Far and away the best fitting and performing Apex boot we have tested to date, the MC-3 offers a full slate of improvements this year that our test team validated in comprehensive fit and on-snow testing.
Most noticeably improved is the forward lean adjustment that enables 4 different stance positions, easily adjusted using the rear flex arm, which is also adjustable for 3 different stiffnesses using elastomer bushings that come with the boot. Testers felt that the previous "backseat" feeling was eradicated, allowing for a comfortable but athletic stance that helped tapped the boot's lateral power. The lateral cuff adjustment range is wide for making side-to-side stance tweaks as needed—canting the boot sole is not an option here.
Testers have always appreciated how strongly the Apex's nano-fiber chassis transmits skier movements to ski, but this year's design improves how the inner boot mates with the chassis—tighter tolerances and higher friction surfaces between the inner boot toe and chassis toe cup area improved foot to ski communication and bumped up quickness scores this time around.
The pleasure of walking around in what is essentially a snowboard boot is undeniable—light and comfortable on the foot and leg, and several testers commented that for ski industry folk who need to be in and out of skis throughout the day and possibly switch between ski and board this could be the ultimate footwear. This will also appeal to anyone who simply spends enough time out of their skis to consider changing into shoes but who isn't quite ready to throw in the towel for the ski day.
What would keep our testers from making the Apex their daily driver—only a few things—though, in fact, a few of them were impressed enough to entertain the idea. The fit runs shorter than typical ski boots, so at least one size larger than normal is required. Additionally, the sole length of the chassis is huge, requiring maximum binding adjustment (most testers had to find skis with demo bindings in order to test). These two elements make for an awkward clomp-around while walking when buckled into the chassis and a long footprint on the ski, neither of which testers liked much.
“Very comfortable, yet appropriately snug.” -- Greg Phillips
“Comfortable, easy entry, and warm.” -- Andrew Orlich
“Interestingly -- easy to move freely into turns.” -- Larry "Laurent" Smith
“Slinky - smooth mover - real easy.” -- Mark Elling
“The BOA seems to be very effective on the soft boot, very even pressure.” -- Greg Hoffmann
“Exotic looks made boot mysterious. I could wear it all day long...” -- Chris Wilde