Salomon MTN Explore

Model Year
2016-17
Category
Backcountry
Last Width
98mm
Flex Index
95
Price (MSRP)
$850.00USD

The Gist

Sneaky ripper—just two buckles and a 95 flex rating pounded out way more performance than expected for our test team. The fit is on the money, the hike mode is easy to use, and the touring range of motion is top-shelf. We have a winner.

Fit

Test scores were evenly distributed right down the gap between narrow and medium width fit tension, with a nod to the toebox for its extra room (if a bit boxy feeling) and a nod to the heel pocket for how tight it was (good tight). Entry and exit scores were standard for the category—ease hampered slightly by the weatherproof gusset that slows the foot's slide past the boot throat. The feel of the upper boot is balanced and snug with a smooth flex feel against the shin that testers said was meatier than 95 clicks.

Performance

This two-buckle surprised the test team with quick, precise transitions matched with burly-enough edge power and carbon-reinforced rearward support for driving big skis at speed. The Grilamid plastic lower shell and polyolefin cuff produce a lightweight system that testers said provided good feedback from the ski and snow as well as a snappy flex feel. The touring range of motion is silky and long, and testers like the easy sideways flip of the Surelock release switch.

Cool Features

Testers commented that the low-tech fittings dropped into their bindings easily every time, and the Ultralight CF 3D liner was pretty damn comfy right out of the box, but full molding did the trick for better matching foot shape and locking the liner to the interior of the shell.

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.5-29.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Overlap
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
MTN Lab $950

Kudos

  • “Good, good, good—fit and performance is better than QST Pro.” -- Kevin Gabriel
  • “A good performer all around—quick direction changes and a good touring range of motion.” -- Greg Coulter
  • “Good heel hold.” -- Bob Egeland
  • “Stance angles and flex feel are right on.” -- Mark Elling
  • “There's a lively, playful feel when going downhill—ski control is strong.” -- Bob Gleason

Caveats

  • “Edge power is a little under-gunned” -- Mark Elling

This boot available at...

Taos Ski Valley, NM
Morris Plains, NJ
Breckenridge, CO
Costa Mesa, CA

Special thanks to all of our sponsors!

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