The era of the $1,000+ ski boot is upon us. This is not a trend I am necessarily happy to see. Regardless, three top-end new boots this season pass that monetary threshold by promising innovations heretofore unseen in a plastic shell buckled on a foot and clipped into a ski.
Last month on GearJunkie.com, I wrote about the Apex Ski Boot, the self-proclaimed “most expensive ski boot on the market.” At $1,295, upstart company Apex Sports Group (www.apexsportsgroup.com) touts its namesake debut product as including a “snowboard-type” inner boot and a unique carbon exoskeleton shell.
The Boulder, Colo., company built the boot for performance and comfort. It has a heat-moldable inner liner and a close fit around the calf. A BOA cable-cinch lacing system lets a wearer dial in precise fit.
Weight is about 4.25 pounds per boot in a men’s size nine (U.S. sizing), which is light for a resort boot. One other stand-out feature: The exoskeleton shell — called the Carbon Chassis — is designed to stay in the binding when the user is not on his skis during the day. For example, during lunch at a resort, you can undo the two ratchet buckles and step out of the chassis and walk around in the inner boot. The chassis can stay in the bindings and you stow your skis and chassis together in a ski rack before walking into a chalet.
But stop the presses! Dynafit and SCARPA have even pricier ski boots. Dynafit’s new Dy.N.A. TF is touted as being among the lightest AT race boots on the market, and it retails for $1,550.
The Dynafits are indeed light. At just more than 2 pounds per boot in a size 27.5, the Dy.N.A. TF was made for “ambitious, fast ski mountaineers.” The company (www.dynafit.com) touts it as the lightest commercial boot in the world. It weighs less than an average leather hiking boot.
The Dy.N.A. TF boot is made for racing both down and up a mountain. It has a “rockered” sole and a flexible fit to acquiesce, literally, with running up a mountain slope. Then, heading down, you can cinch the “lightest, fastest and best performing cuff buckle system” on the market closed, click into your skis, and fly.
Not to be outdone, SCARPA this year unveiled the F1 Carbon in its randonee racing family of boots. It weighs an astonishing 1 pound, 13.6 ounces (in a men’s size 27). It is touted as the lightest alpine-touring ski boot on the market, and it has a carbon chassis and carbon-fiber cuff. They retail for $1,499. www.scarpa.com.
The Dy.N.A. TF and F1 Carbon promise top speed and feathery feet on the skis. That is, if you can afford them.
—Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.