Gear: 6 dependable touring boots for backcountry skiers
Of all the pieces of gear in your skiing quiver, your boots are perhaps the most crucial. A boot that fits perfectly and performs well on the downhill can elevate a great day to new heights, while a poor fitting, unresponsive one can ruin any day. In the backcountry, having the best possible boot strapped to your feet is even more critical. That being said, we’ve rounded up six backcountry-specific ski boots that’ll help you get through any day out of bounds.
Dalbello – Lupo Carbon T.I.
Weight: 1,650 g/boot w/o tongue
Bound to catch the eye of freeriders who won’t settle for anything less than a 130 flex, the Lupo Carbon T.I. is bad to the bone. A three-piece make-up provides a progressive flex and its polyamide-constructed, ribbed tongue is built for improved response and control. It may be burly, but the boot is no slouch on the uphill, with a 67-degree total range of motion and curved rubber soles that make bootpacking a breeze.
Fischer – Travers Carbon
Weight: 980 g/boot
This lightweight touring machine boasts an incredible 80 degrees of cuff rotation in walk mode. If that isn’t enough, a Grilamid shell and cuff, oversized power strap, lace-up liner and BOA closure system ensure this baby is strong and torsionally rigid for the burliest backcountry descents you can find. The boot also has a carbon sheath below its sole for increased stiffness underfoot. Note: It’s only available in a 100 mm last.
Scarpa – F1
Weight: 1,230 g/boot in size 27
The F1 has a carbon-fiber frame running the length of the boot, under and around the sides of the foot, improving stiffness. A ribbed cuff and X-shaped spine construction increase support and drive while a BOA closure system dials in the fit. The “EVO tongue” is made of Pebax material, with a flexible top portion for comfort and easy movement in walk mode, which has a 62-degree range of motion.
Atomic – Backland Carbon
Weight: 1,161 g/boot
Comfort, weight savings, uphill mobility and reliability on the descent—the Backland Carbon has all the tools you’ll need. In hike mode, it boasts 74 degrees of motion and its svelte weight of two pounds, eight ounces per boot is a dream on the ascent. The carbon spine and carbon-reinforced Grilamid shell is stiff and powerful for downhill precision and both the shell and liner are heat moldable for a cozy fit.
Lange – XT Freetour 130
Weight: 1,770 g/boot in size 26.5 and 100 mm last
The XT Freetour 130 boasts the powerful downhill capabilities Lange is known for in an alpine touring package. The boot is built with a reliable metal-on-metal locking mechanism which yields a 43-degree range of motion in hike mode. Its rigid but lightweight Grilamid plastic shell makes descents a dream and a lightweight Ultralon foam liner is moldable, warm and immune to packing out. Oh, and it’s available in 97 and 100 mm lasts.
Dynafit – Women’s Beast Boot
Weight: 1,300 g/boot
Dynafit paid close attention to detail with the Women’s Beast, all the way down to the buckle constructions. Dubbed “snow-dynamic,” the streamlined buckles don’t protrude off of the boot for smooth, catch-free touring and descending in deep snow. On top of that, the boot has a 45-degree cuff rotation in hike mode, a stiff yet lightweight Pebax and Grilamid shell and a hike-ski system that locks the shell, spoiler and cuff together as one for dependable power on the downhill.