Backcountry Ski Boots


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In this year’s alpine touring ski boot test, the Celeste III became a favorite because of its roomier lower portion of the shell and the cuff. “The Celeste performs more like a ski-mountaineering boot than a four-buckle powerhouse,” we wrote. Plus, the boot has a 60-degree range of motion…

Go fast and light up the mountain and enjoy the comfort of the Gea’s on your way down. Each boot weighs just over two-pounds and the front tongue is designed to open up wide for easy entry. Plus the integrated ski/walk mechanism makes it easy to go from climbing to…

One of the most popular AT boots of the year, the Maestrale RS is built on a wide, 101mm last for super comfort on the ascent. The shell is made from Grilamid, a lightweight plastic that’s reinforced with carbon fiber for increased rigidity without extra weight. The entire cuff is…

Backcountry boots are stiffer and more powerful than ever.

Start preparing for the season at REI's Labor Day Sale

Everything you need to know to ensure you don't ruin your skis, boots, and kit before next season

From a totally reinvented ski boot to a wetsuit that's good for the environment, this is the stuff we're most excited about

The race is on to create the perfect beyond-the-ropes setup.

The five products we’re most excited about this year

We tested the Canadian company's new backcountry ski boot and avalanche airbag for a week in B.C. Here's what we learned.

On Monday, we got a sneak peek of the two new backcountry products at the company's Canadian headquarters

For years, I used to test how far I could go on day trips without eating. I don’t know if it was some unexplainable machismo or just laziness, but that mindset changed about six months ago. I’d gone on a four-hour run with an empty stomach and no food in…

It’s tough to tell how trustworthy a piece of gear is going to be when you first buy it. In fact, the only way to actually test your equipment’s longevity is to, well, test it. Thoroughly. So instead of having you, dear reader, put your gear through the ringer in…

Forget about rubbing two sticks together. Without matches, your only hope of getting a fire started in the wild is to take advantage of other tools at your disposal. Mykel Hawke—a former U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret and founder of survival school Spec Ops—recommends two easy,…

Yes, I write about gear for a living, I have access to the most sophisticated toys and tools in the outdoor world, and I’m constantly geeking out over tech details. But I’m keenly aware of the fact that the gear does not make the athlete. I was a much better…

I'm having trouble figuring out what gear to give my loved ones for the holidays.

We tested out the best backcountry and alpine boots to help you find the best fit for your ski experience.

Outside picks the best gear for your alpine-touring setup, including the K2 WayBack skis.

A fully-customizable, hike-ready sidecountry boot

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Black Diamond Custom boots

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Line Celebrity 100 skis.

I'm heading into the backcountry this winter after years of in-bounds skiing, and I need a randonee set up. How much should I plan to spend? And will I notice a big difference between randonee boots and skis, and my race boots and all-mountain skis?

What's the ultimate telemark setup this year? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

A high cuff and fixed spine make the Shaman every bit as stiff as the best alpine freeride boots on the market. But because it comes with two soles—one ISO alpine and one rockered, ski-mountaineering sole—it's perfect for resort skiers who occasionally tour or boot-pack in search of better snow.

Good for Telemark While not a women-specific boot per se, the NTN-compatible TX is now available in women's sizes, providing testers with their first look at this sleek boot-and-binding system. Across the board, the results were clear: NTN provided our women the most arcing power they'd ever experienced. Bonus:…

Alpine Touring Built with a new steel-rod touring mechanism, the Mobe skis like a (softer) alpine boot with a walk mode and lug soles. Only it’s just eight pounds per pair—about 30 percent lighter than your average alpine boot. Add a booster strap, a rockered mountaineering sole, and tech fittings…

Want an AT boot that can hold its own when you stay inbounds? Try the new Diva, which has rigid dual-density plastic that makes it beefy where it needs to be, plus a hinged tongue for easy touring. 6.7 lbs; scarpa.com      …

Built with a women-specific anatomical liner and last, the Shiva got highest honors in fit and flex, balancing comfortable uphill mechanics with downhill dependability. “Super flex, and stiff enough for downhill, yet the walk mode feels like you're in slippers,” declared one tester. Tech fittings mean it's compatible with lighter-weight…

Alpine Touring The Quadrant’s four buckles, consistent flex, and 40 degrees of touring motion make it BD’s best all-mountain option yet. Testers praised the stout overlap upper cuff and the way the Boa closure system in the boot’s liner cradles your ankle. 7.8 lbs; TAGS: all mountain, Boa…

Women-specific gear should never be a softer, pinker version of the men's. That's why we love the four-buckle T1 Lady, which is as robust as the men's T1 but with a narrower heel fit and Scarpa's custom-moldable Intuition liner. 7.4 lbs; scarpa.com      …

Built for the NTN (New Telemark Norm) binding system, the three-buckle, one-piece, overlap-shell Prophet is softer and smoother than the first-gen NTN offerings, which were all about big power and big skis. “This is the only NTN boot to truly match the feel of a normal tele binding and boot,”…

Alpine Touring Game-changer alert! The price tag is no joke, but the TLT, with its full carbon-fiber upper cuff, boasts the best stiffness-to-weight ratio we’ve ever seen. It weighs less than five pounds, and it rips: The two-buckle lockdown system yields solid ski-to-boot power. Shave off a quarter of the…

Good for Touring If you're not an overly aggressive skier, or if you rarely or never ski in-bounds, a three-buckle boot like the Syner-G offers the perfect blend of smooth power on the way down and comfort on the way up. While it's not quite powerful enough to drive…

ALPINE TOURING Good for All Mountain Though it remains unchanged from last season, the Skookum proved itself an overall champ for its balanced uphill ergonomics and downhill chops. The interchangeable tongues are no gimmick: The downhill tongue stiffens the boot by 20 percent. It's easy to see why one…

Alpine Touring With its alpine buckle configuration and beefy power strap, the respectably light Shaka is one of the burliest women-specific boots on the market, capable of driving the biggest, fattest skis. Even better, it’s also Dynafit-compatible and, thanks to rockered soles, sure-footed in the backcountry. 7.2 lbs. TAGS:…

Good for Touring You can find a lighter AT boot, but our testers felt the Radium had the best downhill performance-to-weight ratio. Credit the Radium's alpine heritage—an overlap shell—and the Pebax reinforcements in the thermomoldable liner, which add stiffness but almost no weight. Walk mode is a little clunky,…

TELEMARK Good for All Mountain The four-buckle Custom overpowered the toughest bindings and even some testers. Those who could handle it gave it props for cuff/bellows flex and stiffness. As with other boots in BD's Power Series, the Custom's liner has a Boa closure system that clamps down hard…

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