Hi, I’m Nick, a longtime downhill skier, and all-around skiing enthusiast. Today I will work with Aspen, our ski school manager, an experienced, NZSIA certified ski instructor to review the best ski boots for intermediate skiers.
For intermediates, a good boot should have a combination of performance and comfort. There should be a medium to stiff flex in the boot to have control as the skier progresses into more challenging terrain.
We have chosen the best ski boots for intermediate skiers based on durability, features, performance, price, and comfort.
Our top pick is the Salomon S/Pro 100 boot. It’s a very durable boot that has a great balance of customization, performance, and comfort.
We have also added other great options to make it easier for you to pick one suits your need the most.
Enjoy and here’s to lots of great days of skiing!
- Salomon S/Pro 100 Men’s Ski Boots (Best overall)
- K2 B.F.C. 100 Men’s Ski Boots (Best for warm feet)
- Nordica Speedmachine 100 Men’s Ski Boots (Best lightweight)
3 Best Ski Boots for Intermediate Skiers Reviewed
Here are our top picks for the best ski boots for intermediate skiers in 2021.
Salomon S/Pro 100 Men’s Ski Boots
- Best for: Overall
- Suitable for: Intermediate skiers looking to progress quickly
- Key features: Heat moldable shell and liner, lightweight design and responsive control
- Construction: Polyurethane shell with fiberglass Coreframe technology, seamless liner
- Flex rating: 100
- Last (width): 100-106mm
- Cost: $$$
The Solomon S/Pro is a boot for the intermediate who has mastered the basics of skiing and wants to invest in a boot that will help them advance to an advanced level quickly. The heat-moldable shell and liner make for a custom fit that allows for long days of skiing as well as plenty of standing and walking.
Constructed of a moldable shell with fiberglass Coreframe technology, the boots fit comfortably right out of the box but can be further molded to the feet with an oven. The Coreframe technology allows for quick response on turns and in challenging conditions. This boot is reliably rigid and durable over multiple seasons of use.
The Solomon S/Pro boot is also much lighter than the average intermediate ski boot at 1750g per boot. This makes for a boot that is easier to control in difficult conditions and will create less wear on the legs on long days. Combined with a smooth flex, this makes for a durable and high-performing downhill ski boot.
If you’re ready to make an investment in a ski boot and expect to be skiing for multiple seasons to reach an expert level quickly, these boots are for you. While the price is a bit higher than some other options, these are boots that will fit well quickly and continue to perform well for years.
K2 B.F.C 100 Men’s Ski Boots
- Best for: Keeping your feet warm
- Suitable for: Intermediate skiers with wide feet or feet that get cold easily
- Key features: Heated liner, easy to put on / take off, wide fit
- Construction: EVA foam liner with Therm-ic Heat System, Thermoplastic Urethane shell
- Flex rating: 100
- Last (width): 103mm
- Cost: $$
If you are a skier with wide or very cold feet, this is the boot for you. The K2 B.F.C. is constructed with a liner system that contains a rechargeable heating element inside of the foam. After charging for 6 hours, the heating system can be adjusted from the outside of the boot to keep your feet warm for up to 19 hours.
The design of the boot is set at 103 mm width, which makes for a comfortable fit for skiers with wide feet immediately. While other boot liners will need to stretch out over time to adapt to wide feet, the B.F.C. provides a good fit and warmth immediately.
The K2 B.F.C. comes with a Hands-Free entry system, making the boot very easy to put on or take off. The boot also includes an Apres Mode Walk Mechanism that unlocks the upper cuff from the lower shell for when you need to walk in your boots. Finally, the boots come preinstalled with GripWalk outsoles for traction when walking.
The combined features of the K2 B.F.C. make for a very comfortable boot that fits specific needs for skiers but unfortunately can be lacking in build quality and performance. While this boot is great for keeping feet warm and comfortable, it will not be nearly as durable and responsive as other boots in the same price range.
This is a great boot for a skier who values comfort and ease of use over performance, especially an intermediate with wide feet who will spend lots of time walking in their boots. For most other skiers, however, it’s probably better to choose another boot.
Nordica Speedmachine 100 Men’s Ski Boot
- Best for: Lightweight
- Intermediate skiers who want a balance between performance and comfortability
- Key features: Infrared lamp and suction cup molded liner and shell system
- Construction: Polyurethane shell with Tri Fit construction, PrimaLoft liner
- Flex rating: 100
- Last (width): 100mm
- Cost: $$
If you’re an intermediate skier who has had issues in the past with boot fit, the Nordica Speedmachine 100 may be the boot for you. Nordica’s proprietary fitting system uses infrared lamps and suction cups to mold both the liner and the interior of the Tri Fit shell to your unique foot size and shape.
With this system, you’ll be able to heat-mold the liner, the shell, and even some of the aluminum buckles and hardware to make for a comfortable fit.
The four sturdy buckles secure the foot in place in the boot, the liner is made of a PrimaLoft microfiber thermal insulation material to keep your feet warm, and a 35 mm power strap keeps the top of the boot secure.
While this boot is affordable for an intermediate boot with this level of fit customization, there are some downsides. The fitting system needs to be heated by a Nordica representative, unlike the Salomon system which can be fitted at home. While the boot is very lightweight, it is lacking in some of the performance features such as response and durability.
Overall, this is the best ski boot for intermediate skiers who have average width feet and lower legs and have had issues with boot fit in the past. Affordable and very customizable.
Best Ski Boots for Intermediate Skiers – What to Consider?
A good pair of ski boots for intermediate skiers will fit tightly on your feet and provide a rigid structure with less flex than beginner boots. Intermediate skiers need more support than beginners under higher pressure turns, which means they require boots with a higher flex rating.
When searching for the best intermediate ski boots, it is important to look for a pair of boots that will serve you well as you advance in your skill level. 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 the best ski boots for intermediate skiers. Make sure to measure the length, width, and arch of your foot.
A good pair of boots will hold your foot secure on all sides, providing warmth and adequate padding. There should be no movement of the foot in the boot and some slight pressure between the foot and the boot’s lining.
A good ski boot for intermediates should be firm and have less flex than a beginner’s boot, allowing you to have more control on intermediate terrain. When skiing, the boot should feel like an extension of the body. The best ski boot for intermediate skiers will have less flex (a higher flex rating) and help you progress into advanced skiing quickly.
For intermediate skiers, the flex rating ranges from 90 to 110 for women and 100 to 120 for men. The choice of flex is based on two factors – the style of skiing as well as the body mass of the skier.
More aggressive skiers will need a higher flex rating for more stability, while skiers with a larger body mass also need higher flex for stability, even if they are not riding in an aggressive style. Less aggressive skiers and skiers with a normal or smaller body mass will need a lower flex rated boot.
Last refers to the width of the forefoot and is listed in millimeters. Last can also be an indicator of performance as a narrow boot will be more responsive in intermediate and advanced terrain. There are three ranges: narrow last is 96-98mm, average last is 99-102mm, and wide last is 103+mm.
The construction of the outer shell of the boot 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.
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.
Lightweight boots are much easier to walk in and carry when you are not skiing, but as you progress in your skill level you may find that they give less control, especially in high-speed conditions.
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 styles of skiing, and shock absorbers for skiers who are focusing on jumps and tricks.
Do Ski Boots Really Matter?
Yes, ski boots definitely matter, a pair of suitable ski boots can improve your control over your skis, when you become an intermediate skier, there would be a lot of movements requiring the use of the ankle.
If your ski boots don’t fit, for example, your feet can move inside your boots, all the ankle movements will be delayed and become less effective. And when you become an intermediate skier, all these details matter.
How Can I Make my Ski Boots More Comfortable?
The easiest way is to go for a boot fitting, ask a professional boot fitter to have them make you custom insole, liner, and outer. This is a more expensive option but they make your boots wrapping your foot perfectly and leave no room, and no pressure point.
This is very important because it’s the pressure point causing you to feel uncomfortable.
We believe that Salomon S/Pro 100 is the best overall intermediate ski boots, if you are a beginner-intermediate skier who is looking for improving your skills, simply pick the one matching your needs the most and you will be fine.
Stay safe out there and have lots of fun!