The 6 Best Backcountry Boots of 2013

(Black Diamond)

Black Diamond Equipment Push Ski Boots

BEST ALL MOUNTAIN (TELEMARK)

Last year, BD updated the Push with an improved Boa liner and a plastic tongue for more forward support. It remains BD’s do-it-all boot, with good lateral rigidity and smooth range of motion on the way up. 8.6 lbs

Dynafit Vulcan TF Ski Boots

(Dynafit)

BEST FAST AND LIGHT (ALPINE TOURING)

With a carbon-fiber cuff and three buckles, the Vulcan is Dynafit’s stiffest boot. The free-floating cuff makes for effortless strides when touring. Our only gripe: getting it on and off is a bit tricky. 7 lbs

Scarpa Terminator X Ski Boots

(Scarpa)

BEST BIG MOUNTAIN (TELEMARK)

The touring-oriented TX, redesigned specifically for the Freedom NTN binding, is reasonably stiff and laterally powerful. Smart: tech-compatible fittings allow you to pair it with Dynafit-type alpine-touring bindings. 7 lbs

Garmont Kenai Ski Boots

(Garmont)

BEST FAST AND LIGHT (TELEMARK)

This two-buckle classic remains one of the lightest telemark boots out there. Its low-cut Pebax shell helps minimize weight and maximize comfort. But it can only drive lightweight touring skis under 100 millimeters. 7.2 lbs

Scarpa Maestrale RS Ski Boots

(Scarpa)

BEST ALL MOUNTAIN (ALPINE TOURING)

This year’s four-buckle Maestrale is stiffer and heavier but otherwise unchanged, with a comfy walk mode and a moldable liner. It can drive all but the fattest skis. “Exactly the same boot only better,” said one tester. 6.9 lbs

Lange XT 130 Ski Boots

(Lange)

BEST BIG MOUNTAIN (ALPINE TOURING)

Lange finally embraces the sidecountry with the XT 130. It’s stiff enough to drive any ski but is designed to go up, too, with a hike mode, lightweight buckles and liner, and a grippy rubberized sole. Available in two widths. 9.3 lbs

Psst, hard-charging resort skiers who hike a lot and occasionally head into sidecountry: the Lange XT 130 is designed for you.

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