Updated: December 2017

Ski Boots Reviews:

Buying ski boots is probably the hardest part of getting all your skiing gear (skis, bindings, boots, gloves, hats, goggles, etc.). Ski boots fit into the bindings which attach to your skis and the boots must fit snugly, but not too tight that your circulation gets cut off. Fittings for ski boots at a ski shop can take up to 1 hour so be prepared to be patient. You definitely want to work with an experienced boot fitter - one who knows a lot about the human anatomy and how the joints move. Matching your foot type with the right boot is crucial to your skiing experience. Make sure the salesperson knows your age, weight, height, skiing ability, athletic history, and what places you currently ski at (or will in the future). Comfort is the main goal when purchasing ski boots since you will be in them for hours on end up on the slopes putting pressure on your ankle, foot, knees, and legs. I remember getting fitted for rental boots when I was younger and they were set up too tight so that only a few hours into the day I was forced to quit because of the pain (not to mention the lack of blood flow to my feet).
ski boots

How do you know what type of boot is best for you? Skiers classified as novices, low intermediates or non-aggressive should go with a "soft forward flexing boot" says Doctor Robert Steinberg (foot and ankle expert) while an advanced or aggressive skier should find boots that are "stiffer and provide sensitivity to movement changes". Another thing to remember is that you want on ski socks or something similar to what you will be wearing when you actually go skiing. Once your foot is in the boot and the clips are securely fastened, your toes should just barely touch the front end of your boot when you are standing up straight. Don't be concerned because once you get in more of a "skiing position" and bend your knees, your foot will naturally move back a bit with your heel pressing into the heel cup of the boot. At this point your toes should have retreated a bit from the front of your boot. You don't want any spot in your foot, ankle, calf, or leg to feel painful or too snug at this point since the pressure will only increase once you get out on the ski slopes and potentially make it worse. A good boot fitter should be able to help you distinguish between "tight" and "just right". Make sure you get a complete rundown on the parts of the boot when you are in for the fitting because once you leave the shop you will need to know how to adjust each part and how it will change the "fit" of the boot. The components of a ski boot are the inner boot, power strap, clips, outer shell, flex adjustment, ramp angle adjustment, and lateral upper-cuff adjustment. Not all brands of boots are the same (much like regular shoes) - some have wider widths than others and some sizes are smaller or larger than what you might expect. The cheapest and most basic boots are rear-entry ski boots which beginners should consider since they are the easiest to get on and off (simple unbuckling of a flap). A mid-entry boot offers features in both rear-entry and front-entry ski boots. They give the much needed versatility and performance found in front-entry boots while still leaving you with the convenience of rear-entry boots. Front-entry, or overlap, ski boots provide great maneuverability and precision without taking away from the overall performance. These boots tend to have a high back, padded tongue, and 4 buckles to close them up. There are specific ski boots for alpine skiing, telemark skiing, freestyle, cross country and freeride. The top ski boot brands are Salomon, Nordica, Lange, Atomic, Dalbello, Tecnica, Rossignol, Head, Scarpa, Garmont, Fischer, and Karhu. Budget priced boots will cost about $100 and the high end or custom fitted boot will cost $400 or more. We can't stress enough that boot comfort with a snug fit is very important for all skiers. In an attempt to come up with a "best ski boots" list, we found reviews online at Bootfitters.com, Altrec.com, Abc-of-Skiing.com along with reading consumer opinions and comments in forums at Epicski.com and Sportswearguide.com. You can browse the top selling ski boots online here.

Best Alpine Ski Boots:

This category fits most skiers out there and so we decided to pick both a mens and womens ski boot. The Salomon Rush 9 ($530) is the perfect ladies ski boot with the latest Salomon technology. Salomon ski boots are built for comfort and the 4 micro titanium buckles, 35mm strap adjustment with double canting, polar fleece lining make this boot the "perfect fit" say some women. The snow ski boot features bi-material PU cuff, a softex insert, and an Advanced Chassis Technology for superior precision and performance. The Tecnica Diablo Magma HiPerFit ($650) for men features a race design and stiff flex, dual pivot, 3 density construction, triple position cuff catches, and a noeprene toe box. This ski boot is both responsive and precise making downhill skiing a new art. You can view the latest Tecnica ski boots online at Tecnicausa.com. We suggest browsing the most popular Alpine ski boots here.

Racing Ski Boots:

For Alpine enthusiasts who love downhill racing, the latest racing ski boots will provide all the speed and control you need. Lange and Atomic received the highest ratings we could find in online forums for downhill racers. Lange is a recognized name in downhill skiing and the Lange World Cup 150 is their latest creation. You can find more details online at Langeskiboots.com. Atomic is another maker of quality racing boots and the Race Tech Series are in hot demand these days. The RT CS 130 and the RT TI 150 are the boots to consider. You can see pictures, details, and pricing at Atomicsnow.com. In terms of buying them online, we found excellent discount prices at Backcountry.com or Tramdock.com. Check out the top rated racing ski boots online here.

Telemark Ski Boots:

Scarpa and Garmont dominate the telemark ski boot market and the newest releases this year look to continue that cycle. The Scarpa T2X ($450) comes with an "upgraded asymmetric dual-density cuff" which translates into more control and power. Another new feature is the re-positioned buckles that will lower pressure put on your instep. For increased performance with one of the most durable telemark boots on the market, go with Scarpa. For the men, the Garmont Ener-G G-Fit ($620) is pushing the limits of technology with incredible lateral control so that you don't lose any "energy" in the turns. With a natural flex setup, the Garmont ski boots provide comfort for all-day treks into the backcountry and the thermo-formable liner gives you the optimal fit. Amazon carries the most popular Telemark ski boots here.

Cross Country Ski Boots:

Cross country ski boots are much different than downhill or telemark boots. The Alpina Sports Solution BC 1550 ($145) is not only affordable, but it will keep you comfortable all day long in backcountry touring. The BC 1550, made with coated leather and a plastic cuff, has the perfect combination of comfort and control through any kind of snow. Please note that the Alpina Bc 1550 is only compatible with a specific Alpina binding (NNN BC). The Karhu Zircon X Lady ($110) is the best ladies cross country ski boot out. With velvet plus lining and Softherm insulation, the Karhu will keep your feet warm and dry as well as very stable. You can view the best selling Nordic ski boots here.