Lightweight Alpine Boot
Salomon S/Max

The Salomon X Max was an absolute dynamo favored by aggressive frontside skiers who wanted a racey-like ski boot. This line was retired last season and replaced by the new S/Max series. The new S/Max aims to keep the brash and burly fit forged by its predecessor while improving on some performance issues and keeping the quirks that made the X/Max so popular in the first place.

Though similar to its spiritual predecessor, Salomon has included several marked improvements in the S/Max making it a better ski boot. The first is weight: the S/Max is significantly lighter than other powerful downhill boots and it retains the stability of a charger while minimizing the bulk that kept the X/Max shackled down.

It’s a boot that feels good at high edge angles, and feels eager to carry the energy from turn to turn when it’s ridden hard.  

They’ve also adjusted some issues with the fit. Typical of a race boot the S/Max is narrow and low-volume pretty much all the way to the cuff. Issues people have had in the past were centered around extra width in the heel that led to some inconsistencies in performance, the S/Max has a more consistent grip around the heel and keeps your foot locked in even when your skiing gets undisciplined.

Though it fits better and is now significantly more comfortable, the S/Max is definitely not a luxury model. In fact, unless you’re tall with low volume calves (i.e. chicken legs) like me, you’ll probably have to make significant adjustments to make it work as an all-day-every-day boot. But the S/Max is customizable, just not in the modular “one size fits all” sense where the boot is built to accommodate different foot shapes. 

The S/Max is more akin to a blank template, that when in the hands of a seasoned fitter, can be shaped and carved into contours that can accommodate your foot. Fortunately Salomon has completely overhauled the polymer mix that they use in their boot shells. The S/Max has a much more consistent blend of moldable materials, which leads to much more predictable results during the molding process. 

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Aggressive frontside boot that you can depend on
  • check-mark
    A boot fitter’s dream shell

Things we don't like:

  • check-markQuirky fit if you have short or big calves
  • check-markDefinitely can take some getting used to if you haven’t worn a race-oriented boot

Where to buy:

Specs & Features

  • Flex Range: 100-130
  • Last: 98/104
  • Mondo: 24-29.5
See the complete list of the best Alpine Ski Boots here!

Related Reviews

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Aggressive frontside boot that you can depend on
  • check-mark
    A boot fitter’s dream shell

Things we don't like:

  • check-markQuirky fit if you have short or big calves
  • check-markDefinitely can take some getting used to if you haven’t worn a race-oriented boot

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