There is a good reason that snowboard boots moved onto BOA systems. The revolution brought about enhanced levels of comfort, micro-adjustments, and a better spread of tension on the boot. It’s fitting, then, that the company that brought about this revolution has been at the forefront of fitting BOA systems onto ski boots, and let’s be honest, it’s about time.
Following the roaring success of the Recon 120, the first alpine boot utilizing a BOA system, K2 has pushed the envelope once again. This fall, they will release the all-new Mindbender boot featuring BOA. This freeride-focused, touring-ready ski boot will have all the bells and whistles of the current Mindbender series — updated to a 2023 boot — but where clips have previously sat across your forefoot, there will now be a BOA cable. So what does this mean for the Mindbender?
For those who know the Mindbender series, this boot is exciting news. The boot is long established as being up there alongside the best-known K2 skis as some of the best ski gear on the market. With features like the Powerlock Spyne — which offers up to 50º range of motion while in walk mode, while being one of the most responsive freeride boots on the market back in ski mode — as well as the tech toe for a pin or alpine bindings, the Mindbender has always been a fan-favorite in the freeride world.
It was only natural, then, that K2 should take arguably the best freeride boot and enhance it. The BOA system makes clipped boots look and feel archaic. The single tightening point is quick and straightforward to use, and by running an individual cable back and forth across the fore of your foot, K2 has ensured that the load is sufficiently spread for uniform pressure. This combines with the Powerlite shell — designed for more malleability and a better foot wrap — to reduce hotspots and pressure points both on the uphill and the down.
This is all without mentioning the micro-adjustments you can make in seconds to properly dial in your fit when you’re hitting the backcountry. But K2 has gone even further. All Mindbender BOA boots not only have the Honeycomb boot board for 15% better heat retention — don’t want cold feet on those long days in the backcountry, do you? — but they have the Harshmellow inserts. And these are more than just a great name for a product. The interchangeable inserts — blue for dampening and grey for extra rigidity — can be fitted under the heel of your boot depending on your own personal preference.
The Mindbender is already a serious freeride ski boot, and the addition of the BOA system represents serious innovation from one of the best companies ever to do it. K2’s long-running relationship with BOA set them in good stead to push this technology into the world of skiing, but they’ve gone above and beyond to implement it in a way that truly enhances the boot. It’s time to bring your touring boots into the modern era.