Freedom of the Hills

Black Diamond Factor Ski Boot

Black Diamond Factor Ski Boot

Can one boot serve you equally well at the resort and in the backcountry? Black Diamond's Factor comes pretty darn close. Thanks to its walk/ski mode and a liner that cinches like a snowboard boot (with a nexus of wire cables that ratchet down tight), the Factor dishes up friction-free hiking and skinning on the way up. And while it isn't nearly as stiff as an expert-level downhill boot, its alpine-boot-like overlap construction makes it stout enough to carve high-speed turns on firm snow. Even better, you get two sole options: the standard DIN soles, pictured here, for alpine bindings; or more hiking-friendly ones (sold separately) that are compatible with ultralight alpine-touring Dynafit bindings. If you're looking for one boot that can handle everything you ski, this is it. $730;

Filed To: Alpine Ski Boots, Downhill Skiing

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