Fact: Boots that excel at touring and downhill performance are expensive. Also a fact: Not everyone needs both. If you’re more into backcountry cruising than slaying icy chutes, save money with the minimalist TLT SpeedFit, which delivers just what you need and nothing you don’t. Like past TLT models, the two-buckle SpeedFit earned top marks for comfort from our testers, thanks to its plush, insulated liner and above-average 60 degrees of ankle articulation. Perhaps best of all, you no longer need to remove the tongue to achieve that freedom of movement. “I like having fewer moving parts,” one tester says. “Open the buckles for touring, close them for skiing. Basic.”
A power strap-cum-closure system controls the SpeedFit: Release it by pulling the loop, or snap it down into ski mode. The liner makes for a fit that’s a hair wider than past TLTs; expect them to ride slightly softer than the 7s, but about the same as the 6s.
“They’re way more supportive than skimo boots,” says a tester who used them in Colorado’s Indian Peaks and on dawn patrols at nearby Eldora Mountain Resort. “I had no problem skiing 1,000 vertical feet of still-frozen corduroy after skinning up the lift line.”