The 7 Best Men's All-Mountain Adventure Ski Boots of the Year

Perfectly snug boots, walk modes, rubber soles, and uncompromised performance in all conditions.
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All-mountain ski boots are exactly that: Boots that work all over the mountain. For the 2019/2020 ski season, the focus was on boots that are primarily adventure-oriented, with medium-width lasts and walk modes. SKI tested this category based out of The Lifthouse Ski Shop, located at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. The shop used pro-team of testers, many of whom also test skis for us. Special thanks to Snowbird for the on-hill portion of the testing.

BEST IN TEST: Head Kore

2020 Head Kore 1

The 2020 Head Kore 1.

Head’s improved Smart Frame technology adds more material to the lower shell to increase downhill performance with minimal weight gains. Throw in GripWalk, LiquidFit customization, and a simple-yet-effective walk mode, and the Kore can rule the mountain within resort boundaries and beyond. According to one tester, “Very responsive and stiff, I would ski this anywhere.” 

Head Kore Factsheet

  • FLEXES: 130 (Kore 1), 120 (Kore 2)
  • LAST: 100MM
  • VOLUME: MEDIUM
  • 2020 GEAR GUIDE RANK: #1
  • HEAD KORE 1 MSRP: $900 [BUY NOW]

See more about the Best in Test Head Kore

Read all about 2020's Best in Test Ski Boots

BEST VALUE: Fischer Ranger Free

2020 Fischer Ranger Free

The 2020 Fischer Ranger Free.

With an innovative walk mode mechanism activated just below the top buckle, the Ranger Free’s 100 percent grilamid shell handles ups and après with 55 degrees of comfortable movement, yet crushes the downhill with strong lateral stiffness. When driven forward, they can handle any ski. “A secure overall fit and great edging capabilities.”

Fischer Ranger Free Factsheet

  • FLEXES: 130, 120, 100
  • LAST: 99MM
  • VOLUME: MEDIUM
  • 2020 GEAR GUIDE RANK: #2
  • RANGER FREE 130 MSRP: $800 [BUY NOW]

Check out additional details for the Fischer Ranger Free

Nordica Strider

2020 Nordica Strider

The 2020 Nordica Strider 130 Pro DYN.

The Strider’s cuff integrates grilamid in key locations to shave grams, and the brand’s superior 3D cork liner is modified to allow for more comfort in walk mode. Testers were unanimous about the Strider’s great downhill performance but noted it feels roomy compared to the rest of the category. “Smooth and muffled, a bit wide.”

Nordica Strider Factsheet

  • FLEXES: 130, 120
  • LAST: 100MM
  • VOLUME: MEDIUM
  • 2020 GEAR GUIDE RANK: #3
  • NORDICA STRIDER 130 MSRP: $850 [BUY NOW]

Read more about the 2020 Nordica Strider

Tecnica Cochise

2020 Tecnica Cochise

The orange 2020 Tecnica Cochise 130.

Featuring what one tester called “the truest 130 flex in the test,” the Cochise was able to take on any snow condition on any ski. Thanks to Tecnica’s proprietary C.A.S. fitting system, this boot can handle modifications for big feet with ease. But all that downhill performance comes at a cost as testers dinged its heavy feel. “High performance with great flex characteristics.” 

Tecnica Cochise Factsheet

  • FLEXES: 130, 120, 110
  • LAST: 99MM
  • VOLUME: MEDIUM
  • 2020 GEAR GUIDE RANK: #4
  • TECNICA COCHISE 130 MSRP: $900 [BUY NOW]

Check out more details for the 2020 Tecnica Cochise

K2 Mindbender

2020 K2 Mindbender

The 2020 K2 Mindbender 130.

K2 uses a 100 percent heat-moldable lightweight shell with a beefy walk mode contraption to allow for 50 degrees of range of motion. Testers with narrower heels thought the Mindbender was a little sloppy while skiing, but those that fit in the boot out of the box loved it to bits. “Solid hike mechanism and laterally stiff enough to drive anything.”

K2 Mindbender Factsheet

  • FLEXES: 130, 120, 100
  • LAST: 98MM, 100MM
  • VOLUME: LOW, MEDIUM
  • 2020 GEAR GUIDE RANK: #5
  • K2 MINDBENDER 130 MSRP: $850 [BUY NOW]

See more about the 2020 K2 Mindbender

Lange XT Free

2020 Lange XT Free

The 2020 Lange XT Free 130.

Testers found the XT Free to be responsive and laterally compliant while skiing in variable terrain at Snowbird. With a number of last and volume options, it can also fit a wide variety of feet. But testers found the 130 flex to be softer than advertised compared to other boots in this category. “Good trade-off of comfort and performance for a stiff boot.”

Lange XT Free Factsheet

  • FLEXES: 140, 130, 120, 100
  • LAST: 97MM (140), 100MM
  • VOLUME: LOW, MEDIUM
  • 2020 GEAR GUIDE RANK: #6
  • LANGE XT FREE 130 MSRP:  [BUY NOW]

Read more about the Lange XT Free

Rossignol AllTrack Pro

2020 Rossignol AllTrack Pro

The 2020 Rossignol AllTrack Pro 130.

Rossi borrowed sister company Lange’s Dual Core technology and combined it with its proprietary Generative Design Grid to increase downhill performance with minimal weight additions. The AllTrack impressed testers with both comfort and ability, but the fit runs large. “Very comfortable, great for someone who puts in long days in ski boots.” 

Rossignol AllTrack Pro Factsheet

  • FLEXES: 130, 120, 100
  • LAST: 100MM
  • VOLUME: MEDIUM
  • 2020 GEAR GUIDE RANK: #7
  • ROSSIGNOL ALLTRACK 130 MSRP: $850 [BUY NOW]

Read more about the 2020 Rossignol AllTrack Pro

People Also Ask

What should my ski boot flex be?

  • Ski boot flex is indicated by a number ranging from 50 (very soft) to 140 (very stiff). Lightweight, short and beginner skiers should start with softer flexes, while larger, taller and more aggressive skiers can use stiffer flexes. If in doubt, use a softer flex to prevent pain and practices better technique before using stiffer ski boots.

What is a ski boot last?

  • The last of a ski boot indicates the width of the boot in the forefoot area. Last is measured in millimeters (mm). It is best to get your foot measured to make a more accurate choice. People with narrower feet will want a narrower last, while those with wide feet will want a wider last. Boots with larger lasts tend to have more overall volume, while ski boots with narrower lasts will have less overall volume.

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BEST IN TEST and BEST VALUE: K2 Recon 130 MV

K2 Recon 130 Ski Boot Reviewed

The 2018/2019 K2 Recon 130 MV

A huge step forward from K2, the Recon has a lively energy on slope and is incredibly light, which nudges it just above the rest. The secret sauce is in the shell, which has four different durometers of polyurethane (PU) with the stiffest PU in the shell’s power spine and the chassis underfoot. Paired with a thermo-moldable liner, the Recon’s performance eked out just above the legacy boot brands. Said one tester: “Would be my daily driver, all day every day.” 

  • Last Width (In Millimeters): 100
  • Flex: 130
  • Number Of Buckles: 4
  • MSRP: $750

Read more about the K2 Recon 130 MV.

Nordica Speedmachine 130

Nordica Speedmachine 130 Boot Review

The 2018/2019 Nordica Speedmachine 130.

The Speedmachine impressed testers out of the box and on the hill with a snug ankle grip but fairly roomy forefoot area that accommodates most skiers. What really sets the Speedmachine apart is a high-performing 3D cork liner that transmits energy from the leg to the ski with nothing wasted. With exceptional performance, tons of adjustability and an infrared customizable shell, this boot is still at the top of its class. “Rock solid, capable, and inspiring.” 

  • Last Width (In Millimeters): 100
  • Flex: 130
  • Number Of Buckles: 4
  • MSRP: $799 (BUY NOW)

Find out more info about the Nordica Speedmachine 130.

Lange RX 130

Lange RX 130 Ski boot review 2019

The 2018/2019 Lang RX 130

If you think you don’t have a “Lange foot,” you’re wrong. The RX 130 eliminates stereotypes by being a complete package for advanced skiers with any type of foot. Offering two different volume options, this boot has a shell built on the same Dual Core technology as Lange’s high performance options but a more approachable neutral cuff alignment and fully customizable liner. “Strong edge-to-edge command over the ski.” 

  • Last Width (In Millimeters): 100
  • Flex: 130
  • Number of buckles: 4
  • MSRP: $850 (BUY NOW)

Check out more info about the Lange RX 130 here.

Atomic Hawx Prime 130S

Atomic Hawx Prime 130S Ski boot Review 2019

The 2018/2019 Atomic Hawx Prime 130S.

Atomic put its high performing technologies of the Hawx Ultra into the new medium-volume Hawx Prime. The Prime is lightweight and fits a variety of feet with a large instep and tulip-style cuff. The shell is fully adjustable and a 3M Thinsulate heat-moldable liner keeps toes cozy. Best suited for forward-stance skiers, the Hawx Prime rewards with a solid edge-to-edge responsiveness and energy transmission. “Atomic is on a roll!” 

  • Last Width (in Millimeters): 100
  • Flex: 130
  • Number Of Buckles: 4
  • MSRP: $850 (BUY NOW)

See more about the Atomic Hawx Prime 130S here.

Tecnica Mach1 HV 130

Tecnica Mach1 HV 130 2019 ski boot review

The 2018/2019 Tecnica Mach1 HV 130.

While some brands are making high-volume performance boots by simply increasing over- all volume, Tecnica is the only one modifying more than just the fit. The Mach1 HV 130 puts thicker plastic on the inside of the shell, which increases lateral power transmission and sensitivity with minimal weight additions. Testers appreciated the difference, as well as the customizable, adaptive shape liner. “Not a bucket, but a high-performance boot for big feet.” 

  • Last Width (in Millimeters): 100
  • Flex: 130
  • Number Of Buckles: 4
  • MSRP: $840 (BUY NOW)

See more about the Tecnica Mach1 HV 130 here.

Head Nexo LYT 130 G

Head Nexo LYT 130 G 2019 ski boot review

The 2018/2019 Head Nexo LYT 130 G.

New for 2018-19, Head started using the Nobel Prize-winning graphene in its Nexo LYT ski boots. The brand also introduced a Liquid Fit liner this season, which is a wax-like material injected into the ankle and heel pocket during the fitting process to give the boot a custom, snug fit around the ankle and lower leg. Testers loved the snappy performance of the lightweight shell and fully-fitted liner. Said one tester: “The precise fit enhances the performance.” 

  • Last Width (in Millimeters): 100
  • Flex: 130
  • Number Of Buckles: 4
  • MSRP: $800

Check out more info about the Head Nexo LYT 130 G ski boot here.

Salomon X PRO 130

Salomon X PRO 130 2019 ski boot review

The 2018/2019 Salomon X PRO 130.

The X PRO 130 surpassed expectations thanks to a great out-of-the-box fit, heat-moldable shell and liner, and a stout cuff and power strap that provided significantly better on-mountain performance. There was just a bit of concern about the amount of material in the liner that could lead to packing out over time, but Salomon’s anti-packing foam delivered comfort and performance throughout the test. “Strong performance and very confident.” 

  • Last Width (in Millimeters): 100
  • Flex: 130
  • Number Of Buckles: 4
  • MSRP: $850 (BUY NOW)

Read more about the Salomon X PRO 130 here.

Dalbello Lupo AX 120

Dalbello Lupo AX 120 Ski Boot Review

The 2018/2019 Dalbello Lupo AX 120.

The top-ranking cabrio boot this year was also the top-ranked boot with a hike mode. No other brand has the smooth flex chops combined with rock-solid edge control of three-piece shell construction quite like the Lupo series. Add in a GripWalk sole, hike mode, and tech inserts, and the Lupo AX 120 is likely to be a one- boot quiver for anyone who spends time at the resort and in the backcountry. Cabrio-loving testers were stoked: “Still the king of cabrio.” 

  • Last Width (In Millimeters) 100
  • Flex 120
  • Number Of Buckles 3
  • MSRP: $800 (BUY NOW)

Check out more details for the Dalbello Lupo AX 120 here.

Full Tilt Ascendant

Full Tilt Ascendant 2019 Ski boot review

The 2018/2019 Full Tilt Ascendant.

Hot on the heels of Dalbello, Full Tilt’s latest boot stands as a rival in the three-piece, hike mode, one-boot-quiver for alpine and backcountry category. Featuring a Grilamid shell and replaceable tongue that comes off for ski touring, the Ascendant garnered tester praise for its downhill capabilities. The Intuition Tour Pro liner is top of its class but begs to be heat molded. “Fantastic Flexon feel with perfect edge-to-edge lateral stiffness.” 

  • Last Width (in Millimeters): 102
  • Flex: 120
  • Number Of Buckles: 3
  • MSRP: $900 (BUY NOW)

Find out more details for the Full Tilt Ascendant here.

Fischer Ranger Free 130

Fischer Ranger Free 130 2019 Ski boot review

The 2018/2019 Fischer Ranger Free 130.

Those looking for a four-buckle overlap resort and backcountry do-it-all boot have a solid option in the Ranger Free. The Grilamid shell, GripWalk sole, and lightweight liner are industry standard, but what makes the Ranger Free unique is its innovative new walk mode switch located just under the top cuff buckle. Testers praised its downhill performance, voluminous fit, and uphill-friendly weight. “Great for touring and descending large lines without sacrifice.” 

  • Last Width (In Millimeters) 99
  • Flex 130
  • Number Of Buckles 4
  • MSRP: $800 (BUY NOW)

Read more about the Fischer Ranger Free 130 here.

This article was originally published in the September 2018 print edition of SKI Magazine. It has been modified to accommodate hyperlinks.

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