Salomon MTN Lab ReviewJanuary 25, 2016
- Two buckles and powerstrap keep things simple
- Flex consistency is strong and smooth
- Great weight to performance ratio
- Clean design
- Walk mode could have a broader forward range
- 98 mm last is limiting
- Not for hard charging inbounds use
The Mountain Lab is the best tech boot offering Salomon has ever made. It is light, efficient and stable and has great power driving skis at every speed. They are nimble and ergonomic on the skin track. They gave one tester a hard time in choosing between them and the go-to favorite, Scarpa’s Maestrale RS.
Don’t let the two buckles mislead you. Salomon created a top-notch everyday/all day AT boot that is performance driven. It comes with an honest 120-flex pattern, compulsory tech fittings, and a well-balanced uphill/downhill partnership that made this boot one of our favorites of the year.
It’s built with a Pebax upper cuff, reinforced carbon spine and Grilamid scaffo (lower cuff), and the material relationship is working. It created a smooth driving flex consistency as well as quick edge-to-edge responsiveness when we snapped short swing turns in tight conditions. They were just as powerful when opening up speed on groomers. And skiing a powder field was obviously just a delight. Again, with only two buckles, it was easy and quick to ratchet them down for the descent or open up for the climb.
The Mtn Lab is a little under gunned to be a resort-based freeride boot you charge in bounds everyday. They can do it, it’s not what they were designed for. That said, it does punch above its weight class, especially for a two-buckle boot. From roadside hikes to long, technical and/or consequential pursuits in the alpine, the Mtn Lab is a solid option. Their own thermo-formable tongue liner worked great after just cooking them once. There was a sufficient amount of tongue material that shins felt protected when driving the skis, but the ergonomics were also there for skinning. The 98 mm last makes it a little difficult for wider feet to appreciate the boot. Also, and this is minor, the fore movement of the upper cuff when the boot is in walk mode hits a soft wall in the deepest part of the stride. It’s not bothersome, just noticeable.