This is a review of the best ski boots for beginners.
Hi, I’m Nick, a longtime downhill skier, and all-around skiing enthusiast. Together with Aspen, an NZSIA and APSI certified ski instructor, and our ski school manager of the Japan and China division, we’re going to take a look at the best ski boots for beginners.
The right pair of boots is the most essential part of your ski setup. Especially for beginners, it can be overwhelming to search online.
Our top pick is the Salomon S/Pro 80. It’s a very comfortable all-mountain boot that performs well in all sorts of terrain and can be customized to your needs as a beginner.
Enjoy, and here’s to lots of great days on the mountain!
- TECNICA Mach Sport 80 All-Mountain Ski Boots (Best Overall)
- Rossignol EVO 70 Men’s Ski Boots
- Salomon S/Pro 80 Men’s Ski Boots
3 Best Ski Boots for Beginners Reviewed
Here are my top picks for the best ski boots for beginners:
TECNICA Mach Sport 80 All-Mountain Ski Boots
- Best for: Beginners looking for a solid all-around boot
- Key features: Adaptive shell, self-warming liner, easy access buckles
- Construction: Polyolefine shell, celliant liner, Mach sport buckles
- Flex Rating: 80
- Last (width): 103mm
- Cost: $
The Technica Mach Sport HV 80 is a great downhill ski boot for the beginner that is looking for a good mix of comfort and performance-related factors like flex for an affordable price. This is a great pair of boots that can grow with you to an intermediate level, you can use it for multiple seasons.
This boot has a reliable and comfortable flex that isn’t too stiff for a beginner who needs a softer boot for learning how to ski. The interior liner is made of celiant, a performance textile that converts body heat into energy and is used to mold the liner to the skier’s foot.
The Mach Sport HV also comes with aluminum buckles that are easy to access and adjust in the snow with your gloves on. They are also very durable which means that this boot can last for multiple seasons until the beginner is ready to upgrade to a more stiff boot.
These factors combine to make for a tight-fitting yet flexible boot that is easy to adjust. If you have wide feet, this boot may not be the best, as the shape of the shell and liner is somewhat narrow. Overall this is a great beginner’s boot for the price and features.
Rossignol EVO 70 Men’s Ski Boots
- Best for: Beginners looking for a soft flex boot with good basic features at a low price
- Key features: Good shell shape, smooth flex, easy access buckle system, low price
- Construction: Polyolofine bi-injected shell, pre-shaped liner, polyolefine cuff
- Flex Rating: 70
- Last (width): 104mm
- Cost: $
The Rossignol EVO 70 is a good boot for beginners who are looking for a boot with a relaxed fit and good basic features in a lightweight and affordable design. With a low flex rating of 70, this is a boot that will feel good on the feet without being too stiff for a beginner.
This is a great ski boot for a beginner with a small frame, as the lightweight design and soft flex will make learning much easier. It’s also great for young skiers who want a beginning boot but whose feet are still growing. A wide last of 104mm gives space for wide feet and a relaxed fit.
Overall the features on this boot are basic but provide everything a true beginner needs – a soft flex, a comfortable shell, easy-to-access buckles and power strap, and a low price.
The wide last of 104mm means that there is less performance compared to a more narrow boot, however, what you lose in performance you make up with a more comfortable fit.
Finally, the liner of this boot isn’t very customizable. There are no options to heat-mold the liner and as a result, you will not have as tight of a fit. Some skiers may want a more adaptable option, but for a beginner (especially a teenager or very light skier) this is a solid boot for a low price.
Salomon S/Pro 80 Men’s Ski Boots
- Best for: Beginners looking for a fully customizable, adjustable all-mountain boot
- Key features: Polyolefin heat-moldable shell and Custom Fit 3D heat-moldable liner
- Construction: Coreframe 360 technology, riveted aluminum buckles, riveted Pivot
- Flex Rating: 80
- Last (width): 102mm
- Cost: $$
Solomon’s S/Pro 80 is a great boot for the beginning skier who is looking for comfort and adjustability in a boot that will allow them to take on any type of mountain terrain. With a wide last of 102mm and a heat-moldable shell and liner, this boot allows you to customize your fit and have comfortable days on the mountain as you learn to ski.
Right out of the box, this boot fits well and holds the feet tightly while still allowing the soft flex beginners need. With Solomon’s heat molding technology you can shape the shell and liner to your feet using an oven or by taking the boots to a ski shop.
The shell’s Coreframe 360 technology also makes for a rigid response from the boots, increasing performance on turns and in many different mountain conditions. The aluminum buckles and 35mm strap hold the foot securely and comfortably, while the riveted Pivot ensures that power travels from the top of the boot into the heel and skis.
This is a great boot for any beginner, as long as your feet are not too narrow. While the overall features, performance, and price of this boot make it our top pick, for some skiers the last (width) of 102mm may make it too wide for their feet. While it can be customized with heat molding, for very narrow feet this will still be too wide.
Overall this is a great boot and our top pick for best ski boots for beginners!
Best Ski Boots for Beginners – What To Consider?
A good pair of ski boots for beginners will fit comfortably on your feet and make it feel as though your body and skis are working as one. When searching for ski boots, it is important to look for a pair of boots that are suited to the size and shape of your feet. Below are some important factors to consider.
The way the boots feel on your feet should be the most important factor to consider when shopping for ski boots for beginners. A good pair of boots fits tightly around your feet and does not create blisters or stop blood circulation. There should be no space and some slight pressure between the foot and the boot’s lining.
A good ski boot for beginners should be responsive to your foot’s every movement. When skiing, the boot should feel like an extension of the body. Depending on your level of skill as a skier, you will need a boot that is flexible for a beginner, or stiffer as you become capable of skiing more aggressively and on steeper terrain.
Flex Rating: Ranging from 60 to 130, the flex rating is used to define the skill level of the rider a boot is built for. The range can vary according to the manufacturer. Usually, it is around 60-99 for beginners, 100-110 for intermediate skiers, and 111 and up for experts.
Last: Last refers to the width of the forefoot and is listed in millimeters. There are three ranges: narrow last, average last, and wide last, choose a last that fit your foot the most is very important, you should feel your whole foot is wrapped by the liner with no pressure points.
Instructor’s Tips: Some beginners may pick the wide last because they believe it would be more comfortable. When you ski, you need to roll your feet, and you may hurt your feet or even lose control over your skis if your boot is too wide for you.
Outer: The construction of the boot’s outer shell is often a hard shell secured with buckles. However, there are now styles of ski boots that allow you to mold the outer shell using a conventional oven to better fit your foot. Buckle systems also are an important factor to consider as they create a secure fit.
Liner: Boot liners keep your foot secure and warm within the shell. They need to be fitted very tightly to your specific foot size and type. Some liners are made of non-moldable padding, while more expensive models often have liners that mold to your foot with the heat that comes from a day of skiing.
Adjustment Options: Some models of ski boots have extra adjustment options that allow for further customization as conditions on the mountain change or simply for comfortable wear when not skiing. These include traction soles for walking on snow, adjustable flex options for different skiing styles, and shock absorbers for skiers who are focusing on jumps and tricks.
Here are some commonly asked questions when it comes to choosing the best ski boots for beginners.
Should I spend more on boots or skis?
You should spend on your boots first. If you are wearing a pair of ski boots that are uncomfortable or not responsive enough, you cannot control your skis at all.
If your boots do not fit well on your foot, you can’t even walk in them, or you will hurt your legs. So spending more on your boots first is a making sense decision.
How much should I spend on my first ski boot?
You can find beginner boots from $200 to $300, depending on different models and brands. So it depends on the shape of your foot – how easy it is to find a pair of boots that fit your feet snuggly and yet comfortably.
You may expect to spend another $100 on making a custom footbed if you have more unique feet shapes, such as different sizes and shapes of arches.
Why is skiing expensive?
Skiing is expensive because you need a lot of skills, gear, and knowledge so you can perform this exciting sport freely. A good skier can easily reach 80km/hr, and you surely need something good to protect yourself.
You also need to travel to the mountain, get the lift pass, book the hotels, and pay for your food and beverages. Which makes skiing is a mix of sports and holidays, so it’s more expensive than usual sports like basketball and running…
Useful Tips and Information
- Wear your boots when they are warm and soft. The good idea is to leave them in a warm room for around 5 to 10 minutes before putting them on.
- Thinner socks always bring you better performance because they are more responsive. If you have cold feet, consider getting a pair of heated socks.
- Always wear a helmet when you ski. Knee supports (not knee pads) may also help because skiing demands a lot of thigh muscles.
- Wear breathable base layers made with quick-dry material is a good idea to keep you warm and comfortable on the mountain.
We believe that TECNICA Mach Sport 80 All-Mountain Ski Boots is the best beginner ski boots. It brings you everything a beginner wants: warmth, comfort, and performance. The easy-to-access buckles are a sweet bonus.
Simply pick the boots according to your need, and you will be delighted with them. Stay safe out there and have lots of fun!