Boots are a highly important part of any ski set up and wearing the right telemark boots is no different. The correct type of telemark boots should be worn depending on the type of telemark skiing you do. Brands such as Scarpa and Black Diamond are leaders in design of the modern teleboot. There are three main types of telemark boots including all mountain, freeride, touring and leather, all of them share the signature marks of a flexible bellows for free-heel turns and a duckbill front for telemark specific bindings.
All Mountain Telemark Boots
These are the standard, all-purpose telemark ski boots of today. These boots have a higher cuff than the touring boots, have three buckles and the bellows are generally mid-stiff for those that like to take it into the backcountry or on the groomed run. These are the cross-trainers of the telemark boot world. The CrispiXP telemark boots are a good example of a modern all purpose telemark boot.
Freeride Telemark Boots
These boots are made of a sturdier and stiffer plastic and therefore a little heavier but they also enable more control. The cuffs are higher than regular all mountain telemark boots, have three to four buckles and the bellows are usually extra stiff. These are generally for inbounds skiing due to their heavier weight though it certainly doesn't keep people from taking them into the backcountry for a smooth off-piste line. The Black Diamond Custom boots, the stiffest boots they make as of 2009 are a good example.
Plastic Touring Boots
Touring telemark boots are the lightest tele boots out there and have shorter cuffs than all the rest. These are made of soft, flexible plastic and have a soft bellows. Only two buckles is the norm for these. These boots are great for rolling terrain and gaining access into the backcountry to get to climbs but do not provide the same support on steep slopes as all mountain or freeride boots. The Scarpa T-3 is a good example of a touring boot.
Leather Touring Boots
These boots aren't used as much today but are still floating around out there. Some people simply prefer the extremely flexible, lightweight feel of the leathers. These boots are basically for touring, have shorter cuffs like plastic touring boots and have two buckles or are lace-up. They may or may not have an inner liner. They do not provide adequate control for the downhill, but are great for rolling hills. Crispi still makes a pair of these called the Antarctic boots.
Article Written By Naomi Judd
Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.