IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR NEW KICKS FOR WINTER 2021, THERE’S SOME SERIOUSLY GOOD LOOKING, SUPER VERSATILE, LIGHT AND POWERFUL PLAYERS LINED UP TO SHRED NEXT SEASON. HERE’S A LITTLE RECAP OF THE ALPINE, ALL-MOUNTAIN, FREERIDE AND BACKCOUNTRY BOOTS THAT CAUGHT OUR EYE AT SLIDE AND ISPO EARLIER THIS WINTER.
Kicking off on the frontside…..
The prize for the most retro looking boots on the market goes to Nordica for their new HF series. Designed to appeal to older and/or less mobile skiers, these modern-day rear-entry boots come with a ‘Hands Free’ closure system and anatomical, easy to get into liner. We tried the system out at Slide and can confirm it is really easy to operate. The HF range is all about keeping people skiing which gets our vote every day of the week!
The biggest story from Atomic is the introduction of the all-mountain, one boot quiver for skiers with medium sized feet – the Hawx Prime XTD. If you longed to get your trotters into last year’s Freeride Boot of the Year – the Atomix Hawx Ultra XTD 130 – but were too wide of hoof then the new Prime XTD may well be the boot for you. Atomic claim the Hawx Prime XTD delivers ‘the best of alpine and the best of backcountry’ thanks to customisable Mimic liners that offer alpine levels of comfort and Free/Lock tech that delivers 54 degrees ROM and the ability to hike for fresh.
Another big all-mountain player to look out for next winter is Tecnica’s all-new Mach1 MV 130 TD. It’s all about the “T-Drive” apparently – a carbon spine that marries the cuff to the shell – and makes this boot a real high performance player. The spine controls the flex and alters the interaction between cuff and shell so you can ski with more power and precision in all conditions and terrain.
In the same all-mountain realm is the new Salomon Shift Pro (130 for men and 110 for women). These 100mm last boots are ideal for medium sized feet looking for stability on the frontside and the ability to hike and ride when conditions dictate. The new four-buckle Shift Pro is rammed full of features including Sensifit inserts for easy entry and comfort, Corefram inserts for power transmission and on the mountain feedback and Surelock mechanism and walk function for adventures beyond the ropes.
Speaking of the backcountry..
..there’s heaps of exciting new touring boots to get up and down in next winter.
Top of the list has to be the new Dalbello Quantum series – three ultra low weight boots with high tech touring credentials. Dalbello’s first pure touring boots, the Quantum features new bonded shell constructions interspersed with glass or carbon fibres to improve fit, shed grams and make the boots stiffer. With 65 degree range of motion, thermoformable ID Touring liners, quick lacing system, and high lateral stability these mega lightweight boots (the flagship Asolo Factory model weighs just 950g while the Asolo comes in at 1065g and the regular Quantum packs 1150g) look unbelievably good.
Another impressive-looking new lightweight contender is Scarpa’s F1 LT. Weighing in at 990g with 100 flex, the F1 LT replaces the Alien RS becoming Scarpa’s lightest alpine-touring boot optimized for technical adventures in the high alpine and long multi-day trips where every gram counts. With 72 degrees of motion, I-beam construction and a tall beefy upper cuff, the Scarpa F1 LT combines uphill performance with bags of stability on the descent.
Moving more into ever-popular freeride touring area…
…the all-new XT3 series from Lange has been purpose built for the task in hand – ie ‘engineered to go up, built to ski down’. The five men’s and three women’s models in the range feature dual core constructions to deliver maximum power and energetic rebound when you drive the boot. With 53 degrees of motion, Dynafit inserts, a performance boot board for shock absorption and warmth, and Active Power V-Lock ski/walk mechanism, the XT3 series pack a whole lot of performance into a bunch of great-looking boots.
Another super exciting addition to the free-touring sector is Scott’s all-new appropriately named Freeguide Carbon boot with Boa tech, the Swiss brand’s stiffest, most downhill performance-oriented boot to date. Weighing in at 1430g with 130 flex, the new 101.5mm last Freeguide sits alongside the likes of the Hoji Free, Maestrale RS, Tecnica Zero G etc as a light but beefy backcountry boot that we’re really looking forward to taking for a spin when samples become available.
On the subject of game-changing powerful freeride touring boots, the new Dynafit Hoji Free 110 is guaranteed to be popular with backcountry booters looking for a slightly less burly version of last year’s immensely popular Hoji Free 130. Other Dynafit boots to look forward to next winter include the new Seven Summits men’s and women’s models – two wide last, affordable and comfortable three buckle boots designed to fill the gap created by the departure of the Neo.
Over at La Sportiva its arrivederci and buongiorno time as we wave goodbye to the much loved Spectre and Sparkle and welcome in a brand new freeride touring boot – the Vega. The new Vega has taken the best features of its predecessors (mega lightweight boot with 60 degrees of motion ) and got rid of the not-so-good including replacing the old fiddly buckles with new easy-to-operate alpine-style EZ-Tech buckles.
Full Tilt fans will be stoked to see the new and improved version of the Ascendant – the Ascendant Approach. Featuring Full Tilt’s new top of the range Pro Tongue Liner designed to deliver liner maximum power transfer, a Michelin outsole and GripWalk, this boot is most certainly built to hike and ride.
And finally… in a world full of technical jargon, Fischer have come up with a simplified iFit Multilast System to make it easier for you to navigate to the right boot in their collection. All you need to do is download the Fischer Scan-Fit app, scan your foot and with results in hand proceed directly to the Fischer alpine Boot Grid to find the right boot for your particular foot and mountain mission.
If you’ve got a high volume foot you’ll be looking at either the new Curv One (high performance), Ranger One (multi performance), or RC One (sports performance).
Medium volume feet will want to get into a Curv (high performance), Ranger (multi performance) or the Travers (tour), whilst low volume hooves will thrive in the Podium RD, Podium GT (both race performance) or the new Curv GT (high performance).
In addition to the restructuring, Fischer are continuing to roll out Vacuum technology throughout the line.
AND CHECK BACK IN FOR OUR PREVIEW OF THE BEST NEW CLOTHING, PACKS, HELMETS AND OTHER ACCESSORIES – COMING SOON!
MORE NEW GEAR FOR WINTER 2021:
WINTER 2021 – THE BEST NEW PISTE AND ALL-MOUNTAIN SKIS
WINTER 2021 – THE BEST NEW FREERIDE AND BACKCOUNTRY SKIS
WED’ZE 2021 SKI TEST – CHAMONIX