Carve, slash, huck or hike – delve into our 2020 Boots of the Year to find your winter weapon of choice…
ALPINE BOOT OF THE YEAR – LANGE LX120
Lange has always made boots that give fantastic snow-feel and a super snug fit. A simple, elegant shell design that can trace its lineage to the 1970s. However, in the past there was always the equation of: wide feet plus Lange equals lots of time with a boot fitter. The new LX range means that skiers with wider feet can have a more generous fit in a boot that still skis like a Lange.
With a stout 120 flex the anatomical shell is powerful when you tilt onto the edge, but the heat-mouldable Dual 3D Pro liner irons out any fit hotspots. With a Dual Core shell sandwiching both hard and soft plastics, the LX120 has the powerful, damp feel of any Lange performance boot, but with a little more space for your ‘plates of meat’. A comfortable, lightweight, high performance boot with Gripwalk compatible soles, the LX120 is guaranteed to put wide smiles on wide-footed skiers this winter.
PRICE: £325 – SIZES: 24-31.5 – WALK MODE: N – VOLUME: M – LAST: 102 – FLEX: 120
Fischer’s Ranger One 100 PBV (Powered By Vacuum) Walk looks like a traditional four-buckle alpine design, but hidden in the top buckle is a surprise. Sitting at the edge of the cuff buckle is a small lever – flip it and the cuff releases into a walk and climb mode, allowing the cuff to move back up to 55°; close it and you’re in four-buckle alpine mode. It’s a unique design eschewing both the girder-like appendages we see on some boots and those tiny switches that seem fragile, even if they’re not. If you’re a lighter skier who wants a daily driver both on and off-piste then this could be the all-mountain boot you’ve been waiting for.
PRICE: £330 – SIZES: 25.5-30.5 – WALK MODE: Y – VOLUME: H – LAST: 101 + 3mm – FLEX: 95
FREERIDE BOOT OF THE YEAR – ATOMIC HAWX ULTRA XTD 130
Back for 2020 with Gripwalk soles, a robust Memory Fit Platinum liner, new 50mm cam-style power strap and new alu buckles, this is the best version of the already quite brilliant Hawx Ultra XTD 130. At 1430g, it’s a nimble bootpacker but turns into a downhill weapon with the mere flick of a switch. With a flex index of 130, it offers punch and power on the descent so you can push as hard as your ability allows. At 98mm the fit is on the narrow to medium side, but Atomic claim that with Memory Fit a further 6mm can be added by heating the shell itself. The walk mode is reassuringly solid and can be adjusted for forward lean, and the very impressive cam strap further adds to the feeling of being locked in and allows you to really drive the ski in freeride terrain.
PRICE: £580 – SIZES: 24-29.5 – WALK MODE: Y – VOLUME: M – LAST: 98 – FLEX: 130
TOURING BOOT OF THE YEAR – SCARPA MAESTRALE XT
Scarpa’s enormously popular Maestrale family welcomes a new addition for this winter and what a cracking boot it is! The new 130+ flex Maestrale XT with RECCO tech is definitely on the beefier side of the touring spectrum but at 1490g per boot with 56° ROM, it’s got more than enough uphill capability for the mainstream backcountry enthusiast. The robust flex combined with a traditional ‘two buckles on the cuff’ set-up means that the XT has a powerful freeride feel so you can charge as hard and fast as conditions allow. The wave closure system uses a wrapping cable to tighten the boot and combined with a variable thickness shell over the instep, the Maestrale XT holds the foot like a confident businessman’s handshake. Ideal for powerful big mountain ski tourers looking for a lightweight powerful touring boot.
PRICE: £600 – SIZES: 24.5-32 – WALK MODE: Y – VOLUME: M – LAST: 101 – FLEX: 130+