An Expert Guide to Salomon Ski Boots

Published on 02/08/2024 · 8 min readStep into performance: Our expert guide to Salomon ski boots dives into their superior fit, advanced technology, and how they enhance your skiing experience!
Elijah Rawls, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Elijah Rawls

The Salomon S/Pro Supra BOA 120 boots. Photo courtesy of Salomon

Tl;dr: If you’re in the market for new ski boots, you should be primarily focused on a few key factors: size, flex rating, the type of terrain you’ll be riding, and whether or not you want the option to travel uphill as well as down.

Whether you’re a brand-new skier or a lifelong expert, Salomon has a boot for you. The key to finding the right option for you is to be honest with yourself about your skill level and your intentions on the mountain. While ski boots and their technical jargon can be confusing at first, by the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge to pick out the perfect pair of Salomon ski boots. You can also use Salomon’s official sizing guide to get the recommended size so you can avoid a trip to the bootfitter.

I’ve been skiing since I was three years old, and while the majority of my time with the sport has been spent inbounds, I’ve recently gotten into backcountry skiing. As a result, I know just how important it is to buy a boot for the type of skiing you’re comfortable with.

Nothing makes me happier than helping people find the perfect fit – whether it’s boots, skis, poles, or jackets. I’m also passionate about avalanche research and education, so if you’re curious about the backcountry. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to a Curated Ski Expert to ask any questions!

Who is Salomon?

Photo courtesy of Salomon

Created in 1947 in the French Alps, Salomon has a storied history when it comes to skiing and winter recreation. The brand’s pedigree dates back to its introduction of the Allais safety binding in 1962 and continues today with its cutting edge Boa-powered boots. They currently make everything from skis to boots to jackets, so if you’re looking to match brands across your kit, you can.

What to Consider When Buying Salomon Ski Boots

What’s your ability level?

Before you even pull out your Mondo-conversion chart, it’s important to understand flex ratings. Flex, typically ranging from 60 to 140, refers to the stiffness of the boot, with 60 being the softest and 140 being the stiffest. Beginners are encouraged to start at the softer end of the scale and purchase stiffer boots as their skill level increases.

For example, the Salomon QST Access 80 Ski Boot is a great option for beginners. With a flex rating of 80, you can expect a forgiving fit, with an emphasis on comfort, that allows for all-day fun on low-to-mid-speed groomed runs.

On the other hand, if you’re a more aggressive skier looking for a snug fit for downhill performance, the Salomon S/Pro HV 120 Ski Boot might be for you. It allows for greater, more sensitive power transmission. A flex above 100 is generally not for beginners, so if you’re new to skiing, this flex is probably too stiff for you.

It’s also important to note that flex ratings vary based on the manufacturer. That means that Atomic’s 100 flex isn’t the same as Salomon’s, so if you’re coming over from another competitor, be sure you try your boots on first.

Are you looking to travel uphill?

While all ski boots are designed to go downhill, not all boots are designed to go uphill. Lightweight touring-enabled boots, like the Salomon Shift Pro 100 AT, that allow for uphill travel have a special modification in the toe for compatibility with tech/pin bindings – as well as a pronounced walk mode lever near the cuff, which can be toggled depending on your direction of travel.

Luckily, Salomon makes boots designed to go uphill, as well as make descents, so regardless of whether you’re looking to the side-country or stay at the resort, you’ll have all your bases covered. It’s also important to note that Salomon isn’t necessarily known for its backcountry pedigree, so if you’re thinking of spending most of your time in hike mode, it may be worth considering other brands.

What size shoe do you wear?

Photo by Salomon

Most of the ski industry refers to boots by their Mondo Sizing Point, which is a sizing scale that generally ranges from the low 20s to the low 30s, including half sizes. However, in the chart above, Salomon calls this “Order size”.

  1. Find your shoe size under the Euro, UK, or US column.
  2. Then, find the corresponding Order size on the far left of the chart.
  3. If you want to get even more granular, Salomon provides instructions for measuring your foot by its size in mm. This approach might be worth trying if you’ve had boot fit issues in the past.

Pro-tip: If you’re headed into an appointment with a bootfitter, make sure you bring the type of socks you plan on skiing in. Wool and other types of synthetic socks are often bulkier than what you wear day-to-day and as a result, will fit differently in your pair of boots.

Different Types of Salomon Ski Boots

Like most major ski manufacturers, Salomon makes a boot for pretty much any occasion, so whether you’re a downhill racer, uphill ski tourer, or a weekend resort enthusiast, they’ll be an option for you. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these options.

Downhill Racing Boots

Photo courtesy of Salomon

Just because you purchase downhill-focused racing boots, it doesn’t mean you need to be a racer yourself. However, boots in this category are typically only offered in flex ratings stiffer than 100-110, so they’re not typically geared towards beginners.

Benefits:

  • Usually lighter than resort-focused boots
  • Aimed at improving downhill performance

Be Aware:

  • Stiffer and more uncomfortable than resort-focused boots
  • Almost always more expensive than other types of boots

Touring Boots

Photo courtesy of Salomon

All ski touring boots have the ability to be used with tech/pin bindings, so the heel can move freely during uphill travel. As a result, the boots have a special toe construction, as well as a switch mechanism that loosens the shell for walking and tightens it for skiing.

Benefits:

  • Usually lighter than resort-focused boots
  • Almost always have a lever for transitioning between walking and uphill travel

Be Aware:

  • Can sometimes be more focused on uphill performance than downhill performance
  • Not designed for all-day resort skiing

Resort and Freeride Boots

Photo courtesy of Salomon

Boots in this category are usually more versatile than their counterparts, and as a result, they tend to be better for beginners. However, Salomon offers downhill-focused freeride boots that can still be used for uphill skiing, so this category can also be great for all levels too.

Benefits:

  • Most versatile option
  • Great for beginners and those looking to try uphill skiing

Be Aware:

  • Resort-focused boots are usually heavier than other options
  • Freeride boots can be expensive

How to Choose the Right Salomon Ski Boots for you

As you get closer to making your decision, it’s important to be honest with yourself about your skill level and how you’re going to be using your ski boots. For example, while it might be tempting to opt for a stiffer flex based on early season optimism, it can be harder to progress with gear that’s too advanced for where you’re at skills-wise. Let’s use the following fictional skier profiles to help you make your decision:

Michael:

It’s Michael’s first year skiing, and while he’s hoping to try some blues this year, realistically, he knows he’ll be spending most of his time on greens. Given his schedule, he’ll probably be skiing less than 10 days a year, so he’s hoping to avoid spending more than he has to.

Features Michael should look for:

  • A low flex rating (<100)
  • A designation for on-piste conditions
  • A model under Salomon’s Resort/Freeride collection

Boot Examples: Salomon QST Access 80, Salomon Select HV 90, Salomon S/Pro MV 90 CS

Jeffery

When Jeffery was a child, his parents took him skiing every year, so he feels comfortable pretty much anywhere on the mountain. This year, he’s planning on spending his time on the expert side of the mountain and in some trees his friends were talking about.

Features Jeffery should look for:

  • A medium to high flex rating (100-120)
  • An off-piste/freeride designation from Salomon
  • A model that allows for custom liners

Boot Examples: Salomon S/Pro Supra BOA 120, Salomon S/Pro HV 100, Salomon S/Pro HV 120

Travis

This is Travis’ third year living within driving distance of his favorite mountain, and he’s planning to ski more than 25 days this season. He’s also hoping to increase his flex rating, and while he wants to spend time in the backcountry after finishing his avalanche safety course, he still wants boots that are resort focused.

Features Travis should look for:

  • A medium to high flex rating (100-120)
  • A toe that has holes for tech/pin bindings and a hike mode lever
  • A model that doesn’t only have a touring designation from Salomon

Boot Examples: Salomon Shift Pro 120 AT, Salomon Shift Pro 100 AT

Find the Best Salomon Ski Boots For You

Photo courtesy of Salomon

Salomon boots are a great investment if you’re looking to take the next step in your skiing journey, and given their wide-ranging selection, there’s a great chance they have exactly the right option for you. Just be honest with yourself about your skill level and where you’ll be spending the most time on the mountain.

Unless you’ve had issues with boot sizing in the past, you should be able to rely on Salomon’s sizing chart to find the right size and avoid a trip to the bootfitter. If you still have questions, our team at Curated is here to answer any questions you may have regarding your gear. Feel free to reach out to a Ski Expert! We love to help.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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