A New Kind of Boot Test . . .
Our late March Boot Test scheduled at Silver Mountain Resort in Idaho is typically attended by testers from around the country and by boot brand liaison teams, often comprised of boot design engineers, many of whom are from Europe. It became apparent that the boot test as we knew it was going to be different when boot companies began banning international travel due to Covid-19 concerns in early March. It only got more dire when the Italian government locked-down the entire region of Veneto, where the towns Montebelluna, Asolo and Treviso all reside—homes to Dalbello, Full Tilt, Head, Lange, Nordica, Rossignol, Roxa, Scarpa and Tecnica. It wasn’t much later that ski areas began to shutter their ops, including Silver Mountain. The 2020 Boot Test was officially over before it began.
Luckily, a large part of our boot test team is comprised of shop owners, managers and bootfitters who had opportunities to both try-on new boot models at a variety of national and regional trade shows as well as a chance to ski many of this year’s new models at regional on-snow demos in January and February and then even again in May when Mt. Bachelor resort in Oregon managed to re-open its doors for a limited time. This year’s boot reviews are based both on testers’ previous experiences with unchanged models and the team’s combined tests of this year’s new boots. No, it’s not the same as boots going head to head by category and width with similar snow and temperatures over a five-day test period, and as such we can’t rightly rank boots, but we still feel confident that the information we’re presenting here is objective and fair. We hope these selected Editor’s Choice reviews help narrow the search for your next great boot and we’re looking forward to joining you for an epic return to skiing this winter.