The 6 Best Alpine Boots of 2013
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Fischer Ranger 12 Alpine Boots
BEST FOR: SIDECOUNTRY
This 120-flex-rated boot has a Vibram sole for better traction on hikes, and it can be set to any of three different modes: lock (for aggressive skiing), ride (for softer snow), and hike (for heading up).
Tecnica Inferno 130 Ski Boots
BEST FOR: EX-RACERS
The only boot to score a perfect 10 for snow feel. “This fiery beast will give most people more edge control than they know what to do with,” noted one tester. Translation: too much boot for easy-skiing cruisers.
Rossignol Pursuit Sensor3 110 Ski Boots
BEST FOR: EVERYONE
If we had a Gear of the Year award for boots, the Sensor3 would take it. Nearly every tester raved about how well this hard-charging boot fit right out of the box. “Makes skiing easier” was a common refrain. A one-piece tongue and toe box help nix shin bang and alleviate instep pressure.
Lange RX 130 Ski Boots
BEST FOR: EXPERTS
The RX 130 is every bit as powerful and precise as the company’s race boots, but with a slightly wider fit, it’s more tuned to all-mountain charging. An improved liner allows for better circulation and warmth.
Nordica Fire Arrow F1 Ski Boots
BEST FOR: BIG MOUNTAIN
Speed demons, this is your boot. Thanks in part to a carbon-fiber-reinforced boot board, the Fire Arrow was one of the most torsionally rigid boots in the test. “Going 70 feels like 30,” remarked one tester. Bonus: a three-piece shell makes for easy on and off.
Atomic Hawx 120 Ski Boots
BEST FOR: INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED SKIERS
Softer plastic in the forefoot allows the Hawx to react naturally by flexing under the ball of the foot. It’s a smart design, and it gives this all-mountain boot a light and springy feel—“like a pair of dance shoes,” according to one tester.