Best Ski Boots 2020

You need to get the most comfortable gear possible when you go skiing. Some of this gear includes skis, boots, snowboards, gloves, etc. One of the essentials of getting an excellent performance when skiing is to get the best ski boots. Many factors can influence your decision, which means that you have to search carefully to find something that provides comfort and performance. Many popular manufacturers offer some of the best products regarding overall ski gear in 2020, so it’s a matter of choosing the one that provides both performance and comfort.

One of the main factors that can affect your buying decision is your gender. While some manufacturers create ski boots that work for both genders, not all bodies are the same. Some specific products target a particular gender to provide better performance and comfort for them, which in most cases, helps a person choose a product faster. For example: If you’re a woman, and you bought a ski boot that was designed for men, there’s a chance that it may not fit you properly.

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Regardless of the gender, newer ski boots come with many useful perks, such as a walk mode, improved range of motion, and overall better performance. If you want to have a better idea of what ski boot to choose next time you’re planning on going for a ski session, keep reading for the best ski boots for men and women in 2020!

What Is the Difference Between Ski Boots for Men and Women?

The overall differences in ski boots may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, the main differences between gender-specific boots come down to the boot’s cuff’s size and height. In most cases, women’s ski boots have a broader and shorter cuff; this is because women are usually shorter than men, have wider forefeet, and a narrower heel profile.

Ski boots for men may cause a very tight fit, which can cause problems with blood flow. This can be very dangerous if you’re wearing these kinds of boots. Skiing is a fun activity, but you need to choose a ski boot that’s appropriate for you.

However, this doesn’t mean that if you’re a woman, you only have to choose gender-specific boots. Not all women have the same size and proportions, so it all comes down to comfort. Regardless of the boot that you want, you need to make sure that it’s a proper fit.

Look at gender-specific ski boots as a way to guide yourself when shopping, but the best way to make a great purchase is to try the ski boot by yourself.

What Do You Need to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Ski Boots?

As you read at the beginning of this article, there are many factors that you have to keep in mind when choosing a proper product for you. You must understand some of the basics before you look for the best ski boots of 2020.

Getting the Right Fit

The first thing you need to understand is that you need a ski boot that’s appropriate for your feet. That’s a non-negotiable factor in your decision. Some of the essential things to keep in mind are the following:

  • Find a boot that’s comfortable for your foot’s size and overall shape. To make sure that you get a better fit, buy a pair of ski boots that feel half a size smaller. This ensures that your feet get proper blood circulation.
  • The ski boot needs to have sufficient room for your toes to wiggle freely. This also comes down to proper blood circulation.
  • Make sure that your heels are not lifting when you walk with them. If your heels lift while you’re walking or running, it may feel uncomfortable.
  • Check the boot’s liner before you decide to buy a pair. Most high-end boots let you use heat to adjust the liner for a customizable fit.
  • If you’re allowed to, try the ski boots on before you buy them. Take some steps inside the store to ensure that the ski boot is not too tight or too loose.
  • Last but not least, find a pair of boots that fit your ski level and flex rating, and look for additional features that add up to better performance and comfort.

Also note that you can stretch your ski boots both at home and at a ski shop with a boot fitter. Click here to find out how to stretch your ski boots at home.

Choosing the Right Flex

The flex is one of the essential things in a ski boot since it determines its stiffness. You have to get the pair of boots that are appropriate to your actual ski level. For example, if you’re a beginner, you need to get a pair of ski boots with a low flex rating since it makes it easier for you to lean forward into the boot. Ski boots that have a high flex rating can feel very stiff for beginners.

If you want a better idea on what ski boot to choose, there’s a flex rating index you can check out below:

  • For Beginner Skiers – The flex rating for people who are just starting skiing is 80 for men and 70 for women. However, this is an estimate, and it may vary from person to person.
  • For Intermediate Skiers – This is the range that most people find themselves in. When the ski boot starts to get stiffer, it can provide you better control over the surface that you’re planning to ski. The rate goes from 85 to 105 for men, and from 70 to 80 for women.
  • For Advanced Skiers – A stiff boot can be great for the most advanced skiers since they provide enough flexibility, while also maintaining high speeds. The range goes from 110 to 130 and above for men, and from 85 to 110 and above for women.

Remember that these are approximations, and that you have to choose the one that fits the best. However, if you’re a beginner, try to avoid flex rates for advanced skiers since the stiffness can cause you some issues.

Choosing the Last (Width)

The last step to finding the right fit for you is to choose a boot with an appropriate ‘Last,’ which is the measurement of the inner toe box of a boot. There are three main categories from which you can choose:

  • Narrow Boot – The last ranges between 95mm to 99mm. These boots work best for professionals who are looking for improved performance and speed.
  • Medium Boot – In this case, the last can go from 100mm to 103mm. They work the best for intermediate skiers who want to go into the slopes.
  • Wide Boot – The last for a wide boot can range from 104mm to 106mm. This ‘wide’ range is the most comfortable for people who have wide feet and want a better range of motion, or if they’re going to go skiing just for fun. We have a list of the best wide ski boots here.

Additional Features

Some manufacturers provide some new, extra perks for their products, which makes them more attractive to certain customers. The most popular trends of 2020 include ski boots with an adjustable walk mode or a molded ski boot fit liner,

Some other things that you should keep an eye out for are the quality of the buckles and the straps. These are made to secure the boot to your foot. Make sure that the buckles are sturdy enough to fit the boot and not make you uncomfortable.

While these are not necessary for you to have a pleasant experience, it’s always nice to get extra features with your new boots.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of brands that offer fantastic ski gear. Some boots, such as the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD, are best suited for a pro, but there’s also the Full Tilt Descendant 8, which allows you to adjust the flex, making it suitable for everyone. While the brand is essential when choosing the best ski boots, it’s even more critical to ensure that it is the right fit for you.

Best Ski Boots – Men – 2020

man in best ski boots for men

Now that you have all the information on how to choose the best ski boots for you, you’re ready to look at our best picks of 2020. If you want to check a specific product more thoroughly, you can check the product’s link to get more information about it.

Atomic Hawx Magna 110

This is one of the best men’s downhill ski boots. The Atomix Hawx models are best suited for intermediate and advanced skiers. This ski boot was designed for high performance and comfort for people who want to go into professional skiing.

Some of the most popular features about this product include a ‘Memory Fit’ feature, which makes the boot heat moldable. The boot also provides a 3M Thinsulate Insulation, which directs warmth to the user’s foot.

Last but not least, the Atomic Hawx Magna 110 offers a ‘Power Shift Adjustment,’ which allows the boot to correctly fit your foot. Overall, if you want a quality product that fits your feet in the most accurate way possible, the Atomic Hawx Magna is the way to go.

Read more about this product here.

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 110
  • Last: 100 – 103mm
  • Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Nordica Speedmachine 100

Nordica products never disappoint, and in the case of the ‘Speedmachine’ model, you’re in for a surprise! This boot delivers a fantastic downhill performance, which is excellent for intermediate to advanced skiers who want to improve their skills with a comfortable boot.

Some of this boot’s best features include an ‘Infrared Customizable Shell,’ which makes the boot heat moldable. This means that an authorized Nordica dealer can heat your boot to fit your foot appropriately.

If you’re worried about warm, this kind of boot has you covered with its ‘Primaloft Insulation’ feature, which is located in the fit liner, and adds an extra layer of warmth to your foot. This is one of the best downhill ski boots on the market, and you can read more about it here!

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 110
  • Last: 99-101mm
  • Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 120

The Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD is famous for providing stiff boots that feel surprisingly lightweight, which is always a welcome feature. Since the Hawx Ultra XTD is continually getting updated, you can guarantee some of the best performance rates.

This boot features Cuff Alignment, Power Shift, Memory Fit, 3M Thinsulate Insulation, and Cantable Grip Pads, making it a boot that you can customize to your liking while also maintaining the ‘Legendary Hawx Feel.’

The Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD mainly focuses on experts who want skiing gear that can handle demanding snow conditions without risking performance or comfort. You can read more about this product here.

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 120
  • Last: 95-98mm
  • Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Lange RX 120

If you’re into backcountry skiing or prefer an all-mountain ski boot, the Lange RX can be an excellent choice for you. Skiing with boots has to be precise, and this product gets it right with its ‘Dual Core’ shell construction and its ‘Dual 3D Liner.’ These features help to improve precision and power transmission.

As with other products in this list, this boot offers a 3M Thinsulate Insulation, which provides a right degree of warmth for your feet. If you want a boot that’s suited for the wild backcountry skiing, while also keeping security and energy transmission to its best, consider going for this product.

The Lange RX 120 has a last of 100mm, making it suitable for most average-sized feet. However, keep in mind that this is a heavy boot, and it may not be comfortable for some people. You can read more about this ski boot here.

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 120
  • Last: 100mm
  • Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Rossignol Alltrack Pro 120

Another all-mountain option for going backcountry skiing is the Rossignol Alltrack. In this case, Rossignol gave this boot a ‘Generative Design Grid,’ which works by increasing the downhill performance while also keeping it as lightweight as possible. The boot comes with four micro-adjustable buckles and canting adjustment, which gives faster fit customization.

However, that’s not all! Rossignol’s boot also provides a Custom T2 Polyethylene Liner, a Thinsulate Stretch Insulation, a PU Arch PAD, and a new Hike Mode, which is very important for most people these days.

The Hike Mode consists of a mechanism that allows you to walk or march comfortably while wearing each boot. This makes this boot comfortable for both skiers and hikers. Rossignol’s Hike Mode provides a broader range of motion (50 degrees) and a 6mm rotation axis, which provides better walking performance.

If you’re planning on using a ski boot for many hours, this is a very comfortable option. Click here to read more about this product.

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 120
  • Last: 99-101mm
  • Level: Advanced Intermediate – Advanced

Full Tilt Descendant 8

While there are products that are only targeted to a pro skier, such as the Hawx Ultra XTD, there are also products that are suited for every experience level, and that is the case of the brand Full Tilt. Full Tilt is an exciting brand regarding ski boot features. The most distinctive feature about the Descendant 8 is that it doesn’t come with a set flex, which means that you can adjust the stiffness of the boot to your liking. The Full Tilt Descendant 8’s flex can suit from beginners to the most pro skiers.

However, this boot is even better for beginners. Because of it’s adjustable flex, you can tighten up the boot as you improve your skills. With other products, you would have to buy a new pair with a tighter flex; with the Descendant 8, you don’t have to.

An adjustable flex is not everything that the Full Tilt Descendant 8 has; its ‘Quick Fit’ liner gives you the right amount of comfort while also keeping an excellent performance. On the other hand, the boot comes with a shock-absorbing layer, which ensures smooth landings that don’t hurt your feet.

The 103mm last makes it a perfect fit for most people. Even if it doesn’t fit your foot, this product is heat adjustable, so you can get it to fit your exact calf and foot size.

You can go on backcountry or alpine skiing, snowboarding, and pretty much any type of snow activity with this boot. If you want to read more about this product, click here.

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 8 (Adjustable from soft to stiff levels)
  • Last: 120mm
  • Level: Beginner – Intermediate – Advanced

Salomon X Pro 120

Some people focus their attention on feeling comfortable with their equipment rather than anything else, and for a good reason! Going into the snow with uncomfortable boots can be one of the worst things to happen to your feet. Fortunately, the Salomon X Pro 120 does a great job of fitting your foot.

This boot comes with a 360-degree shell and liner that can be heat adjusted. If that still doesn’t convince you, it also provides a ‘Twinframe 2 Construction,’ which gives the user more support when going into rough ski conditions or planning to go to a backcountry ski activity.

As for comfort, these are the best ski boots that you can choose for a great fit and effectiveness. If you want to take the fit to the next level, you can use the boot’s flex adjuster, which allows you to tighten up each boot to the degree that you find comfortable, so if you’re looking to practice your ski skills, you can use the flex adjuster to make it more challenging as you get better.

While this boot is best suited for intermediate skiers, more advanced users can give the X Pro 120 a try. If you’re a pro, this product can also work for you. You can read more about this product here.

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 120
  • Last: 99’101mm
  • Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Final Remarks on Ski Boots for Men

It may take a lot of time at first to choose the best ski boots. Mens gear can have many different variants or extra features that may appeal more to a specific type of person. For example, The Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD is terrific if you want a stiff boot that can endure the most extreme snow conditions, but they’re not suited for beginners. On the other hand, other brands focus on creating products that fit everyone, such as the Salomon X Pro 120 or the Full Tilt Descendant 8.

Considering this, every man can have a different perspective on the best men’s ski boots. 2020 has provided some of the best ski gear of the decade, so if you’re planning on going into the snow anytime soon, consider giving one of the products of the list a good look.

Best Ski Boots – Women – 2020

woman in best women's ski boots

While you can use any kind of ski boot that you want regardless of your gender, you may want to look at a specifically designed product for women. Most of these products can provide that extra comfort that men’s products don’t have. If you tried men’s ski boots, and you weren’t convinced, check out our best picks for the best ski boots for women in 2020!

Salomon X Pro X80

Salomon comes back into this list because it’s one of the leading providers of comfortable boots for both men and women. In this case, the X80 has a 360-degree custom shell, which can be heat adjusted by an authorized dealer, so you don’t have to worry about the boot not fitting your foot.

If you’re not comfortable wearing a heavy boot, Salomon’s ‘Twinframe 2 Technology’ provides lightweight reinforcements to the spine and sole, which reduces the torsional twisting of the shell, while also providing the same high-quality performance.

The best feature about this boot is that it comes with a specific liner and calf adjuster for women, which allows you to fit each boot in any way that you like. This is excellent news if you wish to be in the snow for long periods without feeling uncomfortable on your feet. If you want to read more, click here!

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 80
  • Last: 99-101mm
  • Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Rossignol Women’s Pure Pro 80

The Pure Pro 80 is an interesting option to look at if you’re looking for quality and comfort at an affordable price. Since the last of this boot is 100mm, it’s likely that it can fit the average foot. This Pro model includes an OptiSensor liner that allows an easier fit for your foot, while also providing proper warmth, comfort, and support. The liner also comes with merino wool, which does a good job giving breathability and odor control.

It’s high-grade, mono-injected construction doesn’t just provide comfort; the boot provides flex adjustment options and canting compatibility, which can make for a more customizable experience, regardless of your skills.

While the Pure Pro 80 is better suited for intermediate skiers, its flex adjustment settings make it a boot that can be used by a beginner, intermediate, or pro user. If you need a product with a great custom liner system, top performance, and affordable price, the Rossignol Pure Pro 80 is the way to go! Read more about this product here.

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 80
  • Last: 100mm
  • Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Salomon S/Max 70 W

If you’re looking for alpine boots that provide an amazing performance, Salomon’s S/Max for women can give you that. This boot has everything that you need to keep your foot comfortable and warm; heat-adjustable shell, seamless liner, a sense amplifier, and a coreframe reinforcement. When it comes to the best women’s downhill ski boots, 2020 has been a fantastic year for the Salomon brand.

One of the most exciting features of this boot is its women’s specific liner. This liner has a highly-moldable foam that provides a much better instep comfort and a better shin if you have sensitive zones in your foot. Another thing that makes this boot amazing for your foot is its new sense amplifier feature; it provides precision at the beginning of each turn, which gives you a good rebound effect, and a quicker edge-to-edge transfer for the end of each turn.

As for the boot’s flex, it can feel very tight for early intermediate users. Fortunately, it comes with a flex adjustment feature, allowing you to adjust the boot’s tightness to your liking. Either way, it’s a perfect alpine boot for going downhill skiing. If you’re going from an intermediate to an advanced level, these are the best ski boots for you.

Click here to read more about this product!

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 70
  • Last: 98mm
  • Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Tecnica Mach1 95 LV

Tecnica is a brand that focuses on an amazing performance. The Mach1 comes in both LV (low volume) and MV (mid volume), but in this particular case, we are going to focus on the LV model. This boot is for women who have a narrower foot and want to get good control and performance when going for a ski session.

The Tecnica Mach1 has a customizable liner that provides one of the best fits that we’ve ever seen for a ski boot. In addition to that, the liner also comes with a fantastic insulation feature, so you can guarantee the right amount of warmth.

This boot has a flex rating of 95, which can be very tight for some people. However, the tightness isn’t too aggressive on the foot, so if you’re an intermediate skier, you can use this model without any problems. If you’re a pro skier, you are going to get the right amount of tightness for professional skiing.

This is one of the best ski boots for intense snow sessions since it’s so comfortable that you can spend hours wearing them without any issues. If they don’t convince you at first, customize the liner until the boot fits you, and you’re ready to go!

Click here to read more about this product.

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 95
  • Last: 98mm
  • Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Dalbello DS MX 70

The Dalbello DS MX provided a boot that’s perfect for beginners that want high levels of support. It’s Hyperlite material helps reduce the boot’s overall weight, allowing for a more pleasant experience. The element that makes this boot perfect for beginners is its flex rating; the Dalbello DS MX has a rating of 70, which goes easy on the foot.

Another thing that helps with the comfort it’s the last; remember that the last can vary from model to model, and the higher the number, the wider it is. In this particular case, the last is 104-106mm, making it suitable for women with wide feet.

The boot’s new ‘Contour 4’ technology consists of four relief contours distributed throughout the boot. These are located on the heel, ankle, navicular, and the fifth metatarsal bone. If you plan to use the boots for walking on the snow, the DS MX comes with a ‘GripWalk’ option, which works as a walk mode.

If you’re starting to build your skiing skills, and you want amazing equipment, this lightweight but powerful boot is the way to go. Click here to read more about it!

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 65
  • Last: 104-106mm
  • Level: Beginner

Tecnica Cochise 85 W

Regarding the best women’s ski boots, 2020’s Tecnica Cochise 85 W is the perfect option for pro users! The best ski boots need to have an appropriate blend of high-quality features and comfort for people who are used to going on the slopes. Keep in mind that this boot is best suited for people with narrow feet since it has a last of 99mm.

The boot’s ‘Power Light Design’ provides a lightweight feel that responds amazingly to any snow conditions that you may face. It also comes with merino wool and a liner with an ultra-fit setting, which translates to a boot that feels warm, comfortable, and light. Since the Cochise 85 W is so lightweight, you can use them on any kind of snow conditions and still get amazing mobility.

If that isn’t enough for you, this product comes with a profile cuff that can fit many different kinds of legs. The boot’s new ‘Quick Instep’ technology allows for a more natural fit adjustment for your foot. If you just want to use this boot for walking, it comes with a walk mode that you can easily adjust whenever you want.

The Tecnica Cochise 85 W is best suited for a pro, because its flex rating is 85, which is a number that only experienced users can manage properly. If you’re already a pro skier, this may be one of the best ski boots for you.

Besides the flex, liner, and last of this boot, another thing that you have to keep in mind before buying is its price. The Tecnica Cochise 85 W is one of the most expensive products of this list, but for a good reason. This boot’s high performance makes it one of the preferred choices by a pro skier who wants high mobility and speed.

If you want to read more about this product, click here!

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 85
  • Last: 99mm
  • Level: Advanced – Pro

SCARPA Gea RS

The last product on this list is also tailored for pro users who want efficiency, speed, and comfort. The new Gea RS has the highest flex rating of this list, which is an aggressive rate for even a pro! However, the last eases the tightness a bit since it’s made for wider feet. This product has a lot of amazing features that make it one of the best of this list.

The boot’s ‘Grilamid Shell’ increases its power and stiffness without making it feel heavy on your feet. In an effort to lower the weight, even more, the Gea RS has a three-buckle system that reduces the bulk of the boot. Overall, you’re getting a lightweight product with the effectiveness that a pro needs.

The Gea RS makes it easier for you to walk on them since it provides a walk mode with a fantastic 60-degree range of motion. This is the stiffest boot for women made by SCARPA, so if you’re a beginner-intermediate user, you may not feel comfortable with them.

As with the Tecnica Cochise 85 W, the Gea RS aims at a higher price point since it’s made for a pro user. If you are on the advanced-professional range of skills, and you don’t mind spending a bit more on your snow equipment, the Gea RS can be the best way to go.

Click here to read more about this product!

Key Features

  • Flex Rating: 120
  • Last: 101mm
  • Level: Advanced – Pro

Final Remarks on Ski Boots for Women

The deciding factor on a good woman’s ski boot mostly comes down to comfort. The difference between men’s products and women’s products is that a boot tailored for a woman is made to fit the average foot measurements. One of the most important things to keep in mind when shopping is the ‘last.’

The last can determine the overall feel of the boot in your foot, so you can’t overlook it. If you have wider feet, try to avoid products with a last of 103mm or below, since they may suppress blood circulation and numb your feet.

As for skill level, buy the product that has the features that you need. Those features may be flex rating, walking mode, customizable liners, and many more. Remember that the fact that these products are made for women doesn’t mean that you can’t use products tailored for men; it all depends on your foot’s measurements.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Are Ski Boots?

The price is one of the most vital questions that a person asks before deciding for a product. There are many different options on the market, as well as various brands, which means that the price can vary a lot from product to product.

You can find products starting at $200 up to $700, depending on the flex, last, liners, and other additional features. Keep in mind that the fact that a boot is expensive doesn’t mean that it is the right one for you; you can find many budget options that work amazing.

Where Do You Buy Ski Boots?

You can find these products in most internet marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, etc. Most of the brands mentioned in this article have their website with a built-in online store.

The best way to choose a product is to look for buying guides online (Like this one!). These guides can help you choose the product that works best for your needs.

How Long Do Ski Boots Last?

It depends on the usage. If you’re planning to use them for long periods, you may be looking for a replacement every new snowing season. However, if you use them occasionally, you may keep them for years and use them without any issues.

Keep in mind that replacing your boots is essential if you want to ensure a safe and comfortable experience. Old products tend to wear out and lose effectiveness, so if you have a long time wearing the same thing, it’s time to get a replacement.

How Much Do Ski Boots Weigh?

The weight may vary from product to product, but the average weight for them is about two kilograms per boot. Some products may weigh a bit more, depending on any extra features that they may come with. However, some products come with lightweight materials; in those cases, you don’t have to worry too much about the weight.

What Are the Best Brands for Ski Boots?

There are a lot of brands that provide great products for the snowing season. However, the current top brands are Salomon, Tecnica, Rossignol, Atomic, and Nordica. As you could see in this article, most of the products of this list are from those brands.

While the manufacturer’s popularity can help you decide, remember that you have to look for the product that suits you the best.

Conclusion

A ski boot can be a significant investment depending on the manufacturer. However, if you want to have the best experience possible, we suggest that you go for the option that gives you what you need.

Remember that there are many options for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers. So, make a checklist of what features you need on your snow equipment, and start shopping!

Still not convinced you need to buy a pair of boots vs just renting? Click here to find out if you need to buy boots or just rent!

Categories: Gear Reviews

Harry Sowers

Harry has been skiing and snowboarding since he was a boy growing up outside of Denver Colorado. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college a UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.