Downhill performance At first glance, the two-buckle MTN Explore looks like a watered-down, noodley version of a downhill boot. But this boot charges, a veteran tester says. “They’ve somehow managed to get a two-buckle boot to perform like a four-buckle boot.” We drove 110mm-waisted skis with no problems. Credit the overlap construction and carbon spine for the stiff flex (it’s listed at 100 out of 130).
Touring The MTN Explore boasts 63 degrees of ankle articulation—but most of the range of motion is rearward, which we only noticed when lengthening our strides on flats. On ascents, it felt average.
Buckles The buckle on the ankle cuff features a catch system, so you can lock the latch to your desired tightness for ski mode, and it will stay there when you open the buckle to tour. Nice touch: The bottom buckle is on top of the boot (rather than the side), so it can’t get knocked open (or tighter) when kicking steps or postholing. m’s 24.5-29.5, w’s 23.5-27.5