2016 Salomon Ski Boots: Product Line Overview // Ski Gear Reviews
If you’ve been browsing the ski boot section of SkiEssentials.com over the past couple weeks you may have noticed we’ve added a whole bunch of new 2016 ski boots to our inventory. We’re lucky enough to work with one of the premiere boot fitters on the east coast, Benny Wax of Inner Bootworks, who allows us to sell his remaining inventory after his local customers get fitted into their new boots. What this means is right around the end of April you can expect a big influx of current year boot at discount prices right here on SkiEssentials.com! We carry a lot of big ski boot brands including Lange, Nordica, Tecnica, and Atomic. We’ll take a look at our offerings from each brand over the coming weeks, but first let’s pay some attention to a brand that’s been leading the charge on some big innovations in the ski boot world the past few years, Salomon.
You won’t find every Salomon ski boot on SkiEssentials.com, but you will find a solid representation of their most popular boots, which emphasize the technologies Salomon has helped innovate over the past few seasons. We’ll start by talking a little bit about some of their most impressive features, then dive into each line we offer for sale and the differences between them.
Two of the key technologies found in current Salomon boots are Twinframe and 360 degree custom shell, which in some cases work simultaneously. Twinframe refers to the use of two different PU plastics in the shell. On boots that use Twinframe you’ll find a curving line, usually separating two different colors, which signifies the change in plastic. Essentially, the lower portion of the boot uses a hard PU plastic, while the upper portion of the boot (the section on top of your foot and through the ankle) uses a softer PU plastic. This allows the boots to retain exceptional power, responsiveness, and control through aggressive skiing as the hard plastic transfers energy immediately from a skier to their skiers without flexing or giving. Alternatively, the softer plastic found on the top portion of the boot allows the boot to give just a tiny bit resulting in a much more comfortable, forgiving total package than most high performance ski boots. Because it’s slightly softer plastic, it also provides better leg and foot wrapping as it will ergonomically contour to your foot much more than the average ski boot.
The other key technology, 360 degree custom shells, allows a boot fitter to easily customize the shell of the boot to fit a specific skier’s feet without the use of a heat gun and typical boot fitting tools (which come along with typical boot fitting prices). Salomon uses a plastic that, when heated to a certain temperature, softens to the point where it will expand its shape to match the shape of your foot. Essentially, a boot that starts out at a 98mm last can be stretched to a 104mm last, just by putting your foot in it. The whole process (heating, putting the boots on, and allowing them to cool) only takes about half an hour. It results in a boot that’s exceptionally comfortable without sacrificing performance, something that generally happens when skiing in boots that are too wide.
The bread and butter of the Salomon ski boot line are the X Max and X Pro lines, and you’ll find plenty of options from both lines for both men and women in the SkiEssentials.com selection. Both the X Max and X Pro lines are high performance all mountain boots that use both Twinframe and 360 degree custom shell technologies, among other performance oriented features. The X Max is the narrower of the two boots with a last that starts at 98mm, but can be stretched to 104mm. The X Pro series is slightly wider with a starting last of 100mm that is stretchable to 106mm. Both models use a slew of high performance features in addition to Twinframe and 360 degree shells including micro-adjustable aluminum buckles, replaceable heel and toe DIN pads, 24mm oversized pivots for increased durability and ease of motion, customizable liners, and flex adjustments, just to name a few.
Both the X Max and X Pro lines are designed for performance oriented all mountain skiing. Flex ratings range from 80 (found only in the X Pro line) to 130 for men and 70 to 110 (found only in the X Max line) for women. This means no matter what your ability level is or how aggressive you are chances are there’s a boot that will work well for you. Skiers who use the X Max and X Pro boots boast about how versatile the boots are. You can rip high speed, aggressive turns on groomers, but you can also venture into the side country and ski ungroomed, variable terrain and powder. The boots perform exceptionally well through almost all types of terrain and conditions and are a great match for a lot of popular all mountain skis on the market like the Blizzard Brahma and Bonafide, Volkl Kendo and Mantra, etc. etc.
Here at SkiEssentials.com you’ll find most of the X Max and X Pro line and you’ll also find a selection of Salomon’s AT touring boots. The Quest series encompasses both the Quest Access and Quest Pro boots and are designed for skiers who want a boot that they can ski comfortably as an alpine boot, but with a hike/walk mode for exploring in the side country and backcountry. The higher flex rating boots in the Quest Pro line do use the 360 degree custom shell, while the Access series and lower flexing Quest Pro boots do not to help keep the price to a minimum. The Quest Pro line uses a last that starts at 100mm, but like the X Pro can be stretched to a 106mm. The Quest Access series, on the other hand, uses a fixed 104mm last, best for those with wide feet, beginner skiers, or just those who want a really forgiving, comfortable boot for casual recreational skiing.
We also have a few pairs of Salomon’s new light weight, AT specific touring boots the MTN Explore and MTN Lab. Both of these boots have been specifically designed to reduce overall weight while retaining solid downhill performance. They both are designed for use with tech-fit bindings, use Salomon’s motion flex technology which provides a huge range of motion in walk mode, and use carbon fiber spines that deliver a stiff, powerful boot for challenging descents without adding unnecessary weight. If you’re an AT enthusiast and like to explore deep in the backcountry, you’ll love these new touring boots from Salomon.
And there you have it! We’re excited to be able to offer a selection of 2016 Salomon boots for sale on SkiEssentials.com as we’re all very impressed with the innovations and improvements Salomon has given their boots over the past few seasons. If you’re considering a new pair of ski boots, definitely add Salomon to your list. Whether it’s the X Max, X Pro, or their AT boots, chances are we have a boot that’s right for you.