Last season, I bought a very stiff, high-end alpine boot. A telemarker by trade, I was wary to jump headlong into stiff, uncomfortable boots. But I did. And I hated them. Like a wuss, I had to stop in the lodge to take them off— multiple times a day. I just couldn't get used to those boots.
Enter the Salomon Quest W. Last winter, Salomon debuted their foray into the alpine touring (AT) boot scene, the Quest. With a sticky sole and replaceable toe and heel plates, these boots were made for walking. They were also made for skiers who like downhill performance along with that walkability. Flip 'em into walk mode for a more upright stance, perfect for bootpacking or skinning. Three beefy buckles and a comfortable liner complete the package.
This season, the women's model (the Quest W) features the same qualities: walk mode, three buckles, and a plush liner. I fell in love. But, I wouldn't be a true skier if I bought boots just for comfort. Lucky for me, this pair doesn't compromise on the downhill: they are stable, aggressive, and stiff. I wore them for the first time at a demo day, where I tried pair after pair of new skis. While I made turns on massive skis like the Rossignol S7 or Nordica Radict, my boots hung tough.
So, I’ve said "So long" to the pair of boots now collecting dust in my closet, and "Hello" to the comfiest pair of alpine boots I've ever owned. I guess you can have your cake and eat it too.