• ATOMIC

    Backland Carbon

    $900.00

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    Manufacturer's Description

    Entering its third season, the Atomic Backland Carbon is unchanged, but still a force to be reckoned with. With 74 degrees of cuff rotation in walk-mode and a feather-like 1160 grams, the boot stands out as one of the best options for long days in the mountains.

    But what really sets it apart is the fact that when locked down into ski mode, the Backland Carbon still skis like an aggressive boot. The hike-and-ski combination alone makes it a worthy consideration for any backcountry skier looking for a better way to move through the hills.

    Power is provided by a carbon-reinforced spine along with a Grilamid lower shell. Utilizing a booster strap and two buckles (the lower one attached to a cable that wraps the forefoot), the minimalist design is easy to work with and provides a range of customization for a good fit. The tongue can be removed on the skin track for even better tourability, but after two solid winters in this boot, I’ve used that feature maybe three times; I’ve found that removing the tongue places too much pressure on my ankles, especially while side-hilling on an icy skin track.

    Atomic gives the Backland Carbon a narrow profile, though in my experience, the boot offers more room in the toe box than a similar boot like Dynafit’s TLT7.

    The burly rockered sole gives a secure connection between my often-tired legs and slippery rocks, and it’s also crampon-compatible for those extra-spicy missions.

    The liner leaves something to be desired. It’s lightweight and squishy, and to put the boot on I have to place my foot in the liner first, then stick liner and foot into the boot at the same time—a bit of a hassle in frigid parking lots. But even that’s not enough to dampen spirits about this boot, one of the best lightweight touring boots on the market. –Matt Hansen

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    ATOMIC

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Flex

    120

    Last

    98

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Ski Boots for Touring

    Product-type

    ski boots

  • SCARPA

    Maestrale RS

    $795.00

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    Manufacturer's Description

    Pound for pound, the retooled Scarpa Maestrale RS is the best new backcountry boot for 2018. First released in the fall of 2010, the Maestrale RS made waves as the original lightweight and powerful AT boot, eventually becoming the world’s best-selling alpine touring boot. A lot has changed in the backcountry world since then, as just about every ski boot brand on the planet has sought a piece of the AT pie.

    This season, Scarpa reinvents the Maestrale RS (in men’s and women’s) in a big way. A carbon fiber and Grilamid nylon hybrid cuff is placed around the heel and extended up underfoot, increasing stiffness and power but allowing for a smooth, even flex.

    In practice, the 130 flex feels natural and progressive as opposed to the rigid block produced by many other carbon-reinforced boots. The new design also replaces the old pivot tongue that I, frankly, found unpleasant with a new overlap/cabrio design. Scarpa’s new system is easier to get in and out of, while maintaining the same snug fit offered by the Scarpa’s stock Intuition liner, one of the best in the business.

    The toebox is roomy and perhaps a bit much for those with narrow feet, but the heel pocket maintains an excellent, snug fit. The new boot also provides more range of motion in the cuff, to the tune of 60 degrees. Oh, and they weigh less than the old one, tipping the scales at 3 pounds, 2 ounces (1275 grams per boot). —Matt Hansen

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    SCARPA

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Flex

    130

    Last

    101

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Ski Boots for Touring

    Product-type

    ski boots

  • SALOMON

    MTN LAB

    $950.00

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    Manufacturer's Description

    Unchanged from its debut in 2016, the Salomon MTN Lab continues to be the boot of choice for many backcountry skiers for its low weight and high performance. And yet, it is also the boot of choice for many skiers who charge the resort and take regular forays beyond the boundary. It’s that powerful; it’s that lightweight. The Salomon MTN Lab’s oversized pivot, 98-millimeter last with 120 flex, and forward lean based off the X-Max series give it superb downhill capabilities, and the 1,500-gram weight and quick transition Surelock mechanism is incredibly smooth on the skin track. The stock moldable liner is best in its class, and with a few fine-tune tweaks delivers the best one-boot quiver in the industry. —Erme Catino

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    SALOMON

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Flex

    120

    Last

    98

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Ski Boots for Touring

    Product-type

    ski boots

  • SALOMON

    S-Lab X-Alp

    $1,000.00

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    Manufacturer's Description

    Building on the success of the MTN Lab and MTN Explore, Salomon heads even deeper into the light touring boot world with the S-Lab X Alp. Developed with Arc’teryx, the 3D Rotating Cuff offers carbon stiffness and a huge, friction-free range of motion, including a lateral flex of 11 degrees. (Note: In late August, Acteryx issued a recall on the Procline, but Salomon assured us the recall did not affect the X-Alp.) That allows you to roll your ankles a little to each side, making touring more like walking. Yet despite a svelte weight of only 1,190 grams per boot, Salomon still cares about the downhill. The slimmed Sensifit shell pushes energy forward while skiing to compliment a surprisingly supple forward flex. A wide, strong power strap on a cuff that’s one of the highest in its category keeps the ride familiar for those used to inbounds boots. I wandered through both talus and parking lots with abandon thanks to the Contragrip sole and came away very impressed with Salomon’s S-Lab X Alp’s abilities on both the up and down. One gripe: When in walk mode, the cuff expands to a fairly large girth, so be wary if you’ve got your tight stretch pants on. —David Steele

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    SALOMON

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Last

    98

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Ski Boots for Touring

    Product-type

    ski boots

  • LA SPORTIVA

    Synchro

    $739.00

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    Manufacturer's Description

    On first impression, the new La Sportiva Synchro is a wild boot. The intense graphic and four unique Pegasus buckles, which offer the finest micro adjustment available, (though the mechanism is difficult to manage while wearing gloves) conjure visions of a Velociraptor, at least for me. It’s as if the boot was designed to withstand molten lava and razor sharp teeth in a quest for survival.

    And it kind of is. A Pebax cuff and carbon-reinforced Grilamid shell give the Synchro a powerful stance from which to ski confidently. Range of motion in tour mode is listed at 50 degrees, and in practice provides as much mobility on the skin track that you need. The Ultralon foam liner is thermoformable and warm, but be warned that the fit is very roomy, meaning those with medium to narrow feet will need to watch their sizing.

    Graphic aside, the Synchro is a lot of boot. It’s not heavy by any means, but some ‘hybrid’ boots weigh less. Thus, the ideal application is for those skiers who desire efficient tourability but demand no-compromises on the descent. —Matt Hansen

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    LA SPORTIVA

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Flex

    125

    Last

    102.5mm

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Ski Boots for Touring

    Product-type

    ski boots

  • DYNAFIT

    Vulcan

    $999.95

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    Manufacturer's Description

    If you could design a freeride-oriented boot that offered lightweight and easy touring efficiency along with no compromises on the descent, what would it look like? For legions of backcountry skiers, that boot looks and behaves like the Vulcan—a boot that almost single-handedly defined the modern definition of a backcountry boot when it was first released five years ago. Ever since its debut, competitors have been trying to match its prowess, to varying degree of success.

    Notable for the Vulcan in 2018 is that this will be the last year it will be available, as Dynafit plans to replace it. So don’t be surprised if devotees gobble up the last remaining pairs.

    A Pebax shell and carbon-reinforced Grilamid spine give the Vulcan a burly stiffness. Some would even say too stiff, as a hallmark of the Vulcan is that many people tinker to find the right fit and flex. One strategy to soften it up is by removing the tongue and cuff spoiler stoppers.

    The Ultra-Lock connects walk mode to ski mode by simply flipping the top buckle, a helpful system for those who sometimes forget to set our boots back into ski mode for the descent. In walk mode, the Vulcan offers 60 degrees of cuff rotation, more than adequate for big missions.

    The end result is a boot that climbs the biggest mountains and offers the highest performance on the descent. No wonder that in places like the Tetons, the Vulcan has nearly cornered the market. –Matt Hansen

    Guide-type

    Hardgoods

    Brand Name

    DYNAFIT

    Brand Website Click Here
    Skiers Choice

    No

    Flex

    130

    Last

    103

    Guide-year

    2018

    Product-collection

    The Best Ski Boots for Touring

    Product-type

    ski boots