Best Freeride Ski Boots of 2020-2021

As a type of ski boot, the modern Freeride boot attempts to combine the downhill performance of an All-Mountain boot with the lighter weight and touring range of motion of the Backcountry boot. While this was rarely achieved a few years ago, the current crop of Freeride boots we've tested do everything the on-area, off-area adventure skier wants, without many compromises. Most of the boots in the Freeride group are utilizing GripWalk soles to enhance the boots' walkability and most also incorporate metal-to-metal cuff release mechanisms to maximize energy transmission during descents. Pin-style (aka "Low Tech," or just "Tech") binding compatibility is standard across this category, though the Freeride boot can be used in a traditional Alpine binding, so long as it's GripWalk compatible.

Our test team was most impressed with this year's newest Lange freerider, the XT3, as well as Atomic's new, medium-width version of the Hawx XTD. Remaining one of our test team's favorite Freeride boots are both the men's and women's Ranger from Fischer--its cuff release mechanism remains the coolest and stealthiest of the group. The Head KORE 1 got another design update and feels and skis even better than before--the women's KORE 2 is all new. Perennial tester favorite (for its solid skiing skills) Nordica Strider returns this year unchanged for the most part, as do the comfort-factor-favorite K2 Mindbenders, and testers still dig the Rossignol Alltrack Elite boots for their anatomical fit and real boot skiing feel. Testers are stoked to see the Salomon has brought a completely new medium width boot to this category in the Shift Pro freeride line for men and women. While all the above models are built on an overlap shell chassis, our test team likes the Dalbello Lupo three-piece boots for strong skiing and massive range of motion when the "third piece" (aka tongue) is removed completely, and Roxa's R3 cabrio boots continue to impress for their close, anatomical 99mm fit and reactive on-snow character.

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