Our Best Alpine Ski Boots For 2020
Whether you’re a seasonaire or you just get to enjoy the pistes for a couple of weeks every year having a decent pair of ski boots can make or break your time on the slopes.
Having personal ski boots, rather than a rental pair, can save money in the long run but will also allow you to choose the best pair for your ability and aspirations. Once they are customised to your own feet you’ll notice the difference in comfort but you’ll also see your skills improve as you become more and more familiar with your boots.
The list below highlights some of the best alpine ski boots in our range for both men and women. It includes fully customisable options for excellent comfort and offers an insight into why each of the features has been utilised to ensure the best performance from that boot.
Fit: Low Volume
Nordica’s Promachine 130 mixes top-level performance with class-leading comfort and useful convenience. Tri-Force Construction utilises a combination of PU plastics to create a powerful boot that is surprisingly light. The hardest material transmits the forces and drives the skis while a softer plastic disperses the pressure and holds the foot more comfortably. An even softer plastic is then used on the instep making entry and exit easier, something that can often be overlooked on closer-fitting models.
Infrared technology means the shell is easily customised; the Isotherm 3D Cork Fit liner can be heat moulded to improve the fit, cork around the ankles holds an accurate shape and is impressively hard wearing, as well as warm. A beefy 45mm Power Driver strap on the shin increases contact and control; Michelin GripWalk soles make getting around easier and safer (standard Alpine soles are included in the box).
The Promachine 105 W has the pedigree of a race boot, minus the drawbacks. It boasts a close fit with a precision feel on snow and a firm flex.
The use of Tri-Force Construction and thin (but still durable) shell walls make it light and responsive, as well as much easier to get in and out of compared to other women's ski boots built just for the race course. An Isotherm 3D Cork and PrimaLoft liner adds notable levels of comfort and custom fitting, as well as warmth and longevity.
Fit: Low/Medium Volume
This ski boot definitely deserves the name Ultra. It sits at the top of our advanced/expert selection with a True Flex shell of 130. True Flex is less affected across a large temperature range compared to traditional PU plastics. While PU softens or stiffens as the mercury goes up or down altering the way the boot reacts, True Flex stays consistent and the boot feels the same no matter how cold it gets. This high-grade plastic also means an ultra-thin shell can be produced without making any sacrifice on performance or shell stability, only an increase in sensitivity and a noticeable weight saving.
The Energy Backbone on the spine effectively transmits forces to drive skis, and the Power Shift on the rear of the cuff allows forward lean to be adjusted and the flex to be altered, ensuring a completely personalised setup. A 98mm last and pre-formed ankle pockets provide all the foothold and reassurance good skiers want; the in-store moulded Memory Fit liner and shell complete the customisation for the best possible fit for your feet.
Sitting just below the Hawx Ultra 115 W, the 95 W is still incredibly lightweight. It has the same medium to low volume shape but with a less aggressive flex, it’s aimed at intermediate and advanced skiers or lighter experts. Memory Fit makes it simple to heat mould the shell to more closely match the skier’s foot, a quick and effective process done in store. The Memory fit 3D Gold Liner provides extra customisation via a separate moulding process; the pre-formed shaping of the inner boot increases comfort straight out of the box.
Power Shift on the spine allows the forward lean and flex to be adjusted easily and, along with the dual cuff alignment, mean the boot can be perfectly set to your skiing style. This mix of comfort, performance, and other useful features make the Hawx Ultra 95 W a very popular boot.
Fit: Medium Volume
The Hawx Prime 110 S balances comfort, precision, and performance in an exceptional manner whilst being noticeably lighter than previous versions. Prolite means a stiff chassis for power and an integrated softer plastic that wraps around the foot for even pressure distribution and enhanced sensitivity.
Memory Fit makes the most of this design, allowing the shell to be moulded to the skier’s foot – personalisation that is enhanced by the Memory Fit 3D Gold Liner with Thinsulate. This combination produces a long-lasting customised shape with uniform pressure and excellent foothold.
The Prolite constructed Hawx Prime 95 W appeals equally to intermediate and advanced skiers. Prolite means a lighter, more sensitive model without any loss of power or control. The flex is supportive but never overbearing, making it ideal for cruising as well as faster, more technical skiing. Comfort comes from a variety of sources including the tried-and-tested stance that puts skiers in exactly the right position to feel relaxed but also to have great control.
The Energy Backbone enhances transmission for better grip. When skiing, the boot is responsive and precise, but also light and balanced. This is thanks to the rigid chassis that provides the power and soft plastic that wraps around the foot. This performance is brought to life by the exceptional fit and the level of personalisation that can be achieved.
The Memory Fit shell is heated and moulded during the fitting, adding up to an extra 6mm of space where needed, the 3D Silver Liner is customised too, adding further levels of comfort.
Fit: Medium/High Volume
The S/PRO 120 is Salomon’s option for advanced and expert skiers wanting lightweight precision and comfort with the best in custom fitting. Custom Shell HD includes the cuff, meaning that in addition to the clog moulding to the foot, the boot shapes to the lower leg too.
The seamless 3D liner is lighter, warmer and more comfortable and can be custom moulded. The stiff Coreframe, Sense Amplifier, and Sense Strap combine to improve performance by producing a more progressive flex and increasing rebound.
The S/PRO 100 W sets a fresh gold standard in what to expect from medium volume, firmer flexing women’s ski boots. The shell construction ensures the boot feels impressively light in weight, but it loses nothing in precision or power thanks to the use of Coreframe 360°.
Custom Shell HD provides an effective and quick custom fitting, the seamless liner contributes to the theme of weight reduction and also the best levels of customised comfort. An adjustable calf further improves the fitting and a Sense Amplifier cuff adds a progressive feel to the flex.
Fit: High Volume
Head’s Edge Lyt 110 carries the Edge name of the previous models, but apart from the fact it is a generous fit and suits good intermediates and advanced skiers, it’s a totally new boot for this season. The biggest differences are the weight and the flex. Thanks to Lytech design it’s 20% lighter than its predecessors and with the Smart Frame, this construction helps to create a more dynamic rebound.
Hi-Top Tech uses a higher shell internally, increasing contact with the tongue and providing more support, meaning less effort is required to transmit forces and drive skis, as well as making entry and exit easier. Double Power Buckles on the cuff reduce the pressure needed to fasten the boot, making it simple to get on and off.
The Form Fit shell and the Memory Fit 3D liner can be both custom moulded during the fitting to improve comfort and precision. The flex can also be adjusted to further tune the set-up.
Head’s Edge Lyt 90 W is packed with useful innovation that boosts comfort and performance and minimises weight. The Smart Frame construction increases rebound and works with the Hi-Top Tech design to improve control.
The weight has dropped by 20% whilst power transfer increases compared to previous models. The Form Fit plastic of the shell is custom moulded during the fitting to more closely match the skier’s feet; the Perfect Fit 3D liner is pre-shaped for comfort and heat moulded to further customise the fit. A women’s specific adjustable cuff further enhances personalisation.