Hike and huck, slash and stomp – take your big mountain game to the next level with our Editors’ Choice Men’s 22/23 Freeride Ski Boots
Dalbello Krypton AX T.I.
Sizes (MP) 24.5-29.5
Walk mode Y, 35°
Volume not stated
Last (mm) 100
Weight (per boot) 1,895g @ 26.5
The much-loved Krypton clan has a new family member. It’s the same width as the old Krypton AX 120, using a different cuff and tongue material with a walk mode. This boot is for those of us who love to ski, but see the benefit in being able to skin or hike for fresh lines. Tech inserts with a GripWalk sole gives masses of freedom when it comes to binding selection. However, the real joy of the Krypton DNA is the skiing experience. The three-piece cabrio construction is pretty special, with a sublime, progressive flex that soaks up knocks and big hits. There’s plenty of lateral support for driving big, freeride skis. If you suffer from shin-bang in a regular alpine boot, check out cabrio-style offerings. The Krypton 45° ankle buckle anchors you back into the heel pocket, securing you comfortably in the liner, taken from their Lupo freetour range.
BEST FOR Descent-oriented skiers looking for a comfortable boot with a slightly more forgiving flex.
Head Kore RS 130 GW
Sizes (MP) 24.0-30.5
Walk mode Y, 53°
Last (mm) 98
Weight (per boot) Approx 1,600g @ 26.5
The heat-mouldable Kore boots have been to the gym over the summer, slimming down, increasing power and working on their flexibility for uphill antics. You still have that lovely smooth start to the flex, that ramps up as you push through the front of the cuff, but you get more drive in the new Grilamid and Graphene shells. (For wider, softer boots in the Kore range look at the non-RS models.) The ski-hike switch is a metal, spring-loaded lever that connects the cuff to the shell for skiing. The range of motion has thankfully increased to 53°, and the cuff buckles lock open for touring. A GripWalk sole, now with a textured rubber section under the arch, and tech inserts adds versatility. Thanks, Head, for making a good boot great.
BEST FOR: Super chargey freeriders looking for a light, stiff, precise-fitting boot.
Tecnica Cochise 130 DYN GW
Walk mode Y, 55°
Last (mm) 99
Weight (per boot) 1,850g @ 26.5
The Cochise is a popular freeride boot, delivering awesome skiing performance and plenty of movement in the cuff for touring. The CAS liner is pretty unique in that not only is it heat-mouldable, but your boot fitter can create space by grinding away pressure points. It’s a similar story with the shell; those dimples aren’t for speed, they’re easier to shape around pressure points, once heated, and the shell can be ground out to increase volume. A thicker wall on the inside of the cuff enhances power transmission, and the walk mode lock means no worries about the lever releasing when skiing. One of the easiest power straps to use, it has a quick release hook. This, with the softer plastic over the instep, makes boot removal a breeze. Yes, they’re not the lightest, but they’re lovely to ski in. The more expensive Light Dyn version, with the Grilamid shell, is 200g lighter.
BEST FOR: Powerful skiers looking for a light, high-tech boot that locks things out on the descent.