Hoping to build on the success of their skis, Colorado’s Icelantic Skis launched its own boot line at last year’s SIA under a new brand called First Degree Boots. Targeting the sidecountry niche, the line features two boots: a white pair with medium flex (the ST1) and a stiffer black pair (the ST2). I got my feet in some 26.5 ST1s and have been impressed by their combination of comfort and performance.
My primary boots from last season were a pair of Black Diamond 26.5 Factor 130s that weigh 4 lb 8 oz, have a 307 mm sole length, and feature a 102 mm last width. The ST1s weigh slightly less at 4 lb 7.2 oz, have a 289 mm sole length and a 99 mm last width. The last width was a concern knowing my feet tend to run wide but it has yet to be an issue. The boots fit well straight out of the box and their fit only improved once I got their DFP World Cup Zero 3 Liner molded.
The ST1s’ shell features a three-piece design that’s similar Full Tilt and Dalbello’s but whose origins can be found in a high performance alpine snowboard boot. The three-piece design is easier to put on and provides a more natural flex. The tongue can be swapped out, making the boot’s flex adjustable. The stock tongue is on the soft side of my liking but that’s a minor issue given its replaceable nature. The ST1s heel can also be replaced and hopefully a future model will include a replaceable toe with tech compatibility as well.
To help dial in their fit and responsiveness, the ST1s’ liners have lacing that can easily be tightened and locked. There are four buckles and the boots ship with an expert Booster strap for even further adjustment. The boots also include a walk mode that can be used to set one of five forward lean positions when being locked.
The sum of these features is a boot that fits very well and performs without compromise whether going up or down. I’ve already adjusted a number of my current skis to the ST1s and will likely convert the rest once I’m able to get my hands on a stiffer tongue. Check a pair out next at you visit your local dealer and let us know what you think.