On definitions: “best” means racing boots, those used by the world’s elite skiers to compete & win. In 2019 those are invariably carbon-fiber soled – and, naturally, with carbon cuffs for ankle support.
For all SNS fans: sorry, folks – the only athlete we know of still using once-dominant system is Jessie Diggins. Atomic, once a firm ” SNS camper”, stopped supporting it altogether – Salomon is still holding out but, likely, not for long.
Most if not all producers follow a simple maxim: test with top athletes & win the first year of production – sell the next one. In other words, there is often a considerable gap between what you see on TV and what you could actually buy at your friendly local store. We have an issue with that approach but it currently dominates the market.
In 2019 there are 6 established companies that produce racing marvels – plus a very exciting new entrant, for the total of 7.
We present their wares in alphabetic order and will split info into three distinc categories:
– Available in the shops right now
– Being used by top athletes but one can’t buy it yet, at least officially
– Being developed, out for athletes soon
A storied manufacturer from Žiri is one of the two top league ski bootmakers without ski production. Which is a problem on a long run as more and more ski makers demand that sponsored athletes compete using their boots – or else. That strategic issue does not change the fact that Alpina currently has a fantastic line-up of products.
An established manufacturer from Altenmarkt in Pongau is about ski production first, second and last. However, they do offer Atomic-branded boots – see below
The giant from Ried im Innkreis dominates every segment of the xcski market – boots included.
Last year it phased out Rottefella-sourced platform in Speedmax boots in favor of in-house developed ( together with Rossignol) IFP.
As both Alpina and Fischer just put the news models out, we are not aware of either developing the next ones – although, of course, some preliminary drawing must exist already.
In part 2 we will continue with top carbon boots from Madshus, Rossignol, Salomon and that new ambitious entrant, Spine.