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Ski and boot manufacturers’ big message this year is versatility, writes Technical Editor Chris Exall.

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Unless you are in the USA this season, you probably won’t be able to buy the new wonder ski product the Zay boot, but it represents a significant development in ski boot design.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Rather than using buckles to close the lower shell, Zay wraps the foot in cables which allow the shell to envelop the foot evenly. The boot has a range of other refinements including a bespoke plastic which is almost unaffected by cold. That means that the boot’s performance is consistent and it’s possible to take them off at the end of a minus- 40F day.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_images_carousel images=”10511,10512″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” mode=”horizontal” speed=”5000″ slides_per_view=”1″ img_size=”medium” autoplay=”yes” hide_prev_next_buttons=”yes” wrap=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Footnotes…

Ski boots are not fun to walk in and climbing is even less welcoming. As more of us hike to earn their turns, and escape lift and piste crowds, a cuff release is no longer a luxury.  Rosignol’s Alltrack 130 [£360] is a high-performance cross-mountain ski boot with a lightweight shell. It comes close to the performance of a soft race boot, but with a climb mode and a sticky rubber sole to grip as you ascend.

For ladies there’s a 110 version with cuff geometry tailored to a female calf [£345]. It’s a great match with Rossignol’s lightweight Experience 88 ski [£575 with binding] which is as at home on the groomed as in the deep. A 17m sidecut let’s you cut deep trenches on the piste, but the chubby 88mm waist combined with a progressive rocker keeps it afloat in anything from champagne powder to mashed potato.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”10519″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”medium”][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”10523″ img_size=”medium” img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”10528″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”medium”][vc_single_image image=”10530″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”yes” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Rossi’s sister company Lange uses it’s classic lower shell configuration in the XC120, [£340] with a an anatomically formed lower matched with a cuff which uses Lange’s proprietary V lock to allow the spoiler to hinge backwards for climbing. It also uses sticky vibram type soles, but retains compatibility with traditional alpine bindings.

The X Drive 8 FS is best value at £550 with binding. It’s lightweight but stable and with a moderate amount of rocker it has a smooth GS feel that you can enjoy all day and everywhere.

If you want something different, the BBr 8.0 £550 with z12 binding has a unique shape and is the most lively and nimble family of the BBR family and its unique shape means it flies across cut up snow like a waterski.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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