GearSnow Sports
2021 Winter Buyer’s Guide

The Best Alpine Touring Boots of 2021

This season’s best for climbing up and ripping back down

(Photo: Courtesy the Companies)
winter buyer’s guide

Atomic Backland Carbon ($950)

Ski boots 2021
(Photo: Courtesy Atomic)

Best for Going Deep, Long, and Light

With a Boa closure on the lower shell and a carbon-injected polyamide upper, the new Backland offers a premium ­power-to-weight ratio. It also boasts 74 degrees of range in tour mode and a tall, tough liner that’s both washable and perforated for breathability— ideal for high-mileage athletes. 2.4 lbs

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La Sportiva Vega ($679)

Ski boots 2021
(Photo: Courtesy La Sportiva)

Best for Low Weight and High Speed 

A four-buckle daily driver, the ­115-flex Vega has three ­forward-lean options (12, 14, and 16 degrees), so it’s extremely tunable. It’s less stiff than its heavier peers but more tour-friendly, with a 60-degree range of motion in walk mode. The thin polyamide upper, beefed up with a carbon spine, provided a crisp lateral flex even when driving girthy touring skis. 3.2 lbs

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Scarpa F1 LT ($799)

Ski boots 2021
(Photo: Courtesy Scarpa)

Best for Going Fast and Hard

Built for recreational ski mountaineers, the new F1 LT is a­ ­quarter pound heavier than Scarpa’s race-specific Alien and has the same 72 degrees of walking range, with more power on the downhill. A Boa closure system clamps the foot uniformly for strong downhill performance. The carbon-infused cuff offers predictable power for moderately high speeds and variable conditions. 2.2 lbs

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Lange XT3 130 ($900)

Ski boots 2021
(Photo: Courtesy Lange)

Best for Big Lines

The all-new XT3 continues Lange’s eight-year progression toward a more useful touring boot that retains full downhill chops. The updated ski-walk transition mechanism now slides up and articulates between the upper and lower shell, generating 53 degrees of touring range of motion—13 more than its predecessor. The new boot also has a liner that fits more precisely than the minimalist thermo foam that came before, and a shell made of dual-density polyurethane with a Lyftran plastic cuff for added power. 1.9 lbs

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K2 Mindbender 130 ($850)

Ski boots 2021
(Photo: Courtesy K2)

Best for Steeps

In a crowded market of four-buckle touring boots designed to crush the downhill, the Mindbender’s edge is an impressive 50-degree range in walk mode, great for both steep pitches and flat approaches. Meanwhile the shell, which is made from three densities of polyurethane, is the stiffest of the four-buckle alpine crossovers yet still neutralizes vibration at dizzying speeds. Plus, the ­98-millimeter last is molded so that it still fits a wide range of feet. 3.8 lbs

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Hagan Core Pro ($699)

Ski boots 2021
(Photo: Courtesy Hagan)

Best for Speed Tours on a Budget

Engage the Pro’s 65 degrees of walking range by toggling a carbon slide lever built into the back of the boot. A two-piece Pebax tongue adds even more uphill comfort—one tester described it as frictionless in tour mode. Locked down, the Pro has a category-leading 18 degrees of forward lean. It’s among the most capable downhill performers in its weight class. 2.8 lbs

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Filed To: SkiingSnow SportsTechnologyAlpine Ski Boots
Lead Photo: Courtesy the Companies

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