For low-volume feet attached to lighter weight guys, the 2018 Salomon MTN Explore is the ticket to longer tours and better turns. Testers dug how well this 98 mm tourer gripped the foot and lower leg for a secure connection to the sliding tool. At a 100-flex, our taller, heavier testers overpowered it a bit, but for average and smaller skiers in soft snow there was nary a complaint, with those guys calling it agile and able to rip in all conditions.
Testers said average feet will need some help from the bootfitter, especially at the forefoot—this is a true narrow fit that the low volume set will appreciate. The flex feel is soft while the tongue cushioning is a bit on the firm side, and testers thought the stance angles were dialed for getting around on skis.
The boot is light, rockered, tech-compatible and has a slick sideways release mechanism called Surelock which testers approved of. Range of motion is better rearward than forward they said, but gave its quality of movement the thumbs-up for being smooth. Downhill skiing performance was on the agile and accurate side of the spectrum, rather than heavy to the edge, and so the MTN Explore is best suited to the not-huge and those with a lighter touch on the snow. The S/Lab MTN is a bit more solid at a 110-flex.
Two lightweight buckles and a powerstrap is about the extent of it, that and a fully thermo moldable liner—cook it and go!