Ski touring boots – how to find the right boot

Ski touring boots – how to find the right boot

Ski touring is becoming more and more multifaceted, therefore the range of touring ski boots is constantly growing. Roughly speaking, one can distinguish three target groups:

Ski touring competitors and fitness ski tourers: Here every gram counts, and touring boots are sometimes even specially designed for the binding system of a certain manufacturer to save as much weight as possible. The locking mechanism or the switch from uphill to downhill mode is linked to the boots´ lacing system. This is intended to reduce the number of hand grips and save valuable time. Compromises are often made in terms of durability, riding performance, comfort and compatibility with crampons and binding systems. Touring ski boots in this category weigh less than 900 g per boot.


Alpinists: The ambitious ski tourer needs a high-performance all-round touring boot. High comfort, ease of use and durability, good downhill and uphill characteristics characterize touring ski boots that combine as much as possible. The weight is between approx. 900 g to approx. 1,600 g and there are two to three buckles and a solid rubber sole (as for example with the Dalbello Quantum line). Almost all models are compatible with the common touring binding and crampon systems.

Free tourers with a strong downhill focus: touring ski boots for this target group often resemble more an alpine boot than a touring ski boot. Flex, adjustment options and power transmission to the ski are more important than the last 3° of shaft mobility during ascent or the continuous rubber sole for better grip on rocky passages. Models such as the Lupo series by Dalbello have so-called GripWalk soles to cover a particularly wide range of use: they offer good grip when hiking and work excellently even with alpine skis and GripWalk bindings. Shoes in the freetouring category weigh from about 1,500 g upwards.

There are now numerous grades and variants within the three shoe categories with overlaps in technologies and design approaches, but this does not make the choice any easier. If you are unsure about your decision, you should define your preferred ski touring range and ask your dealer.

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