There are a few directions to go with a gear review. Allow the brain first to pitter-patter down the path of tech specs, or one might diverge and get wishy-washy and aim to appeal to one’s emotional sensibilities, saying things like, “nirvana was (or wasn’t) achieved when slarving this or that.” I’m acknowledging a few things upfront; there’s some subjectivity in reviews when deviating the discussion from strict spec standards. This is a boot review, and as you’ll likely do, please boot fit at a shop to ensure that what I’m about to say about the boot, aligns with what you’re looking for in a boot.
So, here we are to meditate on Salomon’s 2022-2023 S/LAB MTN Summit. This boot is at the sharp end material and cost-wise for the French brand’s revamped MTN boot series.
In total, the new line encompasses five boots, ranging from the S/LAB MTN Summit (MSRP: $799) and onward. The remaining four boots are the MTN Summit Pro (MSRP: $699), MTN Summit Pro W (MSRP: $699)m, MTN Summit Pure (MSRP: $599), and MTN Summit Pure W (MSRP: $599). Although tags like “Pro” and “Pure” are aspirational for some, I’m focusing on the straight-up S/LAB MTN Summit, which, although lacking those tags, sits atop the MTN price, stiffness, and lightness pyramid.
The S/LAB MTN Summit helps Salomon enter the ethereal realm of stiffish, yet big-vert, tourable 1kg boots. The weigh-in for our size 27.5 liners (with stock insoles) found 236g and 234g, with the shells weighing 970g and 974g, respectively. The 27.5 S/LAB MTN (BSL 298 mm) Summit is approximately a 1206g boot (27.5) with a 99mm last (27.5). For me, that’s in the 1kg+ discussion.
Enough hard data for the moment; let’s get subjective with boot fit. The boot-sole rubber meets the road with the fit. For a few years, as I torqued my feet in some old BD Quadrants and Dynafit TLT 6s, I considered my feet tough to fit into the “normal” parameters of an AT ski boot. On a whim, I mail-ordered a Fischer Travers Carbon in a 27.5. It was love at first BOA cinch. It turns out that as boot manufacturers have diversified their last widths, insole heights, and toe box shapes, more of us are finding proper fitting boots almost out of the box without heating, gluing, and punching. I now consider myself lucky; I easily fit into several boots with minimal mods.
Jason Albert comes to WildSnow from Bend, Oregon. After growing up on the East Coast, he migrated from Montana to Colorado and settled in Oregon. Simple pleasures are quiet and long days touring. His gray hair might stem from his first Grand Traverse in 2000 when rented leather boots and 210cm skis were not the speed weapons he had hoped for. Jason survived the transition from free-heel kool-aid drinker to faster and lighter (think AT), and safer, are better.