Mar 16, 2016 - 12:00am by Mark Elling
While the Backcountry category is all about going uphill—they're the lightest of our test with the best touring range of motion and rockered, lugged soles—modern Backcountry boots ski well enough to handle themselves in-bounds if that's where the day takes them occasionally. Shell and cuff construction in this category is commonly comprised of polyamide plastics, like Grilamid and Pebax, so in combination with lightweight, fully thermo-moldable EVA foam liners (or the like) Backcountry boots are very light on the foot.
Touring mode range of motion is generally longer than that found on Freeride boots and a rockered, lugged sole and tech binding compatibility enhance the Backcountry boot's natural-feeling stride while touring and hiking. Backcountry boots are not compatible with Alpine bindings—A.T. frame style or tech bindings are required here and some Backcountry boots are compatible with tech bindings only.