Ski Boot Reviews

The Best Backcountry Ski Boots of the Season

From super-light to heavy-duty, these are our picks for the most awesome options that will work for every type of backcountry traveler.

 

Uphill-oriented options built from the wild snow purists who grimace at the idea of alpine bindings. But, should you bring these boots inbounds, they’ll be plenty happy there, too.

SCARPA F1 LT

2021 SCARPA F1 LT ski boot
The lightweight SCARPA F1 LTPhoto courtesy of SCARPA

By combining design elements from its proven F1 backcountry boot and materials from its superlight Alien RS SkiMo race boot, SCARPA’s new F1 LT connects the dots between comfort, performance, and a weight factor that is beyond comparison. The carbon and Grilamid shell and Intuition liner remain trustworthy for technical descents, and a 72-degree range of motion with grippy Vibram soles make going uphill a breeze.

SCARPA F1 LT Details

  • Last: 100mm
  • Flex: 100
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 2.9 oz.
  • MSRP: $799

Scott Freeguide Carbon

2021 Scott Freeguide Carbon ski boot
The all-new Scott FreeGuide Carbon backcountry ski boot.Photo courtesy of Scott

The uphill features on this innovative Scott boot are what impress the most. With a 60-degree range of motion, dual-action nonremovable tongue, and a BOA-adjustable liner that reduces blister-inducing friction points, the Freeguide is ultra-cushy in the skin track. The cabrio-style Grilamid shell with carbon reinforcements and a beefy spine still make for delightful skiing, especially for skiers looking for a freeride-friendly 130 flex.

Scott Freeguide Carbon Details

  • Last: 101mm
  • Flex: 130
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 3 oz.
  • MSRP: $900

Dynafit Hoji Free 110

2021 Dynafit Hoji Free 110 Ski boot
The 2021 Dynafit Hoji Free 110.Photo courtesy of Dynafit

With a softer flex option, Dynafit gives the Hoji Free line more mass appeal as well as smoother uphill performance. The standout factor is still the Hoji Lock, which puts the entire boot in walk mode with a single rear lever and can be adjusted back in ski mode with a ski pole. The heat-moldable Sidas-brand liner keeps the comfort levels top-notch, plus the Grilamid shell provides a stiffer-than-expected feel for a boot in this weight class.

Dynafit Hoji Free 110 Details

  • Last: 102mm
  • Flex: 110
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 7 oz.
  • MSRP: $750

Atomic Backland Carbon

Atomic Backland Carbon 2020
The Atomic Backland Carbon is SKI Magazine’s 2020 Gear of the Year backcountry ski boot.Photo credit: Dag Larson

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

Dalbello Lupo Air

Dalbello Lupo Air 130
The Dalbello Lupo Air is a big step forward for the Italian company.Photo courtesy of Dalbello

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

SCARPA Maestrale XT

SCARPA Maestrale XT
The all-new SCARPA Maestrale XT.Photo courtesy of SCARPA

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

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.Photo courtesy of Tecnica

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

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.Photo courtesy of Dynafit

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.

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

SCARPA F1

SCARPA F1 Limited Edition version
The Limited Edition 80th Anniversary SCARPA F1 was released in 2018.Photo courtesy of SCARPA

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.

  • 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.Photo courtesy of Arc’Teryx

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.

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

Roxa R3 130 T.I.

Lime green ski boot
The Roxa R3 130 is a great backcountry option for those who also dabble with chairlifts. Photo: Courtesy of Roxa

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.

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

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