The 6 Best Alpine Ski Boots of 2012

Tecnica Cochise Ski Boot

Tecnica Cochise Ski Boot    Photo: Courtesy of Tecnica

Tecnica Cochise Ski Boot

The Cochise blurs the line between high-end alpine boots and efficient touring models. It comes with Dynafit-compatible touring soles and has a walk mode and a grippy outsole, but it's also beefy enough to drive heavy-duty powder skis. "It's like a Swiss Army knife," remarked one tester. "It has a tool for everything." The range of motion when hiking was impressive, and at just over nine pounds a pair, they're respectably light.

TAGS: DYNAFIT-COMPATIBLE, SIDECOUNTRY

Apex CF3 High Performance Ski Boot

Apex CF3 High Performance
Apex CF3 High Performance Ski Boot   Photo: Courtesy of Apex

Take a snowboard boot, wrap it with a carbon-fiber chassis, and you've got the Apex. While it doesn't have enough oomph to drive big, stiff skis, testers were surprised by how well the boot skied in most conditions. The forward flex is soft, but its lateral stiffness makes it carve turns effortlessly. Great choice for lifties, intermediate skiers, or anyone looking for a supremely comfy boot.

TAGS: CARBON FIBER, SOFT BOOT

Atomic Burner 120 Ski Boot

Atomic Burner 120 Ski Boot
Atomic Burner 120 Ski Boot   Photo: Courtesy of Atomic

Testers suspected this boot of having ESP: with an aggressive stance, more forward lean than most boots, and a slightly offset centerline, you just think the Burner has already started turning your skis. The fit is reminiscent of Atomic's classic race boots, only without the pain.

TAGS: EX-RACER, AGGRESSIVE STANCE

Rossignol Experience Sensor2 Ski Boot

Rossignol Experience Sensor2 Ski Boot
Rossignol Experience Sensor2 Ski Boot   Photo: Courtesy of Rossignol

Because they deliver unbelievable snow sense and precise control but somehow manage to feel comfortable and easygoing, Rossignol's Sensor boots have been tester favorites. And they keep getting better. The new flat-stitched (no sore spots) liners in this year's Sensor2 received rave reviews all around.

TAGS: ALL-MOUNTAIN, GENEROUS FIT

Lange RS 130 Wide Ski Boot

Lange RS 130 Wide Ski Boot
Lange RS 130 Wide Ski Boot   Photo: Courtesy of Lange

A breath of fresh air in the expert-boot category, the RS 130 Wide is essentially a race-inspired design for wider feet. Or, as one tester put it, "This boot is a Ferrari for big guys on snow." Besides the added girth, it's classic Lange: very clean and simple, finished to extraordinary standards, and outfitted with the best stock liners around.

TAGS: Experts, wide feet

Nordica Firearrow F1 Ski Boot

Nordica Firearrow F1 Ski Boot
Nordica Firearrow F1 Ski Boot   Photo: Courtesy of Nordica

The Firearrow is the first big-mountain boot designed from the ground up for fat skis—and our testers approved. "Made my 193-centimeter fat skis seem small and way more controllable," said one. An innovative three-buckle design holds the foot securely with no pressure points, while a roomy toe box keeps the blood flowing.

TAGS: BIG-MOUNTAIN, ROOMY TOE BOX

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