Planning a Ski Trip: The Complete Guide SEE FULL GUIDE prev next Snowboard Boots Skis Snowboards Ski Poles Helmets Balaclavas Goggles Gloves Boot Bags Top Ski Resorts in North America U.S. Resorts by Region Destinations in the Northwest Destinations in the Southeast Best Family-Friendly Ski Resorts Romantic Ski Getaways Save Money on Ski Wear Budget Tips for Families U.S. Resorts Where Kids Ski Free Best Ski Clothing Brands Women's Ski Jackets Women's Ski Pants Men's Ski Jackets Snowboard Pants Socks Ski Boots Planning a Ski Trip: The Complete Guide close Overview Outdoors Winter Sports The 10 Best Ski Boots of 2021 Maximize comfort and fun factor by buying the right boots Written by Justin Park Justin Park has been working as a sports, fitness, and hunting/outdoors journalist for 20 years. He reviews outdoor gear for TripSavvy, like ski equipment and inflatable paddle boards. Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines Justin Park Updated 12/07/20 Share Pin Email Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. The Rundown Best Overall: Nordica Speedmachine 100 Ski Boots at Amazon "A medium volume boot that’s stiff enough for intermediate skiers looking to progress." Best Value: Rossignol Evo 70 Ski Boots at REI "Save your money for lift tickets with these entry-level boots from a respected brand." Best Splurge: Tecnica Mach1 MV 130 at Backcountry "An aggressive, stiff boot that heat molds for the most demanding skiers." Best for Women: Rossignol Women's Pure Elite 90 at Backcountry "Has a slightly narrower footbed that's specifically designed for women's feet and gives a snugger fit." Best for Men: Atomic Men's Hawx Prime 120 S at Amazon "At less than 4 pounds per boot, the Hawx 120 is lightweight but heavy on performance." Best for Beginners: Tecnica Mach Sport HV 70 Ski Boots at Amazon "When you're new to the slopes, you want a forgiving, flexible boot like this one." Best for Advanced Skiers: Lange RX 120 Ski Boots at Amazon "The Lange RX 120s are as stiff as boots come, so they're perfect for advanced skiers." Best for Wide Feet: Rossignol Track 130 Ski Boots at REI "For wider feet, these boots offer more space without skimping on performance." Best for Extreme Cold: Salomon S/Pro 120 CHC Ski Boots at Backcountry "Keep your feet warm in the coldest conditions with this pair's app-controlled heated liner." Best for Backcountry Skiing: Salomon S/Lab MTN Alpine Touring Boots at Amazon "This stiff flex ski boot rivals your downhill boot, but is light enough for longer tours." Ski boots are arguably the most important piece of ski gear in your downhill skiing kit. Jackets may keep you warm and your skis certainly matter, but because boots are your connection to your skis, a bad fit at the feet can totally derail your experience on the slopes. Avid skiers know the importance of boots, but what works for one skier isn’t necessarily right for you. Boots should be matched not only to your foot shape and ski style but also to the type of skiing you prefer. Note: we highly recommend getting your boots fitted in-person if you have a ski shop near home, even if you ultimately buy your boots online. We researched our top picks across several common categories, so you can find the perfect pair for you and your skiing style. Read on for the best ski boots available. Best Overall: Nordica Speedmachine 100 Ski Boots Buy on Amazon Buy on REI Buy on Skis.com The Nordica Speedmachine 100 boots are medium volume, medium flex, and middle of the road in just about every feature and facet. Perfect for intermediate skiers ready to progress, the Speedmachines have a 100 flex rating which is stiff enough to ski aggressively, but soft enough to stay comfortable during long ski days. Likewise, the medium volume keeps feet from getting compressed, which can hinder circulation and make feet cold quicker. With four buckles and a 35-millimeter power strap, you can adjust the boots down to your liking, ensuring efficient power transfer and avoiding shifting inside the boot which can lead to toe problems and hotspots. The Primaloft-filled liner is also heat moldable by an authorized Nordica dealer. The 9 Best Ski Boot Bags of 2021 Best Value: Rossignol Evo 70 Ski Boots Courtesy of REI Buy on REI Buy on Skis.com Ski boots are a pricey item in a sport that’s full of high-priced gear. If you’re just looking for a comfortable, capable boot that leaves you some money to afford the rest of your equipment, consider the Evo 70 boots. A soft, comfortable boot, these Rossis aren’t for the hardest-charging pros on the mountain, but their wide 104-millimeter last and roomy toe box ensure your feet will stay warm and comfortable all day. With only three buckles and a top power strap, they’re also easy to adjust and take on and off. Despite the forgiving price tag, they still feature aluminum buckles, so you can get a precise fit and can count on them lasting for more than a few seasons. Best Splurge: Tecnica Mach1 MV 130 Courtesy of Backcountry Buy on Backcountry.com Buy on Sunandski.com The best skiers demand a stiff, responsive boot that isn’t a prison for their feet. The Mach1 boots feature Italian bootmaker Tecnica’s Custom Adaptive Shape (C.A.S.) which makes an advanced boot liner that isn’t just a foot-shaped hunk of foam. The liner is cut to fit around bones that often cause pain points, and is heat-moldable and grindable to adjust to the peculiarities of each foot. The 130 flex rating is for advanced skiers only as you’ll need to be strong and skilled enough to drive all that horsepower. Details such as the all-metal buckles ensure durability through hard-charging days on the hill. Best for Women: Rossignol Women's Pure Elite 90 Courtesy of Backcountry Buy on Backcountry.com Buy on Christysports.com Buy on Skis.com The Pure Elite boots feature a slightly narrower last, or footbed, that's specifically cut for women's feet for a snugger, more responsive fit. They also feature a moderate 90 flex rating, which means your feet won’t be screaming for a break after just a couple of runs. They’re relatively light for alpine boots, too, so you can keep your legs in them a bit longer each day. The OptiSensor liners are filled with merino wool that's breathable and naturally odor-resistant. They’re also heat-moldable, so you can get some of the benefits of a custom boot without the price tag. The 12 Best Women's Ski Pants of 2021 Best for Men: Atomic Men's Hawx Prime 120 S Buy on Amazon Buy on Backcountry.com At less than 4 pounds per boot, the Hawx 120 is one of the lightest boots Atomic makes but that doesn’t mean they skimp on performance. The 120 flex rating is appropriate for intermediate to advanced skiers but has a Memory Fit thermo-moldable liner that ensures comfort despite the stiffness. The 3M insulation provides protection from the cold in the moderate shell that's perfect for narrower feet or skiers that just prefer a more snug, race-like fit. You can also adjust the lean of the boots to adapt to your skiing style and the conditions where you ski. The 12 Best Men's Ski Jackets of 2021 Best for Beginners: Tecnica Mach Sport HV 70 Ski Boots Buy on Amazon Buy on Sunandski.com Nothing cuts short a good day learning to ski faster than sore or frozen feet. Luckily, the Mach Sport HV prioritizes comfort to avoid those unhappy endings. The 70 flex rating is extra forgiving which is important when starting out. More advanced skiers enjoy a stiff, more responsive boot, but that kind of stiffness can be a hindrance for new skiers. This is a high-volume boot with a wide 103-millimeter last that’s roomy, but there are still four buckles and a strap here to ensure your fit is snug enough to avoid feet sliding around inside the boot and prevent foot injuries. The liner features the same Custom Adaptive Shape technology as Tecnica’s highest-end boots, which means you can have them heat-molded to ensure a good fit. Best for Advanced Skiers: Lange RX 120 Ski Boots Buy on Amazon Buy on Evo.com More advanced skiers learn to appreciate the responsiveness of a stiffer boot. With a 120 flex rating, the Lange RX 120s are just about as stiff as boots come but still have a little give so you can endure long days on the mountain. The relatively thin liner sacrifices a bit in the way of insulation but provides a tighter interface between the boot's shell and the leg, for maximum responsiveness and power transfer to the skis. While aimed at more aggressive skiers, the lean isn’t too far forward meaning you can ride this boot all over the mountain, not just on race runs. The thinner liner is also less likely to compress severely over time which reduces the risk of replacing the boots or the liner after just one season. Best for Wide Feet: Rossignol Track 130 Ski Boots Courtesy of REI Buy on REI Buy on Skis.com Many ski boots skip performance when providing more room to accommodate wider feet. The Track 130s are a decidedly stiff and advanced ski boot that still delivers a 104-millimeter base for wider feet that love to ski hard. Even the boot entry prioritizes for larger feet, employing a softer plastic around the tongue for easier opening. The anatomical ankle pocket aims to keep a snug heel fit despite the larger footbed and toe box. The liner is also heat-moldable, ensuring you have enough volume but not any more than you need. The boots even feature a hike mode switch that permits some articulation at the ankle for hiking and walking as needed. The 9 Best Cross-Country Skis of 2021 Best for Extreme Cold: Salomon S/Pro 120 CHC Ski Boots Courtesy of REI Buy on Backcountry.com Buy on REI Whether it’s circulation issues or just extremely low temperatures, some folks can’t avoid cold feet when they step into their ski boots. Luckily, manufacturers have an answer for these skiers with battery-powered heated ski boot liners. This is an established technology, but Salomon takes it to another level with a custom app to control heat levels, so you stay warm but don’t overheat. The 120 flex is perfect for high level intermediate and advanced skiers, so you don’t have to sacrifice performance for warmth. You can buy aftermarket boot heating systems, but if you’re in the market for new boots and deal with cold feet, get an integrated system such as Salomon’s to ensure comfort and compatibility. Best for Backcountry Skiing: Salomon S/Lab MTN Alpine Touring Boots Buy on Amazon Buy on Backcountry.com The growth of backcountry skiing, also known as alpine touring, has companies such as Salomon innovating backcountry gear at breakneck speeds. The S/Lab MTN boots balance comfort and flexibility for the uphill climbs with a stiff 120 flex for control on those backcountry descents. The Contagrip soles are up to the task of bootpacking and hiking in variable conditions. The Grillamid shell with carbon spine means a stiff responsive boot while keeping the weight per boot impressively below 3.5 pounds. Why Trust TripSavvy? Author Justin Park is a lifelong skier who lives in the heart of Ski Country, U.S.A. near the base of Breckenridge, Colorado. He skis around 100 days a year, split between ski resorts and the backcountry, and his feet know well the importance of a quality ski boot. He currently owns the Tecnica Mach1 boots and loves the aggressive stiffness for blasting through any conditions. The 8 Best Ski Helmets of 2021 Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Continue to 5 of 10 below. Continue to 9 of 10 below.