When the boot test first came to Bend, Oregon the population was 19,000 and there was only one brew pub—Deschutes Brewery! In 2017 after 25 boot tests there's a few more folks (over 90K) and more than 20 breweries there! (And as an aside, locals, you can blame boot test founder and Masterfit C.E.O. Steve Cohen for writing too many glowing articles about Mt. Bachelor and Bend back in the late 80's and early 90's when he was editor for SKI magazine.)

Virtually every skier will benefit from some basic lateral stance fine-tuning in the form of a well-made custom footbed and a properly adjusted upper cuff, but many skiers can really elevate their performance and comfort by taking the next stance step and having their boots canted—even a little bit makes a difference. Canting essentially means tipping the whole boot left or right in relation to the ski for the sake of improved edging balance and for stability and comfort of the legs during skiing.

We'd like to thank all the boot brands who support our annual boot test--we couldn't bring this unique content to you without their help. This year we asked 16 brands to submit up to eight boots each, in as many as 4 sizes per model--that's a big commitment on their parts, and the key to why our product test is the industry standard. Every brand brought something fresh to the table this year, and some perennial favorites, too. Read on to see what's new in each brand's boot line-up this year and see how the Battle of the Brands shook out....

We tested over 100 boot models at this year's boot test, which adds up to over 1000 test forms where testers rated boots in five categories: Anatomical Fit & Initial Feel, Dynamic Balance, Edge Power & Fore-Aft Support, Quickness Steering & Feel, and Convenience, Warmth & Features. Our large test team (over 50 of 'em) is comprised of a wide range of skiers, from ex-racers to backcountry purists, who come with an even broader spread of maturity levels and foot types. Read on to see the top 10 scoring men's and women's boots, regardless of category....

The first step in your ultimate boot search is to know thyself! How and where do you want to ski? Are you groomer-centric or an off-piste munk junkie? Are you a human-powered ascent machine or a burger-loving fan of the chairlift? Answers to these questions will guide you toward one of our four Boot Test Categories: Frontside, All-Mountain, On-Off Area and Backcountry. Once you're there, your search is fine-tuned by matching your foot shape to a boot's Last Width and addressing your performance needs by choosing the appropriate Flex Index.

Special thanks to all of our sponsors!