Backcountry skiing is more demanding on your boots than regular downhill skiing. It is also more adventurous, requiring boots that are able to cope with the rough terrain, the slushy snow and other obstacles you will meet on your way down the mountain. If you have tried trekking, mountain biking or snowboarding, you will be familiar with the demands placed on your feet and ankles. Backcountry skiing is no different. Your boots have to be as comfortable and fit as possible, and will need to be warm too. Unlike most other downhill skiing boots, backcountry ski boots will have two modes: a light trail/walk mode which allows a much wider range of movement and a much more relaxed forward stride; and a medium/hard mode for the rigours of off-road skiing.
The boots you choose will depend largely on the type of skiing you plan to do, as well as your ability and experience level. Beginners should stick to the lightest boots possible, using the smaller and lighter G sizing. The reason for this is that it is easier to break them in and you don’t have to use them as much. Once you have learned the basics of backcountry skiing and build up some speed you can increase the size and use them more frequently. Beginners usually also use crossover boots rather than backcountry ski boots as they allow you to wear the smaller bindings in the evenings while still being able to ski in the day.
Intermediate And Advanced Skiers
Intermediate and advanced skiers will be looking for something a little sturdier. For these the medium-hard boots are ideal, offering good protection for your toes as well as a good range of motion. They are also very lightweight. There are some backcountry ski boots designed for touring conditions, which feature tread for added traction. These are normally light weight but with a little sanding and an extra layer of foam in the liner, they can be used in virtually any season. Touring is where the traditional downhill ski boot will come into its own; these have the right combination of protection, comfort and support to deal with most of the bumps and bruises that may occur.
For serious off-road enthusiasts, a pair of alpine touring boots will give you the best performance. They are made from the finest materials and are built to last, always providing the user with value for their money. Alpine touring boots are available in a variety of sizes and are a great choice for anyone who is an experienced backpacker and wants a pair of backcountry ski boots that will stand the test of time.
Few Things To Consider
If you are looking for a boot specifically designed for downhill skiing or any other type of off-road skiing, there are a few things you need to consider. Typically, you will be looking for alpine touring-specific backcountry ski boots that have full-grain leather uppers and reinforced ankle straps. Because you will be moving around on your skis for most of the time, you want a boot with excellent ankle support and the ability to keep your weight as close to the floor as possible without constricting your legs or causing any pain.
In addition to alpine touring specific boots, you might also be interested in something called a crossover boot. Crossover boots combine the features of both a downhill skiing boot and a hiking boot in one piece. The idea is that you can have the best of both worlds while keeping your weight as close to the ground as possible. For the maximum in versatility try a pair of crossover boots; they will meet all your performance needs and be a versatile part of your gear.
Other considerations when choosing your new boot include the type of boot you get and what kind of bindings you get. In general, tech bindings are better than regular bindings if you are going to be doing a lot of fast climbing and skiing. Tech bindings are usually used for people who don’t have a lot of leg power, but they are great at reducing fatigue. There are many types of bindings on the market and it can become overwhelming when trying to choose the right bindings for you and your specific needs. Talk to a ski shop or a personal trainer to help you find the bindings that will work best for you.
If you are looking for some advice on finding the right boots or bindings for your particular situation, be sure to talk to a professional from a reputable shoe company. Most brands offer boot and bindings samplers that will help you narrow down your search and get an idea of which boots will work best for you. Talk to a ski store employee or a sales representative about which boots will work for you and your style of skiing; don’t let the store clerks decide for you. You can never have too much information about the various kinds of boots on the market before you make your decision.