SNOW SPORTS

Best All Mountain Ski Boots: Keeping Your Feet Dry

Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Finding the best all mountain ski boots for your shape and size is a top priority, considering the boots are the main link between the skis and yourself. The construction of ski boots is made up of a soft inner liner for warmth and hard outer shell for protection and support.

You’ll find that adult ski boots are similar to hiking boot design because they’re front-entry style. That means they open from the front and are secured by a few buckles (typically three or four).

You’ll also find that children’s ski boots tend to be rear entry, because they’re easier to get in and out of. It’s also important to note that rear entry style boots are also a great choice for beginner level skiers, because they’re more user-friendly.

Find the right fit

Regardless of skill level, when shopping for the right boots make sure you focus on performance and fit above all else. Not only will that make your search easier, it also ensures you match yourself with the right boots for your trip.

Our top picks

BrandWeightSizesLevel of useLastPrice
Head Vector Evo 13013 lbs27.5 - 29.5Professional to expert100 mmCheck price on Amazon
Dalbello Avanti 10013 lbs25.5 - 29.5Professional to expert100 mmCheck price on Amazon
Nordica Cruise 11013 lbs25.5 - 30.5All levels, particularly beginners104 mmCheck price on Amazon
Lange RS 13013 lbs26.5 - 28.5Expert level, high performance100 mmCheck price on Amazon
Salomon X Pro 1209.5 lbs26.5 - 29Intermediate to expert100/106 mmCheck price on Amazon
K2 Skis Pinnacle 110 HV13 lbs25.5 - 30.5Intermediate to expert100 mmCheck price on Amazon
HEAD Adaptedge 10011 lbsMultiple sizes directly from Alpine EastBeginner to expertN/ACheck price on Amazon

Finding the Right Pair

Here are some common considerations when finding a pair of ski boots that will serve you well in the slopes.

Sizing

Naturally, the length of your foot is what determines your boot size. But when shopping for ski boots, it’s the length of your foot measured in centimeters that’s important. That scale is referred to as Mondopoint.

Choosing ski boots

You don’t have to go to a shoe store to determine your Mondopoint, it’s easy to do at home. All you have to do is position your heel against a wall or some other vertical surface area. Make sure your toes are pointed outward and using measuring tape, measure the distance from the tip of your longest toe to the wall, in centimeters.

Some people might try to use their normal shoe size to gauge their Mondopoint, but that way is actually inaccurate. You should only do that as an absolute last resort. Walking or even running in a shoe size that’s slightly off is okay, but skiing is much more high energy and demanding and for that, you need a precise fit.

Skill Level

Another point to keep in mind is, depending on your skill level, you might actually want to purchase a pair of boots that don’t fit perfectly. For advanced skiers, an imperfect fit can actually increase their performance. Whereas with beginners, that don’t require that same performance can just follow their Mondopoint. Here’s some examples:

  • Beginner Level: This level and in some cases intermediate as well, should select boots that are exactly their Mondopoint size, or close to it. It’s ok to choose a pair of boots that is a bit longer than what you need. After skiing a few times in them, the boot liner compresses.
  • Intermediate Level: The in-between skier should also select boots that are close to their Mondopoint size. The difference here is that it’s ok to choose a pair that is a bit shorter. Focus on the boots’ width as well, selecting a pair with a snugger fit if you can.
  • Expert Level: The high performance skier typically selects boots with an entire shell size smaller or half size smaller. You may have noticed the theme of length by now. That’s because length is directly linked to responsiveness and control. They also go for boots with a stiff flex to them.

best all mountain skis

Performance

Also remember to never sacrifice performance for style. Naturally you might want to consider colors and things along those lines first and foremost when shopping. But that should be secondary. Precision, durability, last and other more technical features should be taken into consideration first.

Price

Even price should become almost a secondary thought. Obviously, this will depend on your personal budget. Like most skiing gear, ski boots can be quite expensive in general. In this case, you get what you pay for. Thus, if you want the best of the best, you will end up spending a little more. Treat ski boot shopping as an investment and you will make the right choice.

Reviews of Quality Ski Boots

As you’re looking into which ski boots are the right fit for your needs, be sure to check out the reviews of the ones you’re researching. Look for details about durability, materials they’re made from, weight, size, and special features that set them apart from others. Take a look at these options for a better idea of what to look for.

Head Vector Evo 130 Ski BootsHead Vector Evo 130

Price: Approx $359

Weight: 13 lbs (shipping weight)

Size: 27.5 – 29.5

Specific features: Adjustable flex, superior response, made with Evo frame design; secured with Velcro strap that is double power booster.

Best use: For professional or expert level skiers

Description: Head Skis USA promises you’ll leave it all on the slopes, except for Head Vector Evo 130. They’re made with an innovative flex pattern that gets you instantaneous, superior response because of the design of the frame.

The design of the frame enables you to focus most of your power towards your heels for better turns and better control. With only five minutes of skiing and reaching 80 degrees Fahrenheit, your feet will mold into the liner so that your body heat can do its part in helping you perform.

Pressure points are eliminated due to the spineflex buckles and they improve performance. Additionally, the rear end support tuning allows you to regulate your boots’ calves for a proper and comfortable fit.

PROS:

  • Innovative flex pattern with super response
  • Power focused towards heels
  • Feet mold to the liner
  • Pressure points are eliminated

CONS:

  • Not ideal for beginners

Related: The Head Skis USA Vector 120 Ski Boots are also a good option, known for their precise, yet comfortable fit. It’s a great pair for big mountain free riding.

Check the price on Amazon

Dalbello Avanti 100 Ski BootsDalbello Avanti 100

Price: Approx $380

Weight: 13 lbs (shipping weight)

Size: 25.5 – 29.5

Specific features: Contour four anatomic foot mapping, multi-density EVA, made with a high performance custom fit insole, heat system prepped, lightweight

Best use: For professional or expert level skiers

Description: The Dalbello Avanti 100 Ski Boots are great for expert level skiing. Designed with high performance activity in mind, these boots offer greater foot volume than typical ski boots. This is due to the fact they’re designed specifically with racing in mind.

They feature a 100 mm last, as well as 100 flex. They also have great control and transfer of power due to the unique frame design. The custom, heat activated moldable inner liner provides warmth, precision and are light weight. Although they work best for expert level skiers, they perform well for intermediate level as well.

Unfortunately, this is not the best pair if you have only started to ski. However, this pair is an ideal compromise between performance and comfort.

PROS:

  • Ideal for all levels of skiers
  • Great foot volume
  • Exceptional control
  • Great transfer of power
  • Unique frame design

CONS:

  • Works best for expert level skiers rather than beginners

Related: The Dalbello Panterra 100 Ski Boots are also a great, high performance option with features specifically for weight control and flex.

Check the price on Amazon

Nordica Cruise 110 Ski BootsNordica Cruise 110

Price: Approx $200

Weight: 13 lbs (shipping weight)

Size: 25.5 – 30.5

Specific features: These boots are secured with 4 buckles that are micro adjustable; adjustable cuff technology, which enables a smooth transition between neutral stances and high performance skiing; the last is 104 mm and the boots are designed with width in mind; the flex is 110

Best use: All levels of skiers, particularly beginner

Description: Whether you choose the 2016 version or the 2017 version, the Nordica Cruise 110 Ski Boots ensures you’ll have a great time on the slopes. Because of the flexibility in performance, these boots are great for all levels of skiers. When you need extra control and response, the 110 flex delivers.

For those that are just in it for fun can depend on the natural foot stance design for comfortable positioning while observing or cruising. Similar to the Dalbello 100’s, these boots also have an inner liner that is heat activated and moldable.

The Nordica’s also have some pretty innovative special features such as the weight reduction. The weight reduction is actually twenty-five percent when compared to other all mountain ski boots out there, because they’re made from an advanced polypropylene material. That formula is Nordica’s very own. Exclusive.

PROS:

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Provides extra control and response
  • Heat activated inner liner
  • Weight reduction

CONS:

  • More directed for beginners

Related: The Nordica Cruise 80 Ski Boots are a good choice as well for all level skiers with wider feet. It boasts great balance and control while keeping your feet as comfortable as possible.

Check the price on Amazon

Lange RS 130 Ski BootsLange RS 130

Price: Approx $399

Weight: 13 lbs (shipping weight)

Size: 26.5 – 28.5

Specific features: The last is 100 mm; designed specifically for high performance skiers, these boots are made with 130 flex for stiff power; the inner liner is made from Pro fit technology foam; the tongue is Power Wrap technology for added stiffness; the responsive, tight fit is attributed to the power strap

Best use: Most appropriate for expert level, high performance skiers

Description: The Lange RS 130 Ski Boots are best for more technical skiers, the ones who are looking for a pair of boots designed for racing. They boast mono-injection boot shell with their very own Control fit technology that provides precision.

You’ll have better transfer of power with these and less fatigue due to the neutral stance design. You’ll also find you have better circulation and pressure points are relaxed due to the fit and tongue technology. Lange RS innovative specifications covers just about all your common fitting issues, while delivering for high performance activity. Some skiers say the best thing about these boots is the response and custom fit.

PROS:

  • Ideal for high performance skiers
  • Power Wrap technology for stiffness
  • Less fatigue
  • Increased circulation
  • Pressure points relaxed

CONS:

  • Not ideal for beginners

Related: The Lange RS 110 Ski Boots are also a good option for technical skiers that need more precision. It features the 4-Pillar technology along with the excellent control fit liner.

Check the price on Amazon

Salomon X Pro 120 Ski BootsSalomon X Pro 120

Price: Approx $480

Weight: 9.15 lbs

Size: 26.5 – 29

Specific features: These all mountain ski boots’ last is 100/106 mm; makes for a comfortable fit for narrow feet, while providing an accurate, precise fit for wide feet; the flex is 120, for high performance racing; pre-shaped ankle and heel areas that make for improved performance and a comfortable fit

Best use: For intermediate level to expert level skiers

Description: You’ll make the most of your time and perform well while doing it with the Salomon X pro 120 Ski Boots. With specifications, such as replaceable soles the twin frame technology and custom fit liner for better response and flexibility, you’ll out-perform the best of them.

The liner is heat activated and moldable for a great fit. The twin frame design allows for double densities for balance as well as comfort. If you have wider skis, you’ll love the torque transfer that makes for better handling of them.

The buckles are lightweight and micro adjustable, making for a customized fit. Additionally, these boots have been proven to be extraordinarily responsive, delivering when it comes to controlling larger skis and making difficult turns.

PROS:

  • Ideal for intermediate to expert skiers
  • Replaceable soles
  • High response and flexibility
  • Lightweight buckles

CONS:

  • Not for beginners

Related: The Salomon X Pro 100 Ski Boots are also a great choice for intermediate level skiers because of their power transfer. The Twinframe technology allows the best kind of balance and all day comfort.

Check the price on Amazon

K2 Skis Pinnacle 110 HV BootsK2 Skis Pinnacle 110 HV

Price: Approx $331

Weight: 13 lbs (shipping weight)

Size: 25.5 – 30.5

Specific features: The flex is 110 and the last is 100 mm; the inner liner is LuxFit technology; made with Power fuse syne, compatible outsoles, a 45 mm strap and superior tech fittings; the alignment is dual cuff and the feature mid grip that is padded

Best use: Great for intermediate to expert level skiers

Description: K2 Skis Pinnacle 110 HV Boots are made with powerfuse spyne technology as well as synchro interlock for a great flex. The range of motion is second to none and the ease of transition is pretty smooth too.

With those features plus the interchangeable outsoles that happen to be compatible with any binding, these boots are a great, versatile option. They’re made with tour flex notch technology, which enables the liner to naturally flex due to the thoughtful placement of the notches.

This also improves efficiency and motion. Additionally, the replaceable outsoles are made with dual injected thermos plastic rubber. That little spec makes for a longer lifespan for the boots while offering great footing when you’re not skiing.

PROS:

  • Ideal for intermediate to expert level skiers
  • Versatile
  • Improves efficiency and motion
  • Replaceable outsole

CONS:

  • Not for beginners

Related: Other Pinnacle versions available, such as the K2 Pinnacle 130 Ski Boots, which have great downhill performance and range of motion.

Check the price on Amazon

HEAD Adaptedge 100 Ski BootsHEAD Adaptedge 100 W

Price: Approx $484

Weight: 11 lbs

Size: Available in multiple sizes, directly from Alpine East

Specific features: T 2100 cc, Perfect Fit technology, fleece lining, with a Velcro strap, 4 buckles that are micro adjustable, double power levers, simple entry shell with tri-injection framing, adjustable flex, adaptive fitting technology, innovative grip and heel system

Best use: Great for beginner to expert level women skiers

Description: These women specific ski boots are made with special touches such as the double canting and adjustable rear end spoiler. HEAD Adaptedge 100 Ski Boots offer great comfort, and high performance making them the perfect choice for mid-level to expert level skiers.

Everything is taken into consideration in the design of these boots from lining to calf muscle comfort. The lower leg specifications ensure you won’t have any calf fatigue. This is attributed to the rear end spoiler that’s adjustable, the thermo-moldable liner and the buckles with spine technology.

All day comfort means all day endurance. You will also be able to create your own precision due to the adjustable flex and width of the boots. That kind of flexibility makes this boot great for lower level skiers as well. The adaptive fit technology also allows you to customize your forefoot width.

PROS:

  • Velcro strap
  • Sports frame
  • Buckles are adjustable
  • Great for beginner to expert level women skiers
  • Ideal for all-day endurance

CONS:

  • Best for advanced level women skiers

Related: The Head AdpatEdge 85 Ski Boots is also a solid alternative for women who love the slopes. These are a great option for advanced ski enthusiasts that require all day performance.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Thoughts

For people who are first time ski boot shoppers, keep in mind that regardless of what boot you try on, they’ll feel very tight at first. That is completely normal. When you begin skiing they will pack down immediately and continue to do so over time.

It’s important for you to know that, so you don’t make the mistake of sizing up. Also, some helpful info for first time ski boot shoppers – some of the terms have different meanings than you think. Take ‘last’ for example.

All mountain ski boot

Had a great experience with any of the boots we’ve mentioned? Have a wonderful pair of ski boots we’ve neglected to talk about? Share your stories with us in the comments section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Millie Anderson

    Can anyone recommend a good pair of wider footed Ski boots for my hubby? He’s had the Salomon X Wave 6 boots for the past 3 years – which he’s loved – but they’re getting to the end of their lifespan (in his eyes anyway) so he’s in the market for a new pair. They don’t have to be Salomon’s, by the way.

  • Daniel Carraway

    I think your hubby is ready for the Nordica Cruise 110. These boots are gorgeous and he’ll love the wider width, too. It’s also affordable, almost the same price as the Salomon. Exclusive to the Nordica is the weight reduction feature. Let your hubby check it out, it won’t disappoint.

  • Rebecca Jones

    Really enjoy the Head Adapt Edge boots, especially for those of us with big calves. I know I’ve had trouble finding some boots that don’t fit really right and these are pretty comfy-I was happy to see you write about them! Had a quick question about bamboo socks? Do these really work to keep your feet dry?

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