Your first trip out on the slopes can be a daunting experience. However, everybody has to start somewhere. If you’re just beginning to ski, or want to take on the mountain for the first time, it’s important to invest in gear that works for you. That includes footwear.
The boots outlined in this guide are the best beginner models on the market. They may not have all of the bells and whistles noted in more advanced options, but they come with many features that first-time skiers will greatly appreciate.
- With a 70 flex rating, the Salomon X Access 70 is the perfect boot for beginners looking for extra comfort. Not only are these shoes soft, they also cut down on discomfort and prevent the pain that can come with higher flex options. Though this model is not directly focused on control, it offers plenty of room throughout the interior. For that reason, it’s also a great option for skiers with wide feet.
- New skiers who want to stay warm need to look no further than the Dalbello Panterra MX 100. This shoe provides solid performance in addition to a snug fit and comfortable interior. The 100 flex rating is perfect for newcomers and the insulation will keep your feet toasty no matter how long you’re out on the mountain. While it is not a touring boot, the shoe is perfect for groomed runs. The medium sizing also makes it a great choice for skiers with medium-sized feet.
- Another great item from Salomon, the X Pro 100 is a fantastic beginner boot. With a flex of 100 on top of a heat-moldable shell, this option is great for newcomers who want something a bit more advanced. The snug-but-comfortable liners keep your feet locked in place and the snug fit ensures your foot won’t slip or slide on the mountain. If you’re a newcomer who wants to transition to the next level, this is a good place to start.
Who Should Get This?
The boots in this guide are obviously geared towards beginners. Not only are they easy to use and operate, but they are much more forgiving than advanced options. If you’re just starting on blue and green runs, or if you’re just getting used to the snow, the following footwear is the way to go.
It is also worth noting that beginner ski boots tend to have more insulation and comfort than rigid advanced options. As such, skiers who get cold feet or find their current boots uncomfortable can utilize the following models as well.
Best Ski Boots for Beginners: What to Consider?
First and foremost, you want your boots to be comfortable. Beginner skiers, or those just starting out on the mountain, do not need to worry about stiff boots packed with special features. Rather, the main focus is to get something that won’t cause you any discomfort or pain as you learn the ropes. Prioritize models that come with special padding, warm lining, or an advanced fit. Make sure they are also roomy without being too loose.
Beginner ski boots have a low flex index, which means they are much more relaxed than stiffer options. Though they do make your skis harder to control, low-flex boots tend to be both comfortable and warm. They are also perfect for groomed green or blue runs. Some people want all of the bells and whistles that come with a stiffer flex, but that’s largely unnecessary when you’re just starting out.
Though it’s not as important as other aspects, there’s nothing wrong with getting a sleek-looking boot. Your shoes are a part of your ensemble, and you want to look good. That goes double if you’re taking to the slopes for the first time. Pay attention to color, style, and certain patterns that large companies may offer. In addition, note the overall aesthetic. While a boot may have the right style, it might be too slim or bulky for your tastes.
Best Ski Boots for Beginners: Our Picks
If you’re a beginner looking for comfortable footwear, the Salomon X Access 70 is the way to go. This shoe has a 70 flex, making it incredibly easy to use. That does cost some control, but the sturdy shell and soft interior more than make up for that. This model is also quite roomy, which makes it a solid choice for beginner skiers with wide feet.
What We Like:
- Flex calf zone
- Intuitive shell
- Great for wide feet
- Roomy interior
- Extremely comfortable
- Warm liner
What We Don’t Like:
- Low flex offers very little control
- Rather basic appearance
Beginner skiers looking for warmth will love the Dalbello Panterra MX 100. This boot doesn’t just offer solid control for a newcomer model, it provides excellent insulation that stands above the pack. These will keep your feet warm all day long, and the 100 flex is perfect for beginners who want a bit more control on their runs. The dual-colored looks great too.
What We Like:
- 100 flex, 102mm last width
- Incredibly warm
- Secure straps
- Comfortable fit
- Vibrant color scheme
What We Don’t Like:
- No walk/ski mode
- Not a great touring option
The Salomon X Pro 100 is a solid ski boot for newcomers who want a little bit more. This model has a flex rating of 100 on top of a comfortable liner and fully heat moldable shell. The soft interior provides excellent insulation, while the sturdy construction keeps you protected. The micro-adjust buckles also offer some extra versatility.
What We Like:
- Heat moldable shell/liner
- Snug fit
- Comfortable liner
- Micro-adjustable buckles
- Sleek, attractive exterior
What We Don’t Like:
- Not a great option for skiers with narrow feet
Useful Tips and Resources
The above sections touch upon what to look for when buying your first ski boot. However, there is nothing wrong with too much information. If you want to get more tips before making your purchase, or if you want to know how to make an informed decision, check out the guide here.
When buying a ski boot, it is critical that you get the correct fit. That not only makes your runs more comfortable, it also allows you to ride for a long time with no discomfort. The steps in this video help with that process.
Ski boots come in many shapes and sizes. That can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out. Rather than sift through endless options looking for the right model, choose from the boots in this guide.
Every shoe outlined above offers beginners a great way to get into skiing. While taking to the slopes for the first time is never easy, knowing you have the correct gear makes the process much, much better.
Do you have a pair of beginner boots that you like? What did you use when starting out? Let us know below.
Joseph Scalise is an avid writer, editor, and snow sports enthusiast who loves to spend his time outdoors. He began his love of writing early on in life and continued to pursue it as he grew older. While his time behind the computer doesn’t get him into the wild unknown as much as he would like, he never misses a chance to head up (or down) a mountain, across a river, or through a lush forest. When he’s not planning new trips, you can always find him typing away on his next project.