Best Ski Boots for Intermediate Skiers in 2023

by Simon Naylor | Updated: August 8th, 2023 |  Recommended Gear

Comfort is a priority in a new boot, and this comes down to a precise fit and the boot design. Modern ski boots are never been as lightweight and comfortable as they are now. This means a warmer skiing experience that doesn't leave your feet sore after only a few hours of hard-charging across the resort.

If you're an advancing skier looking for your first pair of ski boots or to replace your worn pair then we've got our favorite boot picks lined up for you. From all-mountain to hybrid backcountry touring boots - all our boots are primarily for downhill skiing and work in combination with our best intermediate or powder skis.

cross country skiing (2)

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Intermediate boots want to be stiffer than beginner's boots so that they can provide more support and response with faster more demanding skiing. It's still important to find a boot that allows for some flexibility and movement so you're not restricted in your ankle joint movements. The best intermediate ski boots are the Dalbello Panterra 120.


Our Lineup of the Best Ski Boots for Intermediate Skiers


1. Dalbello Panterra 120 ID GW

At a Glance

  • Category: Ski Boots
  • Ability level: Intermediate
  • Dimensions: Forefoot Width 100-102mm, Flex 120, Four Buckles
  • Pros: Wide fit accommodation, great flex options, out-of-the-box comfort, superior progressive buckling system, supportive foot ramp.
  • Cons: Not ideal for narrow feet, lackluster Gripwalk function.

Our Experience:

Dalbello Panterra 120 ID GW Ski Boots are our top pick and for good reason. These boots offer an expansive range of ankle flex options that stretches from 90 to 130. Great for advancing skiers to ski at speed. Importantly they are also really comfortable and perfect for a long day on the slopes.

The new and improved F-5 buckle system ensures a snug & secure fit. This feature aligns the foot into the ideal position for optimum performance. The added foot ramp is another plus, keeping your stance slightly forward. In our experience, these boots do not offer the most optimal choice for skiers with narrow feet.

Key Features:

  • Variable Volume Fit allows skiers to regulate boot width from 100 to 102mm.
  • Flex 120 is ideally stiff for balancing mobility and control.
  • ID Now Liner offers heat-moldable overlap comfort.
  • Exemplary three-piece Cabrio design for enhanced performance.
  • Advanced Ski & Hike Mechanism that ensures functional hiking and climbing without compromising skiing performance.
  • Sophisticated re-designed F-5 Buckles for a secure fit and easy maneuvering.

Final Verdict:

The Dalbello Panterra 120 ID GW Ski Boot's comfort straight out of the box, a range of flex options, and a distinct progressive buckling system give them an edge over many alternatives.

2. K2 Recon 100 MV

At a Glance

  • Category: Ski Boots
  • Ability level: Intermediate
  • Dimensions: Forefoot Width 100mm, Flex 100, Four Buckles
  • Pros: Lightweight, reliable on-piste performance, roomy and warm, beneficial plastic wedge foot ramp.
  • Cons: Tailored to wider feet, the power strap is tough to tighten with gloves on, and walking soles require additional purchases.

Our Experience:

The lightweight & high-performance K2 Recon 100 MV Ski Boots are a great choice for intermediate skiers. Each boot weighs just 3 lbs. 12 oz (1.7kg), promising ease of use alongside comfort. These boots perform reliably for in-resort skiing while also offering enough flexibility for your side-country adventures.

The K2 Recon boots impress with their insulation and warmth, a perk for those who struggle with cold feet. An added bonus is the plastic wedge, reminiscent of the Dalbello Panterra that aids in developing optimal fore/aft technique. Walking soles don't come as standard and are an additional extra.

Key Features:

  • Performance medium fit suitable for skiers with normal width and volume feet.
  • Flex 100 provides a medium-stiff flex suitable for advanced skiers.
  • Luxfit liner offering enhanced comfort.
  • Thermoplastic Urethane shell and cuff that can be heat molded for a tailored fit.
  • Four Aluminum Micro-Adjustable Lightweight Buckles allow precise adjustment.
  • GripWalk ISO 23223 Outsoles that can be interchanged for improved grip and comfort for walking and hiking.

Final Verdict:

In our experience, the K2 Recon 100 MV Ski Boots are an excellent choice for seasonal skiers with wider feet on the lookout for high-quality ski boots that in our tests deliver on performance - all without breaking the bank.

3. Salomon S​/Pro MV 100

At a Glance

  • Category: Ski Boots
  • Ability level: Intermediate
  • Dimensions: Forefoot Width 100mm, Flex 100, Four Buckles
  • Pros: Exceptionally comfortable, Lightweight, Ideal for beginners and lower-intermediate skiers, Supports edge-to-edge transfer learning.
  • Cons: Not stiff enough for aggressive skiers, Durability compared to other brands, Limited progression support.

Our Experience:

The Salomon S/Pro MV 100 Ski Boots stand out for their remarkable comfort, making them one of the best contenders for the most comfortable intermediate ski boots on the market. These boots are perfect for lower-intermediate and beginner skiers who prioritize comfort but still have a boot that allows them to advance their skiing.

The lightweight design of the boots, at just 3 lbs. 7oz. (1.6 kg) per boot, is impressive. This reduces fatigue and facilitates learning edge-to-edge transfers, which is key for a smooth parallel turn. On the flip side, these boots may not be the best option for an aggressive skier given their softer flex.

Key Features:

  • Custom Shell HD: Salomon's heat molding process assures quick and easy boot fitting.
  • Intermediate to advanced level Flex of 100.
  • 3D Seamless Performance My Custom Fit Liner for improved comfort and precise fit.
  • Polyurethane shell with Custom Shell HD and Sensifit Mesh for better sensation and energy transmission.
  • 4 Micro-Adjustable Aluminum 3D buckles for precise fitting.
  • GripWalk ISO 23223 Walk Soles for improved walking comfort and convenience.

Final Verdict:

The Salomon S/Pro MV 100 Ski Boots hold a strong position in the selection of the best ski boots for intermediate skiers, especially considering their comfort, ease of use, and value for money.

4. Lange RX 120 GW

At a Glance

  • Category: Ski Boots
  • Ability level: Intermediate-advanced
  • Dimensions: Forefoot width 100mm, Flex 120, Four buckles
  • Pros: Excellent performance, suitable for narrow feet, easy-to-adjust buckles, compatible with both on and off-piste terrains.
  • Cons: On the stiff side, not ideal for wider feet, a bit on the expensive side.

Our Experience:

In our experience, the Lange RX 120 GW Ski Boots are a phenomenal pick for advanced-intermediate skiers, particularly those with narrower feet. This boot offers robust durability and will cope comfortably if you stray off the groomed trails. We particularly liked the convenience of the Grip Walk sole but found the footbed support to be lacking, so we recommend investing in aftermarket insoles for added comfort.

The primary focus of the Lange RX 120's design is to enhance performance. However, in our experience that does come at the cost of initial comfort. It's also reflected in a higher price point, compared to other ski boots on our list. Because of the stiffness, we would only recommend this boot to advanced intermediates/expert skiers who are confident tackling black diamonds.

Key Features:

  • The average 100mm last width, is designed to fit those with medium-volume feet.
  • A high Flex 120, intended for advanced to expert skiers.
  • Dual 3D Pro Liner with Shin Control and Thinsulate™, offering precise fit and enhanced heel grip.
  • Incorporates Dual Core Technology for unparalleled power injection.
  • Natural Stance design for improved balance and control.
  • Comes equipped with GripWalk® Soles for enhanced convenience while walking.

Final Verdict:

The Lange RX 120 GW Ski Boots stand out as robust and high-performance ski boots. They are ideally designed for advanced-intermediate skiers with narrower feet. While their stiffness and higher price mark may be a drawback for some, for others, these factors underscore the boots' durability and superior performance, making them a worthwhile investment.

5. Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130

At a Glance

  • Category: Ski Boots
  • Ability level: Advanced-Intermediate
  • Dimensions: Forefoot width 98mm, Flex 130, Four buckles
  • Pros: Hybrid design suitable for downhill and touring, great downhill performance, reliable buckles, and good forward flex.
  • Cons: Heavy, uphill performance leaves something to be desired.

Our Experience:

In our experience, the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 Alpine Touring Ski Boots are an impressive choice, especially for those who are seeking a boot that combines downhill and touring capabilities. we particularly liked how customizable the fit is with the Memory Fit technology.

However, these boots have a rather aggressive design typified by their stiff flex rating of 130. This means they are firmly for more advanced intermediates. The hybrid design means that unless your regularly skinning uphill you won't be making the most of them.

Key Features:

  • 98mm last with Memory Fit for a customizable, narrow, and low-volume fit.
  • A very stiff Flex of 130, meant for fast and aggressive skiers.
  • Memory Fit 3D Platinum Light Liner for a secure foothold.
  • Prolite shell construction starts with the slimmest profile and adds material only where necessary.
  • Ski/Walk Mode with 54˚ Range of Motion and a 15˚ (default) and 17˚ adjustable forward lean options.
  • Comes with a Skywalk GripWalk sole to enable easier walking.

Final Verdict:

While they might be a bit heavier and too stiff for some skiers, these boots deliver an enjoyable downhill performance - considering their hybrid nature.

6. Rossignol Evo 70

At a Glance

  • Category: Ski Boots
  • Ability level: Beginner-Intermediate
  • Dimensions: Forefoot width 104mm, Flex 70, Three buckles
  • Pros: Excellent for beginners and intermediate skiers, highly flexible, roomy boot for medium to wide feet, durable outer shell, great ankle support
  • Cons: May be lacking in features for more advanced skiers.

Our Experience:

The Rossignol Evo 70 Ski Boots are our top pick for intermediate skiers looking for a comfortable and enjoyable boot.

They offer a high level of flexibility, contributing to a comfortable skiing experience. With the widest last in the Rossignol range at 104mm, these boots are perfect for skiers with a medium to wide forefoot and shaft of the leg.

In our testing, we particularly liked how these boots were supportive around the ankles. Despite the boot's high flexibility, it remains secure, and durable, and holds up well even after a few hours of blue trail skiing. More advanced intermediates may find this boot a bit to soft and 'comfortable' to challenge them.

Key Features:

  • 104mm last offers a forgiving fit for wider feet.
  • The Easy Entry insert ensures comfortable entry and exit from the boots.
  • A soft Flex of 70 caters to progressing beginner to intermediate skiers.
  • Custom T4 Liner that provides a remarkable out-of-the-box fit and performance.
  • Durable polyolefine cuff and shell featuring Sensor Matrix technology for improved shell wrapping and energy transmission.
  • Three Micro-Adjust Aluminium Buckles for precise adjustment.

Final Verdict:

In conclusion, the Rossignol Evo 70 Ski Boots are a fantastic choice for intermediate skiers that need some extra support, prioritize comfort, and have a wider foot.

7. Rossignol Alltrack 80 Women

At a Glance

  • Category: Ski Boots
  • Ability level: Intermediate
  • Dimensions: Forefoot width 102mm, Flex 80, Four buckles
  • Pros: Affordable, stylish, comfortable, specifically designed for women skiers, easy to put on and take off
  • Cons: Might be too soft for highly experienced skiers.

Our Experience:

The Rossignol Alltrack 80 W Ski boots offer a good mix of comfort without compromising too much on performance. The boots offer a natural fit with a women-specific cuff - which means their designed to curve perfectly around a woman's calves. This provides a more comfortable and secure fit, allowing for better control and responsiveness on the slopes.

We were impressed by the easy-entry design on these boots which ensures they can be quickly put on or taken off (even when they've been left out in the car overnight).

Another enjoyable aspect that sets the Alltrack 80 W apart is the custom T3 liner, which does an excellent job of ensuring effective power transfer to your skis. More advanced skiers may find these a little too soft for faster, more aggressive skiing.

Key Features:

  • Memory fit design with a 102mm last to accommodate wider feet comfortably.
  • Women's Specific Cuff that curves naturally around a woman’s calves.
  • A moderate Rossignol Flex 80 is best suited for intermediate to advance women skiers.
  • Custom T3 Liner designed for efficient power transfer and enhanced comfort.
  • Thinsulate® Stretch for all-day comfort and warmth.
  • Ski/Walk Mode, a Hike Mode 2.0, assures optimized range-of-motion and uphill mobility.
  • GripWalk Soles can be added separately for enhanced walking comfort.

Final Verdict:

Considering every aspect, the Rossignol Alltrack 80 W Ski Boots emerge as an exceptional pick for female intermediate skiers. They look good, they're affordable and comfortable. No-brainer.

8. Salomon QST Access 80

At a Glance

  • Category: Ski Boots
  • Ability level: Beginner-Intermediate
  • Dimensions: Forefoot width 104mm, Flex 80, Three buckles
  • Pros: Slide-in liner for easy entry, lightweight, designed for wide feet, a hike and ride system for extra flexibility, 35mm power strap for enhanced power transfer.
  • Cons: Not suitable for those with narrow feet.

Our Experience:

The Salomon QST Access 80 Ski Boots have set themselves apart as a perfect option for intermediate skiers with wide feet. Their 104mm last comfortably accommodates larger feet without applying unnecessary pressure or discomfort.

What's more, they feature a slide-in liner that facilitates easy entry, which is great for gearing up in colder climates. We particularly like the hike-and-ride system which comes in handy when you need to walk on the snow (even for a brief period) or you're heading back to your car after a fun day skiing.

Key Features:

  • Comfortable 104mm last designed for wider and higher volume feet.
  • Soft Flex 80, is ideal for beginner or intermediate skiers.
  • My CustomFit Comfort Liner for enhanced comfort and fit.
  • Lightweight Polyolefin shell and cuff to reduce the overall weight of the boots.
  • 2 Micro-Adjustable Aluminum Plus Ratchet Upper Strap for precise adjustment.
  • Gripwalk ISO 23223 Walk Soles for easy walking and movement beyond the slopes.

Final Verdict:

In our experience, the Salomon QST Access 80 Ski Boots are an exceptionally designed ski boot choice for beginner to intermediate skiers - especially those with wider feet.

9. Dalbello Lupo AX 100

At a Glance

  • Category: Ski Boots
  • Ability level: Intermediate
  • Dimensions: Forefoot width 100mm, Flex 100, Three buckles
  • Pros: Emphasis on touring, lightweight, responsive kinetic tongue, comfort-focused Lupo Air Liner, quick switch Ski/Hike mode
  • Cons: A bit costly, not ideal for strictly resort skiing.

Our Experience:

If you're planning on exploring the backcountry - the Dalbello Lupo AX 100 Alpine Touring Ski Boots prove to be an excellent off-piste boot. They showcase a lightweight design that prioritizes performance both while touring uphill and blazing down freshly carved tracks. Pairs great with any of these powder skis.

The Kinetic Response Tongue enhances responsiveness and aligns well with your leg's movement, ensuring dynamic performance on the mountain. We particularly liked the Lupo Air Liner which doesn't pack out with repeated use and can be fully heat molded for a customized fit.

Additionally, the effective Ski/Walk mode ensures an effortless transition from uphill ascents to downhill skiing in a seamless manner. Although the Lupo AX 100 falls on the expensive side of the spectrum and may not be the best choice for purely resort skiing, they remain an attractive option for touring.

Key Features:

  • A roomy 100mm last for conveniently accommodating various foot sizes.
  • A medium Flex of 100 for both women and men.
  • The comfort and lightness-focused Lupo Air Liner is fully heat mouldable for a perfect fit.
  • The cuff and Shell made of Polyamide Composite and DB Hyperlite respectively, form the base of the boot's Cabrio Design.
  • Ski & Hike Mechanism for easy transitioning between modes.
  • Dynalink Heel Retention System for keeping the boot snug and secure.
  • Equipped with Gripwalk Sole Pads and Integrated Tech Fittings for improved walking comfort.

Final Verdict:

Perfect for intermediates advancing their skills in the Backcountry (currently on offer).

What Type Of Ski Boot Should You Buy?

The type of boot you buy should be determined primarily by your level of skiing. Generally, the better skier you are the tighter your boot should be and the more you’ll get from a higher-performance boot.

As an intermediate skier, you'll want a mix of performance and comfort. Enough stiffness in the boot to hold your skis stable at speed but some forgiveness for an evolving technique.

K2 Recon 100 MV ski boot
K2 Recon 100 MV ski boot - No. 2 on our list.

What Size Ski Boot Are You?

The first thing you need to do to start the process of narrowing down the perfect intermediate boot for you is to measure your foot size:

1. What is your Mondopoint

You might know by now that ski boots are measured on a scale called the Mondopoint which is basically the length of your foot in centimeters. To determine your Mondopoint, put your naked heel (no socks) against a wall with your toes pointing out and then measure the distance from the wall to your longest toe in centimeters.

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If you’re foot measures 25.5cm then your Mondopoint size is 25.5. You can also check it against the shoe size to Mondopoint conversion chart I’ve included at the bottom of this article to check it matches up.

Although you can use just the chart to give you an idea, it’s worth taking the time to accurately measure your foot if you’re planning to drop a few hundred on new boots. Your shoe size is not as accurate enough on its own and plenty of folks wear shoes that are too big or too small.

With ski boots, the more precise you can be, the better fit you’re going to get and less chance you are of being in pain on the mountain.

What Does Ski Boot Flex Mean?

The flex of a boot refers to how easy or hard it is to flex the boot while you skiing with your knee or ankle. The higher the flex, the stiffer the boot, and the more you’ll need to lean into the boot to get it to flex.

Stiffer boots allow you to transfer more power through the boot and are more precise at higher speeds but offer less feel and control at lower speeds or with decreased body movement.

Better skiers will prefer and benefit from a stiffer boot while new or early skiers will want a softer boot that’s easier to bend and flex forward with less pressure and body movement. A new skier learning to ski on a stiff boot and ski will find it very difficult to learn and progress.

Skiers should move up in boot stiffness only as they feel their control and comfort start to diminish (typically when they ski steeper, faster terrain and body movement increase.) or if they grow stronger or heavier. The stiffness of a boot is measured by the flex index and is usually a number between (soft) 40-130 (very stiff) and is often written on the outside of the boot cuff.

Facts: As an intermediate skier you'll likely be most suited for a medium or stiff flex. Go stiffer if you heavier or stronger and softer if you are lighter.

Each manufacturer uses its own definition of flex, and although the boot flex across different boots may be similar, they don’t correlate precisely with one another. The final flex depends on the type of plastic used, the number of buckles, and the design. An 80 flex on one boot may not match up with an 80 from another brand.

The key thing to know is whether the boot is a soft, medium, stiff or very stiff flex. Women and men tend to suit a slightly different level of flex as men on average tend to be heavier & taller. When deciding between boots, if your a heavier, stronger, or taller women then tend toward a man’s flex rating. If you’re a lighter or shorter man tends towards a women’s flex rating.

Flex Charts

Men's Flex RatingFeelFlex
Beginner/IntermediateSoft60-80
Intermediate/AdvancedMedium85-100
Advanced/ExpertStiff110-120
Expert/RacerVery Stiff130+
Women's Flex RatingFeelFlex
Beginner/IntermediateSoft50-60
Intermediate/AdvancedMedium65-80
Advanced/ExpertStiff85-100
Expert/Racer Very Stiff110+
Photo by Zach Dischner CC BY 2.0

Flex for Intermediate/Advanced

If you’re a very good skier with more movement in your turns and you’re skiing steeper terrain more often, then you may benefit from a stiffer boot that allows you to put more pressure onto your boot.

For intermediate to advanced skiers, a boot with a medium flex is likely going to suit you:

  • For men looking for a medium flex ski boot between 85-100.
  • For women looking for a medium flex ski boot between 65-80.

Advanced/Expert 

Advanced skiers have much more movement in their skiing and are more efficient with their power, so a stiffer boot allows them to ski steep slopes at speed and not buckle under pressure.

  • For men looking for a stiff flex ski boot between 110-120.
  • For women looking for a stiff flex ski boot between 85-100.

Flex & Weight

  • If you are over 90kg (200lb) consider moving up a flex level.
  • If you’re under 50kg (115lb) consider moving down a flex level.

Flex & Movement

Although better skiers tend to move more and have greater angulation (body bend) through their turns, if you have decreased mobility or don’t ski as aggressively as you once did, you may want to consider moving down a flex even if you are a great skier.

Read the full Ski boot buyers guide on our main article.