With backcountry and side-country snowboarding and skiing starting to get a lot of attention, there are a lot of ski manufactures jumping at the bit to find their place in your ski gear closet. Salomon, a veteran in the ski industry has long been known as a high quality and dependable performance ski manufacture, but more recently they saw the backcountry trend starting to grow and decided it was time to take a step into the backcountry and side-country. In this review, we’ll be providing you some feedback on how the Salomon Quest Max 100 ski boots performed and also provide you a little background on the boots.
The Salomon Quest Max 100 Ski boot is optimal for the skier that takes their turns serious, but aren’t exactly hucking themselves off cliffs. Given that these ski boots have an element of backcountry skiing, these boots are designed for the intermediate to advanced skier. I say this not only because of the performance factor, but also because if you are making your way into the backcountry or ducking under the ropes at the resort, you need to have a certain level of skill and knowledge to have fun and stay safe. On the performance side, the Quest Max 100 sits in the middle of the free ski line of boots for Salomon, ranging from the Quest 90 to the Quest Max 120 for men. For the more entry level skier, the Quest 90 might be your best bet if you are male and Quest 80 if you are a women. The Quest Max 120 for men and Quest Max 100 for women is at the top of the line and it much stiffer and more performance oriented.
When looking for a ski boot, I look for a boot that has a good balance between comfortable and performance. I’ve worn super stiff performance oriented boots in the past and while they often do what they are intended to do, I often find myself not wanting to ski as long because I look at skiing as something that puts a smile on my face, hang out with friends, and provides great exercise, not a way to tell my friends how many runs or how many days I skied, well at least a little… This is why I chose to test out the Salomon Quest Max 100.
For Performance, I found the Salomon Quest Max 100 to provide the right amount of rigidity for 90% of the skiing I do. On an average day, I like to ski 15% bumps, 40% Trees, 40% groomed runs or bowls, and 5% in the park to keep me young. I feel where the boots lack in performance or stiffness is from time to time on a bump run or when I am trying to make really tight turns. Otherwise, I found they had enough power and rigidity to turn the skis that I wanted to in deep powder and groomed runs. For testing, I used the Quest Max 100 with a complete Salomon setup including the Guardian 16 which is a new AT binding for Salmon this season and the Rocker 2 115 in a 188 length and 115 underfoot. Given the fact that 188′s are a little longer of a ski than I typically ski, I was pleased with how well the boots drove the ski.
The Boot Liner in the Salomon Quest Max 100 is a custom moldable liner which allows you to reduce the amount of hot spots and uncomfortable areas of rubbing you might get. As we all have different sizes and shapes of feet and legs, having a custom liner can make your day a little brighter while getting the most out of the boot. The liner itself is very plush and cushiony which gives you the feeling of riding in a Cadillac.
The outer shell of the Salomon Quest Max 100 is made from a polyurethane material that allows your foot to flex a little, but can withstand a lot of pressure and the typical bumps and dings that ski boots typically get. As the buckles and power strap are often what holds are feet and legs in place, Salomon found that using a 3 buckle system with a power strap to be best for this boot. The 3 buckle doesn’t give you quiet the stiffness and performance a 4 buckle boot gives you, but it allows the boot to drop a little weight and perform up to the standards of most skiers.
Outsole/Bottom of the ski boot
For those that head into the backcountry, sidecountry, and find themselves doing a fair amount of hiking, you’ll be happy to know the bottom of the Quest Max 100 provides plenty of traction using Salomon’s Contragrip design which is used in their outdoor and running footwear lines as well. The pads on the heel and toe can can be changed out to for binding adjustments or when they start to wear down to far. To remove the pads, there are 4 screws that need to be removed in the front and 3 screws in the rear and are easy to remove and screw back in.
Pivoting and range of motion
The Salomon Quest Max 100 has an extra large pivot hinge which provides a nice fluid motion when you’re in walk mode. This means that whether you are tour mode or hiking up a slope, the boot won’t be completely stiff and awkward. To switch into walk mode from ski mode, there is an easy up down switch that you can flip which is very easy to adjust while on the fly.
Pricing and Sizing
The Salomon Quest Max 100 retails for $580 and has a US size range between 24 and 29.5. The weight of the boot is 26.5 oz.