Ski boots might seem like the supporting star to your skis, but boots are the important connection between you and your skis. If your boots are too big or too small, for example, it’s like watching bad acting—painful. However, if you have a solid fit and the correct flex, you’ll be able to perform on the slopes all day long.
First off, we recommend reading our guide to buying boots. Then, read the following roundup, featuring a wide range of boots in the all-mountain category. This category is for the true all-mountain skiers. In other words, they ski groomers on the front side, cut up snow on the backside, and everything in between, so they need a boot that can handle a variety of snow conditions. More and more women are heading out of bounds, following the trend of backcountry skiing, and want boots to accommodate their adventures like hike/ski modes. Resort skiers can benefit from some of the same features. Some of the boots in this roundup lean toward the freeride side, with walk/hike modes, which offer freedom of movement in the cuff for occasional trips off-piste or out-of-bounds. Others have features that blend performance with comfort, including combinations of lightweight plastic strategically placed to offer power without adding weight.
The second step in the boot buying process is to visit a qualified boot fitter who studies your foot and specific physical needs and considers your skiing ability. Technological advances in ski boot design mean a new incentive to buy this season. Along with more options to truly “customize” the fit, comes an overall movement to save weight. “Ski boot manufacturers have been working hard to improve the out-of-the-box fit on women’s boots,” says Mike Callas, boot fitter and co-founder of Outdoor DIVAS women-specific ports store. “Better angles, higher quality liner materials, and designs that mitigate traditional problem areas, all mean your initial impression is much better.”
Qualified boot fitters help pair you with the best boot for your physiology and ability level. They will consider your ability level (don’t sell yourself short!), where you like to ski, and whether you have any injuries. After they identify which category of boots to work with, they will start by finding the correct size, or the inner shape of the boot that best fits your feet. Narrow fitting boots have lasts around 96mm to 98mm and are usually the choice for experts who favor a tight fit and stiff flex for power and precision. Medium or average fitting boots have lasts around 100mm and wide-volume boots for high-volume feet have lasts that are 102 mm or above. Some companies offer the same boot model in two different last sizes to cater to higher or lower foot volume. Bootfitters also look at the instep height, heel anatomy, and calf muscle position.
Once you purchase a pair of boots, you should continue your relationship with your boot fitter, who can customize your fit precisely, thanks to features provided by boot manufacturers. “Breakthroughs in shell and liner materials allow us to eliminate hot spots and make room when necessary,” says Callas. “Patterns on the liners and shells help us locate the perfect spot to punch or grind. Injectable liner technology allows us to improve a fit for a difficult foot or restore the fit of a packed-out boot. These features, paired with a competent boot fitter, can add a lot of value for the customer over the life of the product.”
Use this women’s ski boot roundup as a guide for buying boots in the all-mountain category. However, it’ll be your boot fitter who will put the spotlight on the best fit for you and your foot so that you can perform well, day after day, season after season.
Women’s All-mountain Ski Boot Roundup for 22/23
Rossignol Pure Elite 120 GW (All-around)
For advanced skiers, the Rossignol Pure Elite 120 GW stands out as an excellent boot. The stiffer flex makes for an aggressive response, coupled with the boot shell and cuff that were designed for idealized energy transmission from foot to boot to ski. The Pure Elite will help you ski hard day after day. The five-zone pre-shaped liners create a snug, comfortable fit, while their seamless construction and Merino wool insulation make the boots toasty warm. Rossignol beckons you to “Elevate your ski experience with the Pure Elite 120.”
Nordica Promachine 95W (All-around)
The Promachine 95W from Nordica is the nexus of an easy-flexing high-performance ski boot. It is a lightweight and comfortable piece of footwear, with forgiving rebound in choppy terrain, yet remains responsive and precise. The unique 3D Custom Cork Liner wraps cork material around the heel and ankle, providing optimal power transfer and a snug, custom fit. The cork is also a thermal insulator, ensuring your feet stay warm throughout those blustery winter days. The Promachine 95W is a solid all around boot that can take you from groomers to glades to bumps and beyond, helping you ski your best and keeping your feet comfortable all day.
Dalbello Panterra 95 W ID GW (Intermediate)
For intermediate skiers seeking higher-level kit to boost their performance, the Dalbello Panterra 95 W ID GW is a great option. The medium-stiffness creates a sharper response than flexy beginner boots, while still being forgiving and shock absorbing over rough terrain. Its Powercage construction optimizes energy distribution throughout the boot and provides stability to the ankle. The adjustable cuff system allows for a customized fit and feel. Finally, the ID liners increase heel support and leave some space in the toe box for all-day comfort.
Lange RX 80 W (Intermediate)
Lange proudly declares that the RX 80 W ski boot is “The perfect balance between performance and comfort.” The Dual Core technology shell combined with women’s specific fit make this boot both responsive on the skis and cush on the feet. The Dual Core technology actively compresses and expands as you press into your boots, pushing and rebounding precisely where you intend. These boots have a medium-soft flex, so they are not overly stiff and aggressive, perfect for the intermediate skier. This is a great option for all-mountain piste riding.
K2 Method (Comfort)
The K2 Method is a soft-flex boot built for high-volume feet. This is a playful, comfortable, lightweight, and affordable ski boot. The bouncy flex of the Method excels in moguls and park, but is just as great for casual all-day riding anywhere on the mountain. The Intuition Tongue Liner is designed to provide comfort and performance, as well as easy-on, easy-off. Additionally, the shell and cuff are able to be heat molded, fitting to a variety of foot shapes. This is one comfortable boot, great for playful skiing.
Salomon S/Pro Alpha 90 (Comfort)
The Salomon S/Pro Alpha 90 is a lightweight boot with a medium-flex construction for all day riding over all sorts of terrain. “We have always looked to evolve our fit expertise and the new S/Pro Alpha is a huge step forward in both initial fit impression and expanding on the bootfitter’s arsenal of customization options,” says Chris McKearin, North American alpine category manager. “Not only is the new Alpha the dream boot for the high-performance skier but it is also the boot fitter’s best friend.” The Custom Shell HD allows for personalization of the boot, ensuring it fits just right on your foot, while the thin wall construction provides sensitivity. Additionally, the pre-mounted Gripwalk pads make for ultimate traction control while off your skis, providing solid footing over ice and snow.
Dalbello DS MX 65 W (Beginner)
When Dalbello designed the DS MX 65 W, they had the need of the entry level skier in mind. As a first pair of ski boots at a great price, these are an excellent option. The Dalbello DS MX 65 W have a soft-flex for comfort, and to help acclimate you to the feeling of leaning forward into your boots and transferring pressure from shins to skis. The Supercomfort Pro liner gently cushions the feet, allowing for all day riding without hot spots. This boot has a wide fit for extra roominess, but may be too wide for those with narrow feet. The Dalbello DS MX is the perfect piece to help you transition from beginner to intermediate.
Tecnica Cochise 95 W DYN GW (Hybrid)
For women who like to do it all, from all-day downhill at the resort to steep and deep powder laps in the backcountry, the Coshise 95 is the tool to get you there. “The Cochise 95 W is for the freeride skier who wants the versatility of having a walk mode in her ski boot, either for boot packing, short tours, or comfort walking around the village,” said Leslie Baker Brown, Blizzard Tecnica Women2Women Program Leader. It has a medium-flex for responsiveness while riding, yet still provides all-day comfort, uphill or downhill. The walk mode features 50° range of mobility, and the boot is rigged for tech binding compatibility. Additionally, the GripWalk soles provide sure footing on both steep, icy transitions and wet stairs to the aprés-ski bar. This really is a do-it-all ski boot—a backcountry tool that doesn’t sacrifice any resort performance.
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