By: The Editors
As Backcountry Magazine’s 2018 Gear Test draws closer, we’re looking ahead to the latest in skis, boots and bindings that will be showing up at Powder Mountain next week. Each year, to make sure we’re testing the most contemporary gear, we operate under a simple rule: Only first- and second-year skis, boots and bindings, or older models with construction updates, are eligible for review. Luckily for us, companies exceed this standard each year, leaving us with new technology, construction and shapes to look forward to.
Here’s the some of the newest innovations in boots: from brand-spankin’-new models to redesigned AT favorites.
Salomon’s Lateral-Flexing S-Lab
Salomon jumped on the lightweight AT-boot bandwagon with the Salomon S-Lab X/Alp, the sister boot to last year’s Arc’teryx Procline, which the companies developed in tandem. The similarities between the Procline and the S-Lab are limited to the lean lock system that allows for side-to-side ankle flexion on the ascent. Compared to the climber-focused Procline, Salomon’s offering caters to the uphill traveler who needs to rely on a sturdy boot for challenging ski-mountaineering descents, and the two-buckle design is reinforced with a booster strap, carbon cuff and lower-shell mold to increase stiffness. Gone are the Procline’s rubber toe and oversized gaiter, too.