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Classic Boots | 2024 Gear Guide

This year’s selection of new boots for kick and glide are small but mighty.

Salomon S/Max Carbon
$400 | | 720g/pair (42)

For an experienced skier who wants race-quality features but not the svelte fit of a World Cup boot, the S/Max Carbon delivers. New last winter (but not in time to test them), it’s built with the same carbon-loaded chassis as the S/Race Classic but has a medium-volume fit and recycled Thinsulate lining. Testers deemed the boot exceptionally easy to get on and off and “comfortable without compromising performance.” For a customized fit, the inner laces cinch down separately on the upper and lower half of the foot (a.k.a. dissociated laces), while a Velcro strap at the back of the boot’s exterior snugs up the heel pocket. “Excellent snow feel with a progressive sole flex,” reported one tester, while another enthused, “The gold standard. I wanted to take this boot home.”

Fischer Carbonlite Classic
$359 | | 1,080g/pair (42; unisex) | 950g/pair (38; women’s)

Like its sibling, the Carbonlite Skate, this revamped boot has as its foundation the two-piece Speedmax sole that’s on Fischer’s highest-end boot and a new carbon-fused chassis that enhances torsional rigidity and, therefore, control. It’s a winning combo for advanced skiers. “Perfect sole stiffness and break in the forefoot,” wrote one fan, “and the heel counter holds the heel perfectly.” The stiffness of both the sole and chassis, along with a glove-like fit, gives notable support throughout the turn and enables easy weight transfer and edging, reported testers.  Recreational skiers, however, may be overpowered by these features. Our female testers, who skied the women’s version, all remarked on the noticeably narrow heel and wider toe box, a fit that worked well for most of them.

Atomic Pro C3
$210 | | 890g/pair (42)

Heading up Atomic’s recreational category in classic boots, the Pro C3 is designed with comfort and warmth top of mind, though it’s no slouch when it comes to performance. Together, the external heel counter and a new mid-cut inner boot offer ample support, both torsionally and laterally. And unlike with many “comfort” boots, the C3’s fit is relatively low volume (though far from race fit). It’s also the only one of Atomic’s classic boots to have a pull-and-cinch lacing system, which testers appreciated for its efficiency and ease in dialing in fit. A thick liner makes the C3 a good option for long skis on toe-chilling days. Just don’t plan on much walking in this boot—the sole is hard and slippery off skis.


Salomon Pro Combi SC
$260 | | 1,200g/pair (42)

This updated combi boot, made partially with recycled and PVC-free materials, has the DNA of the S8 Skate boot with a softer-flexing sole; it’s ideal for high school racers and new classic skiers who want more support from their footwear

Alpina Pro Classic
$425 | | 816g/pair (42)

To supposedly increase power during the kick phase, Alpina moved this boot’s toe bar 10 millimeters forward from its standard position, creating a new pivot point. A reinforced midsole better withstands a more powerful kick, and a full carbon heel and race fit boost performance. 

Alpina Comp Classic
$400 | | 898g/pair (42)

This boot has the same repositioned toe bar as the Pro Classic and the identical outsole construction, but offers a more comfort-oriented fit, with a carbon-injected heel, extra volume inside the boot and a felt lining for added warmth.