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Gear Review: Salomon Shift Pro 130 Freeride Touring Boot

Putting the Salomon freeride lineup to work: SHIFT Pro 130 boot, SHIFT binding, and QST 106 ski pair together to form a rocket ship of a ski touring setup. 

Salomon Takes a Step in the Freeride Direction

salomon shift pro 130 ski touring boot backcountry freeride

The Salomon SHIFT Pro 130 - the new standard for freeride touring footwear.

Salomon introduces the SHIFT Pro 130 touring boot for the 20/21 season as a step towards improved downhill skiability from the popular S/LAB MTN. They moved to a traditional four-buckle, alpine-style design (from the S/LAB's 'wider than average cuff buckle + standard shell buckle' design), beefed up the power strap, and changed the material to a full TPU (thermo-moldable polyurethane) construction. The SHIFT Pro 130 also includes a replaceable sole, Custom Fit 3D Seamless Pro liner (no external or internal sticking to reduce the likelihood of hot spots), and rad redesigned buckles. The boot is proclaimed to have a 130 flex (hence the name), a 100mm last, and weighs in at 1700 grams (26/26.5). Salomon looks to be pairing this boot with the SHIFT binding in efforts of providing hard-charging resort skiers a ticket to the backcountry without compromising in downhill ski performance. 

The Good and the Bad of Freeride Touring

colorado backcountry ski touring powder

Well-earned turns in the backcountry of Colorado

How does the SHIFT Pro perform in the backcountry? It has all the downhill skiing performance of a traditional alpine boot, but what that implies is a sacrifice in uphill touring capability. With a stiffer flex pattern comes a heavier weight and less range of motion in the cuff. Compared to other freeride touring boots (i.e. Dynafit Hoji Free, Scarpa Maestrale XT, Atomic Hawx), the Salomon SHIFT Pro 130 is the most downhill oriented. It skis most similar to a traditional alpine boot, yet it also has the most limited range of motion and heaviest overall weight. 

Bottom Line for the SHIFT Boot

Who is this boot for? The archetype for the Salomon SHIFT Pro 130 is an aggressive skier who wants a boot for both on and off the resort. Lift-accessed backcountry skiing calls for a boot that can handle the cyclical abuse of resort skiing, but also has the capacity for uphill touring. Uncompromised downhill performance (which the Shift boot provides in folds) comes at the price of compromised uphill performance. All things considered, if you want one boot that can handle the resort for many seasons, but still gives you access to those far-off backcountry ski lines - look to the Shift Pro 130 as the freerider's jack-of-all-trades. 

 

- Slator Aplin can be found drinking coffee, eating cookies, but most importantly on instagram at @slatroar -