Treat your feet right.
BEST FOR: Ultimate Comfort
It’s a radical concept—ensconcing a snowboarding-type soft-shell boot in a rigid exoskeleton—and one that Apex ($895) has been refining over the years. The Vibram-soled Mc-X still isn’t stiff enough to aggressively drive big skis, but if you’re an intermediate or advanced skier looking for the most comfortable boot on the market, your search is over.
Atomic Redster Pro 120
BEST FOR: Racing
Atomic’s racing heritage meets modern-day technology in the Redster Pro ($750). “Just holding this boot makes you feel like you’re going fast,” said one tester. If you live for laying trenches on freshly groomed corduroy or still bash gates at your local beer league, this is your boot.
K2 Pinnacle 130
BEST FOR: Adventurous Skiing
K2 debuted a made-from-scratch alpine-boot line in 2013, and we liked them just as much this winter. The Pinnacle’s ($850) walk mode is one of the best around; rubberized outsole pads make for solid grip when scrambling on rock, and it comes with built-in tech fittings—no swapping soles required.
Lange SX 120
BEST FOR: Wide Feet
Returning unchanged this year, the SX 120 ($650) combines classic Lange performance in a wider, 102-millimeter last. As one tester said, “Finally, a zero-compromise wide ski boot for real skiers.” If you’re a big guy or have oddly shaped flippers, this boot will have you singing with joy.
Nordica Cruise 110
BEST FOR: Really Wide Feet
The name says it all. With a more generous fit than the Lange, smooth flex, and easy entry, the Cruise ($500) was our favorite boot for intermediate to advanced skiers who, well, cruise all over the mountain. Everybody but experts will like it, and those with wide feet will love it. “Extremely capable for all but the hard chargers,” said one of our pro testers.
Tecnica Mach1 130
BEST FOR: Carving
The race-inspired Mach1 ($785) blew testers away. “Best pre-fit liner ever made,” proclaimed one. “Closest thing to a custom liner I’ve ever seen,” said another. We liked it best when paired with a fast ski and clearance from ski patrol.