The best alpine ski boots of 2023

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This article was first published by SkiMag.com.

You know ski boots are your most important piece of gear, so you want to get the perfect pair. The problem is that there are so many different options now. Here’s the good news: shopping for ski boots isn’t as overwhelming or complicated as it seems. You just need to be able to answer a basic question to get started: Do you want a traditional alpine ski boot, or a ski boot that you can use on resort and in the backcountry (i.e. a hybrid boot) ?

Are you looking for women’s alpine ski boots? Check reviews here.

Alpine ski boots vs hybrid ski boots

Traditional alpine boots are designed to improve performance for the type of skiing you’re likely to enjoy at the resort: turning at faster speeds, on firm, choppy snow, and using more edge skills. Alpine boots (also known as downhill boots) are made with heavier, stiffer plastics that promote better energy transfer when doing this type of skiing in resort. Although alpine boots may include some features you’ll see on hybrid boots these days, such as GripWalk soles and walk/hike modes, they differ from hybrid boots in that they are heavier and designed to be compatible with traditional alpine bindings. feature the metal tech inserts in the toe that you see on hybrid or alpine touring boots designed to work with alpine or hybrid off-trail touring bindings.

If you’re looking for a hybrid boot, head over to this page to browse the best ski boots of the year designed for resort skiing and off-piste skiing. If you’re a dedicated resort skier looking for a new ski boot that you’ll use exclusively on resort, you’ve come to the right place.

How to buy ski boots

Here we list the top-rated alpine ski boots from our gear testers, designed for downhill performance. Important note: Our gear testers are all advanced and expert skiers, so most ski in a high performance alpine boot with a stiff flex (around 120 or more). Although we are big fans of the boot models listed below, they may not be the right fit or choice for you. Unless you are an experienced skier and know your boot size, volume, flex and shape, consult a professional bootfitter to determine which boot is best for your physique and skiing style. If you determine that a low volume or 130 flex boot isn’t right for you, consider other models from the boot families listed below – more often than not, these boot lines offer a variety of volume and fit options. flex.

Related: Here’s What You Need to Know Before Visiting a Bootfitter

Review: The best alpine ski boots of 2023

Lange RS 130 LV ($1,000)

(Photo: Courtesy of Lange)

Flex: 130
Last: 97mm
Volume: Low (LV)
Best for: Expert skiers who demand a stiff boot and excellent energy transfer for on-piste charging

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The Lange RS 130 LV was our testers’ favorite in the high performance category for morning corduroy. In the world of front boots, Lange’s Polyether Dual Core (the highest grade of commercial polyurethane) is the best plastic on the market. Lateral stiffness is unmatched for delivering power to the edge. While the top of the forward flex is a bit softer than an average 130 flex boot, the stiffness increases as you push the tongue down and becomes quite stiff at the end of the flex. This progressive feel, combined with Lange’s natural 12 degree stance (16 degrees with a spoiler), puts you in the best possible forward position for carving. For piste skiing, the shoe’s considerable weight is just a plus, providing suspension and power on the entry and exit of every turn. For bulletproof days and fast, arcing turns, this boot is king of the hill. If the 130 and 97mm flex aren’t right for your foot, the Lange RS shoe family also includes other volume and flex options.


Rossignol Hi-Speed ​​Elite 130 Carbon LV GW ($850)

Rossignol Hi-Speed ​​Elite 130 Carbon LV GW
(Photo: Courtesy of Rossignol)

Flex: 130 (adjustable)
Last: 98mm
Volume: Low (LV)
Best for: Advanced and expert skiers with a low-bulk foot looking for a high-performance boot capable of tackling the whole mountain

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Rossignol’s all-new Hi-Speed ​​Elite 130 Carbon LV GW looks like a boot designed to rip snow groomers, but we think it excels as an all-mountain choice for super-demanding skiers. Its all-new carbon-infused Dual Core plastic flexes much more rigidly than older Dual Core models, and it delivers insane lateral power to the edge. Fully moldable liner and changeable flex add the ability to dial in the fit to your exact preferences. Because it’s easy to puncture and grind, a little time with a bootfitter will help you get the perfect fit. If you are a strong skier with a medium to low volume foot and are looking for a shoe that can deliver great power transfer on hard snow, while ripping through soft, choppy snow, this could be your glass slipper. This low volume model is also available in flex 115 and 110.


Nordica Sportmachine 3 130 ($700)

Nordica Sportmachine 3 130
(Photo: Courtesy of Nordica)

Flex: 130
Last: 102mm
Volume: High (HV)
Best for: Confirmed and expert skiers looking for a high-performance all-mountain shoe without high performance (read: tight) adapt

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Nordica’s redesigned Sportmachine 3 130 comes with a host of thoughtful features for taller skiers who want a boot they can really push. Over the past few years, the brand has taken some serious leaps and bounds to accommodate wider-footed skiers who still want their boots to perform at the highest level, which is ideal for people who consider themselves “tough”. . With a shell that holds great punches and a durable heat-moldable liner, the Sportmachine 3 130 streamlines the fitting process and gets you up the hill faster instead of holding you captive to the bench when it comes down. empty. The shoe’s progressive flex leads to an extremely peppy rebound when pushed, especially on hard snow, but it’s still easy to ride in soft, variable conditions. If you’re an avid skier, but don’t want to lock yourself into a race cut anymore, check out this boot and save some time in the shop. The best part about this boot: it comes in ten different flex options, up to 80 slipper flex in the unisex model and 65 flex in the women’s model.


Salomon S/Pro Alpha 120 ($850)

(Photo: Courtesy of Solomon)

Flex: 120
Last: 98-104mm
Volume: Low (LV)
Best for: All-mountain skiers looking for slalom-like precision

Buy now

The phrase “I have no foot for Solomons” disappeared from the earth. With a redesigned bottom shell, the French brand has raised the ceiling above the instep and paved the way for a new generation of Salomon skiers. The fit of the S/Pro Alpha 120 is incredibly low-volume foot-friendly, with an ultra-comfortable cuff that wraps around the lower leg so there’s no room for shin bang. The tongue of the boot is stiff at the top and rises quickly from there, providing precise turn initiation and quick feedback on snow, which is what you really feel when cornering at speed and snaking through the lines of bump. The lightweight PU construction also lends itself to quick pivots in steep, muddy bumps. The trade-off here is that less mass means the shoe is a bit harsh in very dirty snow, where it transmits more feedback to the skier than some of the heavier boots we tested. But we think the trade-off is worth it if you’re looking for an all-mountain boot that can deliver slalom-style precision without being punishing or cold in soft midwinter snow. The S/Pro Alpha family also includes the 130, 110 and 100 flex models in the unisex range, as well as the 110, 100, 90, 80 flex models in the women’s range.