The 10 Best Alpine Touring Boots
This wiki has been updated 9 times since it was first published in October of 2019. Alpine touring boots have advanced by leaps and bounds in the last decade, with brands competing to offer the stiffest and lightest products. That's good news for skiers, as the performance compromises have reduced for both uphill and downhill applications. Our list covers selections for a variety of needs, including ultralight options, resort-worthy chargers, and all-around workhorses. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 19, 2020:
Alpine touring boots need to work as well on the way up as they do on the way down. This has always presented a problem for manufacturers, as the two demands are fundamentally opposed. To be good on the downhill, boots need to be stiff and supportive. To reduce fatigue on long climbs, they must be lightweight and allow as much mobility as possible.
The latest generation of boots comes closer than ever to unifying the two extremes. Top picks like the Scarpa Maestrale RS and Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro ski remarkably well for how light and mobile they are.
Some options will skew further to one side of the spectrum or the other. Models like the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD or Lange XT 130 are rigid enough for the biggest slopes, but they add weight. On the other end, the Scarpa Alien RS is ultralight and mobile enough for technical climbs, but it won't play as well with stiff skis and aggressive descents. If you can live without skiing heavy powder or at high velocity, you may be able to use a boot with a low flex rating.
Then there's the tricky moment in between the uphill and downhill: the transition. Manufacturers continue to come up with creative ways to make switching modes easier, like the double tongue on the La Sportiva Synchro or the simple two-buckle setup of the Salomon S/Lab MTN, both of which will help minimize fuss.
Of course, boots aren't the only element of a touring kit. It's important to check compatibility with your bindings — the Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour are only compatible with tech bindings. While you're at it, make sure you have an avalanche beacon in your pack.
Intuition Liners Many skiers will choose to swap in custom liners for more warmth, more support, or a better fit. This Vancouver-based company makes some of the best options on the market, with specialized touring models that can be worn out of the box or heat molded for customization. intuitionliners.com