Fall 2015 Preview: The Best New Ski Boots of the Year

Our scout rounds up next year's best new ski boots at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Hint: they're lighter and stronger than ever.

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Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015 - Best New Ski Boots - Scarpa Freedom RS

Take our 2013 Editors’ Choice Award winner and give it some more oomph. The 27-degree range of motion propelled our testers uphill, no problem. The RS has the same resort-stiff, but touring-light Pebax/carbon construction (and 25-degree range of motion) as the SL, but it charges downhill better. The cuff is stiffer, the forward flex is bumped up to 130, and a new liner is thermo-moldable in the lower and race-inspired (rigid) in the upper. Note: They are on the heavier side at 1,990 grams per boot. (MSRP ~$850)

ORWM 15 - Best New Ski Boots of 2015 - Salomon

The burly MTN Lab, on the other hand, is all about the descent—yet it weighs considerably less than its freeride competition (1,576 grams per boot). Get beefy, 120 flex, 47-degree range of motion, and a new, horizontal (read: easy to flip with gloves on) walk mode switch with this downhill charger. (MSRP still TBA)

ORWM 2015 - Best New Ski Boots - Atomic

Featherlight (just 1,040 grams per boot) with a big range of motion (74 degrees), this boot was created with the ascent in mind. Add in the carbon spine for weight-saving strength and suddenly climbing doesn’t sound so bad. (MSRP will be ~$1,000)

Outdoor Retailer 2015 - Best New Ski Boots - Dynafit Khiôn Carbon

This one is for all your chargers, bombers, and beasts. The Khiôn Carbon marries the nimbleness and adjustability of a touring boot with the rigidity and ruggedness of a freeride boot. Touring perks include the low-profile, streamlined shape, a Boa closure on the liner, and 40-degree range of motion, while a patented magnesium spoiler helps you to drive the ski downhill. A carbon fiber shell protects the boot while slicing ounces, but they’re still mid-range in weight at about 1,530 grams per boot. (MSRP ~$900)

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015 - Best New Ski Boots - La Sportiva Sideral 2.0/ Starlet 2.0

Mountaineers’ pick: Two buckles and 68-degree range of motion, this streamlined boot is all about touring. A Cam Closure System allows for lightning-fast transition between ski and walk modes, and a removable PU Warmsole insole makes it one of the toastiest two-buckle boots we’ve seen. Oh yeah, and each one weighs 1,150 grams. (MSRP TBA)

Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2015 - Best New Ski Boots - K2 Vibram Rockered Sole

K2’s Pinnacle and Minaret boots excel on-piste, but can crossover into the side- and backcountry. Pop on one of the new Vibram ISO 9523 rubber touring soles and the story switches: excel in the side- and backcountry, but can crossover into on-piste, downhill skiing. Upgrade! (MSRP TBA)

Outdoor Retailer 2015 - Best New Ski Boots - Tecnica Custom Adaptive Shape (C.A.S.) Liner

Tecnica isn’t releasing a new ski boot, but you’ll feel like you’re wearing a completely new one when you insert the C.A.S. Liner. Designed with a more precise anatomical foot shape than most liners (a squarer toebox, ankle and heel pockets, room for the navicular bone on the top of your foot), the liner provides out-of-the-box comfort. And now, new for this year, you can put it in your Cochise, the popular sidecountry ski boot. More comfort in a sidecountry boot? Sounds like a backcountry boot to us. (MSRP still TBA)

Get even more gear coverage from Outdoor Retailer 2015