If you’re strong enough to carry a bit of extra weight on the uphill, consider Scott’s women’s boot: Celeste III. My size 24.5 originally weighed 1323 gm per boot (before removal of vestigial 4th buckle). They’re not the lightest ski touring boots but they rank high in my experience as top performers downhill. After all the work of skinning up a peak, it sure is sweet to have solid contact with your skis on the down, especially since backcountry snow is often challenging: variable, wind crusted, etc. I slay through it all with confidence in the Celeste III.
This is not a boot for narrow feet. Crafted by former Garmont designers and using Garmont’s lasting, Celeste has a roomy toe box, (catalog last width is 103.5, for size 27.5, beware last width confusion). The Grilamid shell makes it easy to punch out extra room for trouble spots such as a 6th toe or bunion. Heat molding the liner further dials in the fit. As always when trying to figure out if a boot is for you, put your foot in the shell without the liner to see if it fits comfortably with a finger or two extra space for length.
Celeste III is a four buckle boot and it’s our philosophy at WildSnow that the 4th buckle is most often unnecessary. We removed it and shaved off 44 grams; now my 24.5’s weigh 1276 grams per boot.
The Celeste’s lack a few things:
None of the above are deal breakers for me. It’s my go-to when I want responsive side-to-side edge hold. Celeste III allow me to carve a mean line in corn, or confidently knife thru sustrugi without lurching into embarrassing head plants.
Celeste III specs:
A note about last width: The 103.5 figure for the last width that’s used in the Scott catalog is for a size 27.5, which was the original sample size for that shell. Boot companies normally use their first sample size for their published last width, and that size can vary between companies. Beware: the sample size is not always published with the last width. Alpine companies normally use a 26.5, while some AT boot companies use a 27.5, some a 26.5.
Knowing which size the sample is matters because there are 2.0-2.5mm difference between sizes, meaning we’re not always comparing apples to apples with different-sized samples. In the Celeste, a 26.5 last width is 101.3. The 24.5 is a 96.9. This last width falls more into the “medium” category, particularly given that AT boot liners are usually thicker requiring a bit more room in the shell.
I recommend Celeste III for their stiffness and superior downhill performance. I won’t wear them as race boots but if I have a day of skiing in variable snow, or feel like carving down a corn slope, they’ll be on my feet.