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Gear

Hawx Prime 100 W

Atomic

2017

price$600

YEAR2016/2017

LEVEL

FLEX100

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTHMedium

$18.80

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The Hawx Prime sets the bar high for medium-width versatility. Medium to wider feet and thicker legs did best in it, but the well-padded Thinsulate liner did a great job of cradling lower-volume feet and legs. Testers loved the feel of the lower boot on snow-the legendary Hawx flexible sole still impresses with how it bends to match the arc of the ski for a deep and lively feel from turn to turn. Revello: "Sophisticated handling for all-day performance-well executed, functional design."

Hybrid W 10+ Vacuum FF

Fischer

2017

price$700

YEAR2016/2017

LEVEL

FLEX100

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTHNarrow

$18.75

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We've tested Fischer's Vacuum technology before and it works great. This year no Vac system was available during test camp so we tested the boot stock. Our testers, many of whom ski regularly in narrow boots, liked its starting-point 98-mm width just fine. Post-Vacuum, it can grow to a whopping 108 mm. Testers liked the lateral pop and energy, especially on smooth surfaces. Quick and tac- tile, it's sensitive underfoot and fast to react. Christensen: "Fun, agile boot. Able to make fast, dynamic turns with confidence."

X-Face 120

Roxa

2017

price$625

YEAR2016/2017

LEVEL

FLEX120

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTHNarrow

$18.73

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The X-Face is a shock-absorbing off-piste specialist with a ton of useful features, and testers were stunned by its power transmis- sion to the edge-best Roxa ever, they said. The lightweight spiral-wrap Intuition liner pairs with a clean hike mode and Dynafit tech fittings to offer options beyond the area boundary. Way roomier in the toe box and forefoot than expected for 99-mm, but it tapers to a snug fit in the rear foot. Barr: "Fun boot. Playful but serious on edge; strong but light enough to get around quickly."

Pure Elite 120

Rossignol

2017

price$700

YEAR2016/2017

LEVEL

FLEX120

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTHNarrow

$18.67

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With a tall cuff, upright stance, and true 120 flex, this boot demands a good skier at the controls. And it doesn't hurt if she's taller and stronger than the average cruiser. Testers said the fit is roomier than expected for a narrow-category boot, yet its edge power and stability through variable terrain are peerless. Get over the front of this boot and drive it; you'll be well rewarded. Post: "A powerhouse with amaz- ing feel for the snow. All the necessary features, nothing more."

G2 100M Powerfit

Scott

2017

price$549

YEAR2016/2017

LEVEL

FLEX100

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTHNarrow

$18.50

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The G2 is a compact assault vehicle for hard-charging women with low-volume feet. It's tight in the way of a bygone boot era, especially in the toe box and around the forefoot. The liner, which is heat-moldable, opens up a bit after customization, but not a lot. Testers said it launched into turns with no hesitation and inspired confidence without being overly demanding. Top- of-class performance at a bargain price. Revello: "Sporty and precise, it screams at you to open up the throttle."

Vector Evo 110 W

Head

2017

price$700

YEAR2016/2017

LEVEL

FLEX100

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTHMedium

$18.36

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The Vector Evo combines a silky interior feel with a silky on-snow demeanor. It's a well- balanced comfort and performance package that will work for a broad range of medium- width feet. Flex is adjustable, and testers encourage good skiers to bump it to the firmer notch. It carves long sweeping arcs and is adept off-piste, but quick turns on firm snow don't come with slalom alacrity. Johnson: "Strong holding power on steeps with smooth transitions and a supple feel for the snow."

Freedom SL 120 W

Scarpa

2017

price$749

YEAR2016/2017

LEVEL

FLEX120

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTHMedium

$17.88

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A Pebax shell and Intuition liner give the Freedom SL a featherweight feel on the foot. A stiff carbon-fiber rail in the lower gives it the backbone of a race-capable boot. It easily finds an edge and powers arcs on even the hardest snow. Testers said full liner molding, at least, is required if you expect to wear this narrow-feeling "medium" boot in comfort. However, they all agreed it's well worth the effort. F. Dardani: "Sets the benchmark for stability and power in a lightweight touring package. Hiking was effortless."

BFC 90 W

K2

2017

price$550

YEAR2016/2017

LEVEL

FLEX90

GENDERFemale

LAST WIDTHWide

$17.00

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K2's marketers got this just right: "Designed for women looking for comfort all day, from the morning in the parking lot to the afternoon in the lodge." Testers said amen to that. It's big, they felt, with room everywhere and plenty of cushioning for thick-footed women or those looking for a moderately relaxed fit. The 90 flex held its own, maybe even punching above its weight class, testers said. L. Elling: "Cushy, comfortable, easy to use. Super warm and skied well."

Putting Performance Back Into Your Outerwear

New clothes. New rules on how to keep them clean.

Each year we tend to upgrade our ski kit with a new piece or two—this season’s new tech shell, a fresh set of baselayers, that puffy you’ve had your eye on for months. So with all the effort and research we pour into our performance wear, it’s important to know how to take care of it too. 

 

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