[Editor’s Note: In the interest of getting you information sooner on some of the products we’re reviewing, we’re posting here some of our measured specs and manufacturer details, and will update in the future. Take a look, and let us know in the Comments Section below what questions you’d like us to answer.]
Over the past 5-10 years the one-boot quiver for human-powered and lift-accessed skiing has become quite a popular genre, with nearly every company taking a stab at it. And while some brands dub them “freeride-touring” boots and we often call them “50/50” boots, they all suggest that these are boots appropriate for both resort and backcountry skiing. Of course, that means making some compromises; these boots often offer reduced suspension, multi-directional support, and durability (relative to traditional alpine boots), while also not typically walking / skinning as well as lighter touring-specific boots. Nevertheless, they have become a more popular class of boot — and with the price of a single pair of ski boots, we can’t really blame anyone for buying just one pair. Thankfully, every year these boots are becoming more and more capable in both the resort and backcountry arenas.
K2 is perhaps one of the most ambitious companies in this regard, as they have gone all-in with the idea of highly capable lightweight ski boots. Interestingly, their Mindbender and Recon series boots both weigh about the same, even though the Mindbenders have walk mechanisms while the Recons have fixed cuffs. And it’s even more interesting that, a few years ago, K2’s Pinnacle series of boots were some of the heaviest in the “50/50” class.
We started spending time in the Mindbender 130 last season and will be spending more time on it going forward — including A/B testing it against the K2 Recon series. In the meantime, here’s a closer look at its design and specs.
What K2 says about the Mindbender 130
“A one-boot quiver for aggressive skiers who won’t be confined to the resort.
Built with a heat-moldable Powerlite shell, Friction Free Cuff Pivot, tech fittings, and a burly 130 flex, the K2 Mindbender 130 men’s ski boot is the versatile freeride boot you need for both chairlift-assisted and human-powered endeavors. When it comes time to venture beyond the resort, flip the Powerlock Spyne into walk mode and appreciate the impressive 50-degree range of motion as you power uphill to your next objective.”