The Best Alpine Touring Ski Boots of 2017
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What hikes up must shred down.
Lange XT Freetour 130
Lange brought its World Cup pedigree to the new XT Freetour. The boot got some uphill-friendly upgrades, such as tech inserts and a rockered sole so grippy it wouldn't be or of place on a running shoe. But it relishes driving big sticks through crud. Only one gripe: with all those backcountry details, its walk mode should have a wider range. 7.8 lbs
Salomon QST Pro 120
This boot focuses on fast descending, with an oversize ankle pivot and burly shell. But with a 40-degree walk mode, it's happy on short tours, too. While the tight tongue (borrowed from Salomon's runners) caused some chafing, testers liked the customizable shell, which expands to accommodate last widths from 100 to 106 millimeters. 7 lbs
Um, yeah, it's race inspired. The dead giveaways are the Boa dial and Velcro top buckle, which doubles as the boot's walk mode. But while it was born for the ups, for its weight it performs remarkably well going down. With 80 degrees of rotation in walk mode, you're ready to dabble in ski mountaineering. 4.6 lbs
Dynafit TLT7 Performance
Among dedicated backcountry skiers, the TLT6 has a cult following for its near alchemical blend of uphill prowess and downhill chops. The TLT7 takes that icon, then ditches a buckle, dropping about half a pound per boot in the process. You sacrifice some descending ability, but you gain a boot that wears like a hiker. 4.4 lbs
Arc'teryx Procline Carbon
Arc'teryx's foray into the ski-boot world is a real doozy. The key tech is in the cuff, which has side-to-side play plus the standard front-and-back motion. That lets the Procline scramble like a mountain goat over steep, rocky terrain. Aggressive rubber lugs help, too. A carbon spine and two cable buckles add stiffness. Skiing fourteeners? Try this high-strung thoroughbred. 5.2 lbs
Tecnica Zero G Guide
Pick it up and you'll be forgiven for doing a double take. How can a boot that looks like a resort ripper be this light? The answer is in the upgraded Triax shell and the cuff, which replaces rigid plastic with sections of breathable membrane. When you hit the descent, four buckles keep the ride stiff. “Ultimate trust,” raved one tester. 7.3 lbs