Garmont G-Ride: An AT boot that fits like a slipper |

Garmont G-Ride: An AT boot that fits like a slipper

Bob Ward

I’ve been skiing for many years, but only in the last few years have I really begun to take my gear seriously. In a constant effort to save money, I used to make do with my dad’s hand-me-down boots, and I skimped on skis as well, buying last year’s demos at discount prices or trolling ski swaps for good deals (usually on not-so-good skis).

But somewhere along the line, after going through too much cheap crap, I decided it’s better to spend the damned money and walk away with something I can use happily for a long time. Since then, I’ve had much better luck not only with ski gear but with everything from kitchen appliances to woodworking tools.Case in point: my new Garmont G-Ride boots.

The G-Ride is a alpine touring boot suited for both backcountry excursions and in-bounds skiing. It’s not the top-of-the-line Garmont, but with four buckles, it’s sturdy and stiff. It’s also amazingly light – 7 1/2 pounds per pair. That’s several pounds less than either my Salomon alpine boots or my old Scarpa tele boots (frankly I’m a lousy tele skier, which is why I went for the AT boots in the first place – so I could have more fun in the backcountry). I can ski these Garmonts hard, but skinning up the hill actually feels like a walk in the park.The G-Ride has a “walk” setting for more flexibility on the ascent and a “ski” setting that locks in the foot – in two different forward lean positions – for the descent.

Perhaps more important, I never knew what “good fit” meant until I coughed up the $570 for these boots at the Ute Mountaineer. The guys at the Ute heat-molded the liners for me and they’re so snug that I can barely move my toes. But unlike previous pairs of tight-fitting boots, I can ski these Garmonts all day and never feel cramped or sore. I don’t use the word “perfect” lightly, but this fit honestly feels perfect. I’m comfortable in the boot and solidly connected to the ski.I never figured a performance boot could feel like a slipper, but that’s what can happen when you decide to just spend the damned money.

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