Review: Lange Shadow 120 MV GW Ski Boots · 2024

Published on 04/11/2024 · 3 min readCurated Expert, Luke Hinz, has tested this product to give you their unbiased, definitive take.
Luke H., Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Luke H.
17 photos
Photo by Luke H.

The Curated Take

3.8/5

The Lange Shadow 120 MV GW Ski Boots are ideal for skiers seeking a stiff, precise, and comfortable boot. The Assisted Performance System makes them approachable and user-friendly, while the Suspension Blade tech provides a smooth ride. The Dual Pivot System ensures power transfer with less input. Although they have a unique flex, requiring a learning curve, they offer unparalleled finesse and versatility. The boots are not overly heavy and feature excellent waterproofing. While lacking a walk mode, they excel in downhill performance and durability, making them a top choice for skiers who prioritize precision and comfort.

Ideal for
  • For skiers who want a stiff, comfortable, and precise boot
  • Assisted Performance System creates a very approachable and user-friendly stiff boot
  • Suspension Blade tech redefines how the top and bottom of the boot shell fit together, allowing for much more suspension and a very smooth ride
Not ideal for
  • Flex is unlike any other boot on the market, so there is a learning curve when transitioning from another boot
  • More about precision and ease than brawn, so highly aggressive skiers may want to look elsewhere
Claimed Stiffness Accuracy
Luke H., Curated Expert
This is the trickiest part of this boot: Is it a true 120 flex? The first time flexing it, I said no. But as I skied on the boot more...Read more
Heel Hold
Luke H., Curated Expert
The heel on the Shadow feels snug and comfortable. I don't have any issues with my heel lifting or feeling loose in the heel pocket. The general design of the...Read more
Weight
Luke H., Curated Expert
Ski boots have come quite a way in terms of weight. Ski boot manufacturers are making lighter boots that are as strong and stiff as older boots. It's quite impressive...Read more
Waterproofing
Luke H., Curated Expert
One of the first things I noticed on the Lange Shadow 120s when I pulled them out of the box was the very thick and very generous piece of rubber...Read more
Walk Mode
Luke H., Curated Expert
A lot of ski boots are embracing the walk mode functionality, but the Lange Shadow 120 is not one of them. This is a pure downhill boot strictly made for...Read more
Durability
Luke H., Curated Expert
Lange has a long and storied reputation for building very high-quality and very durable boots, and though I've only spent a handful of days in the Lange Shadow, nothing so...Read more
Responsiveness
Luke H., Curated Expert
As I've said above, the long, progressive flex of the Lange Shadow 120 does take some getting used to. Unlike other traditional boots, the Shadow actually asks more for finesse...Read more
Versatility
Luke H., Curated Expert
By using mechanical advantage within the spine of the boot, Lange has created a boot with plenty of power, but that only requires half the input from the skier. This...Read more

Curated Experts are not sponsored by brands. Their reviews are based on their honest experiences testing products.
About the boots
  • Model: Lange Shadow 120 MV GW Ski Boots · 2024
Test conditions
  • When I bought these: February 2024
  • Where I’ve used them: Park City Mountain, Utah
  • How many times I've used it: 8

Expert Reviews of the Lange Shadow 120 MV GW Ski Boots

 The Lange Shadow 120 is an utterly brand-new ski boot design and one of the biggest leaps forward in ski boot tech in a long time; if that sounds dramatic, that's because it is. I was quite skeptical of this boot when I first heard of it. I have a lot of respect for Lange boots, but a hard-charging boot that didn't require the skier to be hard-charging sounded too good to be true. Fortunately, Lange proved why they garner such respect; this is an impressive boot. The Dual Pivot System creates a much longer and progressive flex through the cuff; in short, the boot uses mechanical advantage to drive more power to the ski with less input from the skier. I'd love to explain the physics of it, but I'm not smart enough. All I can say is that the Shadow produces a very smooth and precise ride that is ideal for advanced skiers who aren't overly aggressive. I believe "finesse" is the word. The Shadow does take some getting used to due to its vastly different feel from other boots, and the Rocker Arm motion of the Dual Pivot does take a split second longer to engage than a traditional boot, so it does require patience from the skier. But once they are dialed in, there is truly no boot like them on the market.

Product Specs

Age GroupAdult
GenderUnisex
Model year2024
Ski boot typeAlpine downhill
Walk/tour mode (Y/N)No
Skill levelAdvanced, Expert

Review Ratings

Claimed Stiffness Accuracy

4/5
 gave 4 of 5 stars. This is the trickiest part of this boot: Is it a true 120 flex? The first time flexing it, I said no. But as I skied on the boot more and realized I could flex the boot without going all Shrek-like on the cuff, it became apparent that the Shadow can drive a very stiff ski indeed. So just be forewarned that the boot will feel soft initially because it flexes differently, but once skiers learn how to drive the boot precisely and uniformly, without throwing all their power into it, rest assured that it will drive any stiff ski that they want to hop on with it.

Heel Hold

5/5
 gave 5 of 5 stars. The heel on the Shadow feels snug and comfortable. I don't have any issues with my heel lifting or feeling loose in the heel pocket. The general design of the boot, when coupled with the fit of the boot, also helps to keep the heel in place. Because the Shadow has such a smooth and precise flex that doesn't require me to crank on the cuff of the boot to get it flex, I no longer try to crush the front of my boot as I do in other stiff ski boots. As such, I don't create as much leverage because the Shadow does it for me, so there's not nearly as much force trying to pull my heel out of the heel pocket.

Weight

4/5
 gave 4 of 5 stars. Ski boots have come quite a way in terms of weight. Ski boot manufacturers are making lighter boots that are as strong and stiff as older boots. It's quite impressive how light many of my boots are these days. The Lange Shadow 120 is not an overly heavy boot, but it has a bit more heft than many boots—the Shadows clock in at 1,970 grams per boot in the 26.5. The new BOA boots, such as the Salomon S/Pro Supra 120 BOA and the K2 Recon 120 BOA, are lighter, weighing 1,880 and 1,810 grams per boot, respectively. The added material in the spine of the Shadow must add some weight, whereas the lack of lower buckles in the BOA boots shaves weight. But overall, the Shadow does not feel overly heavy.

Waterproofing

5/5
 gave 5 of 5 stars. One of the first things I noticed on the Lange Shadow 120s when I pulled them out of the box was the very thick and very generous piece of rubber that fits between where the shell starts to split near the toe. My first thought, once I realized that it is an elaborate toe dam designed to keep snow and ice from entering the boot, was "nicely done." The rubber toe dam fits neatly and snugly into the boot but extends a way up the shell, so it does a very nice job of keeping the shell sealed and protected from wetness. The best thing I can say about it is that I do not notice any snow or water in my boot, so it does its job as intended.

Walk Mode

1/5
 gave 1 of 5 stars. A lot of ski boots are embracing the walk mode functionality, but the Lange Shadow 120 is not one of them. This is a pure downhill boot strictly made for skiing. It doesn't have time for walk mode. But in all seriousness, this boot is all about the down; GripWalk soles give it a better grip when walking around, but if someone wants a boot with a walk mode, this is not it.

Durability

4/5
 gave 4 of 5 stars. Lange has a long and storied reputation for building very high-quality and very durable boots, and though I've only spent a handful of days in the Lange Shadow, nothing so far has given me reason to think anything otherwise. The shell feels solid and well-built; yes, it's a bit heavier than other boots, but that also adds to its durability. The toe dam does a great job of keeping moisture out of the liner. And the liners themselves feel very well made. They packed out nicely even after being worn for just a few days and show no signs of wear and tear. My only complaint would be the Power Strap, which is a typical Velcro strap. Other brands have redesigned their Power Strap, such as K2, which I find more durable in the long term.

Responsiveness

3/5
 gave 3 of 5 stars. As I've said above, the long, progressive flex of the Lange Shadow 120 does take some getting used to. Unlike other traditional boots, the Shadow actually asks more for finesse from the skier than brute strength. The design of the Rocker Arm in the spine of the boot, while ingenious in its execution, does seem to take a split second longer to transfer power from the boot to the ski. I had to teach myself to be patient when engaging the boot. Once it does engage, it's quite intuitive, but for skiers who like to ride aggressively and very fast, the boot may prove to feel a bit slow in its responsiveness. It very much requires a subtle touch.

Versatility

4/5
 gave 4 of 5 stars. By using mechanical advantage within the spine of the boot, Lange has created a boot with plenty of power, but that only requires half the input from the skier. This opens up a world of possibilities for skiers of various skill levels. Yes, the Shadow 120 is still a stiff boot, but it can be piloted by anyone from an intermediate to an expert skier, and it can drive anything from a soft and playful ski to a stiff, hard-charging ski. One drawback of the Shadow is its slower responsiveness: in very tight and technical terrain, it can be a touch too slow for more aggressive skiers. But the Lange Shadows are a revelation for skiers looking to arc precise, smooth turns all over their favorite resort.

FAQs

What do you love about this product?

The Lange Shadow is the most approachable, skier-friendly stiffer boot I have ever skied, and that's pretty impressive in its own right. Stiffer flexing boots, around 120-130 flex, allow tremendous power transfer to the ski, but they can also be quite harsh on the shins and very unforgiving in more technical and bumpy terrain. The Lange Shadow makes all that a thing of the past; flexing into the Shadow is a very smooth and comfortable feeling. Other boots allow a certain range of motion in the flex of the cuff, but reaching the end of that range can feel like hitting a brick wall. That sensation does not exist with the Shadow. When I flex into the cuff, the boot just seems to go on forever, and I never feel as if I am maxing out the boot, or vice versa, that the boot is maxing out me. This is a unique feeling, and it took some time to get used to, but once I was aware of it, I could drive my skis through a carve very precisely and smoothly. This stiff boot takes all the work out of flexing someone's boots and makes for an extremely pleasant ride on whatever skis they choose to wield.

What was your favorite moment with this gear?

My favorite moment with the Lange Shadow was when I finally overcame the learning curve of these radically-designed boots. The Lange is an all-new boot design, and there is nothing else quite like it on the market, so it was a brand-new feeling for me. The rocker arm in the spine of the boot, combined with the Suspension Blade and Dual Pivot, creates a very long and progressive flex throughout the cuff of the boot. Having been a life-long racer with 130-140 plus flex boots my whole life, I was initially very unprepared for how smooth and easy it was to flex the cuff of the Shadow, and it took me a bit to figure out how to drive the ski. But once I realized it required just a hint more patience for the boot to engage the ski, I started arcing very fluid, clean turns down the groomers. It was an "ah-ha" moment for sure; here was a ski that could drive a strong and stiff ski, but I could kind of sit back and let the boot do the work for me.

Why did you choose this product?

As soon as Lange announced the Shadow, I was eager to try them. Lange claimed that the boot had the drive and power transfer of a stiff boot but required half the amount of energy from the skier to get them to do so. I'll admit, I was quite skeptical: It definitely sounded like a marketing gimmick. A lot of brands have claimed to have progressed boot technology in the last few decades, but there really have been few leaps forward in the basic fundamentals of how a boot fits. Sure, 2024 also saw the introduction of BOA into ski boots, but the BOA system changes how a ski boot fits; it does not change how a ski boot performs. So, whereas all the other major brands pivoted to the BOA, Lange went a completely different route, aiming to change how the boot feels when flexing it. So yeah, I was pretty excited to try them out and see how they performed versus traditional ski boots.

What is the value for the money versus other options?

No doubt, the Lange Shadow 120 is a fairly pretty penny, but it also features the newest technology in ski boots, so there is that. When I compare it to other new boots with new technology, such as the Salomon S/Pro Supra 120 BOA, they are priced the same. So if skiers want the newest thing in ski boots, they simply need to decide whether they want new technology focused on performance or new technology focused on fit and comfort; again, the Lange Shadow, with the Dual Pivot and Suspension Blade, leans more toward the former. The Shadow is still one of the more expensive 120 flex boots on the market, but I would argue that they provide a much plusher ride than any of those other boots with a similar flex, so that alone, in my opinion, is worth the price. If skiers are tired of their shins hurting or just want a smoother and more precise boot, then the Lange Shadow is the answer.

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