Whether you’ve decided to learn to ski on your own or are joining friends on a ski trip, skiing is a thrilling, exhilarating activity. If you’re a beginner skier, there’s already lots of skills, information, and advice that you need to take on. Also, it doesn’t help that when it comes to the gear, there are selling schemes all around. However, if there’s one piece of gear that’ll have you first-timers running for the hills is uncomfortable ski boots. Cheap, badly-made boots can freeze and pinch your toes, turning possible fun into total misery. Thankfully, there are many quality options for ski boots for beginners out there. When you’re getting your bearings in skiing, it’s extremely advantageous to invest in good ski boots that’ll help you along the way. Since ski shop rentals are both ill-fitting and pricey, it’s best to snag a pair of your own.
Skiing was once a pastime of the luxury, but not anymore. Today, the best ski resorts in the world see all kinds of newbie skiers making their way to the slopes and having a gala time. Since finding beginner boots can be a tough and daunting experience, we made it easy for you. Here are the 13 best ski boots for beginners.
Choosing the Best Beginners Ski Boots
Like walking shoes, ski boots have a set of specific aspects and features to look out for. Skiing newbies need to focus on selecting the right pair as it can make or break their experience. In fact, that arduous process is still easier than slipping your feet into non-glam, unsanitary rental boots. But, where and how do you begin looking for the best pair? Here are some pearls of wisdom.
Mondopoint and Last
To begin with, you need to learn about ski lingo. Mondopoint or Mondo is the ski-term for the length of your foot in centimeters. While some calculate shoe sizes on the basis of conversion charts, the best, most reliable way is to get it measured in a shop. If you want to do it on your own, the length between the top of your to heel in centimeters is your Mondo.
Similarly, the next step is to figure out the width of your foot. The ‘Last’ refers to ‘last size,’ which is the width of the boots at the ball, the forefoot, or the widest point. This can make all the difference between comfort and a burning blister. To get an accurate measurement, wear a sock. Usually, anything above 104 mm is wide and anything below 100 mm is narrow.
This is undoubtedly the most important aspect while choosing ski boots for beginners. Flex refers to how flexible you’d like your boot to be. Generally, most ski boots have flex numbers in the range of 60-130, which indicates how much ‘give’ or ‘extra space’ the boot has. The higher the flex, the stiffer the boots. The lower the flex, the more supple and soft the boot is. The more the boot bends, the easier it becomes to control your skis. Additionally, the weight of your body is another factor when it comes to flex. Overall, women’s boots have lower flex ratings as compared to men.
Boot liners are the cushy sections on the inside your ski boots. Largely, they’re of three kinds -non-moldable, thermoformable, and custom moldable. The moldable ones are most expensive of them all and are fitted by professionals. Thermoformable are less expensive than moldable ones. They usually conform to your feet after a day of use. Lastly, the non-moldable ones are the least expensive and offer generic support and padding.
So, what kind of a beginner are you? If you’re thinking there’s more than one kind, then you’re right. You’re a true beginner if you’ve had no skiing experience whatsoever. If you’ve tried your hand at skiing, then you’re an intermediate beginner. You’re an advanced beginner if you’re confident about basic skills like speeding, stopping, riding awareness, carving, etc.
Lastly, as beginners, you’ll also want to look at other smaller, but equally important features in your ski boots. For instance, you’ll want a boot that’s easy to take off and put on. Also, you’ll want quality buckles that you can easily adjust even when your hands are stiff and freezing.
Salomon S/PRO 100 W (CU)
The best ski resorts in Colorado include some fantastic choices for newbie and slower skiers. If downhill skiing at one of these places is your jam, then the Salomon S/Pro 100 is a fantastic choice. The striking ski boot ups the ante on comfort and strength with a premium liner and a medium-width last.
Say bye-bye to sore feet with the S/Pro. The ski boot offers excellent all-around performance with a smooth flex that bodes well for both powerful and lightweight skiers. What’s more, the heat-moldable exterior hardshell, cuffs, and moldable liners dial in for a customized fit. This groundbreaking customization makes for a highly comfortable ski boot. Finally, an ankle strap lends that additional support for downhill mobility and speed. The icing on the cake is that it takes all but 10 minutes to get that custom fit!
While the price might be a significant investment for a beginner, the ski boot does have one of the most feet-friendly designs to come out in years. That, combined with lifelong durability and performance, and the extra cost is worth every penny.
- Highly comfortable.
- Customized fit.
Atomic Savor 80 (404)
Atomic Savour 80 is one of the best overall ski boots for beginners. It stands out in the ski boot market with a rear-entry design and a retro-but-minimalist look. However, a lot of thought has been given to its old-school styling. For one, the wider-than-usual opening and the single top buckle make it amongst the simplest boots to use. This is especially helpful when you’re a beginner and are getting used to the cold and the heavy gear all at once. All you need to do is flip open the ratcheting strap, slide your feet in (hands-free!), and buckle up, and you’re raring to go. In addition, its streamlined construction minimizes the weight, so the ski boot doesn’t feel bulky.
Further, the brand’s ProLite Technology features lightweight materials for its construction for performance and structural integrity. That, combined with the Energy Backbone with an asymmetrical spine helps drive the energy towards the skis. Lastly, the Bronze Liner offers a more customized fit. With a super-wide, 104-mm last, the Savor makes a lot of sense for novices.
- EZ Step-in plus EZ Ratchet make it supremely easy to slip on and take off.
- Single buckles might not offer the fit of two/three buckles.
Rossignol Evo 70 (CU)
Costing just around $200, the Rossignol Evo 70 is an absolute steal deal when it comes to ski boots. It’s a true-blue starter boot for those making their way to the slopes for the first time. At its cheapest price, the entry-level boot surprisingly offers the widest last and the softest flex.
The setup of this boot is similar to the specs of most other beginner boots while stripping away unnecessary extras. The basics are all perfect; think power strap, aluminum buckles, and smooth flex. The wide last allows for better turns and more comfort, while the machine PU liner provides enough warmth. What’s more, the boot even has a nice amount of padding that keeps your feet from pain. An adjustable buckle system helps you get the absolute right fit.
Overall, it’s what makes this downhill ski boot worth buying. Besides being available in two colors, a flex index of 70 makes this boot real comfortable on your feet.
- Good flex.
- Value-for-money offering.
- The liner is on the basic end.
Dalbello Panterra 90GW (CU)
If you’re looking for versatility and comfort, then look no further than Dalbello’s Panterra 90 GW. One of the best ski boots for beginners, the Panterra 90 GW is a performance-oriented all-terrain option. Thanks to its adjustable fit, high quality of its hike mode, and new GripWalk soles.
What stands out in the Panterra’s design is that the middle buckle is cinched right over the ankle. This differs from traditional boot construction, where the buckle is located farther up. If you have narrow heels, you’re in for a real treat. What’s more, the Panterra has textured, rubber soles that act more like hiking boots. This again differs from traditional Alpine ski boots, which have hard plastic bottoms.
An adjustable last allows you to fine-tune Panterra’s excellent fit, and that too, sans a boot fitter. All you need to do is loosen or tighten the buckle that sits above the toes. At the loosest setting, you’ll get a 102-mm last. And, at its tightest setting, it’s a semi-snug 100-mm last, which is amongst the narrowest on this list. As we said earlier, if you have narrow feet, you’ll have a ball with this boot.
- Adjustable last.
- Customizable fit.
- Excellent design.
- A bit on the expensive side.
Nordica Cruise 70
If your idea of a perfect day of skiing is not-so-hard turns and lots of socializing, then the Nordica Cruise 70 is perfect for you. One of the best cheap boots to have come out in a while, the Cruise 70 boasts a comfy liner and a super-soft flex. It’s what makes it the best ski boot for beginners.
Perhaps the surprisingly comfortable and heat-moldable liner is the highlight of the boot, given its price point of a mere $200! It actually helps to expedite and move the break-in process along, given the fact that it’s going to be a true novice bunch that’ll use them. That, combined with its all-aluminum buckles, are a perk and a bonus that you’ll see only in high-end boots. Its classic, four-buckle design is also rather unexpected, given its soft flex. However, it allows for micro-adjusting how the boot feels, adding to the overall excellent fit.
In the end, the Nordica Cruise 70 sticks to its advertised offerings and is best for casual beginner skier needs.
- Inexpensive for an excellent skiing boot.
- Super-comfy, heat-moldable liner.
- Available in two color options.
- Higher-level beginner skiers might not appreciate the super-soft flex.
Salomon Quest Pro 100 Cruise (404)
The Salomon Quest Pro 100 Cruise is the perfect all-mountain skiing boot for beginners. If you’re someone who wants to try terrain park, off-piste, and groomed runs all in one go, this boot will ride anywhere you take it. One thing that you need to know is that it needs to be matched with all-mountain bindings and skis for better and safer performance.
The Quest Pro 100 boasts medium flex levels of 100, which makes it perfect for both advanced as well as intermediate beginners. If you’re one of these experienced beginners, then this boot will give you that much-needed stiffness that you require for better performance. In fact, you’ll see a marked difference from when you wore lower flex, softer boots. That said, it’s still extremely comfortable for being worn around the entire day. What’s more, this medium flex can happily be worn away till you reach Expert levels. All-in-all, the Quest Pro 100 make for excellent investments and will last you years.
If that wasn’t enough, the skit boot features thermoformable liners, whose break-in period is just one day.
- Available in three colors – black, orange, and anthracite.
- Multiple points of closure for tightening boot.
- Long-lasting comfort.
Tecnica Ten.2 70 (404)
The Tecnica Ten.2 70 is one of the best ski boots for beginners for many reasons. To begin with, its flex is between beginner and beginner-intermediate. So, you won’t be needing new boots even as you get better at skiing immediately. That’s because you’ll be wearing these versatile boots for a while, which will also save you a lot of money. There are many other reasons to love Ten.2 70. It’s last is a wide one, which beginners will like wearing due to its give. The i-Rebound construction will help you stay in control on the slopes at all times and turns.
Aside from that, the ski boot also makes sliding your feet out of it and into it very easily. Plus, the Ultra Fit Liner will make the fit snug without any friction. Finally, the buckles are easy to use and adjust as well.
- Wide last.
- Excellent construction helps you stay in control on the slopes.
- Not cheap.
Lange LX 90
Generally, ski boots with a flex of 90 aren’t recommended for beginners. However, if you’re a first-timer who ditches the slow-and-steady maxim, then the Lange LX 90 is for you. The brand doesn’t dabble much with entry-level models, and this is their softest-flexing, on-piste boot for skiers. That said, if you’re going to be carving on the slopes almost immediately, then this boot is your perfect guide.
If you’re advancing from softer rental boots, the additional stiffness might be daunting. But, fret not, for the stiffer mono-injected shell lends extra stability. The boot also features four strong buckles as well as a power strap, which aren’t a common feature as the other skiing boots on this list. Yet, they translate to high levels of power, allowing you to speed down the slopes. Those with wider feet will love the space in the LX’s design. Its last width ranges between 102 to 100 mm. So, it’s a no brainer for those with broader feet. An easy slip-on, slip-off process furthers its excellence as a ski boot.
Finally, what people also love about the LX 90 is the close-to-snow feel that they felt through the bottom of the shell. It’s in-tune and agile, allowing greater control and edge power at the same time, which is rare for a ski boot.
- Quality is excellent.
- Customizable, lower-volume fit.
- Might be a tad too stiff for the average-level beginner.
K2 Mindbender 100 (CU)
If you intend to do a ton of backcountry touring, then the K2 Mindbender 100s are an exceptional choice for a ski boot. Touring involves both downhill skiing and ascending uphill, and tends to focus more on the backpacking/hiking aspect of it. So, when it comes to backcountry touring, there are no better boots than this one. They’re light when it comes to weight, but not when it comes to features. Moreover, these medium volume boots are easy to hike uphill and are wonderful on the downhill descent.
K2 features a lightweight, 100 percent heat-moldable shell. Combined with its beefy walk mode contraption, it allows for a good range of motion of 50 degrees. The boots are made of lighter Pebax plastic and are significantly lighter than their previous versions. It offers enhanced skiing with a long boot shaft and a TLT. What’s more, it also has four clips and a catalytic strap with a quick-release fastener, allowing you to quickly put it on and take it off. In addition, the last of 100 mm is neither wide nor narrow, fitting a wide range of feet of novice skiers.
Finally, the K2’s custom moldable liners deserve special mention. It’s thick, warm, and light, and ensures an excellent, precise fit.
- Warm, lightweight liner offers an excellent fit.
- The lightweight, heat-moldable shell allows an excellent range of motion.
- Skiers with narrow heels might find it a bit snug.
K2 B.F.C. 100 Heat (404)
It’s easy to see why the K2 B.F.C. 100 Heat is one of the best ski boots for beginners. To begin with, the solid ski boot boasts comfy liners and wide fits, which keep your feet warm and cozy. The boots work wonderfully for those who suffer from chronically cold feet or who want the luxury of a heated boot to soother their feet. The heat can be controlled easily using the buttons that sit along the cuff. What’s more, it features three heat settings for tuning it to temperatures that suit you best, thus extending battery life as well. What’s more, the design is beautifully integrated into the boot’s liner and doesn’t add weight or bulk.
Coming to its build, the K2 B.F.features a flex of 100 and is a nice entry-level boot for beginners. In fact, if you want to get used to the cold, then this boot and its range of features make it an excellent buy. Finally, a wide fit ensures that your feet have enough space to get used to the feel of a ski boot.
- Wide give and nice flex.
- Heated boots with three heat settings.
- Nice, integrated design.
- It lacks customization of fit.
Rossignol AllTrack Pro 100
The Rossignol AllTrack Pro 100 is the perfect ski boot for the intrepid beginner and the best for off-piste exploration. The all-mountain ski boots feature design capabilities for performing excellent both off-piste (ungroomed terrains) and on groomed runs. So, if you’re doing backcountry skiing, pair them with backcountry bindings. And if you’re engaging in downhill skiing, then use them with traditional Alpine bindings.
Even though the AllTrack Pro 100 has a lightweight construction, the ski boot doesn’t sacrifice performance. The ski boot has a “walk mode” with a 50-degree range of movement. This not only allows you to easily ascend uphill but also walk around the resort. Moreover, the boots are compatible with GripWalk soles which make hiking and walking all the safer and easier. Although they aren’t included, we’d highly recommend that you get them.
What’s more, the boots have thermoformable liners that take to the feet after just a day of skiing and are super comfortable too. The pressure and the heat which transpire from wearing the boots will slowly mold the liners to the feet, ensuring a custom fit.
- Thermoformable liners ensure a custom fit.
- GripWalk shoes make walking around very comfortable.
- Lightweight construction.
- The GripWalk shoes aren’t included.
Apex Ski Boots Crestone (CU)
The Apex Ski Boots Crestone are perfect ski boots for beginners who are not true-blue ones, but rather progressing with skill. Suiting everyone from Intermediate to Advanced Beginners, the ski boots might just be the best long-term investment that you’ll make. As it scales up in stiffness, you might just not have to buy a ski boot for a very, very long time.
With a lower flex index of 95, these ski boots are an excellent step-up for Intermediate Beginners. As you progress to the Advanced Beginner level, you can easily stiffen them up to a flex rating of 105. Consequently, the boots can be topped out at a stiffness of 115 as you progress up to the Experienced Skier level. So, these boots are a three-in-one item. In addition, 14 points of closure make for an excellent tight and custom fit. What’s more, separate lower and upper lacing allows for independent adjustment as well. Moreover, the boots feature the “boa lacing system” usually seen in snowboard boots. The pre-threaded system allows you to tighten the boot with a single hand.
Last but not least, the ergonomic insoles of the Apex Crestone provide a custom fit along with long-lasting comfort. Since they fall into the all-mountain category, you can ski over all terrains.
- Great long-term investment.
- Range of flex index and changing stiffness levels.
- Very expensive.
Rossignol Alltrack 90
If you’re looking for an all-mountain, feature-rich ski boot for beginners, then the Rossignol AllTrack 90 would be it. It sits right at the bottom of the AllTrack line-up, the highest of which costs as much as $700. And, the AllTrack 90 retains most of the line’s excellent features at what is just half the price.
The AllTrack 90 is amongst the most beginner-friendly options on the market and is a favorite for sidecountry skiers. The ski boot is not only compatible with GripWalk soles but also has a hike mode. So, the boot works very well for both uphill ascent, downhill skiing, and quick, off-trail treks. When you’re on the way downhill, the robust, four-buckle design and medium, smooth flex gives you the confidence for turns. Overall, the 90 flex rating makes the skiing boot a great all-rounder at resorts that have easy off-piste access.
- Good price.
- All-mountain design.
- Usually, beginners will sidecountry features.