Considering all your boot choices can seem a bit of a blur, but our advanced boot searching algorithm lets you narrow the field of options by any or all of these filters: audience, test category, brand, boot type, hike modality, last width and even cant and Cantology compatibility! Start your search by selecting Reviews/Boot Reviews from the menu above, then select your FILTER parameters and hit UPDATE RESULTS. Happy hunting, and remember that this is just a start—finalize your search by trying on the boots that make your short list at an America's Best Bootfitters member shop! Read on for our tips on how to find your best match….

Yup, there’s a new plug in town and we ain’t talkin’ about a plodding horse or old timer’s tobaccy—it’s a new World Cup race boot from Head, the Raptor WCR which replaces the venerable but long-in-the-tooth B-series boots. If you’re not clear where the narrowest lasted, lace-up liner then cram into shell race boot gets its nickname from, it’s because the narrowest internal mold a boot company uses on their true race boots is referred to as the “plug.” Often, more consumer market narrow boots may be based off that plug but with more anatomical curves added to the internal mold to make them initially more comfortable and saleable.

While the true Backcountry boot is an out-of-bounds animal—built for ascending with light weight, maximum touring range of motion, tech binding compatibility and a fully rockered and aggressively lugged outsole for walking and scrambling as needed—we favor Backcountry boots that trend toward a solid, dependable descent, regardless of snow conditions. This season we got a small batch of boots in the skin track in the Pacific Northwest and found a few that toured with the best but skied stronger than the rest.

What should your first thought be if you have tricky feet and a history of painful boots? Find a better bootfitter, duh! (do that here).
What should your second thought be? Maybe try a DaleBoot! It's the only truly custom-built boot on the market (we think), and it's been updated in recent years with high tech plastics and modern stance angles. There are lots of ways to customize a ski boot, but only one way to start from scratch, like a custom-shaped surfboard for your feet. The process begins with a DaleBoot dealer taking essential measurements and tracings of the skier's feet.

Each year boots continue to get lighter and we think we can point the finger at the success of lightweight skis in the Alpine market as the primary trend driver—that and the fact that while most of us can't manage to shed a few pounds of our own, we can and do appreciate shaving mere ounces off the gear we haul around. Less fatigue, heightened quickness, fewer pounds to schlep—sure we can get on board, so long as these boots still perform! Our tests at Silver Mountain Resort in northern Idaho have shown that the lightweights can more than hold their own with established category stalwarts.

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