The Apex ladies XPL looks more like something you might find yourself wearing after severe injury than a state of the art ski boot.
As far from traditional as you can get, the two-piece concept has had a rough start in life – largely discredited by almost everyone who has an opinion on ski boots. Until recently.
Having managed to force a number of sceptics into the chassis-soft boot combo things have taken a turn for Apex, with ski professionals operating in a variety of disciplines adopting them and now they just won’t shut up.
What are they? If I got a euro for every time I’m asked that question…
A soft boot – more akin to a snowboarding boot which fits into a ridged chassis. Contrary to popular belief, the support comes from the boot (via two original BOA fastenings) which provides more than enough stiffness for any semi-serious recreational skier – and if you believe the advocates in the video below – full pro spec endorsement too.
Who are they for?
Me for a start. With ankles battered through sporting injuries and a distaste for the crippling pain presented by every ski boot I’ve ever tried (however well fitted) having a soft boot which I can walk in is an absolute godsend.
People who walk a lot. I don’t care what you say, trudging about in ski boots, however advanced your ‘walk mode’, is nothing like walking in my Apex boots. Anyone who’s got a schlep from their accommodation, likes their après straight from the slopes or spends a lot of time on their feet rather than their skis (instructors, ski patrol, lifties) is going to feel the benefit of these, without the performance compromise that has been touted over the years.
They’re not cheap. Officially, the RRP for both the women’s and the men’s starts at about £650 which will buy you two pairs of high tech industry leading conventional boots.
They’re not everyone’s cup of tea. You sit higher on your ski (lifted through the chassis) which alters your ski position and balance centre. I personally like that.
Overall – try them is all I can advise. You never know, you might wish you’d adopted them a whole lot sooner.
Go check the Apex Ski Boots website here for UK retailers and if you do decide to invest, let us know – we’re all about converting people to this way of life and we like to hear your stories when you join the revolution:)
BUYING APEX IN THE US
If you’re from the US you’re lucky! You can pick up the whole Apex range on Amazon here and there are test centres and retailers all over – you can find those on the Apex website.