Salomon S/Lab MTN 2019 – 2020 Boot | Review

Salomon long staked their claim in the 1400 gram touring boot category with the S/Lab MTN

Flex: 120
Last: 98 mm
Cuff Range: 47˚
Forward Lean: 15˚
BSL: 311 mm
Binding Compatibility: All touring bindings
Weight (per boot): 1570 (26.5)
Price: £500


Why we chose the Salomon S/Lab MTN: Solid performing boot, both on the skin track and the descent.

From blue to black and back to blue again – the Salomon S/Lab MTN is a bit like Conor McGregor’s puffy eyes after a few rounds with Floyd. The colour of the boots, originally released as the MTN Lab, may change year after year but one thing has stayed true throughout this time – they’re able to rip, and at an impressively low weight too (bonus points for the excellent walk mode as well).

“They’re able to rip at an impressively low weight”

Salomon haven’t updated this boot too much since its first release in 2015, but we’re surprisingly alright with that – Salomon have found a mixture of weight, touring efficiency and downhill performance that is able to work as the single boot quiver for many, yet also work as a great freeride touring specific boot for those that like to keep a few pairs in their arsenal.

The single update for the S-Lab MTN, 2019 – 2020 edition, that’s worth noting is the Custom Shell HD. Following suit with other ski manufacturers, such as Head and Atomic, the Custom Shell HD essentially means the boot’s inner workings can be contoured to your foot when it’s baked in a special oven. This is a step (sorry) in the right direction as it means touring boots can now be fitted to a wider range of feet, resulting in higher levels of comfort all-round.

Aside from the custom shell adjustment, what makes this boot, a boot that’s coming up to five years old, feel so modern? In all honesty, probably the design. There really isn’t much to say about it – call it futuristic minimalism, if you like. There’s two buckles, a booster strap, a walk mode and rubber soles. That’s it. Simplicity at its best.

By doing away with much of the gimmicky designs of typical ski boots, Salomon have managed to add in reinforcement where it’s needed (the cuff and lower) and bring in some high quality pebax plastic in the cuff, with a Grilamid lower.

“Simplicity at its best”

As stated earlier, the S/Lab MTN works both as a fantastic single boot quiver whilst also being able to take its place as a dedicated freeride touring boot for fatter skis. It sits in between a full on alpine boot and a full on touring boot (like the Scarpa Alien RS, or Salomon S/Lab X-Alp).

The easily cooked shell, that’ll conform to your foot for optimal comfort, means it’s worth considering for anyone who previously thought that it may require too much work to make it fit.

Custom Shell improves the fit of the S/Lab MTN for those who need it

Expert’s Verdict

Dave Searle, Chamonix-based UIAGM Mountain Guide

Website: Instagram: @searlerdave

“Finding the perfect boot is difficult. For me I want something that skis like a downhill boot but I don’t want to compromise on fit, tour-abilty or weight. The S/Lab MTN boot has been a firm favourite of mine over the past 4 seasons and is my go-to touring/ steep skiing boot. I’ve used these boots whilst skiing steep lines in the Argentiere basin of Chamonix but I’ve also put it through its paces for long, hut to hut ski touring missions and all day freeride skiing.

“Over the years it has been getting better and better and now with more customisation due to a new plastic this boot can be tailored to many foot shapes with ease. There must be a reason why we see so many pairs of these boots in the cable cars and lift lines of Chamonix. A true all round AT boot that is trusted by many”

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