Simplify Life with a Single Pair of Ski Boots

One and done: Making a case for the one-boot quiver

The author's trusty Scarpa Maestrals in après repose

People often talk about the one-ski quiver, lauding its simplicity and practicality. And if you’re a good skier, one pair of skis should be all you need. You adapt to the conditions. It’s easier on the wallet. It’s hard to argue with.

The same could be said for ski boots. Plenty of skiers have their dedicated alpine boot, and a different boot for the backcountry (Telemark or AT), and switch between the two depending on the day’s objective. Oftentimes, when the out-of-bounds gate crossing occurs, the right boot takes on a whole new meaning. Will I be stomping big air? Will I be skinning far for those heroic turns? Will I be getting laid tonight?

Many skiers complain that backcountry boots don’t deliver the same security as their 14-pound race boots. The concept of one boot for all conditions might sounds shocking to some, but let me ask you this. How many light sabers does Yoda have?Hmm?

Boots are the most intimate part of your equipment. They conform to your foot, they are the first to react to your whims, and they drive your decisions on the hill. They even smell like you. That level of intimacy cannot be reached with your skis.

So—why not own just a single pair? Something that has technical capability to handle light touring duty, but can still drive huge K2 Darksides? The benefits to running a single pair of boots are undeniable. There’s that reassuring familiarity and consistency every time you slip them on. Sure, there are little battles from time to time, but if you have the right pair, these “personality traits” will grow on you.

If you know what you’re doing, it shouldn’t matter. I can envision the one-boot quiver becoming the modus operandi of the 30-something skier—or 40- and 50-somethings, for that matter. Those who still charge but are already getting laid with some regularity, and moreover, those who want to keep things simple.

Imagine the typical family ski trip, when you’ve got to keep track of all your kids’ crap on the way to the mountain, and deal with the decision of which boots you’ll take to the hill, too. All of a sudden a single pair starts sounding much more manageable.

While monogamy isn’t always the best option in all cases, it might just be the right call when it comes to ski boots. Whatever you choose, ride them hard, with purpose, and enjoy them for all they’re worth. Then, at the end of their life, throw them in the recycling bin, pick up a new pair, and fall in love all over again.

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