Skiing is one of my favorite winter activities. I’ve been buckling my boots and stepping into bindings almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. Though I engage in many different disciplines, I’m typically a downhill skier. That means I ride the ski lift to the top of the mountain and then point your planks downhill and go!
Ski gear has gone through many improvements over the years. These days, it seems as though a new innovation comes out each year to help improve your skiing ability. Boots have always been a crucial aspect of the overall skiing experience. Here is a look at some of the best downhill ski boots around.
- The Lange RX 120 is a great downhill ski boot that performs well in many different conditions. These boots are best suited for advanced level skiers who want a mix of a high-performing racing style downhill boot with the capabilities of all-mountain performance. It has a comfortable fit, despite its stiff design, and will help you perform when riding down the slopes.
- Solomon has been creating and innovating high-quality ski boots for years, and their Solomon S/Pro 100 is a solid choice for downhill skiing enthusiasts. This boot has a Coreframe shell at the forefront of its innovative design that helps reduce the overall weight while not sacrificing performance. It also features a seamless liner for customizable comfort, which is perfect for downhill runs.
- The Technica Mach1 130 is my personal favorite downhill type ski boot. Technica makes quality equipment, and they are well-known for their attention to detail when it comes to downhill and racing style skiing. These boots are designed to help you go fast, as the name implies, and the overall design and construction are built for performance. They offer a tight and secure fit that enables highly responsive turns and control.
Who Should Get This
If you’re a ski racer or someone who likes to go fast, every boot in this guide will provide you with great results. Downhill ski boots are designed for high performance and will allow you to ski at high speeds while providing you with excellent control. These boots also work in other types of skiing situations, but they are best suited for intermediate and advanced level skiers.
If you’re looking for the most comfortable boot around, these might not be for you. While the boots listed here are comfortable as far as high-performance boots go, they are intended to be firm and stiff. As such, they are not the best choice for backcountry skiing and don’t have much flex for hiking or skinning.
Best Downhill Ski Boots: What to Consider
If you’re looking for downhill ski boots, you want a secure and firm fit. That enables the best transfer of control from your foot to your boot to your ski – all important factors when skiing at high speeds. Downhill ski boots need to be firm and tight around your foot. You don’t want a loose pair of boots, and yes, you will sacrifice a bit of comfort for this high amount of performance.
Another consideration with downhill ski boots is the type of buckles and latches that are built into the design. In addition to a tight fit, the latches, straps, and buckles built with the boot will help to keep your foot secure within the liner and lead to better downhill performance. You want to look for a boot that offers a sturdy design while also having a solid and burly top strap for extra stability.
Downhill ski boots tend to run small in width as a way to enhance their performance. If you’re looking for a wide boot, or have wide feet, you might not want to get a downhill ski boot. Most of the boots listed here come with a few different width varieties, and you want to make sure you get the smallest width you can without losing too much comfort.
Best Downhill Ski Boots: Our Picks
1. Lange RX 120
These boots are a great option for any downhill skiing enthusiast or racer. This well-constructed and high-performance ski boot was built to respond precisely and directly to your foot control at high speeds. It has a firm and secure fit, solid buckles, and an excellent design that helps you stay in control no matter how fast you ride. The boot is also comfortable, thanks to its customizable liner that makes it work for many different sized feet.
What we like:
- Solid, sturdy design
- High performance
- Secure buckles and straps
- Comfortable for a downhill style
- Works in all-mountain skiing as well
What we don’t like:
- Can be a little bulky.
2. Solomon S/Pro 100
Solomon makes great ski boots, and the S/Pro 100 is perfect for downhill skiing styles. These boots are constructed with a Coreframe technology that makes them light and highly responsive. That comfortable combination creates an excellent downhill performance. The cuff, shell, and liner of these boots are all fully customizable to keep you performing at high levels all day.
What we like:
- Fully customizable
- Secure fit
What we don’t like:
- Can feel loose in the cuff if not properly secured
- Not great for wide feet
3. Technica Mach1 LV 130
The Technica Mach1 LV 130 downhill ski boots are my personal favorite because I feel I gain a lot of downhill speed with them on. They are an aggressive shoe best suited for experienced skiers and racers who truly crave speed. They are available in a few different widths for more versatility and have a fairly comfortable liner to keep you nice and secure.
What we like:
- Excellent response and performance
- Great for high-speed downhill skiing
- Secure and solid fit
- These boots look fast
What we don’t like:
- Not the most comfortable boot
Useful Tips & Resources
If you are new to downhill skiing, you probably have a need for speed. While going fast can be quite fun, you want to make sure you maintain control and ski safely. Always make sure you can stop or slow yourself down and be sure to only go top speed when there are not many other skiers around.
For a few tips on how to ski faster, check this out. If you are a ski racer looking to improve your racing turns, check this video out for some tips and tricks.
Downhill skiing is a particular style of skiing for a particular type of skier. As such, it’s not for everyone, and neither are the boots listed in this article.
Intermediate and advanced skiers will benefit from the advantages this type of boot allows, but if you are just getting started, stick with boots that provide more comfort. That will not just give you a better base, but they will allow you to gain the basic skills you need to build in order to go faster down the road.
Have you ever been in a ski race before? How fast do you think you were going? Let us know in the comments.