Best Men's Ski Boots

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
359 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best men’s ski boots

Last Updated July 2020

Skiers require quite a bit of gear to stay warm and safe on the slopes. Because ski gear looks stylish, shopping can be a lot of fun. Finding just the right skis and warm weather clothing for both style and performance may occupy much of the skier’s prep time. But don’t forget to save some of your shopping time to find the right pair of men’s ski boots.

Even though ski boots don’t deliver the excitement of other kinds of ski gear, the boots are among the most important items you’ll select. The boots serve as the connection between your body and the skis. The movement of your legs transfers to the skis through your boots, and that connection needs to be secure. Ultimately, wearing the right pair of men’s ski boots enables you to have more success on the slopes, and you’ll be more comfortable, too.

Not sure where to start? Read our buying guide and check out our favorite men’s ski boots to find your next pair.

The ski boot soles attach securely to your skis, allowing you to precisely control the skis. However, the ski bindings are made to pop loose from the boots if you crash, helping you avoid injury.

Key considerations

Flex rating

When shopping for men’s ski boots, you want to match the right model to your level of skiing experience. You do this using the flex rating. The flex rating measures how easy it is to flex your ankle inside the boot. For example, experienced skiers need minimal flex to maintain high speed without the ankles giving way. Without boots of the correct flex rating, you could risk injury.

Understand that one flex rating number may not mean exactly the same thing from manufacturer to manufacturer. The industry has no set scale for measuring flex rating. Additionally, the flex rating scale differs for men’s and women’s ski boots. So, exercise caution if you’re a female skier using men’s boots, or vice versa.

Up to 75: Boots with the lowest flex ratings are made for inexperienced skiers. They work for those who ski at a slow speed on relatively smooth terrain. This style of men’s ski boot delivers the maximum comfort with minimal stiffness and the highest level of flexibility.

75 to 125:  A mid-range flex rating is made for skiers with an average level of experience on the slopes. These boots work nicely if you’re skiing at medium speed over terrain of average difficulty. However, you can ski at faster speeds on rougher terrain in boots with a flex rating toward the upper end of this range. Cautious average skiers should stick to boots at the lower end of this range.

125 and above: These ski boots are made for the experienced skier only. They are extremely stiff, delivering the performance skiers need for maximum speeds and/or difficult terrain. An aggressive skier needs the limited flexibility in the design of this type of boot.

EXPERT TIP

A ski boot is made to have a forward angle of between 14° and 17°. This angle simplifies skiing but makes walking in the boots difficult.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Here are a few other features to pay attention to when shopping for men’s ski boots.

Ski boot components

Liner: A soft and flexible liner fits inside the plastic shell and provides warmth and comfort to the foot. Liners vary in thickness, depending on the model of ski boot. Thicker than average liners are warm and comfortable, but they’re not made for skiing at fast speeds.

Insole: The insole is the portion of the boot that supports the bottom of your foot. Most men’s ski boots have cheap insoles, so you might choose to spend money to upgrade yours. Consider selecting custom-fit insoles or heated insoles for maximum comfort.

Buckles: Many alpine ski boots have four buckles, two of which fit over the top of the foot and two in the ankle area. Many ski boots for inexperienced skiers have only three buckles. One oversize buckle in the ankle area allows for a bit more flex in the boot.

Size

The sizes of men’s ski boots differ from those of other boots and shoes. Men’s ski boots use the measurement of the inner sole in centimeters as the size, called the Mondo Point scale). Men’s ski boots typically range in size from 23 to 31. These are roughly equivalent to shoe sizes 5 to 13. For men with smaller feet, you might want to consider women’s or children’s ski boot sizes. If your feet are larger than average, you might need to order ski boots from a specialty store.

EXPERT TIP

Some boots have a bolt on the back with which you can slightly adjust the boot’s flex rating.


Staff  | BestReviews

Men’s ski boot prices

Inexpensive: The least expensive ski boots cost $50 to $200 a pair. Cross-country ski boots, with a limited number of or no adjustable features, are less expensive than alpine ski boots.

Mid-range: Average alpine ski boots for men cost $200 to $350 per pair. These boot designs may include some personalized options, such as form-fitting liners. They also may allow you to adjust the angle of the boots to make them more comfortable for walking.

Expensive: The priciest men’s ski boots cost between $350 and $1,000 per pair. Boots in this price range are made for advanced skiers who ski fast on rough terrain. They also have plenty of adjustable and customizable features.

EXPERT TIP

Certain ski boots have a “walking” mode in which the cuffs loosen, allowing the ankles to flex, which simplifies walking in the boots.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Dry your ski boots completely. Your boots will be wet after a full day of skiing — and sweating. Allow your boots to dry thoroughly to prevent odor and mildew.
  • Remove the liners. If you’ll be storing your ski boots for a few days or more, remove the liners and hang them up to dry.
  • Check the heels for wear. Ski boots may show wear in the heel area. With enough wear, the boots may not fit properly in the bindings, popping loose at inopportune times. You can replace the heel section on some models. If you can’t replace this piece, you’ll need to purchase new ski boots.
  • Store the boots with the buckles fastened. This helps the shells on the boots maintain their proper shape when stored.
  • Store the boots indoors. When stored in low temperatures, ski boots become extremely stiff and the liner cold, leaving your feet chilled when you wear them. If the plastic shells are cold, it will be difficult to put the boots on your feet.

Other products we considered

We expect the majority of our readers will find a high-quality pair of men’s ski boots in our matrix, but if you’re looking for something a little different, we did find a few other products worth considering. The Salomon X Access 80 Wide Ski Boots are lighter than other boots, providing a bit more comfort for less experienced skiers.

For advanced skiers, the Apex Antero Big Mountain Ski Boots deliver excellent performance. They have great support in the ankle, foot, and lower leg, allowing you to ski safely at high speeds on rough terrain.

With three positions of lean adjustment in the Full Tilt Drop Kick Ski Boots, you can create a personalized fit for walking comfortably. Cross-country skiers need their own type of boot, which differs from alpine ski boots.

The Whitewoods Nordic Cross-Country Insulated Ski Boots are highly durable and well insulated for a comfortable fit all day.

For the most comfortable ski boots, consider a custom heat-moldable liner. This style of liner molds to the contours of your foot, creating a perfect fit.

FAQ

Q. Do I have to purchase ski boots when I want to try skiing?
A.
No. Ski resorts have multiple options for renting any piece of ski gear that you need. If you aren’t sure if you’ll like skiing, it’s smart to rent gear for the first few times. If you enjoy the sport, you’ll want to buy your own gear for a much more precise and comfortable fit.
 

Q. Why are ski boots so uncomfortable?
A.
The ski boot must be stiff in the ankle area and fit tightly to prevent injuries while skiing. This inflexible design makes ski boots uncomfortable for walking. However, modern ski boots are far more comfortable than those from a decade or so ago. Newer boots have better liners, more room in the toe box, and an adjustable fit to simplify walking.
 

Q. Do I need custom components in my ski boot?
A.
Not necessarily. Certainly, custom-made parts like liners and insoles will help the boot fit your foot perfectly and make them more comfortable to wear. However, if you only ski a few times a year, you might not want to spend the extra money on custom items.
 

Q. How can I be certain that my ski boots will fit my ski bindings?
A.
The length of the sole of the boot determines the required settings for the bindings. You can adjust the ski bindings to fit different lengths of boots. The length of the sole appears in print on the boot or on the side of the sole, making it easy to set the bindings properly.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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