Buyers Guide 2017: All-Mountain Adventure Boots

At the flip of a hike-mode switch, you’re ready to trek beyond the boundaries in search of fresh snow and untamed terrain. Or, you know, just be a lot more comfortable hanging out in the bar.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
68
At the flip of a hike-mode switch, you’re ready to trek beyond the boundaries in search of fresh snow and untamed terrain. Or, you know, just be a lot more comfortable hanging out in the bar.
1617boot_te_cochisepro130.png

Tecnica Chochise Pro 130

FLEX 130 | MSRP $840 | WIDTH Narrow

The name is the same, but the fit is better and the weight is reduced. The Pro is snug enough to roll as a narrow but shapely enough where it matters to satisfy a medium- wide foot. It’s accurate and poppy, powerful underfoot at high speeds and over all surfaces. 

Tester Notes:

Gleason: “A Best of Test contender. Rigged to romp, it’s a virile ski driver, and the hike mode is delightfully effective.”

1617boot_te_cochise105_w.png

Tecnica Cochise 105 W

FLEX 105 | MSRP $720 | WIDTH Narrow

Tecnica nails the fit with a 99-mm last that accommodates a lot of medium-wide feet. The liner feels cushioned but firm. Anatomical sculpting of the shell and liner combines to provide a welcoming fit at common problem areas. A new shell design creates a lighter yet stronger feel on snow. 

Tester Notes:

Carr: “Smooth and powerful, a great hike-mode boot for hard- skiing women with narrower feet.”

2016 DaleBoot VFF Pro

DaleBoot VFF Pro

Flex: 100-120 | MSRP $825 | WIDTH n/a                   

The VFF Pro, like all DaleBoots, is fully customizable. Local dealers take measurements and send them to the factory, where the components are assembled. The Pro is lightweight with thin shell walls, and testers said it pumped out agile, quick transitions thanks to its snappy flex. 

Tester Notes:

J. Weisberg: “I like the concept of a boot that promises to fit with a commitment from the manufacturer.”

2016 Lange XT 2.0 130

Lange XT 130

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH Medium

The XT returns unchanged this year, still one of the category’s best. It’s well shaped and nicely padded around bony prominences for a no-hot-spots fit. It hovers just to the snug side of medium-fit tension scores. The long-travel, spring-loaded flex generates energy and pop with every turn. 

Tester Notes:

Coulter: “Rocks like a Lange race boot but with better off-piste ability. A contender for Best of Test.”

1617boot_ro_alltrackpro130.png

Rossignol Alltrack Pro 130

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH Medium

Unchanged and still a tester favorite, the Alltrack Pro lacks long travel in hike mode but absolutely lays waste on the descent. It skis well in all conditions, turn radii, speeds, and terrain. An exceptionally capable in-area ma- chine with a skiing- rather than hiking-focused backcountry mien. 

Tester Notes:

Gabriel: “Rossi just nails the fit without any custom flash magic. It’s neutral, even, smooth, responsive, fun.

1617boot_ro_alltrackpro110.png

Rossignol Alltrack Pro 110 W

FLEX 110 | MSRP $750 | WIDTH Medium

A go-anywhere, do-anything luxury SUV with a plush interior. Long and fairly open in the toe box, it tapers nicely toward the rear, gripping with padding that’s firm enough to do the job well. Testers applauded the predictable and smooth edge-to-edge roll and the stable platform. 

Tester Notes:

Poore: “Fits a wide range of feet. Take it for a cruise or hammer down; at home in both modes.”

2016 Scarpa Freedom RS

Scarpa Freedom RS 130

FLEX 130 | MSRP $829 | WIDTH Medium

Here’s a balanced mix of light weight, smooth touring range of motion, and exceptional skiability. The Freedom RS is billed as a medium-wide 101-mm last, but testers marked it as low volume pretty much everywhere, especially in the heel. It sets the bar for uphill ease among alpine- soled touring boots while still displaying strong downhill skills. The revamped liner is firm and performance-oriented but comfortable on the shin. 

Tester Notes:

Gleason: “Solid to the edge; potent enough for the biggest skis.”

1617boot_k2_pinnaclepro.png

K2 Pinnacle Pro

FLEX 130 | MSRP $950 | WIDTH Medium

A pretty snug medium, the Pinnacle Pro fits especially close at the instep, ankle, and navicular bone, testers said. The toe box is wide. It’s surprisingly strong on edge given its lightweight all-Pebax construction. Testers hammered it all over and couldn’t ever push it to edge-grip failure, though a few of the heavier testers thought that the flex maxed out under heavy loads. The hike mechanism offers a huge range of motion and is smooth both fore and aft. 

Tester Notes:

Astle: “An awesome, athletic boot.”

1617boot_da_kyra95.png

Dalbello Kyra 95

FLEX 95 | MSRP $600 | WIDTH Medium

From blue squares to easy black diamonds to the barstool, this was a tester favorite for its versatility and instant success on snow. It’s so evenly roomy, testers checked its fit scores in straight rows. It goes everywhere willingly and is game for a challenge. With a soft-side-of-95 flex, it’s not for heavy, hard-charging, all-mountain attackers, but it will work well for everyone else. 

Tester Notes:

Christensen: “Felt like a powerful, supportive hug. I could ski these all day, all over the mountain.”

2016 DaleBoot VFF Pro

DaleBoot VFF Pro 

FLEX 100-120 | MSRP $825 | WIDTH Narrow

The women’s VFF Pro, which we tested as a narrow, excelled in fit, performance, and the custom-fitting process. It’s built to match each owner’s personal foot and leg dimensions, which are recorded by local dealers. Fit equals performance, so all the tailoring generated high quickness scores and comments about “accurate steering” and “confident heel hold” in tricky situations. 

Tester Notes:

Post: “Having trouble finding an off-the-shelf fit that works? Consider DaleBoot. It’s perfect.”

1617boot_da_panterra120.png

Dalbello Panterra 120

FLEX 120 | MSRP $650 | WIDTH Wide

The Panterra is a stout boot for big, strong skiers with thicker feet and legs, yet it’s agile as a big cat and powerful in a quiet, damp sort of way. The cuff is roomy and tall on the leg shaft and has a firm flex. It’s engineered to best suit taller guys. The Panterra is powerful on edge, it’s comfort- able and trustworthy at high speeds, and testers admired the shock-absorbing feel. 

Tester Notes:

Campbell: “Surprisingly nimble in and out of turns for such a solid boot. A joy in crud and bumps.”

1617boot_da_lupocarbonti.png

Dalbello Lupo Carbon Ti I.D. 

FLEX 130 | MSRP $1,100 | WIDTH Narrow

The Lupo offers lots of useful and well-designed features, a narrow fit, and a stiff flex. Yes, it’s expensive, but testers say it’s worth every dollar if you mold the I.D. liner—a comfort must. Laced-up entry and exit aren’t easy, but testers accepted the processes because the skiing product was worth the effort. The tall, strong cuff readily rolled the ski up on edge and put the hammer down when engaged. 

Tester Notes:

Barr: “Great sidecountry boot for all narrow-footed rippers. Super light and responsive.”

1617boot_sa_qstpro130.png

Salomon QST Pro 130

FLEX 130 | MSRP $850 | WIDTH  Medium

Some loved the spacey look; others were less enthusiastic. The distinctive Endofit tongue construction is not quite overlap but it’s also not a classic three-piece design. It has a tricky entry and it fits very close along the top of the foot. On snow, the QST moves well laterally, weaving in and out of turns with a silky lightweight touch. Agile and accurate side-to- side moves were best executed with finesse rather than an aggressive assault. 

Tester Notes:

Harper: “A predictable, lightweight powerhouse with outstanding heel hold.”

1617boot_fi_hybrid10plusvacuum_w.png

Fischer Hybrid W 10+ Vacuum Full Fit

Flex 110 | MSRP $700 | WIDTH Narrow

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 tactile, it’s sensitive underfoot and fast to react. 

Tester Notes:

Christensen: “Fun, agile boot. Able to make fast, dynamic turns with confidence.”

1617boot_rox_xface120.png

Roxa X-Face 120

FLEX 120 | MSRP $750 | WIDTH Narrow

The X-Face is a shock-absorbing off-piste specialist with a ton of useful features, and testers were stunned by its power transmission 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. 

Tester Notes:

Barr: “Fun boot. Playful but serious on edge; strong but light enough to get around quickly.”

Scarpa Freedom SL W

Scarpa Freedom SL 120 W

FLEX 120 | MSRP $749 | WIDTH Medium

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. 

Tester Notes:

F. Dardani: “Sets the benchmark for stability and power in a lightweight touring package. Hiking was effortless.”

1617boot_k2_bfc90.png

K2 BFC 90 W

FLEX 90 | MSRP $550 | WIDTH Wide

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. 

Tester Notes:

L. Elling: “Cushy, comfortable, easy to use. Super warm and skied well.”