Knee Binding Until it gets a chance to prove itself, no one can say for certain that the Knee Binding can prevent knee injuries in significant numbers. But we can say this: Contrary to our initial skepticism, it skis great, with all the edge-hold, lateral responsiveness and overall solidity you expect from a good binding. That being the case, skiers who worry about their knees, or those of their loved ones—especially wives and daughters, who are most prone to injury—may want to give it a chance. It has lateral release capability at the heel, what skiers need in the rearward, twisting falls that tear ACLs. Only the Knee Binding offers it, and if there’s a chance that it can save you the pain and misery of a rupture, that seems well worth the price.
 Lange Super Banshee We’d begun to wonder if proud Lange had lost its mojo. Recent attempts to improve comfort only compromised its once-incomparable performance. But this year’s Super Banshee gets it rightin both departments. The shell is un-changed, an iteration of the RL11, with its progressive flex and lightning quick lateral responsiveness. But a new liner finally blends the right amount of forefoot comfort with that trusted Lange ankle-heel snugness. The 130 flex will keep hard-chargers happy, a Vibram sole makes it easy to get around in, and a shock-absorbing bootboard smooths the ride for hard snow or hard landings.
 Salomon X3-RC If you just have to have the power and quickness of a race boot, then you’re probably accustomed to the discomfort that comes with it. The X3-RC might surprise you. Salomon based it on its World Cup boot, which has been redesigned with a new cuff that improves the hinge point and lateral quickness. But it features the same interior foot shape as the Falcon line, and the stance is slightly more upright, so it’s more comfortable for all-day skiing. Best of all, it incorporates Salomon’s cool Custom Shell technology—a panel of special plastic alongside the forefoot that can be heated and stretched in minutes for a custom fit.