Ready to earn your turns? These are the best three, highly anticipated backcountry touring boots will hit the market in 2017.
Next season’s ski touring boots are all about cutting weight without cutting uphill or downhill performance. That’s no easy task, but Atomic, Salomon, and Scarpa are leading the pack with three incredible options.
Scarpa Maestrale RS
How could Scarpa make the original Maestrale boot, one of the most popular backcountry ski boots of all time, even better? Make it lighter, stiffer, and more comfortable.
The new Maestrale RS is 5 ounces lighter than its predecessor and has an additional 23 degrees of cuff range. It tips the scales at 3 pounds and 2 ounces and has 60 degrees of touring motion. You’d think these updates would sacrifice downhill performance, but you’d be wrong. This is a freeride backcountry boot focused on ease of uphill and extreme shredding downhill performance.
A Grilamid carbon fiber web frame in the lower rear of the boot, a Grilamid cuff, and the single buckle z-shaped cable closure all combine to cut weight, eliminate heel lift, and improve stiffness to a hard-charging 130 flex. It’s a lightweight beast.
We put these on a recent backcountry test, and they were awesome. With the intuition liner molded before use, they were very comfortable for a full day of touring in Rocky Mountain National Park. Uphill, the added range of motion was wonderful. They drove wide skis easily in deep powder downhill. This is one we’re excited to test more.
Look for a full review coming soon.
Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130
If the Hawx boot line were a family, the Ultra XTD would be the overachieving, model-pretty, and gregarious brother.
Atomic focused on high-level performance and ultimate versatility with this boot. The Ultra has 54 degrees of cuff movement and a specialized Walk-To-Ride sole that is compatible with all bindings. Yes, that’s correct, every single type of binding, from tech to alpine.
We’ve heard of quiver killer skis before, but now Atomic has created a single boot that can do it all. Plus, each boot weighs in at a featherweight 3.13 pounds. It has a true, stiff 130 flex, which will make downhill skiing very fun…because that’s the whole point, man. The Ultra XTD is the single boot to rule all skiing disciplines. Are you drooling yet?
Salomon X Alp Boot
Part of Salomon’s new adventure touring line, the X Alp boot is a ski mountaineering boot that doesn’t look like your typical skimo hoof. It will remind you of the Arc’teryx Procline boot, as both Atomic and Salomon are under the Amer Sports umbrella.
But the Procline was more of a mountaineering boot that could ski, whereas the X Alp is a randonee-focused ski boot. The 3D rotating cuff is most notable for the uphiller. The ankle has a frictionless 23 degrees of external and 12 degrees of internal range of motion.
That means it moves cleanly fore and aft as well as side-to-side, which will make the climb super comfortable and your après ski dance moves extra boogielicious. It also weighs in at an absurdly light 2.62 pounds. Tether it to a rock so it doesn’t float away.