Lange LX 100 ($500)
The 100-flex LX brings Lange’s race-bred technology to intermediate skiers. Its 102-millimeter last is generous, but nothing is dumbed down about the Dual Core shell, which sandwiches soft plastic in rigid materials to let the boot compress and rebound.
Nordica Speedmachine Elite ($1,000)
With infrared rays and small suction cups, retailers can sculpt the women’s 115-flex Speedmachine Elite’s light Grilamid and polyurethane shell with surgical precision. (The men’s version has a flex of 130.) Pair that with the insulated liner and you have a comfy boot that’s quick and agile edge to edge.
Head Nexo RS ($825)
At a feathery three pounds seven ounces, the Nexo had us doubting it would deliver on its promise of a stiff 130 flex. But even 200-pound skiers enjoyed ample control during maneuvers in steep chutes and trees. The trade-off? More vibration.
Salomon S/Pro 120 ($800)
Testers raved about the 2019 S/Pro’s sensitivity. That made it ideal off-piste, where terrain and conditions change rapidly. And its progressive 120 flex let testers land jumps and pinball around bumps without shin pain.
Rossignol Alltrack Elite 120 W ($750)
Don’t be fooled by the touring features, which include Dynafit-certified tech inserts and a hike mode. Everything else about the 120-flex Alltrack is designed for missile-fast descents. Rigid plastic along the bottom of the foot, with softer material at the cuff for easy entry, stiffens the boot for power transmission without adding weight.
Tecnica Mach1 LV ($840)
Narrow-footed rippers, here’s your 120-flex savior. Tecnica’s boot designers optimized the 98-millimeter last for women’s feet, and the liner’s infusion of Celliant (a thermo-reactive polymer that bounces infrared heat back at your body) had testers shredding on instead of retreating to the lodge.