Best All-Mountain Ski Boots of 2022-2023

The broadest and most popular ski boot category remains the All-Mountain Traditional group--mostly four-buckle overlap designs with non-releaseable cuffs--and there our testers find the most variety in fit profiles in narrow, medium and wide lasts and all possible flexes. These go-everywhere boots balance comfort and performance like no other category and will suit any foot, leg or instep shape and volume. While boots are getting lighter, the All-Mountain Traditional category is still dominated by polyurethane plastic, though increasingly in thin shell wall designs that reduce weight, improve wrapping for better fit and closure but maintain a strong foundation where it counts for stability and performance.

What should your first thought be if you have tricky feet and a history of painful boots? Find a better bootfitter, duh! (do that here).
What should your second thought be? Maybe try a DaleBoot! It's the only truly custom-built boot on the market (we think), and it's been updated in recent years with high tech plastics and modern stance angles. There are lots of ways to customize a ski boot, but only one way to start from scratch, like a custom-shaped surfboard for your feet. The process begins with a DaleBoot dealer taking essential measurements and tracings of the skier's feet.

The world may not be changed forever but it certainly is for the near future, and as skiers we’re all wondering how participation in our sport will be altered in the coming season. We bootfitter types (like you) wish this virus would simply disappear but in the case that it doesn’t we’re already changing how we do things as it relates to selling boots and working on them. We’re optimistic that what we do will still be essential and possible and safe, and we know for a fact that getting in-person time with a skilled bootfitter is still the only way to buy the right boot and get it dialed--but here are some things to think about when strategizing your return to boot world.

Our late March Boot Test scheduled at Silver Mountain Resort in Idaho is typically attended by testers from around the country and by boot brand liaison teams, often comprised of boot design engineers, many of whom are from Europe. It became apparent that the boot test as we knew it was going to be different when boot companies began banning international travel due to Covid-19 concerns in early March. It only got more dire when the Italian government locked-down the entire region of Veneto, where the towns Montebelluna, Asolo and Treviso all reside—homes to Dalbello, Full Tilt, Head, Lange, Nordica, Rossignol, Roxa, Scarpa and Tecnica.

Each year boots continue to get lighter and we think we can point the finger at the success of lightweight skis in the Alpine market as the primary trend driver—that and the fact that while most of us can't manage to shed a few pounds of our own, we can and do appreciate shaving mere ounces off the gear we haul around. Less fatigue, heightened quickness, fewer pounds to schlep—sure we can get on board, so long as these boots still perform! Our tests at Silver Mountain Resort in northern Idaho have shown that the lightweights can more than hold their own with established category stalwarts.

Yup, there’s a new plug in town and we ain’t talkin’ about a plodding horse or old timer’s tobaccy—it’s a new World Cup race boot from Head, the Raptor WCR which replaces the venerable but long-in-the-tooth B-series boots. If you’re not clear where the narrowest lasted, lace-up liner then cram into shell race boot gets its nickname from, it’s because the narrowest internal mold a boot company uses on their true race boots is referred to as the “plug.” Often, more consumer market narrow boots may be based off that plug but with more anatomical curves added to the internal mold to make them initially more comfortable and saleable.

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