The 10 Best Backcountry Ski Boots of 2020

From super light to heavy duty, these are our picks for the most awesome options that will work for every type of backcountry traveler.
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GEAR OF THE YEAR - Atomic Backland Carbon

Atomic Backland Carbon 2020

The Atomic Backland Carbon is SKI Magazine's 2020 Gear of the Year backcountry ski boot.

The Backland Carbon doesn’t skimp on downhill performance like so many others in the superlight category. Featuring a Boa Fit System on the lower shell and a single metal buckle on the upper with a modified power strap, this boot has a true 110 flex and was able to handle skis over 100mm underfoot with ease. Thanks to a fully heat-customizable liner and shell and a whopping 74 degrees of movement in walk mode, the Backland Carbon feels more like a hiking shoe than a ski boot going uphill. Add in crampon-friendly front toe bights and machine-washable liners to fight funky smells, and this boot is the new standard for superlight ski touring and ski mountaineering.

  • Last Width (in millimeters): 98
  • Flex: 110
  • Weight: 1,094g
  • MSRP: $950 [BUY NOW]

Read more about the Atomic Backland Carbon

Check out all of our Gear of the Year picks for 2020

Dalbello Lupo Air

Dalbello Lupo Air 130

The Dalbello Lupo Air is a big step forward for the Italian company.

Using a unique mix of grilamid “air” material and polyamide composite carbon, the Italian brand was able to trim weight without sacrificing the performance. To make it even better, there is no need to remove the tongue when transitioning to ski tour mode. A terrific option for fans of cabrio-style boots who need a lightweight, high-performance touring option.

  • Last Width (in millimeters): 100
  • Flex: 130
  • Weight: 1,299g
  • MSRP: $950 [BUY NOW]

Read more about the Dalbello Lupo Air

SCARPA Maestrale XT

SCARPA Maestrale XT

The all-new SCARPA Maestrale XT.

The XT is designed to be one step burlier than the Maestrale RS thanks to a stiff, carbon-infused web-frame grilamid shell and a Pebax tongue. SCARPA has mastered the ski/walk mode interface with 56 degrees of frictionless movement, and testers appreciated the adjustable forward lean in ski mode. The heat-moldable Intuition liner is top-notch as well.

  • Last Width (in millimeters): 101
  • Flex: 130+
  • Weight: 1,490g
  • MSRP: $899 [BUY NOW]

See more details about the SCARPA Maestrale XT

Tecnica Zero G Tour Scout W

Tecnica Zero G Tour Scout W

The Tecnica Zero G Tour Scout W is our top women's backcountry-specific ski boot of 2020.

Tecnica’s four-buckle Zero G boots make ascents easy but also maximize pleasure during descents. The grilamid shell is notably low-volume compared to most backcountry boots, but still features Tecnica’s C.A.S. adjustability for hard-to-fit feet. The women’s specific model stands out thanks to its ability to drive any ski and its perfectly snug-yet-comfy fit.

  • Last Width (in millimeters): 99
  • Flex: 125
  • Weight: 1,360g
  • MSRP: $960

Get more info about the Tecnica Zero G Tour Scout W

Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour

Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour Alpine Touring Ski Boot square crop

The Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour was one of the coolest ski boot releases in 2018.

Italian brand Dynafit worked with pro skier Eric Hjorleifson to create an innovative, hard-charging backcountry boot. In ski mode, the Hoji’s spoiler slides over the walk-mode hinge point, creating a nearly solid spine that skis extraordinarily well, especially considering its 55-degree range of motion in tour mode. The shark nose can be a nuisance (it doesn’t work with the SHIFT or any step-in crampons), but it does increase touring efficiency. Read more about the Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour here.

  • Last Width (in millimeters): 102
  • Flex: 120
  • Weight: 1,450g
  • MSRP: $800 [BUY NOW]

SCARPA F1

SCARPA F1 Limited Edition version

The Limited Edition 80th Anniversary SCARPA F1 was released in 2018.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, pure backcountry boot, SCARPA’s F1 model has never been better. The boot features a carbon-fiber frame surrounding the foot, providing precise energy transmission. The boot’s Intuition Pro Flex EVO liner combined with Boa and Velcro retention systems offers easy fitting capabilities. With a 62-degree range of motion, this boot is oriented more for going up than down, but it gets both jobs done better than most. See additional details about the SCARPA F1 here.

  • Last Width (in millimeters): 102
  • Flex: 95
  • Weight: 1,230g
  • MSRP: $749

Arc’teryx Procline Carbon AR W

Arc’teryx Procline Carbon AR W

The Arc’teryx Procline Carbon AR W in white.

Arc’teryx reinvigorated its Procline series with new materials to increase downhill performance while remaining minimalist. In walk mode, the Procline AR still features a 360-degree rotating cuff, which helps with technical snow climbs and general uphill comfort. The boot has a rigid tongue and grilamid spoiler for noticeably increased downhill responsiveness. Definitely created for the passionate backcountry enthusiast and ski mountaineer. Find more details for the Arc’teryx Procline Carbon AR W here.

  • Last Width (in millimeters): 98
  • Flex: 100
  • Weight: 1,150g
  • MSRP: $1,000

Roxa R3 130 T.I.

Roxa R3 130 T.I.

The Roxa R3 130 is a great backcountry option for those who also dabble with chairlifts.

Roxa’s new three-buckle features a cabrio (3-piece) boot design: upper buckle and power strap, heel retention buckle, and singular forefoot buckle. Made from Grilamid top to bottom, the material reduces mass without compromising downhill chops. The R3 scored high in power and snow feel on the down with its 130 flex. Its range of motion was generous in walk mode—and with swappable toe and heel pieces, you can rock these in tech or DIN bindings. Could be a quiver-killer. More info on the ROXA R3 130 here.

  • Last Width (in millimeters): 99
  • Flex: 130
  • Weight: 1,520g
  • MSRP: $875

Salomon S/LAB X Alp

gear guide 2018 salomon s/lab x alp boot review

The Salomon S/LAB X Alp has been a top pick for a few years now.

Built for big days and technical ascents, the svelte, two-buckle X-Alp has a “3D” carbon fiber rotating cuff that allows for lateral motion in tour mode. The idea is to allow for more articulated movements during technical hikes and skins. The X-Alp sheds weight with an integrated gaiter that minimizes unnecessary plastic and a thin thermoformable liner that enhances snow feel even more. Testers found it skied surprisingly well, powering mountaineering and mid-fat skis with aplomb. More about the Salomon S/LAB X Alp here.

  • Last Width (in millimeters): 98
  • Flex: 100
  • Weight: 1,190g
  • MSRP: $1,000 [BUY NOW]

SCARPA Maestrale RS

SCARPA Maestrale RS 2019

The SCARPA Maestrale RS has a proven track record of performance in the backcountry.

Improving on the massively popular original version, SCARPA’s Maestrale RS has carbon infused into its Grilamid lower and cuff, which simultaneously adds stiffness while shedding a full five ounces per boot. With 60 degrees of cuff motion, the Maestrale RS also has more stridability in walk mode, and its Intuition liner keeps your digits warm on long cold slogs. Testers were totally amped with the new boot, calling it “a backcountry touring weapon.” Stiffer, lighter, better touring, great warmer liner—what’s not to like? Read more about the SCARPA Maestrale RS here.

  • Last Width (in millimeters): 101
  • Flex: 125
  • Weight: 1,450g
  • MSRP: $799 [BUY NOW]

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