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Boots

How We Test Ski Boots

How We Test Ski Boots

Jamie Kingsbury tests boots for SKI Magazine at Stratton, Vt.

To get the best ski gear, start at the bottom and work up.

To test boots, we returned to Mt. Bachelor, Ore., in the spring, as we have most years since SKI magazine created the first on-hill boot testing program more than 25 years ago.

Cochise Pro W

Tecnica

2015

BUY NOW

price$700

YEAR2014/2015

LEVELAdvanced

FLEX105

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTH98

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MSRP: $700.00

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The cuff is tall and upright, and the flex is a true 105, so our taller, heavier women liked this one a lot. It skied strongly and comfortably everywhere on the hill—a boot doesn’t have to be bone-crushingly tight to be right when all the angles line up. It’s billed as a narrow fit (98 mm) but thicker feet won’t have any problems. Gettmann: “Finds the new edge quickly, like the next turn is its sole purpose in life.”

Mach1 105W C.A.S

Tecnica

2015

price$660

YEAR2014/2015

LEVELIntermediate

FLEX105

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTH100

MSRP: $660.00

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Testers said the name is apt. They found themselves skiing faster and harder in this boot than most others in the category. Its athletic, balanced stance, honest 105 flex, and lateral strength combine to drive a ski with authority. Yet it’s plenty comfortable: All key fit zones are roomier than the average medium-width boot’s. Kennaday: “Perfect for women who want a little extra room but don’t want to give up the power.”

Quest Pro 100 W

Salomon

2015

BUY NOW

price$600

YEAR2014/2015

LEVELAdvanced

FLEX100

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTH100

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MSRP: $600.00

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This agile, all-mountain ripper has tricks up its sleeve. The tongue and cuff are just right for off-piste exploration (a little tall, a little upright, a little long-flexing). The cushioned liner dampens bumps and jumps. Testers loved the big-buckle hike-mode mechanism for its ease of use and solid lockdown. And the heat-moldable shell fits a huge range of foot widths. Theren: “Good dynamic bal- ance fore and aft.”

X Max 110 W

Salomon

2015

price$700

YEAR2014/2015

LEVELAdvanced

FLEX110

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTH98

MSRP: $700.00

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A yawning calf-size adjustment and the shell’s heat-moldability give this boot great fit flexibility. It works well with a variety of foot types, skiing styles, and even sizes. Bigger testers felt the flex was a little soft. Lightweights with low-volume feet and average to slender calves liked the snow- handling capabilities and gave it high agil- ity scores. Goldsmith-Rahill: “Once I sized down it was solid underfoot and snug.”

Alltrack Pro 110 W

Rossignol

2015

BUY NOW

price$700

YEAR2014/2015

LEVELAdvanced

FLEX110

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTH100

BUY NOW
MSRP: $700.00

Get a FREE SKI subscription with your order

Testers loved the way this boot stands and skis. It’s tall and upright but with a long- travel flex that let them get over the ski for silky turn transitions. They said it felt more like 100 than 110. There’s more toe and forefoot room than in most medium fits, for a toenail-trauma-free experience. The tequila sunrise cosmetics and the fur liner were popular. Elling: “Puts you where you need to be—great balance.”

Alltrack 90 W

Rossignol

2015

BUY NOW

price$550

YEAR2014/2015

LEVELAdvanced

FLEX90

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTH102

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MSRP: $550.00

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Here’s a warm, fuzzy bucket of love aimed at lighter, less aggressive skiers. It topped the on-off-ease and comfort scores. Testers said the flex feels softer than 90, but they dug its long-travel feel and balanced starting point. The fit is long, wide in the toe and forefoot, and roomy enough for thicker calves. It’s ideal for keeping a ski mom smiling all day. Post: “Great for build- ing skills. Fabulous stance, smooth flex.”

Electra SL 100

Rossignol

2015

price$700

YEAR2014/2015

LEVELAdvanced

FLEX110

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTH97

MSRP: $700.00

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This speed-loving shredder took testers on adventures all over the mountain. With its warm, fur-trimmed liner, it also scored high for comfort and ease of entry/exit. Testers loved its springy, energetic flex, which they said was the key to its respon- siveness. It’s solid on edge, with a firm, narrow-last grip on the ankle and heel, but up front it fits like a medium. Parazoo: “Dynamic! I felt like Superwoman.”

Belle Pro

Nordica

2015

BUY NOW

price$699

YEAR2014/2015

LEVELAdvanced

FLEX105

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTH100

BUY NOW
MSRP: $699.00

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The fit of the new Belle Pro’s liner—plush and inviting, with flow-cork ankle zones— belies its power. It boasts a stiffer-than- billed flex and stout lateral transmission that can really put a ski on edge. Testers liked its firmness and tall contour along the leg. Its fit is generous for a 100 mm, but the heel grip is sufficiently snug. Taller, more aggressive testers admired it most. Rogers: “Holds up well on- and off-piste.”

RX 110 W LV

Lange

2015

price$700

YEAR2014/2015

LEVELAdvanced

FLEX110

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTH97

MSRP: $700.00

Get a FREE SKI subscription with your order

This boot rips. Testers said it was a perfect match for accomplished skiers or athletic up-and-comers. The stance sets a skier up to make successful, dynamic movements, and the strong construction drives each turn home. The 110 flex—as burly as a woman’s boot gets—is true, as is the slim 97-mm last. Women with slender feet should put this one on their short list. Ris- seeuw: “A lock-and-load powerhouse.”

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