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Preview: 2024 Ski Boots, BOA Is Not The Only Story, Check Out These New Boots.

Yes, BOA is taking the lions share of the attention for the coming season. Atomic, Fischer, K2 and Salomon are putting their eggs in the BOA basket and both the positive and negative buzz that has been created is beyond anything we have seen in the boot world in recent memory, even more than the last important enhancement in boots, whatever that was. With that said, BOA is not the only story in boots for the coming season, nor it should be. There are a LOT of important new boots coming to the market for 2024.

Since the upcoming BOA boots are all based on current boot designs and lasts (internal shape of the shell) to an extent, these other new boots are actually more significant and deserve more discussion than just the BOA closure system; there is a lot of sizzle with that steak but maybe not as much meat as the hype would have us believe. We have a lot to talk about with important new boot collections from Dalbello, Head, Kastle, and Lange plus two lines from Nordica including an all new race collection.

Let’s talk about these new boots brand by brand in alphabetical order and what they offer you, the consumer. Again, we are not here to tell you what is the best boot because there isn’t one. We aren’t here to say that one is the “Boot of the Year” or that one is “Testers' Choice”. That is just marketing BS. We are here to tell you that open up your mind and IF you are in the need of a new pair of boots, go see a bootfitter and let him or her help your decide which one of these new boots or even which carry over design will fit your foot the best.

2024 Dalbello Cabriolet 130 and 105

Dalbello
Dalbello has been one of the big two when it comes to three piece shell boots or “Cabriolet” as some call the design. Dalbello has renamed their reference Krypton series as “Cabrio” which does make sense and I don’t see them losing skier one by doing so. Dalbello’s Il Moro collection, which was based off of the Krypton, carry over in name and now will be based on this new collection.

The new Cabrio/Il Moro collection is now a little more progressive in forward lead and more anatomically designed internally. As in the past, there is a range of flexes available from 85 to 130 and some are available with traditional tongue liners or, of course, Dalbello's closed cell Intuition-type wrap. Where the outgoing model was marketed at 98mm, the new molds will be 99mm in the forefoot.

2024 Head Edge 105

Head
The Edge has been a staple in the Head boot line for almost 20 years and has been a volume leader for Head, not only in sales but also in internal volume with an advertised 102mm last. Head feels that even skiers with a lotta foot still need a good fit and the Edge is available from an entry level 85 flex to a beefy 130 with mens' and women’s models being offered in various flexes. The all new Edge includes a standard walk mode and all of the boots have flat replaceable soles that can be canted, a design that all too many manufacturers are bypassing in the name of style. Like other Head mid to upper level boots, the new Edge has Head's proprietary Liquid Fit system. The top performing Edge 130 does come with Head's ingenious Double Power Lever buckles should be offered on all their boots. It is that good.


24 Kastle KP120

Kastle
Kastle did a soft launch of their boot collection this year ; you can read my review of the KP120 HERE. Kastle is looking to be a full line company and we all know to do that you need a boot. Kastle entered the boot market by jumping in with both feet, pun intended, by starting, as they did when they reentered the ski market in the mid 2000’s, by offering top level performance equipment. Kastle's initial offerings are full World Cup boots with their 93mm solid lug KR collection, with the R referring to Race, and the KP, P referring to performance with replaceable lugs. The KP collection has flexes starting at 100 going up to 130 with 97 and 100mm lasts. Looking into my crystal ball, I expect Kastle to come down market with a full line of boots as they are currently doing with skis.

2024 Lange Shadow


Lange
Lange is a company that takes their boots very seriously. Even though they say “we only make boots” we all know they are part of Dynastar/Look. That shouldn’t take anything away from what they are doing with their new Shadow collection which replaces their core RX series. This is the first time in about 15 years that Lange introduced a full line of boots that were designed from the ground up and not based off another boot. The Shadow, with its double hinge design and all new liner, is a significant departure from anything Lange has done in recent memory.

Like many of the other offerings mentioned here, the new Shadow boots will be available from 85 to 130 in flex, in mens' and women’s motif, and in narrow 97 mm and mid volume 100mm lasts. You can watch our video with Matt from Lange describing the new Shadow collection HERE where Matt gets into how the Shadow concept works. SkiTalk tester, Andy Mink's on snow review is HERE.

2024 Nordica Dobermann
2024 Nordica Unlimited 130

Nordica
For 2024 Nordica is coming to market with two new boot collections. Their side country Unlimited collection has a cable/buckle closure on the boot lower which, dare I say, is “BOA like” but without the dial. The Unlimited has a Gripwalk (ISO 23223) sole that, while in not really cantable due to its shape, is replaceable for longevity. A light 280 gram liner with Nordica's cork fit and Primaloft round out the design. Flexes will be in the 95 to 130 range with the 130 being available down to a 22.5 shell which, while not an industry first but very unusual in non-race derived boots. The Unlimited will be offered only in 99mm last.

Next for Nordica is the all new Dobermann collection. It is not every year a boot company comes out with an all new race collection and this year it’s Nordica’s turn. Nordica is not using traditional flex numbers to differentiate their models, a la Lange/Rossignol with their Z series of race boots. IMHO this is refreshing since there is no standard in these numbers anyway and they are really more for marketing. No, Nordica is simply calling these Soft, Medium, Stiff, and Extra Stiff and this is all in context. The “Soft” starts near where most “consumer” boots end. The Soft is available in an LC or Lower Cuff.

The new Nordica’s will be offered in 93 and 95mm lasts and, with boot designs getting more efficient, the shell sizes will be 5mm shorter than in the past. While a 26.5 is usually 305mm in the shell for Nordica boots, the new Dobie will be a 300mm. The other aspect that impressed me with the new Nordica Dobermann was their new lace up liner with its Heel Lock banding.

These are some of the important new boots that are coming for the new season. This is also not to say that one of the new BOA offerings is not for you; it might be the best fit for your foot. One of these non-BOA boots might be the best fit. Heck, one of the carry over models might also work best for you. My point is, don’t get hung up on a bell or a whistle. Focus on fit over features and avoid the rhetoric and hoopla and even the naysayers or those who think they know but are speaking from absolutely no basis in fact or, worse, validating their own purchase. Let your feet tell you what the best boot is… for you.
About author
Philpug
I started skiing in the mid-70s in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; from then on, I found myself entrenched in the industry. I have worked in various ski shops from suburban to ski town to resort, giving me a well-rounded perspective on what skiers want from their gear. That experience was parlayed into my time as a Gear Review Editor and also consulting with manufacturers as a product tester. Along with being a Masterfit-trained bootfitter I am a fully certified self proclaimed Gear Guru. Not only do I keep up with the cutting edge of ski gear technology, but I am an avid gear collector and have an extensive array of bindings as well as many vintage skis.

Replies

Curious to how improvements in efficiency with boot designs allows them (Nordica) to shorten a boot by 5mm?
 
Curious to how improvements in efficiency with boot designs allows them (Nordica) to shorten a boot by 5mm?
More efficient shells, interior volume stays the same, exterior shortens. We saw it with Atomic with new Prime boots.
 
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@Philpug , when you say, "The new Cabrio/Il Moro collection is now a little more progressive in forward lean," my assumption is it is more upright (since that has been the predominant direction of progress in that aspect it seems) rather than more agressive (more forward lean)?

I realize Kryptons had dif lean widgets (at least a set of '14 Il Moro's I had did) however I recall still finding them too upright.
 
With Lange's mid volume last, maybe I need to try it on. Currently, I'm in Dalbello, in the past years I was in Dalbello, Dalbello, Head, Dalbello, and Nordica. Thanks for this write up!
 
Hmmm.... Maybe someone needs to talk to Kastle about their boot marketing. The subliminal message may be that you end up in a "Cast" when you use these boots. :crutches: What was their "marketing" thinking in writing "Kast" on their boot? :huh: As a medical professional, that was my first thought on seeing these! Would someone please let them know this. Marketing is def NOT an afterthought. Am I already wearing a cast, or are they trying to jinx me??? LOL

Even Chevy renamed the "Nova" to sell in Latino countries....... "No Va" (Translation-Doesn't run)
 
More efficient shells, interior volume stays the same, exterior shortens. We saw it with Atomic with new Prime boots.
I'm not sure what you mean by "more efficient shells." I would love to hear from experienced bootfitters who have fitted boots with BOA. As we all know, the instep is the most sensitive area. For this reason, some will remember when the first micro-adjustable buckle was used over the instep.
 
I'm not sure what you mean by "more efficient shells."
Shells that are shorter (a shorter shell is more reactive) and more anatomically designed that are closer to the foot.
I would love to hear from experienced bootfitters who have fitted boots with BOA. As we all know, the instep is the most sensitive area. For this reason, some will remember when the first micro-adjustable buckle was used over the instep.
I have fit a few pairs ... mostly to my feet and a few of our testers. If any of these offerings that were with buckles prior work for the person with instep issues, then these will be an option but As I have said, BOA is not going to make a foot that doesn't fit, fit.

Boot selection is like Harry Potter's sorting hat, you don't pick the boot, the boot picks you. There will be a lot of people entering ski shops expecting to walk out with a BOA, some will be disappointed that a different boot mightbe recommended, other are going to have boots salesmen (not boot fitters) who will let them buy the boot they want ... which is usually the wrong boot.
 
Shells that are shorter (a shorter shell is more reactive) and more anatomically designed that are closer to the foot.

I have fit a few pairs ... mostly to my feet and a few of our testers. If any of these offerings that were with buckles prior work for the person with instep issues, then these will be an option but As I have said, BOA is not going to make a foot that doesn't fit, fit.

Boot selection is like Harry Potter's sorting hat, you don't pick the boot, the boot picks you. There will be a lot of people entering ski shops expecting to walk out with a BOA, some will be disappointed that a different boot mightbe recommended, other are going to have boots salesmen (not boot fitters) who will let them buy the boot they want ... which is usually the wrong boot.
This is the way.
 
Still no Love for the "High Instep" crew on board here. Note the definition of Insanity is doing the same thing (designing the same low volume mold) over and over and expecting a different result. High Volume Booters Unite! The sleepers need to awaken! (Okay huge Dune fanboy!)
 
I have not been on the forum since last winter, but I got my mind into skiing today vs. motorcycles and noticed the Head Edge with a 105 last.... wow, that's my kind of fit. I have been enjoying my custom built Head Raptor 140's (or more) with a blow out to around 105 mm. This is a very high horsepower boot, but I may have to think about something new and it's nice to see someone is building boots geared towards guys with wide feet. Why in the world are all of the HP race boots made for hot dog feet? The edge is listed as being offered in a 130 flex; anyone know more about the performance of this boot? It's probably not a Raptor, but it might be not too far off in the high flex.
 
I ski the RX130 LV and was planning on putting Zipfit liners in this year. Then I watched your video review of the new Shadow and was thinking ah I think I'll do that. But alas the end of the video, the shell length changed.... Do I really want to change the binding mounts or shift my boot center on 9 or 10 pairs of skis? Not really. Do you know what is the shell length of the Shadow 26.5? I can't find it on the Lange website.
 
No mention of the Fischer boa in this thread.... I had to buy in August a new pair and could only get a choice of fischer or fischer. So naturally I went with fischer.
From Fischer web site:
The RC4 boot line offers all-day control and power transfer for ambitious skiers seeking to reach the next level. RC4 ski boots are available in three different last widths that have been perfected with FISCHER Scan-Fit® data of hundred thousands of foot scans to allow every passionate skier to find the perfect boot.
Innovative performance features include BOA® Fit System, ZipFit® Innerboot, CARBONFUSED Cuff, Adjustable Forward Lean, and Floating Entry flap. The well known and proven VACUUM shells are also incredibly customizable and allow you and your bootfitter to find the perfect fit for every individual foot shape.
And from an on-line reseller:
Who said easy-to-use and high performance are exclusive? The all-new Fischer RC4 130 MV BOA blends the latest boot design technology with user-friendly features in to one hard charging boot. The brand new H+i1 BOA system kicks off a new era of ski boots. By changing how the boot tightens over the top of your foot, you're able to get a more precise forefoot hold without creating pinches and hot spots on the top of your feet. Its durability and functionality are second to none, with a new incredibly strong steel cable and precise micro adjustments on the dial. Fischer also utilized their Scan-Fit technology to design the shape of the new RC4 line, combining images of real feet to create a truly "average" foot. That inspired the boot's mold to create something that actually fits out of the box. No weird hot spots on the top of your feet, ankles, or outer edges. All in all, the Fischer RC4 130 MV BOA is an ideal boot for aggressive skiers looking for something high performance that is user-friendly, easy to dial in the fit, and doesn't smash your feet to smithereens.

Mytake: The boa allowed my foot to feel "fitted" and felt like I was directly connected to the whole length of the sole. The stock inner liner is a Zipfit® liner and has a possibility of being laced. - (would have liked the laces to be included) - Having skied in NZ for 3 weeks the liner is starting to pack out and so now is the time to make them fit properly whether that entails changing the liners or lacing or vacuum etc I know not. (I'll leave that to my boot fitter Breckenridge Racer's Edge)
Whilst skiing (on Rossi Elite short turn) the boot felt connected direct to the snow (confirming my first comment) enhancing a stable platform (despite the GripWalk®) and this did not change no matter the conditions nor trail type. It should be noted that the cable is thicker than a snowboarders metal boot cable lacing and the boa has been set so that you can either tighten but more importantly loosen without popping the boa stud (IE no need to total release). For those who are a little sceptical I say try them you might be surpised
 
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I have experienced a problem when shopping for boots. Most shops don't have all of the boots to sell, especially the five mentioned in this article, in their stores. Or they don't have my size or volume or any of the other factors for a good fit. It seems to me that they push certain boot brands for whatever reason. What if I want to compare one brand with another but the store doesn't carry both brands. What if I try on three different brands of boots because that's what they carry but the best boot for me is not present. Bottom Line: Where is the best place to go with the most options & with the biggest inventory??? And don't forget - knowledgable people!!!
Thank you. Chicajill
 

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