‘Best In Show’ Gear Awards (part I) From Outdoor Retailer Trade Show

Mode Switch Ski Boot— Buckling, unbuckling, and adjusting tech ski boots when transitioning from tour to ski mode takes time. But with the F1 Evo from Scarpa there’s no need — just step into the binding and the boot automatically locks for downhill control; release the heel from the binding and the boot switches to walk mode without a single adjustment from the user.

Beyond that neat touch, these are bomber high-end boots, including a carbon-fiber frame, Boa closure system, and a light weight at about 2 pounds, 7 ounces per boot. $699; available in fall 2014

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.