Gear Review: Black Diamond Push/Stiletto Telemark Ski Boot

The perfect blend of comfort and performance, this boot is great in all conditions.

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After nearly 100 miles of touring and 500,000 vertical feet of descending in this four-buckle, fat ski-driving boot, one tester reported, “The Push fit and felt better and gave me more control than any boot I’ve ever worn; it’s the perfect blend of comfort and performance.” For starters, it feels more like a slipper than a boot. The heat-moldable boot liner (get it cooked at the shop) has a thin, flat panel underfoot that puts your foot closer to the ski for maximum sensitivity and allows for a smaller, less bulky shell. Twist-to-tighten Boa lacing lets you adjust on the fly (no fiddling with laces or removing gloves), and the ski/walk latch is stronger than other systems so you won’t break it or pop out of ski mode when you catch air and land hard.

Bellows above the forefoot–where you bend the boots as you drop your knee–boost resistance as you flex, helping you transition from one turn to the next. The cant and lean easily adjust with a twist of an Allen key. Just getting started? Have a trained fitter fine-tune them for you. When a tester carved down the headwall of Crested Butte’s Red Lady Bowl in mixed conditions, the Push powered his skis effortlessly through powder and drove them reliably through crud. Bummer: The thin liner bottom caused cold feet on subzero days, despite a special fabric purported to reflect heat. Stiletto is the women’s version. $690; 9 lbs. (26); men’s 24-30.5, women’s 23-26.5;

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