A good touring boot is lightweight, maneuverable, and flexible for the skin track, then locks in securely for the descent far beyond the rope line. These boots all received at Skier’s Choice award in our 2018 Buyer’s Guide. Read our full reviews of these boots and more right here.
ATOMIC Backland Carbon
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.
SCARPA Maestrale RS
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.
LA SPORTIVA Synchro
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.
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.