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Janine Winter – Profeet Ski Lab Manager – reviews the best women’s freeride ski boots for 2015/16, including the K2 Minaret 100, Salomon Quest Pro 100 W, Lange XT W 110 and Nordica GPX 105 W.

“With an increasing number of skiers looking to explore the whole mountain, manufacturers are recognising the demand and developing a wider range of freeride ski boots for women as a result.

 

“Having a hike mode in the boot gives you the freedom and flexibility to go wherever you desire, whether it’s up or down.  Focused on keeping performance in the boots, the freeride collection won’t be as lightweight as touring boots, but will certainly make any uphill hiking less work.

 

“As skiers become more adventurous, manufacturers are producing a wider range of ski boot soles to make them compatible with a large variety of bindings.  These women’s models have been further adapted to accommodate our narrow heels, lower calf muscles and lighter weight.”

 

Review: K2 Minaret 100 – £400

 

Sizes available – 22.5 – 27.5
Flex available – 100, 80
Last width – 100mm (100 flex), 102mm (80 flex)
Hike Mode – Yes

 

The Minaret remains unchanged for the forthcoming winter and is aimed at the advanced female skier looking for high performance downhill, but with a walk mode installed, it has the capability to go up smoothly as well.  It comes with an Intuition liner providing warmth and a precision fit around the foot, giving great heel hold.  The alpine din soles are unique with integrated tech fittings, allowing you to step into any pin binding.  Its 100mm medium width last means it will fit a wide range of feet.

 

Pro: Has an Intuition liner which is known for warmth and gives a more precise fit

Con: It is a little heavier than some competitor models

Review: Salomon Quest Pro 100 W – £320

 

Sizes available – 22 – 27.5
Flex available – 100, 80
Last width – 100mm (up to 106mm with custom shell)
Hike Mode – Yes

 

The Quest Pro was a winner with the ladies last season and remains unchanged for its second season.  With Custom Shell technology the whole shell can be heated and will expand where necessary to fully customise the boot to your foot.  It has been designed with an improved waterproof gusset for minimal leakage.  The 3D liner has been pre-shaped to the foot allowing a great instant fit.  With its hike and ride capability and lightweight shell, the Quest Pro is versatile for any terrain.

 

Pro: Custom shell means the boot can be fully customised to fit almost every foot shape
Con: There is no cant/cuff adjustment as the oversized pivot replaces this

Review: Lange XT 110 W LV – £370

 

Sizes available – 22.5 – 27.5
Flex available – 110, 90, 80
Last width – 97mm (110 & 80 flex), 100mm (90 & 80 flex)
Hike Mode – Yes

 

With a fresh new look, the XT comes out of the box with a WTR (walk to ride) rocker sole and an ultra-grip (din) sole, allowing it to step in to a wide variety of bindings.  This 97mm last (low volume) is a great solution for women seeking a narrower fit.  The softer XT 90 W and XT 80W offer a medium fit.  In a 110 flex and with hike mode installed, this boot is aimed at hard charging female skiers wanting one boot for everything.  The new alu light buckles save extra weight for the uphill.

 

Pro: One of the few narrow fitting freeride boots available
Con: No tech fittings in the touring sole so not yet compatible in a pin binding

Review: Nordica GPX 105 W – £339.99

 

Sizes available – 21.5 – 27.5
Flex available – 105, 95, 85
Last width – 98mm
Hike Mode – No

 

The GPX series is an exciting new addition for the forthcoming winter.  Coming in a 98mm narrow last, the GPX are the only boots using Primaloft in their liners to provide all day warmth.  The liner also has Cork Fit Technology which inserts sections of cork in key areas for a more precise fit.  The new alpine soles offer extra grip for slick surfaces.  The 105 flex is for the advanced female skier but a 95 and 85 flex are available.

 

Pro: Cork inserts in the liner for better heel retention
Con: No hike mode installed

Review: Tecnica Cochise 95 W – £250

 

Sizes available – 22 – 27.5
Flex available – 105, 95, 85, 75
Last width – 100mm (95 & 85 flex), 98mm (105 flex), 102mm (75 flex)
Hike Mode – Yes

 

Returning in the popular purple and pink shell, the Cochise 95 W is a great hike and ride option offering all day comfort for the medium width foot.  It has a three buckle design with a large, lockable power strap which acts as the fourth buckle.  This can then be released when hiking to allow more motion in the cuff.  It comes with din compatible soles, but a touring sole with Dynafit inserts can also be purchased.  A softer plastic is used over the instep to allow easier access.

 

Pro: Great value for a hike and ride boot at that price
Con: It is a little heavier than some competitor models

 

These reviews originally appeared in the November issue of ‘Ski + Board’ magazine.  To find out what happens during a ski boot assessment at Profeet, please watch the video below.


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