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The Best Ski Boots of Winter 2022/2023

Carve turns and bomb hills in comfort and style with the best ski boots of the season.

collage of 3 ski boots

In skiing, the most important piece of gear for performance is the boot. It’s the interface between you and the ski. When you’ve got the right boot, skiing is easier. When you don’t, performance suffers. If you can’t flex the boot or the fit is sloppy that translates down the line to less control over the ski and imprecise turning.

Boots matter too because feet have it rough. As an extremity, toes and feet are already susceptible to getting cold. Then we shove them inside a hard plastic shell, stick them close to the snow and stand on them all day long. The right boot can go a long way to easing up on the torture.

Bottom line, if you’re going to splurge on any piece of ski kit, put it all on boots. Take the time to find a professional boot fitter, try on a few pairs, customize the fit and buy an aftermarket footbed. You, your feet and your skiing will benefit.

How to buy ski boots

Unless you know that a specific model of ski boot fits you perfectly, this is one product we recommend you do not buy online. If you don’t listen to us then at least take it to a boot fitter to help you adjust the fit to your foot. But even if you’re going to the pro, it helps to have a sense of what you are looking for. Here are the key features to keep in mind.


This is a measure of how hard it is to flex your ankle joint inside the boot. This is a key movement in skiing that helps to steer a ski through a turn. Too many skiers buy too stiff a boot and their skiing suffers accordingly. That’s because there is no formula for picking a flex. It depends on the skier's weight, height and ability, as well as ski style and preference. Ski boot manufacturers don’t help. They often only include all the bells and whistles on their stiffest boots, leaving lighter and shorter skiers stuck with inferior products or too stiff a boot. There isn’t even a standard for the flex number: two 120 flex boots may not feel the same. And flexing a boot inside the warmth of a ski shop is not a good measure, because boot plastic becomes much stiffer in cold mountain air.

A good boot fitter can help you hone in on the best flex. Here’s a rough guide, but keep in mind the caveat that heavier and taller than average guys should bump up one category.

  • Beginner to intermediate: 60 to 80
  • Intermediate to advanced: 85 to 100
  • Advanced to expert: 110-120
  • Expert: 120-130

    Last width

    Each company uses proprietary molds to shade the shell and liner of its boots. These come in different last widths, a measure across the bottom of the boot in millimeters. The range for recreational ski boots is 98 mm to 104 mm. The narrower a last the snugger the fit. There are two factors for picking a last.

    1. Foot shape. Wider feet need a wider last.
    2. How custom a fit you want. Boot fitters can stretch a boot to fit a foot, within reason. Someone with a narrow heel and a wide forefoot might start with a narrower lasted boot, so their heel fits snug, and then customize the toe box for comfort.


      With all the boot’s buckles done up about halfway a ski boot should fit snug without hurting - like a firm handshake. A locked-in feel in the heel area is especially important. There should be enough room in the toe box to wiggle the piggies without touching the end of the liner. But too much room will lead to cold toes.

      Ski boots use Mondo Point sizing, which roughly translates to the foot’s length in centimeters. Sizes jump by 5 mm increments, about the same as a high size in normal shoe sizing.

      Other features to consider

      Buckles and power straps

      Ski boots generally rely on metal or plastic buckles for tightening the boot. They use leverage and adjustment points to pull the hard plastic shell together, snugging up the foot. Three or four buckles is most common, with the higher number corresponding to more precise feel and fit. The best buckles off some level of adjustment and are made of metal. Most downhill boots also have a powerstrap, an adjustable webbing or fabric strap across the top of the boot.


      This is the soft inner boot inside the plastic shell. The combination of foam and fabric helps with boot fit and foot comfort. Some are heat moldable, which helps create a customized fit.


      Like in a pair of shoes, this is the removable footbed inside the liner. These are typically flimsy in ski boots. For better fit and performance buy an aftermarket footbed.


      A lever at the back of many ski boots releases the ankle pivot, making it easier to walk in your boots. It’s a nice feature for moving around the mountain when you’re not skiing. It has a minimal impact on stiffness.


      Downhill ski boots used to have a flat, plastic base with almost no grip. It worked well in bindings, but not for walking to and from the car or even around the lodge. Increasingly boots come with some form of lugged and grippy outsole, including GripWalk. They make walking around the ski hill easier and, with new binding interfaces, have no impact on ski performance.

      Construction type

      Most ski boots use an overlap or two-piece construction. The shell consists of a bottom and a separate top that are riveted together. Plastic overlaps and buckles pull it together further. A few brands – K2, Roxa and Dalbello – make boots with a three-piece design: lower shell, upper shell and tongue. Instead of overlapping plastic, the tongue fills the gaps. A third, less common, construction is rear entry, which focuses on comfort. Three-piece boots tend to be easier to get on and off and hold the heel down better. Overlap tends to be stiffer and more powerful. But mostly it comes down to preference.

      The 8 Best Ski Boots of Winter 2022/2023

      Lange RX 120

      Best All Mountain Ski Boot

      Lange RX 120 Ski Boot

      Lange backcountry.com
      • Weight: 2120 grams
      • Sizes: 24 to 31.5
      • Last width: 100 mm
      • Flex: 120

        For this all-mountain-focused boot Lange borrowed technology that makes golf balls fly further to increase power transmission in the shell. Like the layers in a golf ball, Lange sandwiched soft plastic with hard plastics. The two interact to amplify the energy moving through the shell and into the ski. The mix of materials also allows Lange to tune the plastic to be softer in key spots to ease entry. The rest of the shell has four adjustable, aluminum buckles and an extra wide power strap. The 100 mm last liner is customizable for tuning the fit. It also comes in a LV model, which has a lower arch and forefoot for smaller-volume feet.

        Salomon S/Pro Alpha 130 EL

        Best Ski Boots For Experts

        Salomon S/Pro Alpha 130 EL

        Salomon backcountry.com

        • Weight: 1825 grams
        • Sizes: 22 to 30.5
        • Last width: 98 mm
        • Flex: 130

          Salomon threw all their technology at this boot, much of it aimed at improving the fit. The liner and tongue can be customized and even the lower shell plastic is heat moldable. Thinner plastic over the instep helps with boot entry and eases pressure on the top of the foot, especially for people with high insteps. Salomon also tweaked the second buckle placement so it locks the heel back more than pushes the foot down. There’s even a high-quality footbed. The S/Pro is aimed at expert skiers and resort turning, but its precise fit and stiff flex should provide responsive skiing anywhere on the mountain.

          K2 BFC 100 Heat

          Best Upgrade Ski Boot

          K2 BFC 100 Heat

          • Weight: 2050 grams
          • Sizes: 24.5 to 30.5
          • Last width: 103 mm
          • Flex: 100

            BFC stands for “built for comfort” and that’s just what these are. There’s a walk mode and the calf width adjusts. The liner and shell are heat moldable. A GripWalk outsole makes walking easier and the 103 mm last is wide and cozy. But the biggest comfort feature is heat. Coils run through the top of the liner and attach to batteries in the back, upper cuff. Controlled by an app they supply up to 17 hours of warmth. With a 100 flex rating, these are not a high-performance boot. But we think these are worth a look for lots of intermediate to advanced skiers. Warmth and comfort enable more time on snow, which not only translates to more turns but also improvement.

            Tecnica Cochise 110 DYN GW

            Best Overall Ski Boot

            Tecnica Cochise 110 DYN GW

            Tecnica rei.com
            • Weight: 1750 grams
            • Sizes: 24.5 to 30.5
            • Last width: 99 mm
            • Flex: 110

              The Cochise is one of the most interesting boots in the most progressive category of ski boots – freeride. These hybrids mix the walkability and low weight of an alpine touring boot with the downhill performance of a resort boot, to create a versatile and user-friendly option. The Cochise comes in several flex ratings, from 130 to 110. Because these boots are designed for softer snow conditions, we recommend the 110 for most people. The softer flex will help them to get the most out of the boot, particularly when touring. The walk mode enables a 75-degree range of motion, it has a GripWalk sole and tech inserts for touring binding compatibility. With four buckles, a power strap and a carbon spine for energy transmission, there’s still plenty of downhill performance. The liner and shell are heat-moldable for a custom fit. For anyone contemplating mixing resort and backcountry skiing this is the style of boot you should buy and the Cochise is one of the best of the genre.

              Nordica HF Pro 120 GW

              Nordica HF Pro 120 GW

              Nordica amazon.com
              • Weight: 3700 grams
              • Sizes: 24 to 31
              • Last width: 102 mm
              • Flex: 120

                The HF Pro is a throwback to the 1990s, updated with modern technology and materials. From the past comes the rear entry design. Instead of the boot splitting down the front, the back half levers open. The difference is effortless boot entry. Rear entry disappeared with neon jackets because it couldn’t compete with the overlap design for performance. Nordica is conceding that point, to a certain extent. The HF is more about luxury. The liner is a mix of cork for shock absorption and power transmission and Primaloft insulation for warmth. The shell and liner are moldable with Nordica’s Infrared system. There’s a GripWalk outsole and a 102 mm last. You don’t even have to bend over to lock the rear entry lever into ski mode - it’s big enough to kick down with the other foot. Because of the design, the 120 flex probably won’t feel as stiff as a 120 overlap boot, but there should be plenty of performance here. And more comfort. But for someone that values quality construction and ease of use they're one of a kind.

                K2 Method Pro

                K2 Method Pro Ski Boot

                • Weight: 2000 grams
                • Sizes: 24.5 to 30.5
                • Last width: 102 mm
                • Flex: 100

                  This is a Full Tilt ski boot. The brand was a favorite among freeride and park skiers for its three-piece boots and their smooth, progressive flex. K2 owned Full Tilt and this year they’ve brought it in house. The Method Pro is an all-mountain-focused model. The three buckle and power strap set up, positions the middle buckle across the ankle crease. Cranking it down locks the heel in. The 102 last provides lots of room for comfort, without being too sloppy. It fits mid-volume feet best. The Intuition, heat-moldable liner helps adjust the fit. GripWalk soles round out the features. For strong skiers that like a softer flexing boot for landing airs and doing tricks, this is the one to check out.

                  Scarpa 4-Quattro XT

                  Scarpa 4-Quattro XT

                  Scarpa backcountry.com
                  • Weight: 1500 grams
                  • Sizes: 24.5 to 31
                  • Last width: 100 mm
                  • Flex: 130

                    Scarpa is better known for its alpine touring boots than resort-focused ski boots. No surprise then, versatility is the key selling feature on the 4 Quattro, their new and most resort-oriented boot. Scarpa says, at 1,500 grams per boot, it is the lightest ski boot with a GripWalk sole. That’s lighter than a lot of other ski-touring-focused boots. The 4-Quattro retains skinning capabilities with pin inserts at the toe and heel for clicking into touring bindings and a walk mode that enables 61-degree range of movement. But the top of the line XT also has a 130 flex and a performance fit. To get the stiffness Scarpa equipped it with a plant based, light but rigid plastic, carbon inserts for torsional rigidity, four buckles and a power strap. For the fit, it has a lower volume last and a heat moldable liner. People with wide and tall feet may struggle to fit in these boots, but if you do they have a smooth and powerful flex. Whether ski touring is in your plans or not, the lightweight build will benefit anyone’s skiing.

                    Dalbello Panterra 120 GW

                    Best Adaptable Ski Boot

                    Dalbello Panterra 120 GW

                    • Weight: 1975 grams
                    • Sizes: 24.5 to 30.5
                    • Last width: 102 mm
                    • Flex: 120

                      The Panterra is Dalbello’s three-piece resort boot designed to adapt to the skier. It has three buckles, including one across the ankle crease that helps with rear foot security, and a power strap. The front buckle is a unique one. It changes the volume of the toe box between 100 and 102 mm last width. Once it’s set, there’s no need to adjust this buckle in the future. To help dial in the fit further there’s a heat moldable liner and an adjustable cuff. The latter moves up and down to adapt to different leg shapes. A walk mode and GripWalk sole help with mobility out of skis. And there’s flex adjustment, which allows for softening or stiffening the boot for different conditions. For higher-volume feet, the Panterra is one of the most customizable boots available.

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