As Backcountry’s 2015 Editors’ Choice awards roll out, a trip down AT boot memory lane is in order. Crack open Issue 3, BCM’s first-ever Gear Guide, and you’ll find the typical AT and the performance free-heel boots of 1995. With the lightest boot of that Gear Guide weighing in at about 6 lbs. (now considered middle-of-the-road), the lightest Editors’ Choice winner this year tips the scale at a dainty 4 lbs. 14 oz.
“The argument for or against certain types of gear now rests on matters of skiing style rather than on weight,” David Eye writes in Issue 3, a statement that holds true today, nearly 20 years later. In this year’s Gear Guide, with style and performance in mind, BC boot engineers are incorporating rockered, Vibram soles, heat-moldable shells, autolocking walk mechanisms and two buckles.
Two decades ago Eye mused, “A boot that is a good climbing and touring boot and a good downhill boot is nearly an impossibility.” Will this year’s selection do the impossible? Find out tomorrow when we prerelease the six 2015 Editors’ Choice award-winning boots. To see the full selection of more than 200 products, subscribe or preorder the Gear Guide, here.
We’re working toward publishing our 100th issue and celebrating 20 years of Backcountry Magazine. Can you believe it? Well, since we all can’t put our beers together with celebratory cheer, we’ve unearthed early editions of the mag, dug through them and pulled stories, photos, quotes, gear relics and more for your enjoyment. —The Editors