Whether you are a classic snow bunny or a charging backcountry maven there is a boot waiting for you. Being a part of the Masterfit Boot Test team has made me realize the importance of properly fitted boots, and also the wide range of boots available. Here is my lineup for the 2014 season. Keep in mind that these are the boots that I enjoy as a hard ripper, backcountry focused and AT friendly skier.
1. Lange RS 120 SC
This beast of a boot is for an aggressive charger who demands performance and precision. The Lange bang stereotype is a thing of the past. The new Lange lineup – led by the RS 120 SC – are powerful, agile, and comfortable. This electric blue boot is not for the casual snow bunny, this is a powerhouse boot. When I skied this boot I felt fully supported and a power, edge to edge unparalleled by other brands. The quickness edge to edge allowed me to feel my skis hooking up underneath me, and possessed outstanding ski snow contact. Lange hit a home run with this high performance standout. There is a reason Lange Girls only wear the boots…the RS 120 SC is that good.
2. Lange XT 100 W LV
Versatility, stability, and touring ability – all in one sleek design. Hit the resort for morning laps and then slap skins on and take off into the backcountry. This boot is ideal for women who primarily rip in-bounds but want the ability to tour short distances. If you are looking for a touring specific boot there are lighter alternatives, but none have the alpine drive of this boot. With a snug fit in heel and toe box this boot had excellent fore/aft balance, leaving me perfectly stacked over the ski. This boot provides backcountry options with in bound power. The hike function is intuitive and effective, but has less mobility than a purely touring boot. The Lange XT 100 is a perfect fit for aggressive in-bound ladies who occasionally ski side country.
3. Fischer Hybrid W 10 Vacuum
Last spring I was lucky enough to join a few ripping ladies in testing the Fisher Hybrid Vacuum boot. Fisher is breaking ground in their ability to have a truly custom fit. During the vacuum pack fit process the boot transformed from a generic boot to an exact mold of my foot. This makes this boot a clear winner for all day comfort. No hot spots allowed with the Fischer Hybrid. I felt an even progressive flex in this boot and was impressed at how the boot handled speed. Although it is tailored to the aggressive slayer it has the comfort to meet the needs of any women. This is a SUPER comfy boot (I am talking favorite tennis shoe comfort). The Fischer Hybrid is a race fit tucked into a more forgiving, soft package. I’d recommend this boot to anyone, particularly women who have specific foot needs.
4. Head Challenger 110 Mya
This is my pick for the intermediate women who values performance, but still requires comfort and warmth. This is a workhorse boot, highly reliable. Although it doesn’t possess the “snap” of more aggressive race fit, it makes up for it in warmth and all day comfort. I also think this boot is a must try for a slightly wider foot. Straightforward and intuitive with no fuss and frills, the Head Challenger is a go to boot this year.
5. Rossignol Electra Pro SI 110
Not only is this boot hot looking, it skis like a charm. It possesses feminine features and stability while maximizing “feel” for the snow on and off-piste. With progressive flex and slightly higher cuff this boot doesn’t sacrifice comfort. The Electra Pro is eager to please. I was particularly found of the interplay between shell and liner. This Rossignol knockout is locked and loaded.
6. Scarpa Freedom SL Wmm
Believe the hype, the Scarpa Freedom is here to stay. This meets the need for merging alpine and tour into one boot. This boot is feather light and even with the interior fluff paired down, it is still surprisingly comfortable. If you are looking for a backcountry boot this is it. In my book this is the stiffest highest preforming women’s AT boot on the market. When I dream about backcountry skiing (which happens a lot) I am always wearing this boot.