Yes, it’s from the “race” collection. But that makes it sound so one-dimensional. The Raptor is dense and damp and snug-fitting, as you’d expect a race boot to be. But it likes to have fun, especially when driven hard all over the mountain by a fearless ripper. Testers found it to be highly energetic and responsive, but also comfortably quiet and steady. And the matte-black, skull-and-crossbones look is a nice, non-girly change of pace. “Felt super natural right away to me,” Humes said. “Just solid, powerful, responsive. Loved it.” More info about the Head Raptor 110S RS W here.
Flex: 110; Width: Narrow (96 mm).
Few boots are as highly regarded—and have been for so long—as the classic Lange “blue boot,” aka the RS. It has the performance of a plug race boot, but with a shell that’s sculpted to fit the average foot. The only nod to women in the 120 SC is the short cuff (hence the name), which accommodates a lower calf muscle. Otherwise, it’s built for pure high-speed performance. “Responsive,” “super stiff,” “tight!” testers said—a bad-ass boot for women who ski everything, everywhere with energy and confidence. Read more about the Lange RS 120 SC here.
Flex: 120; Width: Narrow (97 mm).
Given Salomon’s reputation for exceptional comfort, the testers were a little surprised: The redesigned X Max 120 W feels like it was built for performance, not pampering. Hardly a race-ready pain chamber, it sure isn’t overly cushioned or muffled either, and that lets it sing, responding to skier input quickly and accurately. Heat-mold the shell for a fine-tuned fit and enjoy its all-conditions, all-terrain versatility. Fischer: “Nicely snug with really good ankle and heel hold. Definitely trades some comfort for great performance.” Read more about the Salomon X Max 120 W here.
Flex: 120; Width: Narrow (98 mm).
Nobody likes cabrio boots—except all those legit rippers who adore them. If cabrio is your style, the Lupo might be your new favorite. It’s an AT/alpine hybrid; unlock the cuff and it’s ready to tour or hike. WTR soles make it extra comfortable to walk in. The fit is humane, and can be improved by heat-molding the Intuition liner, but there’s still enough fit tension to put a ski on edge. Which is why testers think it might be the best-performing cabrio out there. “Great rebound and response,” said Humes. “Stable at high speed. I was pleasantly surprised.” Read more about the the Dalbello Lupo AX 110 W here.
Flex: 110; Width: Medium (100 mm).
For heavier or hard-charging women, there’s a 110-flex version of the Spyre. For women who just can’t ever get warm enough, there’s a version with integrated heaters. Need more width and toe-wiggle room? There’s a medium-fit Spyre as well. But testers were happy with their Spyre just the way it was. Marker’s GripWalk soles make it easy to walk in, improvements to the liner refine the fit without sacrificing accuracy, and descriptions such as “stable, smooth, responsive performance” made it easy to love on-hill. “Nice! Responsive and quick, with good power transfer,” said Fischer. Read more about the K2 Spyre 100 LV here.
Flex: 100; Width: Narrow (97 mm)
Any boot’s performance is largely a factor of fit accuracy, so Fischer’s Vacuum Fit shell-customization system gives it a built-in advantage over the competition. Compression from outside is used to mold the heat-softened shell against the foot, making it the only heat-molding system that can reduce volume as needed. That’s a godsend for slender-footed women who need more fit tension to steer the ski. But no matter what your foot volume, testers said, Vacuum yields a fit that positions strong-skiing women for success. For more info on the Fischer My Curv 110, click here.
Flex: 110; Width: Medium (100 mm)