Expert Review: K2 Mindbender 100 Ski Boots · 2022Published on 03/01/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
Jumping off a cliff somewhere at Solitude Mountain, Utah in the K2 Mindbender 100's. All photos courtesy of Joshua Brower
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
The K2 Mindbender 100 ski boots are fantastic for an intermediate skier looking for a versatile, affordable pair of boots. These prevent the need to own two different pairs of boots for the resort and the backcountry.
About the boots I own
- Model: 2022 K2 Mindbender 100
- Size: 30 (Men’s 12)
- Height: 6’3”
- Weight: 200lbs
- Street Shoe Size: 12
- Experience: 10 years skiing
- When I bought these: December 2021
- Days tested: 60+
- Skis: 2021 Icelantic Nomad Lite, 2020 Black Crow Corvus
- Bindings: 2022 Salomon Shift, 2022 Marker Squire
- Where I’ve used them: Solitude, Snowbird, Copper, Mammoth
- Terrain: Powder, backcountry, crud, slush, park
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a single boot that I could use in the resort and the backcountry. I knew I would purchase the Salomon Shift, so the Tech Toes were necessary. With that in mind, I also did not want to break the bank to find the perfect boot.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Mindbender 100 because they greatly balance utility, price, weight, and style. At the original time of purchase, I was an intermediate skier and found the 100 flex to be a great balance of performance and price. I was not overly concerned about weight since these boots were primarily going to be ridden at the resort but had the ability to go in the backcountry. The Mindbender is heavier than other touring-specific boots, but the additional weight makes up for the downhill performance.
What I love about them
- Accuracy of Claimed Stiffness: K2 claims these boots are a medium flex of 100, which is very accurate.
- Accuracy of Claimed Fit: I had to size these boots down from my street size; otherwise, I find the 98mm last spot on.
- Comfort: Out of the box, the K2 Mindbender 100 boots are very comfortable without any major modifications. The Luxfit Tour liners are also heat moldable.
- Flex: I find the 100 flex of the boot to be accurate. While the flex of the boots is accurate, being 200 pounds and an advanced skier, I believe a 120 or 130 would be a better option for me. A 100 flex boot would be best for intermediates or lighter-weight individuals.
- Ease of use: The Mindbenders offer a standard four-buckle boot with an included upper cuff strap. The buckles all have micro-adjustments, which can be easily adjusted on the fly. The one improvement I would make is that the liner laces could include a BOA system/drawstring because tying is inefficient.
- Resort: The flex, comfort, and weight of this boot make it an excellent resort boot that handles bumps, trees, and bowls very well.
- Backcountry: They perform very well while touring due to the ease of the walk mode feature and buckle adjustment.
- Walk mode: Walk mode is easy to engage/disengage and also offers a 50-degree range of motion.
- Grip: They come equipped with GripWalk soles made from a slightly softer** **durometer plastic/rubber. These soles help provide better traction, especially making hiking up a boot pack or walking in the icy parking lot a breeze.
- Durability: After 60 days of use, the boots have held up very well. All buckles are intact, with hardly any exterior signs of use.
- Versatility: I love how versatile these boots are. I can tour one morning and head to the resort the next—truly a one-boot quiver.
- Heel hold: The heel hold on these boots is pretty great overall without any boots modifications. The only instance I experienced a problem was touring with unbuckled boots when I noticed a minor heel slip.
- Responsiveness: For a 100-flex boot, I find the responsiveness to be on par with other similar flexing boots.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Weight: The downhill performance isn't sacrificed; however, the uphill is because these aren't the lightest touring boots on the market. I would choose a more touring-specific boot if planning long hut trips or big vertical days.
- Park: The K2 Mindbender is not a park-specific boot, so it lacks some absorption that park-specific boots have.
Favorite moment with this gear
The first time I used these boots was skiing on my honeymoon with my wife. We skied for four days at four different resorts in Colorado, and I could not stop smiling for a number of different reasons. These boots allowed my wife and me to enjoy our honeymoon by skiing all day.
Value for the money vs. other options
The K2 Mindbender 100 is a very well-priced ski boot, and the flex reflects the price. The price of the 2022 model cannot be beaten. There are comparable models to the Mindbenders, including the Atomic Hawx, Lange XT3, and Shift Pro. Of those boots, the Mindbenders are very competitive in pricing and quality.
If someone wants one pair of boots to ski the resort and occasionally go touring, the K2 Mindbender 100 is the boot for them. The 100 flex is a very affordable option compared to stiffer models and is great for intermediate-skilled skiers. This boot has proven to withstand much wear and tear and should last for many seasons to come.