For years I struggled with AT boots that were only good at one thing or another. They climbed well but skied terribly, or vice versa. Finally, I found a boot that bridges the gap. During a month-long ski expedition, the Scarpa Skookum were the only boots I wore—skinning with heavy loads for miles, ascending difficult skin tracks, bootpacking couloirs, and descending steep, technical terrain. With ubercomfy intuition liners and a thick rubber Vibram sole, my feet stayed happy and planted firmly on snow and ice as well as scree and solid rock. Once I was at the top, I simply flipped these guys into ski mode, cranked down all four buckles, tightened the booster strap, and let loose. Just like cell phones and the Internet, I’m not sure how people ever got along without these. Available at Northern Lights, Barrel, Grizzly Outfitters, and Timber Trails. $720; scarpa.com.