The world’s largest Alpine and sidecountry ski boot test will be held at Mount Bachelor, OR April 8-14. Operated by Masterfit Enterprises’ America’s Best Bootfitters division in partnership with Ski and Skiing Magazines, more than 80 models from 21 brands will be put to the test by more than 45 professional skiers.
Virtually every brand—from the biggest global manufacturers to boutique labels—are participating in the test including: Alpina, Apex , Atomic, Black Diamond, Dalbello, DaleBoot, Dynafit, First Degree, Fischer, Head, Full Tilt, K2, Lange, Nordica, Roxa, Rossignol, Salewa, Salomon, Scarpa, Scott and Tecnica.
Test director Mark Elling, who also heads up Masterfit University, the snowsports industries bootfitter education centers, says, “Good boot testers are hard to find. Only with experience can a tester learn to put aside personal fit issues and assess a boot strictly on how well it serves the type of skier for which it’s built. The core of our team is comprised of the Masterfit University instructors and personnel from America’s Best Bootfitters member shops that specialize in bootfitting. To that we add experienced instructors and patrollers, former racers and other long-time skiers with testing backgrounds and an understanding of how a boot should fit and perform.”
Masterfit CEO Steve Cohen and President Jeff Rich work closely with Elling. The pair co-found the independent on-hill boot test back in 1988 when they worked at Ski Magazine.
“It’s incredible to see how the program has grown,” says Cohen. “When we first started at Mt. Bachelor we literally worked out of a closet with a handful of local ski instructors. Now we have people coming from all over the world.”
Thor Verdonk, Technical Product Manager at Rossignol and Lange who is attending this year’s test with a group of company executives from Europe says, “As a boot developer, I find the Masterfit boot test incredibly important. The test is exceptionally well run and produces great information, a true road map to the current ski boot market.”
The results of the test will appear this fall in Ski and Skiing Magazines and on www.bootfitters.com, the America’s Best Bootfitters website.