First and foremost, fit matters! Women, we all come in different shapes and sizes, and this does affect the choices you make when finding that perfect boot. In all cases, the leverage carried by a 150lbs body versus a 120lbs body is significant and not to be underestimated. The same holds true for a tall versus shorter body. The length of your lower leg, as well as overall height, will absolutely affect the way you transfer power from the boot to the front of the ski.
Ease of Use
The test starts from the moment we pull the boot out of the box. First impressions include judging the color and overall look. Then we examine how upright, tall or short the cuff of the boot stands. How easy are the buckles to open and close? Is there tech to consider? Is there any preparation required before it's skied for the first time? These may not be the most important considerations, but we considered them nonetheless.
Specific attention is paid judging performance and comfort. Because, seriously, it doesn't matter how well a boot performs, if it's not comfortable, you're not going to look forward to a long day on the slopes. We also considered, features, durability, warmth, and value. Each boot was given a score out of 10 in each area, a score of 5 meaning that it performed average or as expected.
We tested each boot with its listed skier category in mind. That means a boot in the intermediate skier category was tested first to that terrain, speed, and aggression. Every contender was then tested above and below its ideal using the same perimeters.
Consequently, each model was scored based on how it performed in its category, i.e., intermediate, advanced, expert, or some combination of the three.
If a boot was advertised as an "intermediate" option, we skied it and tested it to the speeds, aggression, and terrain that is typical of an intermediate skier. If it's advertised as "all mountain" we tested it on every part of the mountain, and in variable terrain and snow conditions. We really paid attention to the kind of skier each model was designed to suit to guarantee that each boot was appropriately tested. For example, an intermediate boot was not expected to ski the same way as an expert model in double black diamond terrain.
We tested every boot precisely the same way, gradually moving from beginner to expert terrain. The test included a variety of turn shapes and types from skidded to dynamic, short to long turns. We also included every snow condition from bumps and crud to steeps and powder.
We got to know these boots better every passing day with every drifting, skidding, carving turn. With all these things in mind, let us help you find your BFF ski boot.