2011 Editors' Choice Snow Award: Dynafit TLT5 Mountain Boot

"The most comfortable alpine touring boots on the planet," says one tester.

“These are the most comfortable alpine touring boots on the planet.” That’s the sort of superlative these two-buckle boots universally garnered. The TLT5s feel like slippers on the uphills (they weigh less than some heavy-duty hiking boots), but have the control of four-bucklers on the downs. “I wore them on an exposed traverse that led to the top of a steep and narrow chute,” says one tester. “Despite their crazy-light weight, they had the stiffness to let me make the tight, do-or-die turns.”

The shell is notable for both its materials and design. It’s a combination of flexible Pebax plastic (used in many touring boots) and Grilamid, a stiffer resin used mainly in sunglasses for its exceptional rebound. Those materials, plus flex zones (like bellows on a telemark boot) near the toes, allows for a full range of motion while skinning and solid power transfer from boot to ski while downhill ripping. The trim shell design has no excess material, and a pronounced rocker (curved sole) gives it incredible walking comfort. Switching from ski to hike mode is easy: Just flick open the magnesium top buckles and go. No need to flip a switch, since the TLT5 dispenses with the metal stay found on the back of other touring boots; instead, an internal sliding plate stiffens the boot and creates 18 degrees of forward lean when you lock the cuffs into ski mode.

Bummer: The removable plastic bales tend to pop off; pack a couple of ski straps in case.

$750

5 lbs. (w’s 25.5); men’s 22.5-30.5, women’s 22.5-27.5

dynafit.com