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How to Buy an Alpine Touring Boot

Features like aggressively lugged rubber soles, lightweight shell material, and the now-standard lever to switch between walk and ski modes (to free the cuff to rotate or lock it in place) make the alpine touring boot suitable for gaining altitude. The newest generation of AT boots is highly attuned to downhill performance as well.

Binding Compatibility
An alpine touring boot is either compatible with a standard alpine ski binding (DIN normalized), a Tech binding, or both. Some boots, however, can be fitted with removable sole blocks to make them more versatile (sold with boots or available separately).
Flex Rating
A stiff boot will have a high flex rating (120-130+), while a softer boot will have a lower flex rating (100-110). Stiffness benefits you during the descent, but it might cause you pain on the skin track—consider whether you prefer superior comfort or performance. A boot’s flexibility on the walk or skin up will also be affected by the range of motion on the walk/ride hinge.
A carbon cuff or tongue, lightweight plastic shell, minimalist buckle design, or honeycomb structure help reduce the weight of an AT boot so you can move faster and feel less fatigued during a long tour. However, if downhill performance is more of a concern, you might want to consider a heavier boot.

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