Expert Review: Salomon S/Pro 130 GW Ski Boots Men's 2022Published on 04/19/2023 · 8 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
All photos courtesy of Chauncey Allison
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski boots, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
The Salomon S/Pro 130 is a ridiculously responsive, stiff, weight-conscious, downhill boot that will inspire expert-level skiers to push their limits while remaining comfortable. In addition, the shell and liner combo customization is unmatched, so even expert-level skiers can have happy, strong feet.
About the gear
- Model: 2023 Salomon S/Pro 130
- Size: 28.5
- Height: 6’3”
- Weight: 205lbs
- Street Shoe Size: 13
- Experience: 30 years of skiing
- When I bought these: January 2021
- Days tested: Roughly 150
- Skis: K2 Reckoner, Volkl M6, K2 Mindbender 108ti
- Bindings: Marker Jester and Jester Pro
- Where I’ve used it: All over the Pacific NW
- Terrain: Variable conditions, technical terrain, powder, and high-speed groomers
How they perform
What I was looking for
I had spent years in the Tecnica Mach1 130, and frankly, I loved the boot but was really tired of wearing a bright orange boot. As a boot tech, I’ve been working with the Salomon custom shell technology for years and years, so it was finally my turn to give it a shot. I was on the hunt for a fully customizable, stiff, responsive, firm-holding, lightweight boot. Granted, at 28.5, every downhill boot worth its weight will be heavier. That being said, I was so happy to find the S/Pro 130.
Why I chose this gear
I bought this particular boot, firstly, because despite having a rather picky set of feet, this model's out-of-the-box comfort was rather unmatched. A generous 100mm last gives this boot a firm hold on my wide foot without sacrificing any heel hold, which is rare. In addition, the liner has a beautifully anatomical fit that secures the fit into the boot even before buckling. I chose this boot after trying on a number of others because, as stated previously, the out-of-the-box fit, coupled with the vast customization available to me, made this boot the best option for me at the time.
What I love about them
- Aesthetic: I love the colorways that Salomon has been presenting as of late, but this particular boot is a beautiful royal blue with highlighter yellow accents. Maybe I am so excited because it isn’t orange, or maybe the color really is that striking.
- Fit and customization: Outside of the aesthetic value that is obviously prominent, the fit and continually accessible customization are what really sold me on the S/Pro 130. Once they were on my feet and helped me transfer immediate energy to the skis, I fell in love with the unmatched performance that I got alongside the intuitive customization and comfort.
- Accuracy of claimed stiffness: Salomon claims that the S/Pro 130 is, in fact, 130 in stiffness.
- Accuracy of claimed fit: Claimed fit is very accurate. The S/Pro line of fitment is claimed to start at 100mm, which is true.
- Comfort: The boot has a very anatomical fit out of the box, though the liner is stiff. After customization, when done right, the boot allows for a level of comfort that is unmatched compared to boots in the same performance category.
- Flex: At a claimed and proper 130 flex, the boot performs accurately in that category. Both vertical and lateral flex is representative of the boot and the category/customer intended.
- Weight: As previously stated, at 28.5, any downhill boot will be quite heavy; however, this boot is significantly lighter than its direct competitors (Tecnica Mach1 130, Dalbello Panterra 130, and Nordica SpeedMachine 130). I am very impressed by the weight of this boot, considering the stiffness and response I get in high-speed scenarios.
- Ease of use: Though stiff, this boot is moderately easy to put on. The construction of the tongue makes for ease of entry and exit. Once in, the buckles have significant leverage and don’t take notable effort to clasp. The power strap, which uses a cam strap style closure, can be rather finicky when wearing large gloves or mittens, but it wasn’t enough to deter me, especially because the power strap's response is fantastic.
- Resort: This boot shines in any terrain I push it through on the resort. Whether I’m railing groomers and asking for confident edge hold at speed, dropping large fall lines, or asking the boot to be responsive yet forgiving when I need it, the Salomon S/Pro 130 is at the top of its class in every category. Most specifically, this boot shines at high speed when asking for an immediate response from a stiff and energetic ski. However, when I click into bindings on my wide, more forgiving powder skis, I don’t feel the boot becomes demanding in any fashion.
- Backcountry: If I have a lift or a tow to the top of whatever line I’m skiing in the backcountry, then I’m definitely grabbing the S/Pro 130 every time. That being said, if I need to hike to my destination, I’m leaving these boots at home and bringing my touring boots. The S/Pro 130 is wholly a resort boot with no walk mode.
- Adjustability: As mentioned previously, the adjustability in fitment, not only in the manner of proper boot tech work but in simple micro-adjustments in the construction, makes this boot wildly adjustable without being confusing or too much to handle.
- Grip: Though these boots have a traditional alpine sole, Salomon's plastic has a fine grip on variable floors and ground. Just look out for the linoleum.
- Durability: Very impressed with the durability of Salomon products as a whole. This boot is fantastically built and has held up to all the abuse I’ve put it through.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Hot Spots: Though this was an “issue,” Salomon’s custom shell technology quickly made this a non-issue. Find a reputable boot fitter, and ask them to cook one’s new Salomon boots.
- Park: I have not, nor do I intend to, use this boot in the terrain park. Terrain park customers should look elsewhere as this boot is very stiff and intended for an all-mountain/resort application and would be too demanding in the terrain park.
Favorite moment with this gear
For years before purchasing the S/Pro 130, I’ve toured in the Quest 130, the QST 130, and the Mtn Lab. I knew that Salomons had great plastic, durable components, and a customizable shell and liner, making for an overall great product. However, this was my first time in a full downhill boot from Salomon. I was so surprised and impressed with this boot's energy and the response that it allowed me to find in whatever skis I chose for that day. The moment that sticks out to me in realizing this boots power and response was a particularly nasty post-powder type day. The mountain had received 22 inches over 48 hours, and all of those 22 inches were absolutely shredded on day three.
The fresh snow was converted to chunder, and a layer of cold rain solidified everything to concrete. The groomers did a brilliant job, gifting the resort with fresh corduroy, so the morning laps were spent clicking into my front-side skis, racing the clock to the bottom of the lift. The boots responded beautifully, snapping me back to my power pocket with each transfer of energy and keeping me engaged through every turn. The snow began to soften as the sun came out, and my friends and I escaped to the parking lot to swap to the all-mountain sticks. Without skipping a beat, I went from skiing as fast as I could push on groomers to dropping technical lines, and large cliffs, all the while requiring the same comfort, same responsiveness, and overall performance that I had in the morning laps—a wonderful day to show the versatility of this powerful yet lightweight downhill boot.
Value for the money vs. other options
The S/Pro 130 and most Salomon products are expensive, but there’s a reason. Research and an undeniable level of design feed the prices, and still, Salomons remain competitively priced while offering unmatched comfort, performance, and longevity. Are they inexpensive? No. Are they an incredible value for one's hard-earned dollars? Absolutely, yes. Offerings in the same category all float around the $799 retail mark, such as the Tecnica Mach1 130. However, Nordica offers the SpeedMachine 130 for about $749, and Dalbello brings the Krypton 130 to the market for the same price tag. In the world of ski boots, especially the flex index of 130, the market price is more similar across the board.
I look for gear I don’t need to think about when I’m using it, gear that allows me to ski like the guy in my head skis. This pair of boots gave me that freedom. From the first time I clicked into my skis, I could tell I was in an energetic, responsive, and lively pair of boots. Usually, when that energy is apparent, the comfort and ease of use take a swan dive. In the Salomon S/Pro 130, I found supreme comfort couples with extreme performance. The expert level and wider feet will find a beautiful home in this product. Happy skiing!