Looking for a great ski boot can be overwhelming. There are soo many out there, and when you start throwing in questions like what flex do you need? What does last mean? Do I need walk mode, will these boots be good for the park too? We updated our annual list of the best Ski Boots that are great for getting you to the best pow stashes.
If you’re looking to get into the backcountry, you’ll need a pair of ski boots that offer walk mode, or have a hike function. Next you’ll need to determine the width of your foot and how stiff or soft of a boot you need.
Bigger people and aggressive skiers tend to need boots on the stiffer side of things. Ok now that we got that out of the way the fun part! Now it’s time to buy a pair of ski boots.
Ski Boot Buying Tips Video
This Years Best Ski Boots
The Waymaker is great for people with a medium to wider forefoot and a higher instep. The Atomic Waymaker 110, 120 and 130 use Carbon Fiber to make the boot stiff while keeping the weight down. The Waymaker also uses a Rubber Flex Zone on the outer side of each boot; this is great for people with issues in the “6th toe area. This is when people experience pain on the outer edge of their pinkie toe while in ski boots. The Waymaker is easy to adjust into walk mode and uses a 3 buckle system with oversized buckles allowing for performance and fit. The Atomic Waymaker does not come with Tech Soles, but Atomic makes them for this boot.
The Pantera boot allows you to adjust the width of the forefoot between a 100mm, 101mm and 102mm last, which is a really cool feature. This boot use the front buckle to adjust the width, something the ski industry has needed for a long time. Dalbello is the first ski boot manufacturer to introduce this feature. The Panterra uses a 3-piece shell design, which allows for amazing power transfer and accommodates a higher instep. Dalbello also uses a diagonal buckle which helps to hold the heel in place. The Panterra comes in two liner options , I would recommend spending the extra for the Intuition liner, known to be one of the best heat moldable liners in the business. The walk mode and flex adjustment on the boot are easy to adjust. Rumor has it this ski boot is so awesome it was named after Pantera one of the loudest intense bands in the last 30 years, Rock on!
Also check out the Lupo by Dalbello, this is Simon Dumont’s brainchild and comes with 2nd set of Tongues to make the boot stiffer or softer.
Lange got everyone’s attention when they unveiled the Freetour for 2017. The lightweight ski boot features tech soles and comes in 100mm and 97mm versions. This is great for skiers with narrow as well and medium width feet. The Freetour skis with power and precision and is an awesome boot for the hard core backcountry skier as well as those wanting to do some short to long hikes to powder stashes. Lange built this boot from the ground up and introduced a new Ultralon liner which light weight and fits like a glove.
K2 took SIA by storm with the introduction of their new ski boots for the 2014 season. These boots rip and were better than expected for their first go round. K2 has tweaked the Pinnacle since then making the shell heat moldable, raising the instep of the boot and offering it in a wide or high volume version too. K2 uses INTUITION liners in all their ski boots allowing for a custom fit and low pack out rate and comes with Tech Soles.
The Alltrack is a great all mountain boot with plenty of power and comfort. Rossignol’s Alltrack uses Sensor Grid technology, designed to keep the boot lightweight but stable through the forefoot and ankle area. Rossignol makes the Alltrack Boot in a 100mm and 102mm widths, which is great for people with a wide forefoot, but a mid to narrow heel.
New for 2017 the Salomon QST is light weight ski boot with great rear articulation. The QST accomplishes this with a free-flexing EndoFit tongue. This is a unique design and has been received well so far. Salomon uses a Heat Moldable shell in the higher tear boots in the QST line. This boot is comfortable and extremely light out of the box, best for those with a lower to mid instep, secure heel pocket and great power transfer. The QST does not come with Tech toe and heel pieces but they are available.
The Tecnica Cochise has been one of the best ski boot with a hike feature for the last few years. For 2017 they redesigned it and improvements are vast however it’s hard to improve upon perfection.. Tecnica made the last of the Cochise 99mm which is great for narrow and medium width feet. The 2017 Cochise is lighter, still very powerful and has a great range of motion when walking or skining. The CAS liner allows bootfitters to punch, grind and alter the liner which is unique to Tecnica ski boots. The CAS is also available on the Mach1 which is Tecnica’s alpine ski boot line. CAS stands for Custom Adaptive Shape and is revolutionary in the ski boot industry. The Cochise has a pronounced heel pocket and comes standard with Tech soles in the higher tier models.
2015 Best Ski Boots
The Atomic Waymaker boot is great for people with a wider foot, so if you have a Fred Flintstone foot this is a great boot for you. The 110, 120 and 130 u carbon fiber to make the Waymaker stiff while keeping it light weight. The Waymaker also uses a Rubber Flex Zone on the outer side of each boot; this is great for people with issues in the “6th Toe Area. This is when people experience pain on the outer edge of their pinkie toe. The Waymaker is easy to adjust into walk mode and uses a 3 Buckle system with oversized buckles allowing for performance and fit.
The Dalbello Panterra boot allows you to adjust the width of the forefoot between a 100mm last and a 102mm last, which is a really cool feature. The Panterra boot uses a front buckle to adjust the width, something the ski industry has needed for a long time, props to Dalbello for introducing this.
Using a 3-piece shell design combines separate cuff, shell and tongue sections which create a smooth forward flex with precise side-to-side support, also using one of the best heat moldable liners in the business. The Walk mode and Flex Adjustment on the boot are easy to adjust. Not only is the Pantera a great boot, it is also a great Metal Band from the 90’s, Rock on!
Also check out the Lupo by Dalbello, this is Simon Dumont’s brainchild and comes with 2nd set of Tongues to make the boot stiff
Lange really blew everyone away with this Ski Boota couple of years ago. Next time you are at you favorite ski mountain look and see what the ski patrollers are wearing, a good bit of them will be in this boot. That speak volumes, speaking of volume this boot is better for someone with a low volume foot 97mm, it comes in an LV model, and the standard model is 100mm for a mid-width foot. And for 2015 they are introducing 102mm last, great news for people with a wider foot.
Lange uses a Polyether shell, Polyolefin cuff, making the boot stiff and light weight. They also have a rubberized sole, great for gripping you snowmobile or bar stool, and the walk mode is easy to use and doesn’t affect the flex of the boot.
K2 took SIA by storm with the introduction of ski boots for the 2014 season. These boots rip and were better than expected for their first go round. They are introducing more this year and have a Woman’s version of the K2 Pinnacle too! The Pinnacel was 2014 Backcountry Magazine Editors’ Choice, 2014 Powder Magazine Skier’s Choice. With an INTUITION® liners, the fit is going to be great. The Pinnacle comes in a LV model for 97mm feet. Probably not the boot for you if you have a wide foot
The Rossignol Alltrack is an all-mountain boot with stellar fit and performance features, that you can ski freeride or rip deep carves with. AllTrack’s sensor grid technology is designed to keep the boot light weight, but allow the boot’s stiffness to warp around the foot.
This boot comes in a 102mm last, which is great for people with a wide forefoot, but a mid to narrow heel. The Alltrack also comes in a PRO version which is designed on a 100mm last, great boot. Walk mode and nonslip sole for snowmobiles and dance floors.
Do you like to earn you turns in the backcountry, look no further than the Salomon Quest Max ski boots. Salomon offers a fully custom heat moldable shell, which means this boot will fit some with a 98mm-104 Foot! 360˚ custom shell, Salomon has literally widened the ski boot world.
Custom shell heat molding process and the moldable boot shell now extends to the instep area and rear cuff of the Boot as well as the medial and lateral forefoot and mid-foot. Salomon also uses this technology in several of their other Ski boots. Oh Yeah this one has a great walk mode too.
The Technica Cochise is a ski that rips and this ski boot Rips too, if you are looking for performance and comfort the Cochise is one of the game changers. This boot shares DNA with Tecnica’s famously burly race boots. But takes the last traveled path through the trees to meet up for the après drinks at the base. Walk mode and cuff articulation are phenomenal with this boot.
The 2016 version is even better, in many ways but then again it’s hard to improve upon perfection.