Mar 16, 2016 - 12:38am by Mark Elling
For technically skilled, aggressive skiers who aren't willing to compromise when it comes to ski edge driving power on hard snow and at high speeds, Frontside category boots will deliver the goods. These boots aren't World Cup "plug" style race boots, but they're only one step away—all narrow lasts at this year's test and all stiff flexes. Here you don't have to lace-up your liner before you put on the shell, and these narrows won't require the kind of shell modifications that plug boots do, but they put skis on rail and trench at a level that will suit all but the burliest of gate bashers.
For the most part four-buckle, overlap shell constructions dominate the category, using traditional polyurethane and polyether plastics. The soles are solid and so are the internal bootboards—energy transmission, not shock mitigation, is the game here and as such the boots perform best on smooth surfaces. All-Mountain skiers may choose to make a Frontside boot an all-around daily driver, but off-trail chunder and moguls can make for a bumpy ride in these rigidly tuned piste beasts.