Thanks to its forgiving flex and an upright stance that makes for comfortable cruising all over the hill, the Dragon was our first choice for all-day skiing. “Advanced to expert skiers will love this boot,” said one tester. “It’s very smooth.” tecnicausa.com…

Good for Resort The first alpine boot made from sustainable (and recyclable) materials, the Renu has a shell made with a castor-oil-based plastic, a cork insole, and a bamboo-fiber liner. Experts will want something stiffer, but it’s plenty firm enough for intermediate to advanced skiers.

Testers loved how this intermediate/advanced boot combined a great out-of-the-box fit with a smooth and predictable flex in all conditions. “Great feel without sacrificing ankle flex,” said one tester. Also available in a much stiffer 130 flex with a steel frame for more torsional rigidity. TAGS: intermediate,…

Are you an intermediate skier looking for a do-it-all boot? The easy-on/easy-off—and surprisingly responsive—Impact 10 is your answer. salomonsports.com…

Good for Resort Ski patrollers, lifties, and anyone who likes to hike will love the new all-mountain Blaster. It skis as well as boots priced hundreds of dollars more and, thanks to a grippy outsole and a sturdy (and inconspicuous) walk mode, is way more comfy when…

The Quest likes to ski the resort, boot-pack, and occasionally go on tours. Sound familiar? While it weighs about 30 percent less than your average alpine boot and has a walk mode, it’s no softie on the way down. “This is truly a go-anywhere boot for better skiers,” said…

This intermediate-level boot’s duck-footed stance allows your feet to angle out slightly, which leaves you standing in a more natural position and makes for quicker energy transfers. It takes some getting used to, but the position does make it easier to get your skis on edge.

Good for Resort Testers were truly shocked: You’re not supposed to be able to get a boot this good at this price. The key feature is the special plastic underfoot: It’s formulated for optimum energy transmission, and they must have gotten the recipe right, because the Sensor…

Big Mountain As the stiffest boot in the women’s Inferno line, the Crush was our favorite advanced-level boot. “It’s a no-holds-barred women’s skiing machine!” one tester exclaimed. Its basic design—low volume with a very natural and efficient stance—fit most of our testers well right out of the box. A faux-fur…

The Zenith’s redesigned liner feels more secure. And thanks to a tweak in the shell design and a polycarbonate insert under the ball of your foot, it provides excellent snow feel. A confidence-inspiring choice for intermediates. rossignol.com…

From game-changing new materials (like moisture-wicking cotton) to evolutionary leaps in engineering (like a rotating helmet for extreme crashes), the avant-garde of 21st-century gear has just one thing in common: a total disregard for the status quo.

I know it's early but I have a ski question. I've snowboarded since I was seven but I started skiing last year. What would be the best ski/boot/binding combo for skiing the resort in Jackson and doing some backcountry stuff too. Skyler Dubois, WY

The athletic equipment that made the cut for our second annual celebration of the best in design and technology.

Black Diamond Factor Ski Boot

With their slightly duck-footed stance, Nordica‘s Sportmachine 14 boots make carving the perfect turn that much easier ($655; nordicausa.com). Nordica Sportmachine 14 Ski Boot            …

I’m an intermediate skier who hasn’t skied much in the past seven years. I ready to go now, but my skis are out of style. I’m five-foot, eight-inches tall and about 180 pounds. What length ski do I need, and what kind of boots are out there now? Donna Basalt, Colorado

The newest ski shapes will turn a lot more than your head

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