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The 10 Best Ski Boots for Every Experience Level

From beginners to pros, these slope-ready styles will meet your performance needs.

best ski boot

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Contrary to popular assumptions, the most important item you can own as a skier is not a pair of skis. Rather, the must-have investment is the right pair of ski boots. Think about it: Your skis are essentially two sticks. Your feet, on the other hand, provide the direction, the control, the responsiveness, the power and the precision as you glide down the slopes. Your boots are the conduit between your movements, your intention and the mountains. 

If you are replacing a well-worn pair, it’s worth noting that today’s ski boots boast a range of innovations in comfort—heat-customizable shells, custom liners and ergonomic silhouettes, to name a few—as well as other specialized details. For example, the option to have two or three buckles in place of the typical four.

What considerations are significant when purchasing your first—or new—pair of ski boots? Everything from the type of terrain you prefer, your skill level and how often you get on the slopes to your budget, height and weight all come into play. We’ve taken all of these factors into account, analyzing the market for the best boots for every scenario. 

What to Consider Before Buying the Best Ski Boots:

Before purchasing your ideal boots, we recommend trying on the boots before purchasing. In fact, we’d even suggest paying a demo fee and taking your top two or three out to the slopes. Beyond a first-hand experience, the following elements can help guide you in your purchase. 

Flex: Flex refers to flexibility. The general rule is that the more advanced you are, the higher the number and the stiffer the boot. We recommend soft—and comfortable—boots at a flex below 85 for beginners. Flex ranges between 90 and 110 for intermediate skiers seeking more responsiveness. And a stiff flex at above 115 is best for advanced skiers. 

Last: The last of a boot is a form of measuring its width. These are typically divided into narrow, medium and wide. The breakdown: narrow sizes start from 97 millimeters to 98 millimeters; medium sizes come in around 100 millimeters; and wide ranges from 102 millimeters to 106 millimeters. 

Weight: A simple but crucial factor: How heavy is the boot? You want some light enough to move it but hefty enough to keep you grounded and in control. Ideally, you want to find a pair of ski boots between 3.75 and 4.4 lbs.

Size: All skis are measured on a scale called Mondopoint. You can best determine your size by placing your heel against a wall or another vertical surface with your toes pointed outward, then measure the distance from the wall to your longest toe in centimeters. This is your Mondo size. When deciding on the right pair, your experience and skill comes into play. Beginners should select a boot close to their Mondopoint length or a bit longer. Intermediate and advanced skiers should look for their Mondopoint size that’s slightly shorter. And expert skiers typically choose a boot half the size to a full size smaller. 

Best Overall Ski Boot

Tecnica Mach1 MV Mid Volume 120 All-Mountain Ski Boots

Here’s an extremely comfortable, high performance boot that can be customized to your needs. The power transfer is predictable (in the best way), and stiffness is secure. All around, it’s a ski boot that merges seamless, precise execution with a warm, well-fit feel. 

Flex: 120
Last: 100 millimeters 
Weight: 4.34 pounds 
Sizes: 24.5-30.5

Buy Now on Rei: $700

Best Alpine Ski Boot for Beginners 

Salomon QST Access 80 Ski Boots

The Salomon QST Access 80, with a slide-in liner and softer petal construction, is an ideal ski boot for beginners. It’s known for its comfort, lower calf support and lightweight feel. As an added bonus, it’s on the affordable end of the price spectrum. 

Flex: 80
Last: 104 millimeters
Weight: 3.64 pounds 
Sizes: 25.5-30.5

Buy Now on Salomon: $350

Buy Now on EVO: $350

Best Heated Ski Boot

Rossignol On Piste Hi-Speed Pro Heat MV GW Ski Boots

Built with a THERM-IC heating technology that is integrated into the liners and controlled via a button or wirelessly through Bluetooth—alongside a seamless toe box designed to reduce heat loss by 20 percent—this pair is designed for the coldest and longest of days on the slopes. It’s a well made boot with high performance control, ideal for intermediate level skiers. 

Flex: 110
Last: 100 millimeters
Weight: 4.78 pounds
Sizes: 24-31

Buy Now on Rossignol: $750

Best Boot for Freeskiing 

Scott Freeguide Carbon Ski Boot

An ultra-light boot made of a carbon fiber in eye-catching army green with yellow detailing, the Scott Freeguide ski boot is the best touring boot. It combines strong precision and powerful energy transmission to allow for aggressive downhill skiing, along with an integrated walk mechanism for exploring new terrain. Efficient transitioning from ski mode to tour mode and back makes this pair a must-buy for adventurous sportsmen. 

Flex: 130
Last: 101 millimeters
Weight: 3.2 pounds
Sizes: 25-29.5

Buy Now on Backcountry: 900 $765

Best Hybrid Ski Boot

Atomic Hawx Prime XTD 130 Alpine Touring Ski Boots 

For those searching for a boot that can perform as well on the alpine slopes as in touring, the Atomic Hawx Prime XTD is an ultimate all-mountain option. The pair, crafted with 54 degrees of cuff flex to make freeskiing natural, will give you the most flexibility on the climb up the slopes and are incredibly high-performing on the way down. 

Flex: 130 
Last: 100 millimeters
Weight: 4.08 pounds
Sizes: 24.5-32.5

Buy Now on Backcountry: $850

Best Ski Boot for Wide Feet

Lange LX 120 HV GW Ski Boots 

The Lange LX 120 is an expertly crafted boot for “high volume” skiers. It’s also great for those with wider feet. What’s more, this model is known for delivering comfort and performance—especially for advanced skiers. 

Flex: 120
Last: 102 millimeters
Weight: 4.07 pounds 
Sizes: 24-31.5

Buy Now on EVO: $580

Best Downhill Boot for Intermediate Skiers

Salomon S/PRO 100 GW Ski Boots

A customizable boot, the Salomon S/PRO 100 is a slope favorite for a reason. First, you can very much make it your own. You’re able to customize the cuff, shell and liner to fit your feet. In addition, the plush liner, combined with a smooth flex, make it an ideal boot for mid-level skiers—or ambitious beginners. 

Flex: 100
Last: 100 millimeters
Weight: 4.07 grams
Sizes: 25.5-29.5

Buy Now on REI: $500

Best Ski Boot For Racers

Lange RX 130 GW Ski Boots

If you prefer charging downhill, trying to beat your record, the ideal pick is Lange’s RX 130 GW. This is a stiff, assertive boot designed for racing, with an innovative RBT tongue that delivers on energy transfer and rebounds. 

Flex: 130
Last: 97 or 100 millimeters
Weight: 4.73 pounds
Sizes: 24-31.5

Buy Now on Backcountry: $850

Best Lightweight Ski Boot

Salomon Shift Pro 130 Ski Boots

Salomon’s Shift Pro 130 is an advanced ski boot that delivers serious power, proper stability and the lightness required to walk and scale a mountain. It is also an extremely versatile boot with a simple and secure walk mechanism.

Flex: 130
Last: 100 millimeters
Weight: 3.73 pounds
Sizes: 22-31.5

Buy Now on Salomon: $800

Best Rear-Entry Ski Boot

Nordica HF 110 Ski Boots

The Nordica HF 110 is probably the easiest boot to get in and out of on this list. These boots are also customizable; select your preferred level of stiffness and add a heat liner if desired. 

Flex: 110
Last: 102 millimeters
Weight: 3.88 pounds
Sizes: 24.5-31

Buy Now on REI: $650

Buy Now on Amazon: $650

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