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When you’re getting your bearings in a new sport, it can be extremely advantageous to invest in gear to tailor the experience to your specific needs. Ski shop rentals can be both pricey and ill-fitting, and there’s no better way to overcome this than by snagging your own pair of ski boots.

Beginners in skiing, ranging from absolute newbies to once-a-year skiers, especially need to focus on selecting the right boots as it can make or break your experience. Finding beginner boots can be tough, and figuring out how to match them to the proper bindings can be even tougher! But alas, the Adventure Junkies have simplified the process to bring you the best ski boots for beginners.

Not sure what kind of beginner you are? Check out the “Things To Consider” section below for our lowdown on how we qualify your skill level.

For more of our top ski gear recommendations, check out the Best Ski Boots.

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Quick Answer - The Best Ski Boots for Beginners

  1. Rossignol Pure Elite 70
  2. Rossignol Alltrack 90
  3. Dalbello Panterra 90 GW
  4. Salomon QST Access 90 CH
  5. Salomon Quest Pro 100 Cruise
  6. Apex Ski Boots Crestone
  7. Salomon S/PRO 100 W
  8. Rossignol Alltrack Pro 100
  9. K2 Mindbender 100
  10. Salomon QST Pro 100 TR

 

Comparison Table - Best Ski Boots for Beginners

PictureNameFlexExperience LevelSkiing TypePriceRating
Rossignol Pure Elite 70SoftTrue BeginnersDownhill$4.8
Rossignol Alltrack 90MediumIntermediate BeginnerDownhill & Backcountry$4.7
Dalbello Panterra 90 GWMediumIntermediate BeginnerDownhill$$4.7
Salomon QST Access 90 CHMediumIntermediate BeginnerDownhill & Backcountry$$$4.6
Salomon Quest Pro 100 CruiseMediumIntermediate Beginner - Advanced BeginnerDownhill & Backcountry$4.6
Apex Ski Boots CrestoneMediumIntermediate Beginner - Advanced BeginnerDownhill$$$4.5
Salomon S/PRO 100 WMediumIntermediate Beginner - Advanced BeginnerDownhill$$$4.5
Rossignol Alltrack Pro 100MediumIntermediate Beginner - Advanced BeginnerDownhill & Backcountry$$4.4
K2 Mindbender 100MediumAdvanced BeginnerDownhill & Backcountry$$4.4
Salomon QST Pro 100 TRMediumAdvanced BeginnerDownhill & Backcountry$$4.3
PictureNameFlexExperience LevelSkiing TypePriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Beginner Ski Boots

Rossignol Pure Elite 70


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Flex: Soft
  • Skiing Type: Downhill
  • Toe Style: Alpine
  • Heel Style: Alpine (ISO 5355) & GripWalk (ISO 9523)
  • Experience Level: True Beginners
  • Boot Liner: Non-Moldable
  • Flex Index: 70
Features
  • Available In 2 Colors
  • Designed With Comfort And Control In Mind
  • Adjustable Buckle System Helps You Dial In The Right Fit

BEST FOR: BUDGET-CONSCIOUS BEGINNERS

At just about $200, the Rossignol Evo 70’s are an absolute steal when it comes to ski boots. In fact, these boots aren’t just for budget-conscious beginners attempting to stop their wallet from hemorrhaging, they’re for any true beginner

If you’ve never set foot on a pair of skis, these boots are for you. The soft flex is both comfortable and forgiving, allowing you to ease into the sport. They feature a wide “last width” (widest part of the boot) of 104mm which aids circulation and comfort. 

These Evo 70’s are an outstanding downhill ski boot worthy of attention.

Rossignol Alltrack 90


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Flex: Medium
  • Skiing Type: Downhill & Backcountry
  • Toe Style: Alpine
  • Heel Style: Alpine (ISO 5355) & GripWalk (ISO 9523)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate Beginner
  • Boot Liner: Non-Moldable
  • Flex Index: 90
Features
  • Freedom To Ski Any Type Of Snow
  • Reduced Weight And Thickness Translates Into Performance Gains
  • 50° Degree Range Of Motion When Using “Walk Mode” For Uphill Ascents

BEST FOR: EARLY INTRO TO BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

You may be thinking, “Backcountry?! But I’m a beginner!” 

It’s never too early to begin practicing your uphill skills or getting the conditioning in to tackle backcountry skiing. As you’re hitting Green runs and making your way into Blues, you can forgo the line at the lift and ascend the mountain with the Rossignol Alltrack 90’s. 

You’ll need to pair these boots with backcountry bindings to help you go uphill, but this is a great way to get you familiar with off-piste ascents while honing your descents on groomed runs. Once you’ve hit the advanced beginner stage, you’ll be glad you put in the practice. 

Best part about these boots is that they have a “walk mode” that allows you to feel as if you’re hiking normally up a mountain. The range of motion is 50° degrees for maximum comfort and power.

Dalbello Panterra 90 GW


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Flex: Medium
  • Skiing Type: Downhill
  • Toe Style: Alpine
  • Heel Style: Alpine (ISO 5355) & GripWalk (ISO 9523)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate Beginner
  • Boot Liner: Thermoformable
  • Flex Index: 90
Features
  • Mostly Black With Red Accents
  • Features A “Power Strap” Ankle Wraparound For Extra Support
  • 50° Degree Range Of Motion When Using “Walk Mode” Around The Ski Resort

BEST FOR: VERSATILITY

If you desire the hybridization of comfort and versatility, look no further than Dalbello’s Panterra 90 GW ski boots. 

One feature of notable importance is that these boots comes pre-equipped with GripWalk soles. Rather than having the slick, hard plastic bottoms of most traditional Alpine ski boots, the Panterra GW’s have textured, rubber soles that perform more like a hiking boot when walking around the ski resort. 

It’s also worth pointing out that the liners inside the boots are thermoformable, meaning that they will form to your foot with heat and pressure. They typically only take about one full day of skiing to form to your feet and break in comfortably.

Salomon QST Access 90 CH


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Flex: Medium
  • Skiing Type: Downhill & Backcountry
  • Toe Style: Alpine
  • Heel Style: Alpine (ISO 5355) & GripWalk (ISO 9523)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate Beginner
  • Boot Liner: Custom Moldable
  • Flex Index: 90
Features
  • Lightweight Materials Reduce Weight For Increased Performance
  • 45mm Strap Adds Extra Support For Custom Flex Increase/Decrease
  • Spring-Loaded Release Allows “Walk Mode” For Hiking And Resort Walking

BEST FOR: STAYING WARM

The second worst time to have cold feet (other than right before your vows) is on the mountain*, but now you don’t have to wait for that cozy fire at the lodge to warm up! The Salomon QST Access 90 CH (Custom Heat) ski boots will keep your feet toasty and performing well. 

It does this by adding a liner inside the boot that’s able to deliver up to 18 hours of continuous heat to your feet. This can be especially helpful when ditching the comforts of a ski resort to trek into the backcountry where cold temps abound. 

In addition to keeping you warm, you have the option to engage “walk mode” to free your ankles for increased range of motion. Not only will this help you walking around off your skis but will help you trek uphill when in back country environments. These boots also feature 45mm thick straps for extra support when hitting big runs.

Salomon Quest Pro 100 Cruise


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Flex: Medium
  • Skiing Type: Downhill & Backcountry
  • Toe Style: Alpine
  • Heel Style: Alpine (ISO 5355)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate Beginner - Advanced Beginner
  • Boot Liner: Thermoformable
  • Flex Index: 100
Features
  • Lightweight Construction Never Sacrifices Performance
  • Hybrid Buckle System Facilitates Good Circulation And Comfort
  • “Walk Mode” Allows Easy Trekking For Off-Piste Hiking And Walking Around The Lodge

BEST FOR: ALL-MOUNTAIN SKIING

Groomed runs, fresh powder, off-piste, and the terrain park. For beginners who want to try it all, the “All-Mountain” moniker is the way to go. The Salomon Quest Pro 100 ski boots are a true All-Mountain boot that can ride anywhere you take them. Just make sure to match them with All-Mountain skis and bindings. 

The medium flex of these boots are perfect for intermediate and advanced beginners that don’t quite need as much flex as a true beginner boot but instead desire a little more stiffness for increased performance. Still comfortable for all day use, the medium flex can be worn all the way until you reach the Expert level, meaning these boots will also be a good investment lasting you years to come. 

The Quest Pro 100’s also come with thermoformable liners inside the boots, which only take a day to break in. Say goodbye to sore feet and long break-in times!

Apex Ski Boots Crestone


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Flex: Medium
  • Skiing Type: Downhill
  • Toe Style: Alpine
  • Heel Style: Alpine (ISO 5355)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate Beginner - Advanced Beginner
  • Boot Liner: Thermoformable
  • Flex Index: 95 / 105 / 115
Features
  • 14 Points Of Closure For Boot Tightening For Custom Fit
  • Ergonomic Insoles Provide Custom Fit And Long Lasting Comfort
  • Separate Upper And Lower Lacing Allows Independent Adjustment

BEST FOR: PROGRESSING WITH SKILL 

The Apex Crestone may be the best long term investment for an Intermediate to Advanced Beginner as it will scale up in stiffness. 

Starting with a lower flex rating of 95, these boots are a great step up for Intermediate Beginners. As you progress to an Advanced Beginner, you can stiffen them up to a flex rating of 105 and eventually top them out at a 115 stiffness when you’ve graduated to the Experienced Skier level.

This will help you save money down the road as they are essentially 3-boots-in-1. In addition to having 3 buckles, Apex Crestone’s also have a “boa lacing system”, typically seen on snowboard boots. These laces are pre-threaded and tighten with a single turn of a knob making adjustments super easy, especially with a single gloved hand. 

In addition to providing variable flex settings, these boots fall into the All-Mountain category, letting you ski all over the mountain regardless of the terrain.

Salomon S/PRO 100 W


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Flex: Medium
  • Skiing Type: Downhill
  • Toe Style: Alpine
  • Heel Style: Alpine (ISO 5355)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate Beginner - Advanced Beginner
  • Boot Liner: Thermoformable
  • Flex Index: 100
Features
  • Available In 2 Different Colors
  • Fully Customizable Liners, Cuffs, And Shell For Truly Personal Fit
  • Thin Design Enhances Real Time Feedback For Improved Performance

BEST FOR: DOWNHILL COMFORT

If downhill skiing at resorts is your jam, then the Salomon S/PRO 100’s are a fantastic choice for shredding comfortably. 

Not only are the boot liners custom moldable, but so are the cuffs and exterior hardshell. This type of customization is groundbreaking and makes for a supremely comfortable ski boot. Even better, it only takes 10 minutes to custom fit! Sore feet are sooooo last ski season. 

Along with increased comfort, the S/PRO 100’s feature a thinner exterior shell which sheds weight and provides increased feedback so you can feel the snow as you enter each turn. This translates into increased performance gains through every run. These boots also sport an ankle strap that provides extra support for downhill speed and mobility.

Rossignol Alltrack Pro 100


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Flex: Medium
  • Skiing Type: Downhill & Backcountry
  • Toe Style: Alpine
  • Heel Style: Alpine (ISO 5355) & GripWalk (ISO 9523)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate Beginner - Advanced Beginner
  • Boot Liner: Thermoformable
  • Flex Index: 100
Features
  • Lightweight Construction Never Sacrifices Performance
  • Compatible With GripWalk Soles For Safer & Easier Walking
  • “Walk Mode” Allows Easy Trekking For Off-Piste Hiking And Walking Around The Lodge

BEST FOR: OFF-PISTE EXPLORATION

Perfect for the adventurous beginner, the Rossignol Alltrack Pro 100’s are All-Mountain ski boots that have the design capabilities to perform well on both groomed runs as well as off-piste (ungroomed terrain). Use them with traditional Alpine bindings for downhill skiing or mate them with a backcountry binding for backcountry skiing. 

The Alltrack Pro 100’s come with a “walk mode” with a 50° degree range of movement that not only makes it easier to walk around the resort but gives you the necessary freedom to tackle uphill ascents. They are also compatible with GripWalk soles (not included) that make walking and hiking much easier and safer. 

These boots are also super comfortable and mold to your feet after a single day of skiing. The heat and pressure that occurs from wearing them will thermally mold the liners to your feet for a custom fit.

K2 Mindbender 100


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Flex: Medium
  • Skiing Type: Downhill & Backcountry
  • Toe Style: Alpine & Tech Fit
  • Heel Style: Alpine (ISO 5355) & Alpine Touring (ISO 9523)
  • Experience Level: Advanced Beginner
  • Boot Liner: Thermoformable
  • Flex Index: 100
Features
  • Forward Lean Adjustment Let’s You Change Your Stance
  • Features Both Tech And Alpine Fittings For Compatibility With Most Bindings
  • Flip-To-Walk Mechanism Offers 50° Degree Range Of Motion For Hiking And Walking

BEST FOR: BACKCOUNTRY TOURING

The K2 Mindbender 100’s are an outstanding choice when it comes to touring in the backcountry. Focusing more on the hiking/backpacking aspect, touring involves both uphill ascents as well as downhill skiing. 

As a beginner, it’s never too early to begin learning your backcountry skills. You can start by practicing off-piste (ungroomed trails) at resorts and taking day hikes on snow packed trails in national parks before moving up to more advanced overnight/multi-day trips. 

These boots are also highly versatile and will match with a wide range of bindings, both Alpine (for downhill skiing) and Backcountry. They also feature custom moldable liners for a precise fit.

Salomon QST Pro 100 TR


View Women's Version
Specs
  • Flex: Medium
  • Skiing Type: Downhill & Backcountry
  • Toe Style: Alpine & Tech Fit
  • Heel Style: Alpine (ISO 5355) & Alpine Touring (ISO 9523)
  • Experience Level: Advanced Beginner
  • Boot Liner: Custom Moldable
  • Flex Index: 70
Features
  • Fully Customizable Liners, Cuffs, And Shell For Truly Personal Fit
  • Thin Design Enhances Real Time Feedback For Improved Performance
  • Features Both Tech And Alpine Fittings For Compatibility With Most Bindings

BEST FOR: BACKCOUNTRY PERFORMANCE

Advanced beginners that are hungry to push their limits will love the Salomon QST Pro 100 TR ski boots. They are the perfect match performance-wise to give you that extra edge when hitting backcountry trails. 

The medium flex of these boots mated with a “power strap” for custom ankle adjustments gives you the support necessary to handle backcountry conditions but can also be loosened for more casual groomed runs. They also have GripWalk soles for enhanced hiking performance on ascents. 

The QST Pro 100 TR’s feature tech fittings for backcountry specific bindings but are also compatible with Multi-Norm Compatible (MNC) bindings that Salomon also makes.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING SKI BOOTS

HOW WE QUALIFY SKILL LEVEL

True Beginner

  • A person who has no experience skiing whatsoever.

Intermediate Beginner

  • Someone who has skied a handful of times and has a growing confidence as they begin to master Green runs.

Advanced Beginner

  • Skiers who have a confident ability to exercise basic skills including accelerating, stopping, carving, and riding with safety and awareness of others. Advanced beginners may have dabbled with stunts like rail grinds or small jumps. Most Blue runs are handled with a growing confidence though more difficult Blues may still be difficult to manage.

Experienced Skier

  • A skier who confidently commands their skis with ease down any and all Blue runs. They may have begun to push themselves by taking on the occasional Black Diamond run, though success there is still difficult.

Expert Skier

  • Those with several years of experience skiing and who regularly handle Black Diamond runs without problem are considered Expert level. They may have even dabbled with Double Black Diamond runs.

 

FLEX INDEX

One of the most important aspects of choosing the right ski boot is how much flexibility it has. Ski boots are rated for their flexibility on a “flex index” where low numbers mean softer boots and higher numbers correlate to stiffer boots.

So what’s the difference? The stiffer the boot, the more energy there is going into each turn. Generally speaking, stiffer boots are suited for more advanced skiers while softer boots are aimed more for beginners. However, there is a range of progression at each level. Check out the descriptions below for a more detailed look at each.**

SOFT

  • Best for True and Intermediate Beginners
  • Flex Index: Men < 80 / Women < 70
  • Ski boots with a soft flex are best for True Beginners with zero experience skiing as well as for Intermediate/Advanced Beginners who enjoy casual skiing on groomed runs. If you’re the type that picks up new sports pretty easily (or if you’re a snowboarder making the switch to skiing), you may want to bypass soft flex boots and choose a low rated medium flex instead.

MEDIUM

  • Best for Intermediate to Advanced Beginners, and Experienced Skiers
  • Flex Index: Men: 85 – 105 / Women: 70 – 80
  • While medium flex ski boots are aimed mostly at serving Experienced Skiers, Intermediate and Advanced Beginners may want to choose a medium flex on the lower end of the range so that they deliver more power through turns and stability at higher speeds. Additionally, skilled snowboarders making the switch to skiing (or those with a knack for picking up sports easily), will bypass the “beginner” stage fairly quickly and as such, should choose medium flex ski boots to avoid outgrowing their beginner boots too quickly.

STIFF

  • Best for Expert Skiers
  • Flex Index: Men > 110 / Women > 85
  • Ski boots with a stiff flex are reserved for Expert Skiers. Beginners of all types should avoid these boots.

**It’s important to note that each manufacturer uses their own internal “flex index” to rate their boots. There is no standardized scale. Keep this in mind when comparing boots between different makers as one manufacturer’s flex rating of 70 may be another manufacturer’s 80.

 

BOOT LINERS

A liner is the cushy part inside your ski boots and come in 3 types:

NON-MOLDABLE

  • Least Expensive
  • Offering generic padding and support, these are the most common and basic types of liners for ski boots. Like any type of regular shoe, they will break-in over the course of several weeks of use and become more comfortable with time.

THERMOFORMABLE

  • More Expensive
  • Thermoformable boots will typically form to your foot after a single day of use. They use a special material that molds to your feet under heat and pressure to create a custom fit.

CUSTOM MOLDABLE

  • Most Expensive
  • Custom moldable liners are fitted before your first use and can either be fitted at home or by a professional at a ski shop (recommended).

 

TOE & HEEL TYPES

TOE

Alpine

By far the most common type of sole, Alpine boots feature a hard plastic toe that is clamped into the binding. It releases when put under pressure to free your foot in the event of a fall.

Tech Fit

Designed for backcountry use, tech fit toes feature 2 pin holes that can be pinched by a backcountry binding. This is designed so that the toe can stay locked into place while the heel can move freely up and down when hiking uphill on your skis.

Heel

Alpine (ISO 5355)

Boots with an Alpine heel will have matching Alpine toes. The heel, like the toe, is made of hard plastic and clamps into the binding. The potential downside of traditional Alpine soles is that the hard plastic makes it difficult (and somewhat unsafe) to walk around the ski resort.

Alpine Touring (ISO 9523)

Ski boots with Alpine Touring (AT) heels are characterized by having rubber grips on the soles (both toe and heel) to make hiking and walking easier. They also work with backcountry bindings which allow the heel free range of movement when ascending up a mountain.

 

SIZING

Ski boots use a scale known as Mondo Sizing that uses centimeters to measure the length of the boot’s inner sole. Use the chart below for a general idea of how to match your shoe size to the correct Mondo Size.

Men’s U.S

5

5 ½ 

6

6 ½ 

7

7 ½ 

8

Women’s U.S.

5

5 ½ 

6

6 ½ 

7

7 ½ 

8

8 ½ 

9

9 ½ 

Mondo

21.5

22

22.5

23

23.5

24

24.5

25

25.5

26

 

Men’s U.S.

8 ½ 

9

9 ½ 

10

10 ½ 

11

11 ½ 

12

13

Women’s U.S.

10

10 ½ 

11

11 ½ 

12

Mondo

26.5

27

27.5

28

28.5

29

29.5

30

30.5

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

LAST OR LAST SIZE

Last is the measure of the width of a ski boot at its widest point (typically around the ball of your foot).

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