Salomon X3-10CS (2011)

The top-dog race version of the Falcon series has what testers generally considered the best performance-to-comfort ratio of the category. It packs incredible power and quickness in an extraordinarily light, tight and powerful construction, with uncommonly aggressive forward lean. And you don’t have to suffer in a “race fit”: Salomon’s Custom Shell allows easy expansion.
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Salomon X3-10CS

Rating: 0.00 / 5
Price: $935.00
Year: 2011
Level: N/A
Gender: Male

Toebox fit: 0.00 / 5
Forefoot fit: 0.00 / 5
Ankle fit: 0.00 / 5
Instep fit: 0.00 / 5
Adjustments: 0.00 / 5
Closure: 0.00 / 5
Response: 0.00 / 5
Support: 0.00 / 5
Flex: 0.00 / 5
Steering: 0.00 / 5
Comfort: 0.00 / 5
Average Score: 0.00 / 5

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Salomon Ghost CS

Salomon Ghost CS (2011)

The two-buckle design isn’t just cool-looking. It also gets the job done in terms of closure. The snug fit of the lower shell provides good leverage over the edge; a more relaxed cuff lacks little for lateral quickness. The 130-rated flex feels more like 120, but it’s still plenty powerful. The Ghost is a big-mountain ripper that’ll drive the widest skis with ease.

Salomon RS8

Salomon Mission RS8 (2011)

The Mission offers generous volume and a thickly padded liner with just enough fit tension to keep an advanced intermediate happy. Its moisture wicking liner helps keep your foot dry and warm. The toe and heel pads are replaceable in case of wear. Heavier or more aggressive men with wide feet will be better served by the RS 12 ($565), with its 120 flex.

Salomon Poison

Salomon Poison (2011)

The Poison will please experts looking for a snugger, more responsive fit than the Idol 8 (below). It’s the women’s version of the Ghost (see Men’s Freeride), with a roomier, lower cuff and a heel wedge. The two-buckle construction is more youthful in styling than the Idol, and more upright in stance. It feels at home in the park, but explores the whole mountain eagerly.

2011 Salomon Instinct CS

Salomon Instinct CS (2011)

Up against stouter constructions in the category, the Instinct, with its compact fit, women-friendly cuff and 90 flex, held its own. Slender feet will find the 98-mm forefoot width plenty quick. For wider feet, the Custom Shell feature—expandable panels along the outside of the foot—allows the shop to add up to 6 mm more forefoot room. It’s a satisfyingly responsive performer.

Salomon Impact 10 CS (2011)

Salomon Impact 10 CS (2011)

120/110 The amazing Impact promises high-performance for any foot width. As with the X3 RC race boot (see Speed), it has a panel of heat-moldable plastic along the outside of the forefoot. A shop can quickly make it significantly roomier. On snow, it’s quick and precise, light yet strong—a natural performer in tight spots and bumps, yet solid and stable on corduroy.

Salomon Idol 8CS

Salomon Idol 8CS (2011)

The women’s version of the Impact series (see Men’s Freeride) is a study in minimalist design, using only essential material to provide all the foot envelopment and power transmission a relaxed expert could want. It has an uncanny ability to fit a variety of foot shapes, including wider ones that can take advantage of Salomon’s expandable Custom Shell technology.

Nordica Jah Love

Nordica Jah Love (2011)

If you buy it for the graphic alone, we understand. But be ready for precise, powerful performance that demands aggressive input. The Jah is a stiffer version of the Spitfire 120 (see Men’s Speed). Both are based on the venerable Dobermann shell. A shock-absorbing bootboard smooths the ride, and yes, the liner is “fur.” But it’s basically a race boot: quick, sturdy, aggressive.

Nordica HR PRO 105W

Nordica HR PRO 105W (2011)

“Fur” liner, yes. Lipstick, no. Nordica shows women a lot of respect with this model, which will be popular with the most aggressive of them. It’s a toned-down race boot—a Spitfire 120 (see Men’s Speed) with a softer flex, some freeride-appropriate shock absorption, a lower cuff and, yes, a warm fur liner. The snug fit and sturdy construction made it a favorite among testers.