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Dino Haak

Professional Ski Expert

Boys Jr. Ski Boots

Featured On:

  • SkiMag
Buying boots for yourself can be challenging, and when buying for someone else, particularly kids, even more so. The most important thing is to find a boot that fits your child’s foot well. No matter how good a ski boot is said to be, if it doesn’t fit the foot, it won’t work well on the slopes.

Given children’s growth rate, you can typically expect about two seasons max out of a kid’s boot. With that in mind, I believe it is okay to buy a boot that is a little bit bigger to begin with, so that there is some room to grow into it. However, make sure that it is not too big. Most important, whichever boot you pick for your boy, make sure that he does not slip around in it. If the boot is too big it will be an uncomfortable experience on the slopes. It is hard to ski in a lose boot, and it will be even harder to progress to the next level of skiing when there is constant slipping and sliding. As there are several different approaches to determine the best fit (at least theoretically), I strongly recommend going to a renowned ski store and have the knowledgeable staff assist you in picking the right size. Rule of thumb for a two season-fit is about an index finger’s width between the toes and the front of the liner. I have seen people shoot for more room, but I would recommend against it. Yes, more room will keep toes warmer on cold days, but too much room will make for a poor fit, and difficulty in maintaining control. Try to find the best compromise. See that the boot fits comfortably, without the foot being crunched in at any place, and that the heel is snugly held down in the back. Let him walk around the store a few rounds and let him communicate how things feel inside the boot.

Note that there are different boots for different skill levels. Generally, more advanced boots are stiffer so more energy can be transferred directly from boot to skis. Race boots are the stiffest boots you can buy, so unless your child wants to race, there is no reason to buy a race boot. A stiff boot can be very uncomfortable and restrictive in her flexing and extending abilities. Beginner boots are usually the softest, but I never recommend buying absolute beginner boots since junior kids usually progress quickly, and once they get to a higher skill level, a boot that is too soft can be problematic. This is especially true when they learn to do quick, reactive short turns, or want to get comfortable skiing on steeper slopes or at higher speeds.

The boots reviewed cover the middle ground, they have enough flex and are soft enough so even beginners can comfortably learn the sport but they offer enough stiffness to give advanced skiers the power transfer and control they need for their higher level skills.

Best Boys All-mountain Ski Boots by Dino Haak

The Best You Can Get

  • Salomon Flyer

    Dino says: The Salomon Flyer is a very good looking and well-made all-mountain boys’ boot. The Salomon Flyer is one of the best choices for the intermediate to advanced intermediate skier. It is also a great boot for the terrain park, but will shine on the slopes. However, even advanced beginner will be able to use the boot without it being too stiff or too unforgiving. The Flyer is a warm boot with a comfortable, anatomically shaped liner. It has a four-buckle design that allows for precise fit fine-tuning. The Flyer’s shell is exceptionally light and durable. One of my student’s uses the 2007 model of this boot and could not be happier with it. Interestingly, my student is just getting comfortable with the blues. So he’ll have lots of room to improve as he’s just entering into the Flyer’s ideal slope territory, blues and up. Well, that is if his feet won’t outgrow the boot before the next season comes around. The 2008/2009 models look very cool, I have seen the black and gray version (with a blue Salomon logo) but you’ll also find that there is a yellow version with a green Salomon logo (that also features an image of a lion).

    • Cool looks
    • Lightweight
    • Very warm liner
    • Four buckles for fine-tuning fit
    • Ideal for intermediate to advanced intermediate skiers
  • Alpina J4

    Dino says: The Alpina J Series boots are among the most classic kids boots out there. It is a very good choice especially for the intermediate skier. The boot has enough stiffness, not only at the shaft but also laterally, to be highly functional even for the advanced skier. The Alpina highly successful J Series has been around for over six years and for some time now has been one of the most popular rental boots across the country. You definitely find plenty of J4s on the slopes. The J4 has four buckles, two on the upper foot section, two on the shaft. The cuffs open nicely for easy entry into the boot and the buckles give you enough flexibility to dial in a snug fit. The shaft is just the right size, high enough for good support but not too high so, it won’t get in the way of good form. The liners are warm and soft with good padding and they won’t pack out quickly. The J4 is available for sizes 22.5 to 26.5. The boot comes in two color combinations, Black/Red and Silver/Blue, with the Black/Red version definitely being the choice for the boys.

    • Four buckles for precise fit adjustment
    • Ideal for the intermediate to advanced intermediate skier
    • Highly successful model (has been around for six years)
    • Warm, soft liner that won’t pack out easily
  • Salomon Performa T3

    Dino says: The Salomon Performa T3 is a step softer in flex than the Flyer and is a great pick for the advanced beginner to intermediate skier. It has a three-buckle design and can be nicely fine-tuned to achieve the best fit. It has a wonderfully warm liner and I am told that it is way comfortable. Actually three of my students have this boot (the 2007 and older versions), one of my students actually is more advanced and so far the boot has been holding up nicely. Even though the boot has comfortably soft flex (which is ideal for beginners), we have successfully mastered a few black diamond runs without any problems. One of the Performa T3 unique features is the boot’s nicely gripping sole. There are two pads on each boot sole, one under the toes, and the other under the heel. The pads are exchangeable. To me, these pads are a great thing, since soles can wear down quickly, especially since boys often like to run around in their boots, (sometimes hitting icy patches) or sometimes climbing up and down, well, anything that comes their way. The pads provide the necessary traction grip, but will also protect the sole from wearing down. The 2009/2009 Performa T3 comes is available in a red and gray design.

    • Ideal for beginners and intermediates alike
    • Good gripping sole (with replaceable toe and heel pads)
    • Warm liner
    • Easy yet nicely fine-tunable three-buckle design
  • Technica RJ Super 4

    Dino says: Technica was my boot brand of choice for quite a few years and I have always been impressed with their boots’ level of quality and features. The RJ Super 4 is a beautiful boot that your boy will be able to easily slip into and out of. It has a versatile flex index and is a great choice for the advanced beginner to advanced intermediate alike. For true beginners, I would recommend the Technica RJ 4 (without the “Super”), which is essentially the same boot yet with a slightly softer flex. The RJ Super 4 is an exceptionally well-made boot that comes with three buckles (one at the top of the foot, two on the shaft) for tightening and adjusting the fit. The boot sole has replaceable heel and toe pads, just screw on a set of new ones should his soles wear to a point where they won’t safely fit the bindings anymore. The RJ Super 4 is a nice looking boot, with a simple yet classy looking design.

    • Versatile flex index
    • Replaceable toe and heel pads (on the sole)
    • Easily adjustable three-buckle design
    • Easy in and out
  • Salomon Kaid

    Dino says: The Kaid is one awesome boot. It was made with the terrain park in mind and offers cushioned heels for safe, big air landings. It is, however, a great choice for the slopes as well. One of my students is so happy with it, that when he first brought it to a lesson, he could not stop telling me about it! He’s a half-pipe fan (even though we are still working hard on style) and amore or less an intermediate blue slope skier. The Kaid just works wonders for him. The boot looks great, and even though listed as a more advanced youth model, it will be a good choice for the intermediate skier as well. The boot is very, very light (according to Salomon it is about 20% lighter than conventional boots). Inside the boot, the heels are nicely tugged in and everything’s snug for best power-to-edge performance. It only has two buckles but they do a great job keeping the boot snug around the foot and are easily adjustable. The boot has a black and white design with a turquoise Salomon logo.

    • Great for the slopes and the terrain park
    • Unique and effective two-buckle design
    • Heels are nicely secured
    • Very, very lightweight
    • Great flex for the intermediate to advanced skier

You will be happy with any of these

  • Nordica GP T3

    Dino says: The GP T3 is popular among my students. I have actually four boys who own this boot. And no complaints, the boot keeps them warm and we can do all of our drills and exercises without being restricted in any way. One of them is still in his beginning phases while two of them are already cruising the blues. Another student came up twice this year from Texas, and although he is often on the cautious side, he has a wonderful style and we’ve done everything from very quick short turns to big fast carved turns. The boot performed wonderfully during all of our maneuvers. It has a nicely versatile flex index, not too stiff, not too soft, and there seems to be very good energy transfer to the edges. The boot is lightweight and you can slip in and out easily. It has four buckles for fine-tuning the fit. With a soft, comfortable liner to fit the high quality shell, it is really one of the best choices around, you won’t go wrong with a GP T3.

    • Versatile flex, not too stiff, not too soft
    • Lightweight
    • Easy in and out
    • Four buckles for fine-tuning fit
    • Warm liner
  • Rossignol Comp J3, J4 Ski Boots

    Dino says: The Rossignol Comp is definitely a popular all-round, all-mountain boys’ boot and I have spotted the 2007 (and older) version many times on Snoqualmie Pass’ slopes and in the lift lines. Two of my students are happy owners and I can vouch for the boot’s versatility when it comes to skiing on all kinds of different slopes and in various conditions. The boot is very lightweight and has a comfortable fit which has a lot to do with the fact that the inner boots form around the shape of the feet. This one will definitely keep his feet warm even on those very cold days. The boot comes in two versions. The J3 features three buckles and is available up to size 22.5. For sizes 23 and larger the boots becomes the J4 and has now four buckles. The J4 is also a little bit stiffer to accommodate more weight (usually larger feet translate into taller kids which means more weight pushing against the shaft). The boys’ 2009 Comp J4 boots come in the color combinations Dark Gray, Red, and Solar Dark Gray.

    • Inner boot liner forms around shape of foot
    • Very good all-round flex
    • Warm liner
    • Lightweight
    • Popular
  • Dalbello CX 3

    Dino says: The Dalbello CX3 is a very nice all-round model that will be ideal for the advanced beginner to intermediate, but will work nicely as a beginner’s boot as well. The CX3 has an anatomically contoured shell and a three-buckle design. The top-most of the three is a ratchet buckle, which is a sliding design that can be nicely fine tuned and is easily opened and closed. The CX3 also features Dalbello’s so called “rear-foot closure system” that minimizes foot sliding and heel lift. The CX 3 is easy to get in and out of thanks to an extra wide cuff opening. The boot looks nice with a black, white, and red design.

    • Anatomically contoured shell
    • Three buckles with top buckle being a ratchet design
    • “Rear-foot closure system” that minimizes foot sliding and heel lift
    • Easy in and out
  • Head J3 Jr.

    Dino says: The 2008/2009 Head Edge J3 model comes in three different colors. Even though all the colors offered are somewhat unisex (options are white/orange, black/red, and white/red), I would say the black and red version will probably appeal mostly to boys. The J3 is a well-made boot that looks cool and definitely feels like high quality product. Judging from Head’s previous junior offerings, the J3 is going to shine on the slopes offering comfort with its very soft footbed and ease of use with its quick entry construction. The boot has three buckles, and interestingly there are two buckles on the shaft and only one on the foot section. Usually this is reversed, with one buckle on the shaft and two on the upper foot. I am told that this is a boot with a very versatile flex, ideal for intermediate skiers, but also good choice for beginners and advanced intermediates alike. One nice feature is its “soft-walk heel,” which means that the boot has a shock-absorbing cushion fitted into the heel section to make walking more comfortable. The Head J3 is going to be popular this next season, I am sure of that!

    • Easy in and out
    • Soft-walk heel (shock-absorbing heel-cushioning for comfortable walking)
    • Comfortable liner and footbed
    • Available in three color designs
    • Nice versatile flex
  • Dalbello P4 Sport

    Dino says: Dalbello, in my opinion, has always produced quality gear. The 2008/2009 Dalbello P4 Sport is just hitting the stores and I can already tell that it will be big success. The boot feels very, very well-made and light in the hand. It is going to be a great choice and ideal for the intermediate skier. Beginners and advanced intermediates will also feel home in this boot. I am told that the power transfer to the edges is exceptional and it is easy to get in and out of the boot. The P4 Sport features a warm, comfortable liner. It has a four-buckle design and a cuff strap to dial in the ideal fit. If it fits, the P4 will be a great choice and I’d say go for it. Dalbello boots are not as common here in the US as they are in Europe, and I think it is always nice to stand out in the crowd by having something different or unusual. With its mostly black and red design, the P4 Sport looks a little bit like a race boot, which of course is a cool thing, especially for the boys!

    • Very versatile flex
    • Easy in and out
    • Ideal for the intermediate skier but will work great for beginners as well as advanced intermediate skiers
    • Four buckles for precise fit adjustment

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