for the X-Ride and X-Face.
FISCHER ON TOUR
Fischer brings its advanced, two-zone Vacuum technology to its new, three-buckle Transalp touring series. This year’s two-zone shaping results in better control over heel retention as well as toe space. Proprietary Vacu-plast drops 15 per cent of the weight of traditional boot plastics, leaving a light shell (about the same weight as Pebax but with much better grinding and punching qualities for customization at your ski shop) that’s completely articulated to the individual’s calf and foot. Fischer’s Soma stance enables an alpine-styled ramp angle, which Fischer brass are touting as the most ideal for both climbing and riding. Look for the three-buckle Transalp TS for men and women, as well as the TS Light with an extra-light Palau liner. For touring skiers, there’s also Fischer’s corresponding Transalp ski offering.
Taking from its popular SpYre lineup launched last year, K2 has developed a duo of freeriding boots for women, the Minaret 80 and 100. Both are built with a gender-specific cuff (it’s 15mm shorter than the men’s) and last for improved comfort, and uphill (or simply walking back to the car) performance comes courtesy of K2’s proprietary Synchro Interlock design. Easy to engage, it moves from hike/walk mode to cranking turns with a simple push of a lever. Intuition’s Thermoformable liner offers strategic padding and warmth. The Minaret 100 features Integrated Tech Fittings on the shell that accommodate both tech and alpine DIN bindings, improving torsional stiffness, overall strength and durability over switch-out soles.
SOAR LIKE A HAWK
Atomic ups the ante on its 100mm-lasted lineup with the Hawk 2.0 120. It’s been redesigned for this season, with a lighter, re-engineered liner warmed by 3M Thinsulate Insulation. Sole Flex restructuring provides a more natural bending line for better balance and feel. Proprietary Memory Fit offers a personalized shell cuff and liner for comfort, while Power Shift technology enables forward lean between 13-17 degrees and a plus-minus flex index of 10 flex points (so the boot can be made stiffer or softer).
BIG FOOT PERFORMANCE
Lange brings to market a new, generously sized, high-performance boot lineup. Featuring the hiking range-of-motion and skiability of its narrower sibling, the XT, the new mono-injected XC series offers walk and ski mode courtesy of Power V-Lock technology, and comes standard with grippy soles in a trio of men’s and women’s models with a forgiving 102mm fit.
TWO FOR ONE
Apex offers an impressive duality to the boot market: the comfort, warmth and walkability of a snowboard boot with a no-compromise alpine exoskeleton chassis. This season’s MC-X comes designed for aggressive high-performance, all-mountain riding with an updated construction and customized fit. The modular piece features a specialized nano-fibre open chassis, heat mouldable inner liner, tunable suspension, Boa Focus speed-lacing closure system and micro-adjustable buckles. And for all you yin and yangers out there: the inner works for snowboarding as well (that’s sans chassis).
FULL STEAM FULL TILT
The Seth Morrison Pro Model has been beefed up with a 10-Flex tongue—the stiffest to date. The 99mm-lasted, 2,016g Full Tilt boot comes with a shock-absorber boot board, pro liner, oversize Cinch powerstrap and grippy rubber sole. According to the man himself, “These boots allow me to ski the way I do with the lightness and full flex no other boot in the market has.” Of course, it doesn’t hurt that for lift-line chic, they look totally bad-ass.
WALK TO RIDE
Scott’s hard-charging G1 Powerfit WTR (Walk to Ride) will improve your uphill climb time with a cuff-mounted walk mode switch that offers 40 degrees of cuff movement and a rubberized non-slip outer sole. New easy-to-adjust buckles make set-up simple, while the fully thermo-mouldable boot liner means comfort at the heart of the performance-fitting, 97mm-lasted boot. The boots weigh in at 2,430g and come in both 110 and 130 flexes.
Scott Sports’ second-generation Cosmos II offers the hallmarks of a high-performing ski mountaineering boot. Weight reduction—the 103.5mm-lasted boot weighs just 1,450g—comes via a sleek, reinforced 125-flex Grilamid shell. A solid, secure walk/ski device with a stunning 60 degrees of cuff rotation, Vibram soles and a dual-injected tongue seal the deal for optimal fit both climbing and cranking. Women can also ride the Celeste II with gender-specific nips and tucks.
Freeriders looking for progressive flex à la old-school Raichle and good shock absorption can check out Roxa’s newest incarnation in its three-buckle Free Series lineup. Flagship FreeSoul 10 comes with hockey-sock good looks, an Intuition liner, grippy soles and a dampening boot board on a 104mm-lasted chassis. Those needing to keep their porno in step, so to speak, can also buy into the FreeScandal, with its unique sublimated graphic appeal. Freud would have a feast on this.
Nordica launches its high-performance, all-mountain, four-boot NRGy PRO lineup (in 130, 120 and 110 flexes). Taken from World Cup technology, the 100mm-lasted boot boasts a new custom-fit liner made from an innovative cork and resin that thermoforms in eight minutes or less at 80 degrees. A new, double-injected overlap construction boasts the brand’s 45-degree lever buckle fastening system for improved heel hold and step-in comfort. It’s made with a nod toward individual customization à la race boot, so look for canting, cuff and powerstrap adjustability. Dual-density PU soles make for good grip underfoot. Primaloft warms the women-specific, 105-flex Belle Pro. Those looking for a wider and softer, comfort-forward, all-mountain experience can also check out the 120-flex, 102mm-lasted NXT1.
A NEW QUEST
Salomon’s Quest Pro replaces the original hybrid alpine Quest lineup, and introduces patented 360-degree Custom Shell and 3D liner technology designed to improve both ascents and descents. An updated Hike & Ride system fills the bill with its Backbone+ technology for improved power transmission and reliable ride positioning. The articulated liner and an oversized pivot point—a 25mm ring connecting the cuff and shell—result in an impressive 47 degrees of motion in walk mode. At 1,700g, Salomon claims it’s the lightest alpine hybrid boot on the market. The Quest Pro is available in 130, 110 and 90 flexes for men, and 100 and 80 for women. Salomon also offers multiple sole options for an array of bindings.
Tecnica has exorcised its Demons and introduced the award-winning, high-performing, four-buckle, 100mm-lasted Mach 1 lineup. Designers improved comfort and foot-to-boot connection through the new Custom Adapted Shape (C.A.S.) liner and a completely redesigned shell shape. The C.A.S. pre-moulded liner, with pronounced ankle pockets and navicular articulations, offers a boot-fitted feel out of the box, yet you can punch, heat and grind the liner’s versatile, patent-pending microcell material for perfect fit without losing stability, flexibility, durability and water tightness. For skinny ankles and other retention issues, the company’s Fit-Kit enables users to add volume in critical areas. While the series’ flex range starts at 90, the lineup is crowned by the Mach 1, with a 130 flex that softens on demand with the turn of a screw. Its carbon-fibre plate, called i-Rebound, gives you better rebound.
Dynafit adds an alpine-styled, four-buckle polyurethane construction freeride touring boot to both its men’s and women’s lineup. The 104mm-lasted, 1,830g Radical CR’s pivot point moves forward, offering cuff rotation comparable to ski running boots (we’re talking 60 degrees of motion). Out-of-the-box comfort and thermal insulation comes via a lightweight customizable liner. The new, more intuitive Motion Lock System enables two lock positions (15 and 21 degrees), drops the Velcro from the powerstrap and makes transitioning from ski mode to walk mode a snap. Lightweight magnesium buckles, proprietary grippy rockered soles and patented Quick-Step-In inserts are all beneficial add-ons. The Radical CR is compatible with all touring bindings, including Dynafit.
Head adds its Venture ATX to its lineup. This top-shelf boot comes lightened with Pebax and high-quality, trimmed-down aluminum buckles, making it more hiker-friendly. Intuition liners combined with grippy (and replaceable) soles mean this alpine-friendly boot can do double duty while in a bootpack or skinning.
Tags: alpine boots, Apex MC-X, Atomic Hawk 2.0 120, buyers guide, Dynafit Radical CR, Fischer Transalp, Full Tilt Seth Morrison Pro, Head Venture ATX, K2 Minaret, Lange XC, Nordica NRGy Pro, Roxa FreeScandal, Roxa FreeSoul, Roxa X-Perience, Salomon Quest Pro, Scott Cosmos II, Scott G1 Powerfit WTR, ski boot reviews, ski boots, Tecnica Mach 1