The best backcountry Nordic boots are flexible and light for extended tours, but with enough ankle support, warmth, and weather protection for heavy packs and deep snow. The BCX 6s delivered on all counts, carrying us through trailbreaking sessions in fresh powder in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains, spring cabin trips over corn and slush, and daylong missions on hardpack. Stability is top-notch, thanks to an exterior plastic cuff that bolsters lateral stiffness. It took a bit of futzing to adjust the cuff’s hook-and-loop strap and find the perfect fit, but once we did, our feet stayed comfortable. Tradeoff: The boots’ stiffness and weight are overkill if all you do is cruise groomed tracks.
Weather protection is dialed: A waterproof, air-permeable membrane, plus an integrated gaiter that extends to mid-calf, kept snow out. A layer of Thinsulate synthetic insulation (with extra fill in the forefoot) kept our toes toasty into the low teens, but our feet got sweaty when temps reached the mid-30s.
“I left my regular gaiters at home unless I was heading out in calf-deep snow,” reports a tester. “In anything less, the BCX 6s were more than sufficient for keeping the wet stuff out.”