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Salomon S/Lab MTN Ski Boot

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10 Reviews

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Buy the hype.

After skinning a few thousand vertical feet, wallowing up a powder-filled couloir, or navigating a wind-scoured ridge, it's reassuring to know that your boots will deliver the power and security necessary to actually ski your line well. And while there are plenty of AT boots out there that will feel more like a pair of hiking boots during the ascent, it's still relatively tough to find a pair of AT boots that will deliver the stiffness that hard-charging skiers need when skiing aggressively in steep terrain, making sweeping turns down wind-buffed bowls, or slashing powder turns in the trees on a storm day. Designed with a 120 flex, impressive 63-degree cuff rotation, and a weight well below that what you'd expect from a stiff AT boot, the Salomon S/Lab MTN is quickly earning the reputation as a game changer due to its ability to travel efficiently in the backcountry and crush big descents in challenging conditions.

As touring boots have become increasingly more specialized the last few seasons, the industry seems to be asking the average backcountry skier to either sacrifice uphill efficiency for power on the descent (or vice versa) or invest in a quiver of boots to match the different backcountry objectives and conditions they'll encounter throughout a season. If having a closet full of AT boots doesn't necessarily fit in your shoestring budget to ski upwards of 100 days a year, then consider the S/Lab MTN your quiver-of-one backountry boot. Its commanding flex and downhill-focused design puts it at the top of Salomon's MTN line, but its generous 63-degree walk mode, rockered sole, and tech inserts make it a more efficient backcountry tool than any of its predecessors from Salomon's Quest BC line. If all the uphill capabilities of the S/Lab MTN sound great, but the boot's downhill prowess sounds overkill for the kind of skiing that you do, then the MTN Explore might be the better option from Salomon's MTN line. Simply put, the MTN Explore has a more approachable 110 flex, more cuff rotation in walk mode (67 degrees), and it weighs about four ounces less per boot, making it a solid choice for the more ascent-oriented backcountry skier.

Salomon's been building backcountry boots for quite a few years now, but it's failed to gain serious traction among the touring community since its previous backcountry boots were basically stripped-down versions of alpine boots with a little less plastic in the shell and cuff, a slightly lighter liner, and a walk mode with a few degrees of cuff rotation. Instead of just rehashing one of its old designs, Salomon built the S/Lab MTN from the ground up and brought Salomon Freeski team members to the table to help design a boot that would perform in the kind of demanding backcountry zones they operate in—Rogers Pass, Chilean Andes, and the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. At first glance, it's obvious that the S/Lab MTN is new territory for Salomon. The boot's lugged and rockered sole, tech fittings, and waterproof textile panel are all features that you wouldn't have been able to find on Salomon's Quest Max 120 BC, and the S/Lab MTN's generous 63-degree walk mode is almost 10 degrees more than what you could find on any boot from the Quest BC line. Weighing 3lb 7oz (3102 grams) per boot, the S/Lab MTN is comparable to other descent-oriented AT boots on the market in terms of weight. Part of what keeps the S/Lab MTN weight down is the boot's Grilamid shell, which is quickly becoming the industry standard among high-end alpine touring boots. Not only is Grilamid lighter than the polyurethane used to mold traditional alpine boots, but it's also impressively stiff and strong, so less material is required to give the shell the stiff and responsive feel of an alpine boot. Since Salomon was able to mold the shell with less material, the thinner Grilamid shell weighs about the same as those lightweight Pebax noodle boots your Lycra-wearing touring partner skis in.

In terms of fit, Salomon really stuck to its goal to develop a boot that skied hard and traveled efficiently in the backcountry. The low-volume 98mm chassis is identical to Salomon's X-Max 130 alpine boot to give the boot that snug fit required to actually ski well. Skiers that require a wider last may want to consider a boot with a more high-volume fit. The SensiFit 3D liner bolsters the boot's snug-fitting feel with a heat-moldable design that conforms to the shape of your foot. And while the addition of a heat-moldable liner may not be anything revolutionary, it does add that extra bit of performance and comfort skiers have come to expect from a boot. Realizing there's still a large population of skiers out there that are skeptical of the downhill capabilities of any boot with a walk mode, Salomon built the S/Lab MTN with a rigid and lightweight carbon spine and oversized 24mm pivot connection for a solid and secure link between the shell and cuff to give the S/Lab MTN that bolted-together feel of a traditional alpine boot. The metal-on-metal Surelock mechanism reinforces the boot's stiff nature by eliminating play between the shell and cuff once locked into ski mode. The Sensifit shell design saves weight by reducing the amount of material used throughout the shell, but it is able to maintain stiffness through the ridged reinforcements that run diagonally down the sides of each boot for added strength and material where it matters most. The most noticeable feature of the shell is the waterproof textile panel along the top of the boot—the jury's still out on the durability of this panel, but it does keep the overall weight of the boot down, which is never a bad thing.

Reducing the amount of buckles on a boot is one of the easiest ways to shave weight from a boot. If you've been paying attention to the latest boot trends, then you've probably noticed that the industry has been experimenting with some pretty far-out buckle systems lately—ratcheting dial shell closures and wired one-buckle systems that feed into the walk mode are quickly replacing the four-buckle systems that have basically been the industry standard among stiff AT and telemark offerings for the last decade. Salomon, on the other hand, decided to work smarter instead of harder and stuck with a simple and streamlined two-buckle design with cam-locking power strap that ensures a locked-down fit that won't wear out like traditional hook-and-loop power straps. The layout of the buckles is designed to save time during transitions by placing the top buckle and walk mode latch close enough together that both can be engaged or disengaged with the same sweeping motion as you get ready ski. The addition of tech inserts allow you to use the S/Lab MTN with the array of tech bindings available on the market today, and the aggressively lugged sole is ready to chew up knife-edge ridges and motor up steep bootpacks in chalky couloirs.

  • A game-changing touring boot to cruise uphill and bomb downhill
  • Aggressive 120 flex rips up techy terrain
  • Narrow 98mm last offers a snug, race-inspired fit
  • Light Grilamid shell balances weight and power
  • 63-degree cuff rotation dominates the skintrack in comfort
  • Rockered sole with grip pads lends extra traction on boot packs
  • Two buckle system is quick to adjust during transitions
  • 45mm power strap keeps the cuff locked down during the descent
  • Item #SAL013T

Tech Specs

Shell Material
[cuff] polypropionate, [shell] Grilamid, [spine] carbon fiber
Flex
120
Last Width
98mm
Buckles
2
Walk Mode
63-degree rotation
Liner
Custom Fit 3D Liner, 100% Thermo Foam
Thermo-moldable Liner
yes
Binding Compatibility
tech
Sole
ISO 9523 Touring Sole
Claimed Weight
[single] 3lb 8oz
Recommended Use
all-mountain skiing, backcountry skiing, freeride/powder skiing, ski mountaineering
Manufacturer Warranty
2 years

Tech Specs

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

Light, charging touring boot

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These have a great hike mode, plenty of range of motion. Much lighter than my Scarpa Freedom SLs with the same stiffness/performance. I've taken them for long hikes all over the Wasatch, around Steamboat, and the Cascades. I won't be shopping for a new touring boot any time soon.

Great Blend

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Super blend of walk/climb and downhill performance (stiff enough and supportive enough for good power, lightweight enough to cover some ground on the tour). While not advertised as a wider last, for some people it feels closer to 100. A super boot and worth finding out if the fit is right for you--since the performance is great. Not meant to fall into the Superlight category, nor is it close to being a heavy beast--far from it. I'll have my boot fitter do some fine tuning to dial me in perfectly with the thermo-moldable liner or what he feels will customize this perfectly for me (something that should be done with just about all of your boots where some degree of customization is the norm).

Solid touring boot

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

These boots are great for touring. The walk mode works well and has plenty of range. This means they are comfortable even when walking up steep skin tracks. The flex is great for someone who prefers a stiff boot on the way down. Overall this is a great option for someone looking for a stiffer touring boot.

Agree . . . great boot

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

70/30 resort/touring skier in a good snow year. This year its been 100 resort, I've got 15+ days from new on these boots and really like them. I had to heat mold the shells twice, the inserts once, and added a SOLE orthodic and afterwords they fit real nice. Love the range of movement I get in these and although it's only a 2 buckle boot, they drive my 107 waist skis without issue. The stance is aggressive, so if you ski the blue most of the day then you'll have a nice thigh burn at the end of the day. :). No boot is perfect, but these really are a great all-round boot if touring is your primary focus. I've skied the ice and crud and some powder with these and I've been impressed with their solid feel. My only recommendation is that they provide a longer top boot strap.

Great one boot quiver

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Bought this boot for use with my touring and resort setups (I’m roughly 50/50). It works great for both, and I haven’t noticed any excessive wear from either type of binding or from walking. Uncomfortable at first but after getting a fitting they’re very comfortable and performant. Highly recommend these boots.

Great All-Around Boot!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought these as a present, but this is the feedback I got: "The MTN S Labs are great! I have a pretty normal foot with decently high arches. I had some initial in-step pressure but it gets better each time I use them. Walk mode has good flex for how stiff they are. These boots are stiffer than my Alpine boots so the downhill is great! I have no problem driving a 110mm waist through groomers and crud. One thing to note is the plastic is pretty soft. I missed the metal a few times with my pin bindings and it was enough to push the plastic back from the metal."

Great Performance Boot

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you are looking for one boot to do it all - alpine and tour - this is your boot. The stiff 120 flex gives you excellent downhill performance. Coupled with a narrow last, this boot really rips on the downhill and has a performance fit, that isn't the most ideal for comfort. I was also really impressed with the uphill performance of this boot. The walk mode offers you enough range of motion to take a full, comfortable stride while skinning, even though it doesn't have as much range of motion as other boots on the market.

The ultimate ski boot

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This boot can do it all; from dawn patrol tours to lift access groomers. The 120 flex offers plenty of support and the narrow last ensures a secure fit. The forgiving walk mode and rockered sole increases comfort on the skin track.



Let me know if you have any questions regarding sizing or binding compatibility!



The ultimate ski boot

Bought the hype

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I bought the hype and am so happy I did! These boots are super light (especially in a 24.5), you hardly notice it on your foot. At a 98mm last you know that you will get a lot of performance from this boot. I have yet to ski them seeing as how it's 90 degrees outside and no percipitation for a few weeks, but I will report back with how they ski once I can get out on some sticks.
The thermo-moldable liner is a game changer for comfort of this boot, it provides a solid heel pocket for you to stay locked in while skiing. I went with a custom footbed in this boot since there will be a lot of touring and skiing going on, and I don't like fatigued feet while I'm skiing. I also had a few initial problem spots worked out with my wizarding bootfitter. The grilamid lower is quite difficult to work with if you don't know what you are doing, so only have a bootfitter familiar with different plastics work on these bad boys.
I'd definitley recommend this boot to anyone with a foot that is not wide and has a yearning to get up fast, and slay the pow on the way down! This is a performance touring boot after all.

After some serious on snow time, I love these boots! They give you the confidence you want when driving the ski at any speed. I got a 24.5 so the last was pretty stinkin narrow. I ended up doing some work with a boot fitter on these to provide some more anatomical shape to the shell. After the work these are my go to boots for whatever I want to do with my skis. Five stars for sure!!

Unanswered Question

Thoughts on this as a dedicated "resort" boot? Im switching to an all tech quiver. I have race sets ups, etc. Want something to drive a bigger ski in variable terrain. Thinking something like a Helio 95 or one of the Liberty models. upper 90s at waist.