Every skier knows that a day on the slopes can be greatly affected by the type of gear you use. Choosing the right skis and boots are of the utmost importance especially when it comes to hard goods. Pick the wrong pair of skis for your ability and preferred terrain, and you’ll struggle on the slopes. Choose the wrong boots and you’ll be miserable out there.

And when you’re choosing new gear this season, it can be hard to go through all those buyers guides. So we sorted through them for you. 

Why should you trust us? We’ve spent time at shows and on the slopes, learning about and testing these products. But as you get closer to making purchasing decisions, it’s also important to talk to professionals. That way you can rest assured that you did your research and ended up with the gear that best suits your needs, skill level, and most frequently visited terrain. 

Skis For Every Type of Skier

For the All Mountain Skier: A Front Side Carver That Can Still Shred Pow

Alchemist Wailer 100RP

DPS Alchemist Wailer (men’s)/Yvette (women’s) 100 RP | $1299

RP stands for “Resort Powder” and that is no misnomer. By shrinking them down to 100 underfoot DPS has made a highly competent ski that is just as comfortable in the resort as it is on a powder day. Its shorter radius makes for a more effective edge that is forgiving in tighter lines and more powerful when locked in on a carve. This is ideal for the front side of the mountain but don’t let that fool you. The resort may be where this ski wants to play but its surfy feel is no slouch when dipping off the backside into some deep pow. 

For the Backcountry Skier: Ultra Lightweight Yet Playful Skis

Vision 98

LINE Skis’ Vision Collection | Vision 98: $699.95; Vision 108: $749.95

By delivering a ski that is both super light and playful, Line has filled a void in the market with the Vision series. Make no bones about it, this ski is insanely light. The new THC Construction (not a weird pot reference) has allowed them to shave weight and create the lightest ski in their arsenal. That means those long uphill hauls in the backcountry won’t be as taxing. However, on those days where skiing off piste is not an option, the Vision’s freeride nature still delivers that playfulness that Line skis are known for. 

For the Hard Charger Freerider: A Ski That Can Blast Through Anything

Rossignol Black Ops

Rossignol Black Ops | $699.95

The secret is out on Black Ops. These skis are getting rave reviews and with good reason. The heavier weight is the key here for Rossignol. They can be a bit of a beast to ski, but you’ll be blasting through whatever’s in your path with ease. Crud, powder, chop—they know no boundaries as far as conditions go and they flat out rip on groomers. The added weight can be a bit of a detriment in tight spaces but there is no doubt that this ski is as playful and fun as they come. 

For the Woman Who Can Rip: A Versatile Charger of a Ski

Dynastar Legend 106

Dynastar Legend 106 Women’s | $850

The flagship of Dynastar’s Legend series, this ski is perfect for the woman who is looking to straight up charge the mountain. A lightweight design gives it a touch of snappiness, while its shape offers excellent control in all conditions. Front side groomers? It’ll carve through them like a hot knife through butter. Back side powder? It’ll blow through it like it’s not even there. If you’re looking for a ton of versatility in a hard-charging ski, then this is the one. 

For the Skier Who Can’t Decide: Go Custom

Custom skis from Romp

Romp Skis | From $2,000

Can’t find the skis that you like? Then it’s time to go custom. Romp’s goal is to have you get into a pair of skis that are the perfect fit for you. To do so, they demystify the custom process by interviewing the customer in order to help them better understand their needs and aspirations. Then they tweak one of their previously tested stock skis in order to fit that skier’s specifics. Ultimately this makes for a less harrowing custom ski experience and will have you in the perfect ski. 

Boots for Various Performance Levels

For the Skier Who Loves to Tour: A Flexible Yet Stiff Crossover

Hoji Free

Dynafit Hoji Free | $838

The followup to the Hoji Pro Tour, it has a few tweaks that has made it arguably one of the best crossover boots on the market. The Hoji Lock is the key feature. With just a flick of the lever you can adjust between ski and walk mode in no time. The flex is also a primary component, starting soft and ramping up in stiffness as you really drive into the boot when charging downhill. Lightweight in nature, the Hoji Free is an excellent touring boot that can keep up with any skier no matter what the terrain.

For the Powerful All Mountain Skier: Performance Meets Comfort

Lange RX

Lange RX Ski Boots | $400-$750

The new Lange RX is an excellent option for any strong all mountain skier (male or female). A rare combination of performance fit and out-of-the-box comfort there is very little break in period with these boots. Lange has always been known for their strong heel lock, a feature that holds true to form in this boot. Add in the Dual Core Shell Construction and Dual 3D Liner and foot sloppiness is virtually eliminated—leaving you with a high-performing yet ultra comfy ski boot. 

For the Comfort Seeking Resort Goer: All Mountain Comfort

Full Tilt Descendant 8

Full Tilt Descendant 8 | $599.95

The Descendant 8 is the ski boot where performance meets comfort. Its Flex 8 Tongue delivers the stiffness and responsiveness you’ll need to aggressively charge the mountain while the wide last and walk mode provide the comfort that Full Tilt Boots are known for. This ultimately makes for a solid all-mountain boot that won’t leave your toes tingling at the end of the day.  

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Sub-Categories Clothing and Gear / Equipment & Gear / Lifestyle / Ski / Ski & Snowboard

3 responses to “Your Guide to the 2020 Buyer’s Guide: Skis and Boots”

  1. Gary Bisogna says:

    For all of us who are long spoiled by the comfort and ease-of-entry/exit of the now extinct rear entry boots, and are willing to give up a tiny edge of competitiveness because we don’t plan to enter the olympics, we will celebrate and reward that boot company who provides a product ski consumers want or will want!!!

  2. Briony Coady says:

    I own a pair of ROMP custom skis and LOVE them. The whole process was so easy and I came away with the perfect ski for me. Light weight and playful but able to cut the crud and carve beautifully too!

  3. John says:

    Amen Gary, I loved my HANSON’s miss the dearly.

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