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(Photo: Inga Hendrickson and Kevin Zansler)
2022 Winter Buyer’s Guide

The Best Alpine Ski Boots of 2022

These shred-slippers mean business

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Gone are the days of ski boots that crush your feet and make walking a pain. Now manufacturers offer high-performance models in a range of lasts so that even wide-footed rippers can enjoy both comfort and power. And an increasing number of resort boots offer walk modes that let you loosen the cuff for short tours in the backcountry (and easy striding through parking lots). The bottom line: boots are dramatically more wearable for skiers of every stripe, from freeriders to carving purists. Here are the best of this winter.

Rossignol Alltrack 130 GW ($700)

(Photo: Courtesy Rossignol)

With a 102-millimeter last and 50 degrees of cuff range in walk mode, the Alltrack 130 GW accommodates wide-footed shralpers and gives average feet some wiggle room. The 130-flex shell is stiff enough for speedsters yet progressive enough to absorb jump landings and cruddy snow. When it came time for après, testers appreciated the high-traction GripWalk soles. 4 lbs, 24.5–31.5

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Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 S GW ($850)

(Photo: Courtesy Atomic)

Designers updated this 130-flex boot by beefing up the polyurethane shell, adding an extra band of plastic around the ankle to reinforce the cuff and improve lateral stiffness and all-around power. But thanks to Atomic’s proprietary plastic, which is strong even in thin doses, the boot is still a featherweight: the additional plastic plumped this boot’s weight to only four pounds—just 4.6 ounces more—which is still light enough that testers never felt taxed during boot-packs to far-flung powder stashes. The resulting oomph let testers bust crud and hold an edge on hardpack. The 98-millimeter last and low overall volume provide a race-tight fit for narrow feet. 4 lbs, 24.5–30.5

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Dalbello Panterra 120 ($650)

(Photo: Courtesy Dalbello)

 

Air-addicted male testers raved about this boot’s progressive flex, which softened landings and absorbed the bumps and shocks of mogul fields and pillow lines (female testers found similar bliss in Dalbello’s 115-flex Chakra Elevate, $950). Credit the three-piece cabrio shell, which provides better fore-aft sensitivity than most of the overlap designs we tested. Meanwhile, the liner boasts a new neoprene toe cap that makes this season’s Panterra warmer than before, and a low-volume, well-padded heel pocket locks you in and improves stability. The verdict, according to one tester: “It’s wicked fun in featured terrain.” 4.4 lbs, 24.5–30.5

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Tecnica Cochise 130 DYN GW ($900)

(Photo: Courtesy Tecnica)

Designers tweaked this boot’s 99-millimeter last to better mimic the shape of the foot, which bolsters fit and reduces weight by 10 to 15 percent depending on size. A new walk mechanism puts a longer lever shaft in the spine for better lateral power and edge control, and an improved hinge reduces friction for easier touring. (Range of ­motion is 50 ­degrees.) Rippers agreed: this resort boot rages on hardpack and puts no brakes on speed. 4 lbs, 22.5–30.5

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Head Formula RS 130 ($875)

(Photo: Courtesy Head)

Inserting a second bolt into the spine morphs this boot from 130-flex to 140—plenty stiff to satisfy an ex-racer who also praised the low-volume, foot-hugging fit. (It has a ­98-millimeter last.) But Head tweaked this time-tested recipe by expanding the toe box to afford digits better circulation and sensitivity. “I can pressure my toes individually, as opposed to them turning into one big frozen mass,” said one tester. “I’m getting more power over the inside edge and feathering the ski more off-trail.” 4.5 lbs, 25–30.5

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Nordica Speedmachine 3 130 S ($850)

(Photo: Courtesy Nordica)

This burly, 130-flex boot is all about power. A honeycomb structure made of extra-rigid polyurethane stiffens the shell and trims weight, for a good balance of agility and charge. The 100-millimeter last and insulated liner lend comfort. Both liner and shell can be customized by boot fitters using infrared light, which doesn’t degrade plastics or foam the way heat can. 4.3 lbs, 24–31

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From Winter 2022 Buyer’s Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson and Kevin Zansler

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